USPHS Honor Awards - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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USPHS Honor Awards

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  1. USPHS Honor Awards The Basics of Awards Write-ups

  2. Objective • To provide officers tools an understanding of importance of PHS Honor Awards • To provide officers tools on writing awards

  3. Agenda • Overview of PHS Awards • Awards Approval Processes • Basics of Writing Awards • Awards and Career Planning

  4. Relevant Documents • PHS Commissioned Corps Awards, CCPM Pamphlet No. 67 - April 1998 http://dcp.psc.gov/PDF_docs/CCPM_P67.pdf • Commissioned Corps Instruction CC27.1.1http://dcp.psc.gov/eccis/documents/CCPM27_1_1.pdf • There are other relevant documents on the CCMIS website, but these are the most generally applicable • Sample Awards • http://www.usphs-scientist.org/documents/careerdev_content/cc_awards.pdf

  5. Agency Nomination Guidance • CDC Guidance on Writing Nominations • http://www.cdc.gov/od/occp/personnel/awards/guidelines_for_submission.htm • FDA Awards Nomination Process • http://intranet.fda.gov/ohrms/corps/awards/awards.htm • NIH Awards Nomination Process • http://hr.od.nih.gov/hrguidance/corps/awards/default.htm.

  6. Types of Awards • Honor Awards • Individual and Unit • General criteria, achievement/performance based • Officership achievements not usually included • Service Awards • Set criteria • Do not go through Agency awards boards • Campaign Medals • Training Awards • Regular Corps Ribbon • Special “addition” • With Valor

  7. Honor Awards • Individual Honor Awards • Six for which Corps officers may be nominated: DSM, MSM, OSM, CM, AM, CIT. • Agency may approve CIT, AM, CM, OSM • Two additional awards for which there is no nomination process: SGM and SGESM. • No order in which an officer must receive these awards. • Unit Honor Awards • Two (UC, OUC) • Agency may approve UC

  8. Importance • Recognition by the United States of your work • Demonstrates leadership/ability • Awards are tied to the promotion process http://dcp.psc.gov/PY2010.aspx • O4 (AM and below) • O5 (CM and below) • O6 (OSM and below) • Unit awards important, but individual honor awards are specifically denoted in the Benchmarks • Awards are worth the time and effort

  9. Individual Awards • Requirements • PHS 6342-2 • Two page narrative • General requirements • Vary by agency/awards board • # of copies • Signatures on the forms • Criteria for approval • Check with your liaison or your awards board coordinator to get details • Two general criteria • Level of achievement • Length of time

  10. Awards Criteria • CIT • Single achievement • Shorttime frame (1 week to a few months is typical) • AM • sustained above-average accomplishment, superior performance • 1-2 years is typical • CM • high quality achievements • application of unique skill • noteworthy technical and professional contributions that are significant to a limited area • 2 years time frame is typical • Usually Agency/state level impact

  11. Awards Criteria • OSM • continuous outstanding leadership • National level impact • Time frame is typically 2-4 years • MSM • Meritorious achievement • Usually a career wrap award • Time frame is typically many years • DSM • exceedingly high level of achievement • Often multi-national impact • Time frame is typically several years but varies

  12. The Narrative • Most important part of the award • Describes what you’ve done and WHY IT MATTERS • The hardest to write • Your audience may be very diverse in background • Anyone who reads it should understand what you’ve done • Clear, concise writing is critical • Limited to two pages, 1” margins • Suggested font Times New Roman (10.5-11 font)

  13. A Good Narrative • Citation • What you’ve been awarded for • Must match 6342 citation verbatim • Background • Short paragraph that provides the reader the setting of the award. • Body • 3-4 general sections describing broad achievements • General sections include accomplishments an impacts • Conclusion • VERY short section that reiterates that you are highly deserving of the award for what you’ve done

  14. Writing Style • Concise, clear • Sentences should be 1-2 lines long • Longer sentences are hard to follow • Time Anchors • Tells the reader how long it took to do the job • Use intermittently throughout • Avoid • Jargon (collaboration, consensus) • Praise language (enthusiastically, energetically) • Quantify • Numbers help readers understand the scale of effort • Bullets vs paragraph format • Find out which your board prefers

  15. Accomplishments • These are things that were done • First person, active verb • Include your specific role • What did you actually do (or lead) • Quantify when possible • For prolonged or extensive efforts • Use the phrase “For example,….” • Must be more than just doing your normal duty • Must have an impact associated with it • 13-month window following the end of the accomplishments to submit the award. • No overlap with previous awards.

  16. Impacts • THE BIG QUESTION—SO WHAT??? • Why are your accomplishments award-worthy • Every sentence should read or have implied • “As a result” • “Therefore” • “Because of” • Use numbers • How much reduction in morbidity/mortality • How much money saved • How many people trained • How much improvement made

  17. Common Problems • Accomplishments too vague • Not clear what you actually did • Praise language • Impacts not well described • Not clear why your work was important • Too technical • Awards boards usually have broad background • Mixed impacts/accomplishments • Obtaining funding, publishing is an accomplishment, is an accomplishment, not impact • Level of proposed award does not match accomplishments • May be downgraded (but sometimes is upgraded) • Overlap with previous awards (career wrap may be excepted)

  18. Effort • The officer should always be involved in the write-up • You know what you did and why it was important • Listen to your awards board coordinator • They know what will pass and what will not • Plan on 2-3 full days and several iterations • Spell check/grammar check

  19. The 6342 • Citation limited to 25 words • At least one supervisory signature • Check your agency’s procedures • Original signatures needed • Award may require secondary concurrence if work was under a different supervisor than your current one • Second page awards • No service/training awards

  20. Unit Awards • Same rules/principles apply • Same writing styles • Same do’s and don’ts • UC is agency level while OUC must be approved by CC Awards Board • Note that the form is 6342-1 (not 6342-2) • Separate 6342 page 2 for each officer on the team • Non PHS officers should be included • Listed on separate sheet • Coordinate with your Awards Board Liaison to determine your agency’s practices

  21. Awards and Career Planning • Know your benchmarks • Target the appropriate award level before you go up for promotion • Higher level awards require rolling together long periods of work • Know the importance of an award level relative to your career • A CM for an O-3 is great, but a CIT for an O-6 provides minimal bang for the buck • Continuity of awards • A Benchmark but does not mean you need a CIT, then AM, then CM • Unit Awards provide value as well • Get involved in team efforts

  22. Summary • Honor Awards are important to your career • Approval process varies • Work with your awards board liaison • Writing style of narrative is very important • Takes time, effort, but worth it • Develop an awards “strategy” as part of your career planning