How to Write an EPR (continued)
Continued from Part I
2. STANDARDS, CONDUCT, CHARACTER & MILITARY BEARING
Place an X in the block that describes how well the ratee meets Air Force standards. The comments here must support and justify the rating, are limited to two lines, and must describe how the ratee adhered to standards. The accomplishments listed can be from a broad spectrum of service, generally anything not duty or training related but somehow enhancing the military community. Essential topics are dress and appearance and conduct on and off duty. Higher ranks (SSgts and TSgts) are expected to be managers and as such, bullet statements for these ranks should address enforcement of standards and military customs and courtesies.
- Mature leader; won't compromise standards, enforced highest AETC standards of conduct
- Participated in Airman Leadership School renovation; improved quality of life for over 2,600 students
- Immaculate uniform--strict adherence to AFI 23-201--sets example for peers and subordinates
- Served on the 35 AMXS Christmas party Committee--raised morale for single soldiers
For more examples, see the list of Standards, Conduct, Character, and Military Bearing bullet statements.
Place an X in the block that describes whether or not the ratee meets Air Force fitness standards. Mark the Exempt block only if the ratee is exempt from all four components of the fitness assessment. If the ratee does not meet standards (score 75 or above), the rater must make a comment (limited to a single line) and the EPR will automatically be a Referral EPR. If the ratee does meet standards, do not enter any comments.
Comment examples for Does Not Meet:
- Failed to meet standards in push-ups and crunches
- Did not meet body composition requirements, exceeded standards on other components
- Made agressive progress in short time on only category not previously qualified
- Unable to meet standards in aerobic fitness; scores are improving in all areas
4. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
Place an X in the block that describes how well the ratee meets training requirements. The comments here are limited to two lines, and must describe training-related accomplishments.
The focus is on On-the-Job training, ancillary training and readiness. In addition, for SSgts and TSgts, addressing more advanced training requirements like PME, off-duty education, technical growth, and upgrade training is appropriate.
Note that some types of accomplishment are not authorized to be mentioned in the EPR or this section:
- Commenting on the ratee's attendance or graduation of a mandatory PME school is not allowed. There is an exception: if the ratee earned some kind of special recognition while attending PME school, then recognizing that achievement is allowed.
- Commenting on any type of WAPS test score or board results is not allowed.
Every other form of training is fair game, including CDC completion and scores.
Examples of Training Requirements bullets:
- Completed largest set of CDC requirements to date, 3 months ahead of schedule; excellent progress!
- Shop qualified in less than half normal time--enthusiastic and fearless; ready for increased responsibility
- Pursued off-duty education--completed eight credits towards CCAF Transportation Management degree
- Exceeds all training requirements; evident by a 98 percent on his 7-Level, End-of-Course examination
- More Training EPR Bullet examples
5. TEAMWORK / FOLLOWERSHIP
Place an X in the block that describes how well the ratee works with others.
While the Primary/Additional Duty block listed the ratee's specific accomplishments, this block is used to describe and rate an Airman's more subjective qualities.
Listing actual achievements does provide some insight into a person's abilities but it doesn't provide the whole picture. A list of achievements doesn't give any indication as to the character or personality of the ratee. An Airman might have a long list of impressive accomplishments but be an unruly member with a bad attitude. He or she might be an expert in their field but the absolute worst at sharing information or getting along with others. This kind of anti-social behavior can handicap a work center's ability to be productive.
These social qualities are very important, fully as important as a person's technical skills. So, in addition to describing a person's professional and technical skills, we need a way to convey to the reader his social skills, his integrity, character, loyalty and other qualities which are not apparent when merely reading a list of accomplishments. This block is where this is done.
The comments here are limited to two lines and must support the rating. The accomplishments documented here should involve team building, support of the team, and followership. To be competitive, SSgts and TSgts should also address Leadership, Team Accomplishment, and Recognition of others (management-related aspects of teamwork).
