Back to Air Force EPR
Writing an EPR is one of the supervisor's most important responsibilities because the EPR is the only official record of an individualís performance during his or her Air Force career. EPRs must accurately and clearly capture what the ratee has accomplished during the reporting period. EPRs arenít merely one of several components of an individualís WAP score. EPRs are, by nature, competitive. Although their primary goal is to record the ratee's performance for the reporting period, these records will be used to compare Airman against each other. They will be used to decide assignments, decorations, and promotions. A well-written EPR will showcase both what the individual accomplished and the impact of those accomplishments and make sure the subject is eligible for any opportunities he has earned.
- Ratee. The ratee is the subject of the EPR, the person being evaluated.
- Rater. The rater is the ratee's supervisor, the person responsible for writing the EPR.
- Additional Rater. The Additional Rater is the rater's supervisor (normally).
Blocks 1 through 10 are self-explanatory. This information is contained in the EPR shell (also known as a "RIP") which is generated by the personnel section (of your unit or the base). The information entered in these blocks must match what is on the RIP. If the details don't match, work with your supervisor or MPF to figure out what the problem is.
Block 1. Duty Title. Normally the workcenter has a series of approved Duty Titles. Use the one approved for the ratee's rank and position. The duty title is also listed on the RIP.
Block 2. Significant Additional Duty(s). List any assigned additional duties (such as Equipment Custodian, ADPE Monitor, etc).
Block 3. Key Duties, Tasks, and responsibilities. Every shop or office has a set of standard Job Descriptions (depending on rank) for the Key Duties, Tasks, and Responsibilities fields. If the officially sanctioned blurb needs editing for grammar or accuracy, there is no law against it although your supervisor must approve the changes. The Job Description entries must be in bullet statement format:
- Manages $1.1 B in communications infrastructure at the Louisiana missile tracking center
- Processes communications outage reports for US Northern Command theater operations
- Analyzes communications requirements and determines and engineers efficient comm links
- Assists theater operations participants in resolving procedural and operational issues
If the ratee supervises any troops, state that fact on the first line of the job description. Note that all descriptions begin with a verb.
This is the most important section of the EPR. This is where the ratee's accomplishments are documented by the rater. The following categories must be addressed by the Rater and the Additional Rater:
- Primary / Additional Duties -4 lines
- Standards, Conduct, Character & Military Bearing -2 lines
- Training Requirements -2 lines
- Teamwork / Followership -2 lines
- Other Comments -2 lines
- Additional Rater's Comments -3 lines
- Also, if the ratee didn't meet standards, Fitness must be addressed
Airmen are often asked to write their own EPRs or, at least, to provide their own bullet statements. This is not unusual and it's in the ratee's interest to provide the best information possible. After all, your rating will be influenced by what you provide. Thinking up 15 accomplishments to fill the EPR can be hard. At times it can seem almost impossible. The things we do everyday just don't seem noteworthy. But they are. The work that all of us do, no matter where we work or what our rank, is indispensable to the Air Force's mission. It just takes a little thought to bring those notable achievements to light and express their full impact.
The quickest way to come up with a list of accomplishments for your EPR is to brainstorm. List all the ratee's accomplishments on a separate sheet of paper. Jot down everything that might qualify as an accomplishment. Don't leave anything out. Include volunteering for the Air Show and Meals on Wheels, giving to the Combined Federal Campaign, and anything else you can think of. If you're still coming up short, if your work center has a log or calendar, review it to jog your memory. Then, when you have at least fifteen accomplishments (to fill all the required sections), go back to the form and start fitting them in. If you try to think up accomplishments individually, edit them for readability, and make them fit in the space provided as you go along, your progress will be much slower.
One thing that's very important to remember when you're putting together a list of accomplishments is to not be modest. If you're new to Air Force performance reports, you might be reluctant to claim credit for any achievements that you weren't 100% responsible for. Don't be! Most workcenter accomplishments require the efforts of several people and are the product of teamwork. If you had any part in an accomplishment, even if it was just making a couple of phone calls, you are allowed to claim it as your own and summarize it in a bullet statement. A workcenter supervisor will often reuse the same bullet statements, over and over, in several different EPRs so it's not unexpected or out of the ordinary. As a rule of thumb, if you had any part in an achievement, from documenting the situation in a log to turning a wrench, you can claim it. So claim everything and let your supervisor sort it out. And don't worry that your supervisor will scrutinize your inputs and dispute your claims --it doesn't happen. A supervisor is much more concerned with getting material for your EPR than with analyzing which person contributed the most to this or that accomplishment.
The format required for entries throughout the EPR is the "bullet statement" format. If you don't use this format, your EPR will be returned for editing.
Make sure you write your bullet statements in plain English using common words that anyone can understand. Avoid jargon and strive for readability. By jargon, I mean words or phrases that are only understood by people in your career field. You might understand what "retrofitted weep holes" means but most people would not. It's very important that your EPR be understandable to anyone who reads it because it's the main source of information for selection for assignments, promotion, and other personnel decisions. The people who review EPRs to make these decisions are from a variety of career fields. So make sure it's understandable so that you're selected for the opportunities you've earned.
If abbreviations or acronyms are used, they must be defined the first time they are used unless they are commonly understood and approved. Here is a list of approved Abbreviations & Acronyms for reference. The list of acronyms approved for EPRs varies by Command but this list is acompilation of several Commands' lists and should be 99% accurate for your location. The goal is clarity and efficiency.
Place an X in the block that accurately describes the Ratee's performance. All the bullet statements in this section should concern the ratee's performance in their primary (or additional) duty --not the Honor Guard or your work with the annual base Dining-in. There's only room for four single-line bullet statements in this section so make 'em count. Two line bullets are allowed but since there's only four lines in which to list all the ratee's accomplishments, unless you have a really special two-line bullet in mind, it would be more effective to list four individual, single-line accomplishments.
- Managed 11 personnel workcenter in direct support of U.S. Space Command-exceeded all assigned goals!
- Directed emergency repair of air conditioning at Air Force Network site; rescued $5M in critical equipment
- Reacted quickly under pressure by reprogramming C-5 display unit on divert acft; $9K flight computer saved
- Utilized existing equipment and spare parts to assemble rack-saved work center $26K in material costs
There are only four lines available for describing our accomplishments. Make sure your best accomplishments are listed! After your brainstorming section, review your list of primary duty accomplishments and rate them from most significant to least. The best accomplishments are those that somehow support your unit's mission. List the best accomplishment first --at the top. The next important accomplishment would be second from the top and so on, continuing in that fashion.
The overall goal of the EPR is to, as accurately as possible, describe a person's performance. To that end, every statement should be "qualified"; every claim should be supported by a quantity or be as specific as possible.