Federal Merit System Overview

All managers in federal agencies


Expected Duration
28 minutes

The Merit System Principles are the standards that underpin federal management practices. They help ensure federal employees are treated fairly and equitably and that the federal employment system is based on merit. This course provides an overview of the Merit System Principles – what they are, how to apply them, and the prohibited personnel practices to avoid. The course also describes the regulatory and administrative structures that enforce the Merit System Principles.
This course was developed with subject matter support provided by the Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Law Group of the law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA. Please note, however, that the course materials and content are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Nothing herein, or in the course materials, shall be construed as professional advice as to any particular situation or constitute a legal opinion with respect to compliance with any federal, state, or local laws. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The information contained herein is provided only as general information that may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. This information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.


Applying the Merit System Principles

  • recognize employment practices that demonstrate merit system principles
  • recognize prohibited personnel practices that violate the merit system principles
  • identify the administrative and regulatory structures that ensure adherence to the merit system principles





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