Examples of Teamwork and Followership bullets:
- Qualified himself on shop's new eq, trained all members of shift; multiplied mx effectiveness
- Instituted on-the-job CDC tutor program resulting in 6 airmen upgraded ahead of schedule, reduced failures to zero!
- Participated in Airman Leadership School renovation; improved quality of life for over 2,600 students
- Volunteered off-duty time for Airshow--prevented workcenter manning shortage; hardy character
- Led self-help project to upgrade shop telephone system--improved capability, safety, saved AF $4K!
- More Teamwork bullet examples
6. OTHER COMMENTS
Consider Promotion, Future Duty/Assignment/Education Recommendations and Safety, Security, and Human Relations.
Instructions per MPFM 07-44:
(AF FORM 910)
Comments are optional; however if used, bullet format is mandatory. Comments are limited to two lines. This section may also be used to spell out uncommon acronyms. NOTE: Stratification is prohibited for AB – TSgt.
- Ready for Instructor Duty
Comments in this two line block are officially not mandatory but to be competitive, they deserve at least as much attention as the other sections. This is where the rater gets to express his opinion of the ratee. Adherence to the rule requiring each statement to begin with a past-tense verb, is not as iron-clad in this section. Raters are allowed to deviate from the spartan rules required in the rest of the EPR and express the character of the ratee as appropriate. Note that stratification (comparing performance with peers') is not allowed for Airman through TSgt.
The last line of this block should contain a solid job recommendation and/or promotion recommendation as shown in the MPFM 07-44 example above. Make sure you qualify any claims to greatness. For example, in order to claim an Airman is "Best in Wing", the ratee must have won a Wing-level award (Wing NCO of the Quarter, Wing Maintenance NCO of the year, etc.) and that accomplishment should be listed somewhere in the EPR.
Note that this block, by being optional, may be used to signal less than perfect performance. A review of a top Airman would normally require all sections in the EPR to be filled out while a medicore performance may be indicated by leaving the optional section blank. If your rater actually uses this block to spell out acronyms... well, maybe you should start looking for a new job. See the Supervisors Code for other methods of signalling substandard performance.
Examples of Other Comments bullet statements:
- Reduced chronic maintenance backlog by 50% with 99% accuracy, best repair rate in five years
- A key unit member with unmatched dedication to duty and personal performance…our choice for BTZ!
- An earnest airman, exhibits rare discipline in working towards completion of qualification training
- Mature and confident airman with extraordinary knowledge and initiative--immediately promote to SSgt!
- On site only six months, already 75% qualified on workcenter qualification training tasks
- Driven NCO with outstanding results. Continue to entrust with increasing responsibility--Promote now!
- Maintained $18M of fixed asset property account with 98% accuracy rating; best rating in six sections
- The most conscientious, loyal, and dedicated NCO I’ve served with in 20 years-- STEP to TSgt Now!
See the list of Other Comments bullet statements for more examples.
Note: If you want to go the extra mile, don't leave a lot of white space (unused space) at the end of a bullet statement --anywhere in the EPR. Officially, white space is OK. Because the goal is to accurately describe the ratee's performance with no unnecessary clutter, inevitably white space will naturally occur. But, if you want to go above and beyond, if you want to demonstrate that your troop is important to you and worthy of a good rating, this is where you can demonstrate a little extra effort. Reword the statement so that there are no more than five or six spaces at the end of each statement. Make that block as full of text as possible --as if you couldn't say enough good things about the ratee. It gives the impression that the rater wanted to say more but wasn't able to because of the limited space. When the Additional Rater or future reviewers of the EPR see how well it was written and how someone labored over it, it should make them realize that this person was viewed as a person worth the effort.
SECTION IV. RATER INFORMATION
This information is self-explanatory and contained in the EPR shell or RIP 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 information on the RIP is not correct, it is your responsibility to make sure it gets corrected.
The Back of Form
SECTION V. OVERALL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT
Check the appropriate box in the Rater's Assessment row. Do not check the box in the Additional Rater's Assessment row. The Additional Rater will check the box he or she thinks is appropriate when you send the EPR to them for review.
