What are quality step increases?
A quality step increase is a one-step increase to basic pay to recognize employees in the General Schedule who have received the highest available rating of record and meet agency criteria, and provide faster than normal progression through the step rates of the General Schedule. Unlike other forms of monetary recognition, quality step increases permanently increase an employee’s rate of basic pay. No more than one may be granted to an individual employee in the same 52-week period.

A quality step increase does not affect the timing of an employee’s next regular within-grade increase unless the quality step increase places the employee in step 4 or step 7 of his or her grade. In these cases, the employee becomes subject to the full waiting period for the new step.

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