Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance on Federal workforce rotational cybersecurity assignments envisions 120-day rotation assignments to other agencies, and lists  several programs that rotations may run through, according to a Nov. 18 memo to agency heads from Michael Rigas, Acting Director of OPM.

OPM said its guidance is intended to support agencies as they develop and implement cybersecurity rotational programs. In addition to the 120-day initial assignment period, OPM said the assignments may be extended in 120-day increments, and “should be handled in the same manner as other interagency details or assignments.”

While on assignment to another agency, a rotating employee’s position of record with the government will not change, and they will return to their home agency when the assignment is completed. After that, “the agency may identify ways to leverage the employee’s new skills and knowledge,” OPM said. Rotational assignments for employees coming from an excepted service position to a competitive service position will require OPM approval, the agency said.

OPM listed the three Federal rotational programs that include cybersecurity assignments as:

  • The President’s Management Council Interagency Program, which is administered by OPM and “enables emerging Federal leaders to expand their leadership competencies, broaden their organizational experiences, and foster networks they can use in the future;”
  • The Cybersecurity Reskilling Detail Program that follows the 2018 President’s Management Agenda; and
  • The Federal Cybersecurity Rotation Program that rotates personnel to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to improve their expertise, and that rotates DHS cybersecurity practitioners or subject matter experts to other agencies.

“Cybersecurity practitioners at all levels, from entry level to senior executives, will benefit from Federal agencies offering more frequent opportunities for rotational assignments, both internally and externally,” OMB said. “These developmental assignments allow cybersecurity practitioners to learn new skills through hands on experience and provides the individuals with a more comprehensive understanding of the complexity and depth of cybersecurity work across the Federal Government.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.