Time-in-Grade (TIG) restrictions are intended to prevent excessively rapid promotions in General Schedule (GS) positions and to protect competitive principles. They provide a budgetary control on promotion rates and help ensure that appointments are made from appropriate registers. TIG restrictions apply to advancement to a GS position in the competitive service by any individual who within the previous 52 weeks held a GS position under non-temporary appointment in the competitive or excepted service in the executive branch. There are a limited number of exceptions to this policy (see 5 CFR 300.601).
The following TIG restrictions must be met unless an exception to the policy applies:
- Candidates for advancement to a position at GS-12 and above must have completed a minimum of 52 weeks in positions no more than one grade lower than the position to be filled.
- Candidates for advancement to a position at GS-6 through GS-11 must have completed a minimum of 52 weeks in positions: no more than two grades lower when the position to be filled is in a line of work properly classified at 2-grade intervals; no more than one grade lower when the position to be filled is in a line of work properly classified at 1-grade intervals; or no more than one or two grades lower, as determined by the agency, when the position to be filled is in a line of work properly classified at 1-grade intervals but has a mixed interval promotion pattern.
- Advancement to positions up to GS-5. Candidates may be advanced without time restriction to positions up to GS-5 if the position to be filled is no more than two grades above the lowest grade the employee held within the preceding 52 weeks.
All service at the required or higher grade in positions to which appointed in the Federal civilian service is creditable towards the required time periods. Creditable service includes competitive and excepted service in positions under the GS and other pay systems, including employment with a non-appropriated fund instrumentality. Service while on detail is credited at the grade of the employee's position of record, not the grade of the position to which detailed. Service in positions not subject to the GS is credited at the equivalent GS grade by comparing the candidate's rate of basic pay with the representative rate of the GS position in effect when the non-GS service was performed.
5 CFR 300, Subpart F, Time-in-Grade Restrictions