<p>Opportunities for promotions and advancements occur when new positions are established or when employees vacate positions. Federal employees are covered by the Federal Merit Promotion Policy. This does not guarantee you a promotion. It does provide for promotions to be made fairly, and those promotion practices support an agencyf's effort to select the best-qualified person.</p>
<p>Time-in-grade restrictions and qualifications standards are used to qualify you for promotions. All candidates who meet these standards (along with other stated requirements) are eligible to be considered for promotion. However, merely meeting the minimum job requirements is not enough to get you promoted though. Selections must be made from among the best-qualified candidates without favoritism or discrimination or for any other non-merit reason (such as race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, politics, or age). Other than that, the choice is based on the official's judgment of how well each candidate would perform the job. He or she has wide discretion in filling positions. Merit promotions are not automatic.
<p><b>Career Ladder Promotions:</b> If you occupy a position with an established career ladder, you are eligible for consecutive promotions up to the top grade of your career ladder. For example, the career ladder for Computer Specialist can be a GS-9 through GS-12. If you perform satisfactorily, promotion up the career ladder - from 9 to 11 to 12 is possible without competing with other individuals. However, not all positions have established career ladders. The "Remarks" section of the SF-50 documents whether or not you are in an established career ladder position.