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December 12, 2008
In Reply Refer To: 
9200/1400-338 (400/700) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-038     
Expires:  09/30/2010   
To:                   State and Center Directors
                        Attention: Fire Management Officers and Human Resource Officers
From:               Assistant Director, Fire and Aviation
Subject:            Notification and Reporting Requirements for Employees in Interagency Fire
Management Program (IFMP) Transition Positions                          DD: 01/15/2009
Program Area:  GS-401Fire Management Specialist Positions covered by the IFPM.
Purpose: To provide notification and reporting requirements for positions that are scheduled to be converted to GS-401 Fire Management Specialist (FMS) positions effective October 1, 2010.
Policy/Action: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to notify and remind employees, managers/supervisors and human resources staffs of the requirements for employees in transition positions to qualify for the GS-401 FMS series by October 1, 2010. Transition positions are positions that have been identified as those that are scheduled for transition to the GS-401 series in accordance with the Interagency Fire Management Program (IFMP) Implementation Plan, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 25 employees in this status.  Therefore, managers and supervisors are required to counsel and monitor the progress made by IFPM transition employees on meeting the IFMP qualifications and the OPM positive education requirements for the GS-401 FMS series. Managers and supervisors are also required to report employee’s progress to their Human Resource Office (HRO), which will be submitted to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) Human Resources Office and AD-700. 
The transition employees should already have a formal Individual Development Plan (IDP) established which shows the coursework and training needed in order to qualify for the GS-401 FMS position they are targeted to convert to on or before October 1, 2010. If these employees do not have an IDP established, their managers and/or supervisors are required to establish one for them within 30 days of the date of this IM.
Timeframe: Each state or center with transition employees will receive a spreadsheet with the current information for their transition employees through their HROs. Fire Management officials are required to submit status reports to their local HROs no less than a full work week prior to the following dates: January 15, 2009, April 1, 2009, July 1, 2009, October 1, 2009, January 4, 2010, and April 1, 2010. The final report is due on July 1, 2010.   The HROs are required to submit their report to Cindy Pogue at NIFC at least 3 work days prior to the due dates. 
Budget Impact: The budget impact is minimal.
Background: On February 15, 2005, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) clarified the acceptability of educational coursework required for meeting the positive educational requirements for professional positions. Due to the changes in the OPM standard, educational coursework will only be accepted if it is gained from an accredited college or university and the coursework is on a transcript from one of these institutions. Therefore, employees are no longer able to use Agency coursework unless it meets these criteria. 
Prior to this OPM change, employees were able to use NWCG, TFM and other Agency coursework to meet the positive education requirement. It is important that employees in transition positions know these requirements and tailor their educational pursuits accordingly.
Though many employees are still taking educational coursework, many others have already met the OPM positive educational requirements.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: This document was coordinated with WO-400, WO-700, and NIFC.
Contact: If you have any questions concerning this IM, please contact Gloria Banks at (202) 513-0791, or via email at:  Gloria_Banks@BLM.gov. Managers, supervisors and employees at the State Offices should contact their local HRO. All other questions (IFPM, IPD, etc.) should be directed to managers and supervisors in the fire organization. 
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Jim Douglas                                                                  Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                         Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Fire and Aviation Management

Last updated: 10-20-2009