What are the most up to date CS RPQs?

We’ve been getting this question lately:
“I have a quick question about the RPQ’s and EPQ’s for my third. The last revision is May 2021 on the CS portal and what we have printed but is there a newer version out there? Thanks for the help and have a great day.”

The most updated quals are 2021 (linked below):
CS3 – https://coastguardculinary.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/cg-rpq-cs3nov2021.pdf
CS2 – https://coastguardculinary.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/cg-rpq-cs2may2021.pdf
CS1 – https://coastguardculinary.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/cg-rpq-cs1may2021.pdf
CSC – https://coastguardculinary.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/cg-rpq-cscmay2021.pdf
CSCS – https://coastguardculinary.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/cg-rpq-cscsmay2021.pdf

The CS Rating Performance Qualification Standard (RPQ), Training System Overview

The system is comprised of four major training components: the CS Rating Performance Qualification Standard (RPQ), Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) Standard (EPQ), and participation in the Servicewide Examination (SWE). 


The RPQ & EPQ Standards are the documents that contains the rate-specific education or EPME requirements a member must perform in order to be eligible for advancement.

 Member’s Path to Advancement

Step 1: Assignment of the Professional Development Coach (PDC).

The path to advancement can be confusing if you are not familiar with the system. Members pursuing advancement need to be assigned a PDC.  The PDC is a member of your rating who is assigned the responsibility by the Commanding Officer to train and mentor you throughout the advancement process. While it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your eligibility for advancement, the PDC is responsible for ensuring you understand the path to advancement in your chosen rating, provide instruction on how to perform each task and ensure you adhere to the training standards.

Step 2: Review the RPQ/EPQ Standard with your PDC.

The RPQ Standard contains instructions and training requirements which must be completed to become eligible for advancement for your rating. You and your PDC should review the RPQ Standard, and plan how to complete the entire course of instruction. 

Step 3: Complete all tasks contained in the RPQ/EPQ Standard under the supervision of your PDC. 

When performing a task for sign-off by the PDC, the task must be performed to the standard outlined in the RPQ/EPQ under the supervision of the PDC. The task is to be performed without assistance unless otherwise allowed by the RPQ/EPQ condition or standard. Before attempting a sign-off of an RPQ/EPQ, the member should read all pertinent references. The PDC is required to demonstrate performance of the task, and then allow the member to perform the task while the PDC provides guidance and corrective instruction. The PDC may require the member to perform tasks several times before signing off the RPQ/EPQ; this ensures the member meets the standard.

If a member is unable to complete a task because the resources or equipment necessary to perform the task are unavailable, the member should look for opportunities to go TDY to another unit where the task can be performed. When reasonable efforts to complete the task have been exhausted, the member may seek deferral of the task from the Commanding Officer/Officer-in-Charge.  Task deferrals last only as long as the member is assigned to the unit where the task cannot be performed; it expires upon transfer to a new unit. The member must perform the task to be eligible for further advancement even if the member already advanced beyond the pay grade of the deferred RPQ!

EPQ/RPQ paygrade completion shall be entered directly into DA. Use the ERATS Direct Access Competency Entry Process Guide to accurately record completion through your Personnel & Administration (P&A) entity. Even if there are no RPQ standards for your specific paygrade, the competency code still needs to be entered in DA for service wide exam and Master Chief Advancement Panel eligibility. Units are authorized to enter competencies directly into DA after verifying core competencies are certified complete. TMT entry is not required.

Step 4: Earn and maintain your recommendation for advancement. 

Chapter 5, Section G of the Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations and Advancements Manual, COMDTINST M1000.2, contains specific policy and guidance on the advancement recommendation. It is the member’s responsibility to consult with their supervisor immediately after reporting aboard a new unit, and at regular intervals thereafter on the requirements needed to maintain recommendation for advancement. Keeping lines of communication open will ensure there are no surprises when your evaluations are done.

Step 5: Take the SWE. 

The SWE is a norm-referenced test used to rank order eligible members by rating and grade for advancement.  It is offered to all eligible Active Duty members in May, and eligible Active Duty members testing for advancement to E-5 and E-6 in November. The SWE is offered to eligible Reserve members for all grades in October. The test is based on references contained in the RPQs & EPQs. 

To be eligible to take the exam, you must have a current recommendation for advancement, have served the required time in grade, completed all RPQs & EPQs, and obtain any necessary core competencies required for the next higher grade in your rating. Your eligibility to take the SWE will be shown on your Personnel Data Extract (PDE) which is available via Direct Access. 

The PDC or Servicing Personnel Office can assist you with obtaining and understanding your PDE. Taking the SWE is the last part of the advancement process a member has influence on. Once all the tests are graded, an advancement eligibility list is made that rank orders members from first to last. Enlisted advancements are based on actual vacancies within a rating.  When an enlisted person leaves the service through advancement or discharge, or when a new position is authorized, a vacancy is created and someone will be advanced to fill it. When a new advancement eligibility list is published, it will normally have a cut and predictors noted on the list.

Members above the cut are guaranteed advancement as long as they otherwise remain eligible, and are no longer eligible to sit for the next SWE.  Members below the cut but above the predictor should begin planning for advancement and possible reassignment; they are not guaranteed advancement, and should continue to compete in the SWE until they appear above the cut. Advancements are often hard to predict due to billet changes or personnel issues, so it’s always a good idea to take the SWE even if you are close to the cutoff.

***** Side Note: This post is for RPQs. For Information on  Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) Standard (EPQ), and participation in the Servicewide Examination (SWE) please go here:

https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/communities/erats/SitePages/Home.aspx or https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/ppc/adv/advancement/

Last updated EPQs are for May 2022: https://coastguardculinary.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/cg-epq-epme-may-2022-1.pdf *****

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