What is NSPS?

What is NSPS?

Kyle Stone | GovCentral Editor (Source:

NSPS is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) flexible and responsive civilian management system that:

• Values performance and contribution
• Encourages communication
• Supports broader skill development
• Promotes excellence in the workplace

NSPS is a modernization of a 50-year-old civil service system, designed to allow DoD increased ability in attracting, recruiting, retaining, compensating, and rewarding employees. “The system focuses on people, performance, and employment decisions that are cost-effective and best for business practice.” (Source: NSPS Website)

What Does NSPS Provide?

The NSPS system was created to overcome challenges the DoD faces as it attempts to install a support network for US military forces. Specifically, the NSPS attempts to more closely align civilian jobs to the mission of the Department of Defense:

“An accountable, more flexible, results-oriented civilian workforce is needed to efficiently respond to difficult situations, proactively seek solutions, expand workforce capabilities, improve the capacities of our allies abroad, and strengthen our global force posture. NSPS is a tool that helps the Department achieve this vision.”

NSPS creates a civilian workforce that is competency-focused and performance-based, putting the right people in the right jobs at the right time. It accelerates the Department’s efforts to create a Total Force (military, civilian personnel, Reserve, Guard, and contractors) that operates as one cohesive unit, with each individual performing work most suited to personal skill sets."_

Key Components

NSPS has been carefully designed and structured to work for civilian managers, supervisors, and employees across DoD. More than two and a half years of intensive planning and design has shaped the system’s architecture. As the initial phases or “spirals” of NSPS were implemented in DoD, feedback on the system’s effectiveness was collected.

While minor modifications are occasionally made to enhance the system and ensure that it works for DoD’s multifaceted organizations, the key components of NSPS remain the same. They are:

1. Classification system

2. Compensation structure

3. Performance management system

4. Staffing component

Features and New Flexibilities

The key components of the NSPS pay-for-performance system provide new, unsurpassed opportunities to civilian employees in DoD. The following table outlines some of the system’s features and flexibilities:<img src= “”>

What Elements Remain Under NSPS

NSPS preserves important employee rights and benefits, such as:

• Benefits, such as retirement, health, life, etc.
• Merit System Principles
• Veterans’ Preference Principles
• Whistleblower protections
• Rules against prohibited personnel practices
• Anti-discrimination laws
• Fundamental due process
• Allowances and travel/subsistence expenses
• Training

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