Date Issued:

September 1, 1993

Date Revised:

February 10, 2010




To define the concept of qualifying examinations, and when they may be applied.


County Code Sections 3.20.030, Examinations and Eligible Lists

 3.28.040, Appointment to Previous Class

Civil Service Rules Sections V.U, Qualifying Examinations

V.J, Term of Candidate's Eligibility


Sections V.1, Filling of Vacancies

V.2, Eligible Lists

V.4, Employee Selection

IV, Recruitment and Examination Process


The following excerpt from the Civil Service Rule V.U defines "qualifying examination" and specifies when it may be applied:

  1. A "qualifying examination" is defined as a non-competitive examination. The result of such an examination is either a "pass" or "fail"; there is no rank on an eligible list. Qualifying examinations may be held at the discretion of the Personnel Director to test fitness:

    1. For transfer or demotion of a permanent or probationary employee to a vacancy in a different class within the same occupational group; or

    2. When an entire class is being reclassified, involving the abolition of the former class and reclassification of all positions to a higher class; or

    3. When a position is reclassified upward and it is clear that the duties of the position have evolved without any purpose on the part of anyone to evade the competitive principles of the merit system, provided that the incumbent has occupied the position for at least one year and the reclassification is between classes in the same occupational group; or

    4. When an employee is in a position that is reclassified and the reclassification represents a transfer or demotion in relationship to the former class and is within the same occupational group; or

    5. For promotion of an incumbent to the next higher alternate class approved by the Civil Service Commission for a position; or

    6. For appointment to a position in a class in which an employee had previous status, in accordance with County Code Section 3.28.040 (Appointment to Previous Class); or

    7. For placement on a Manpower Training List in accordance with Civil Service Rules, Section V.S.1.; or

    8. When ten or less applicants for an examination meet the minimum qualifications, and the examination consists of an evaluation of the training and experience qualifications of the applicants; provided, however, that the examination announcement must so state that this provision may be applied. (Amended 1/4/83)


  1. Under provision I.H. above:

    1. The life of an eligible list established through a qualifying examination will be limited to six months.

    2. When an eligible list has been established using a qualifying examination and there is a need to co-mingle the current eligibles with new eligibles resulting in a list of more than ten qualified eligibles, the current eligibles will be required to take an examination as defined through the job analysis for that job class to remain on the eligible list. The score received in the examination will determine the rank of the eligible and the new eligibility period will be from the point of the examination.


  1. All candidates certified from a list resulting from a qualifying examination shall be assigned a score of 70% (Veterans preference points do not apply to qualifying examinations).




If it is determined that any of the above provisions apply, and that a qualifying examination is the most appropriate examination process with consideration of equal opportunity employee selection policies, Employment Services Division staff will do the following:


  1. Assign a score of 70% to all candidates on lists resulting from qualifying examinations.

  2. Place qualifying candidate(s) on an eligible list for the duration of six months. (Per Civil Service Rules and in accordance with equal opportunity policies, lists may be extended up to 24 months.)
  3. Notify candidates of their examination results per standard notification procedures.