Defend Your Rating. Sometimes the Rater's rater will try to get the rater to change the rating. The rater has total independence in evaluating the ratee's performance; he or she may rate the individual as they see fit. If the Additional Rater does not agree with the overall rating, he or she may indicate this fact by marking the block (in Section V, OVERALL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT) they deem appropriate.
Record the date of the last feedback session.
SECTION VI. ADDITIONAL RATER'S COMMENTS
Instructions per MPFM 07-44:
ADDITIONAL RATER’S COMMENTS
Use this section to support rating decision and allow evaluators to comment on the ratee’s overall performance and performance-based potential as compared to others in the same grade known by the evaluators. Use bullet format to provide comments that add meaning and are compatible with ratings in Section VI. Do not repeat comments provided in previous section. Additional rater must be rater’s rater unless additional rater does not meet grade requirements. If additional rater does not meet grade requirements, the first official in rating chain who meets requirements endorses the report. See definition of rating chain in AFI 36-2406, Attachment 1 and paragraph 188.8.131.52. for exceptions. Additional raters may be no higher in the organization than the senior rater. When agreeing with the report, mark “concur” block. See AFI 36-2406, paragraph 3.7 for inappropriate comments. See Note 21 for documenting disagreements. If the rater is the only evaluator, type “This section not used”. The last rater to make comments will sign the block. See Notes 12 and 14 for additional information. This area is limited to 3 lines.
- Outstanding leader …
- Orchestrated Dining Out
In this section the Additional Rater, the rater's rater, enters information that will express his or her opinion of the ratee. Often the ratee has to provide enough bullet statements to fill all the required sections on the AF Form 910 and the Additional Rater's Comments block. There are only three lines. There is no prescribed format as to the order and character of the bullets in this section but traditionally, the first line in the Additional Rater's Comments block is an introduction where the Additional Rater describes the ratee's overall performance. The second line is for listing the Ratee's best accomplishment. The last line is a summary of the performance and a promotion statement. The Additional Rater's comments can't repeat any of the bullets entered earlier in the EPR. It has to be all new material.
Introduction: a single line for the Additional Rater to describe the ratee's overall performance
accomplishment: the ratee's best accomplishment
Summary: a single line for the Additional Rater to summarize the ratee's performance and make a promotion statement.
- A task-oriented, conscientious NCO--consistent efforts increased site efficiency by 30%
- Oversaw replacement of Tech Control Facility, complex task--cutover with zero downtime!
- Exceptional performer--further challenge with most difficult tasks--promote ahead of peers!
Note that the above suggested format is only a suggestion and that some reviewers prefer only three more duty-related bullet statements in this section. In general, the more factual the information and accomplishments, the stronger the EPR. The flowery and unsubstantiated introductory statement shouldn't be used at the expense of a valid accomplishment. It would be better to list a strong accomplishment on the first and second line and let the last line summarize overall performance and provide a promotion statement. See more examples of Additional Rater's Comments. For more information on promotion statements and the importance of including them, see the supervisor's code.
If the Rater qualifies as a single-evaluator, meaning because of his rank he is also the Additional Rater, using the Additional Rater section is not mandatory. In this case, type in the section, "This section not used".
SECTION VII. FUNCTIONAL EXAMINER / AIR FORCE ADVISOR
If applicable, place an X in the appropriate box.
SECTION VIII. UNIT COMMANDER / CIVILIAN DIRECTOR
The Commander marks the Concur block and signs.
SECTION IX. RATEE'S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
After the EPR has been accepted by the Additional Rater and has been processed and signed by the Commander, the Ratee must sign the report in order for it to become a valid record of performance and be accepted by MPF. Signing does not indicate agreement with or acceptance of the rating. It merely indicates the Ratee is aware of the record. If the Ratee is not satisfied with the rating received, he is still entitled to submit an appeal IAW AFI 36-2401.