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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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HCAAF Resource Center

HCAAF Taxonomy

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The following components reflect the overall taxonomy of the HCAAF and explain how the information is organized in this resource center.




A standard describes the critical human capital management outcomes for agencies to strive toward in each of the five human capital systems.



These are measurements that provide a basis for comparison. Strategic human capital management requires a reliable and valid set of metrics that provides an accurate baseline against which individual agency progress can be assessed. Required outcome metrics are provided for the three systems that implement strategic human capital plans and programs: Leadership and Knowledge Management, Results-Oriented Performance Culture, and Talent Management.

Critical Success Factors

Each system is based on critical success factors that make up the overall system.  Critical success factors are the areas on which agencies and human capital practitioners should focus to achieve a system's standard and operate efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with merit system principles. For example, Change Management and Diversity Management are two critical success factors associated with the Leadership and Knowledge Management system.


The results describe the desired effects when key elements of a critical success factor are effectively implemented. Results are presented in two categories: effectiveness results and compliance results. Compliance results refer to specific statutory or regulatory requirements.

Key Elements

Each critical success factor contains several key elements that are similar to the Elements of Yes that were initially developed as part of the HCAAF. Key elements describe what you would expect to see in an effective critical success factor.

Suggested Performance Indicators

The suggested indicators (both effectiveness indicators and compliance indicators) describe examples of visible evidence of the existence of key elements and compliance with merit system principles. Cumulatively, the indicators identify how well the agency is doing relative to key elements. The suggested performance indicators are linked to the key elements and are not meant to be an all-inclusive list. Human capital practitioners may need to search for other indicators if agency approaches differ from the list of suggested performance indicators provided. Agencies may decide which suggested performance indicators provide the best evidence that they have implemented practices that lead toward achieving the standard.

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