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CA Department of Insurance


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Ability: The present capacity to perform a physical or mental function.

Active Waiver: Statement by an eligible candidate that he/she is not interested in a job offer made through an eligible list contact.

Applicant: An individual who has submitted an application to compete in a State civil service examination or is under consideration for a job vacancy.

Application Flap: The detachable portion of the State application form upon which applicants voluntarily disclose their ethnicity, gender, and/or physical/mental disabilities for confidential statistical purposes.


Breadth and Depth: Nature, complexity, and extent of work performed.


Candidate: See Applicant.

Candidate Notices: Written announcements to applicants/competitors/candidates regarding their participation in a specific examination, i.e., notice of acceptance/rejection for examination, notice of written test date or oral examination date, notice of examination results, etc.

Career Credit: Three additional points added to the total score for State employees with permanent status or an exempt appointment or for certain California Conservation Corps members or graduates participating in all open/nonpromotional examinations for non-managerial classifications. Given in an examination administered on an open/nonpromotional basis. Detailed information concerning career credits is given in the "General Information" section of bulletins announcing examinations.

Classification (class): A position in State civil service defined by a set of duties and responsibilities.

Combining Patterns: The process of combining experience gained inside and outside of State service to determine whether a competitor meets the minimum qualifications.

Competitor: See Applicant.

Conditional Acceptance: Admittance to an examination that is contingent on providing additional information to clarify the questionable part of the application, e.g., experience, education.

Continuous Filing: An examination process for which applications may be filed at any time and kept on file by the testing office. Testing is scheduled as needed or when an acceptable number of applicants have filed. Examination bulletins are posted continuously allowing for applications to be filed in this manner.

Continuous Testing: An examination process for which bulletins are posted continuously, but acceptance of applications and testing are open and closed as needed. The periods when applications will be accepted may be announced by a Rider posted near the examination bulletin.

Critical Class Requirements: Specific competitive requirements derived from the tasks and supporting knowledge, skills, and abilities for a given class which may be covered in the examination.


Education and Experience (E&E) Rating: An "unassembled" selection process which competitively evaluates a competitor's education and experience as described on the application against a set of predetermined criteria.

Eligibility: (1) Determination as to whether an individual is qualified to take an examination based on his or her meeting the minimum qualifications; (2) condition which indicates successful completion of an examination and readiness for appointment, as in "gained eligibility."

Eligible: An individual who has successfully completed an examination and is a candidate for appointment to a specific classification.

Eligible List: Any list of persons who were successful in an examination and are eligible for certification to be hired in a specific classification.

Employment List: See Eligible List.

Examination Base: The geographic and organizational limitations on the applicant group, e.g., open statewide, departmental promotional, open spot.

Examination Bulletin: A printed announcement for anticipated testing for a specified classification which provides the public with the criteria for participation.

Examination Type: A competitive method, process, or means used to test and determine the competitors' qualifications, fitness, and ability to actually perform the duties of the class for which they seek appointment, e.g., written, interview, performance.


File-In-Person: An examination for which applications must be personally submitted by the applicant at a designated time and place as announced in the examination bulletin.

Final Filing Date: The last date on which an application can be submitted or postmarked for an applicant to participate in an examination or be considered for a position.


Inactive Waiver: The failure of an eligible candidate to respond to an employment offer which results in the eligible being placed as inactive (not certifiable) on an eligible list.


Knowledge: The facts or principles relating to a particular subject or subject area.


LEAP: Limited Examination and Appointment Program. In this program, a selection process is used to enhance employment opportunities in civil service for persons with physical or mental disabilities as defined under any of the five goal setting categories: visual, hearing, speech, physical, or developmental disabilities.

List Eligibility: The eligibility of a candidate for appointment to a classification resulting from placement on an eligibility list.

List Extension: The lengthening of the original period of time for which a specific eligibility list was to remain in effect.

List Life: The length of time a specific eligibility list will remain in effect.

List Transfer: The transfer of a candidate's status on a list maintained by one department to the list of another department with approval from both departments and providing that both examinations meet the same criteria. Other policies may apply for individual department.


Minimum Qualifications (MQs): The minimum amount of experience and/or education required for admission to an examination.


Patterned Questions: Questions (with preferred responses) prepared before an interview and asked of all competitors in an oral examination.

Performance Test: A test which measures physical or technical skills or abilities as competitors perform simulated job tasks (e.g., operating heavy equipment, typing).

Physical Ability Performance: Any test, measure, or combination of measures or procedures which requires competitors to do a task which tests physical aptitude as opposed to knowledge or mental ability.

PRE Interview Panel: A Promotional Readiness Examination oral interview panel, usually composed of a chairperson and one or more state service representatives.

Promotion: An appointment from an eligibility list, typically to a higher classification.

Promotional Readiness Examination Report: A report which candidates complete, identifying recent job achievements in specific areas related to the examination.


Qualifications Appraisal Interview: A type of oral examination in which competitors are rated on a competitive basis, against specific Critical Class Requirements (CCRs). Ratings are based solely on information obtained during interview.


Reemployment List: A list that ranks laid-off employees according to their eligibility for reemployment. An employee who is laid off or elects demotion in lieu of layoff, and has held either permanent or probationary status in a particular class, will be placed on the appropriate reemployment list for that class. There are three types of reemployment lists: (1) General - used throughout State service; (2) Departmental - used only in that agency; and (3) Subdivisional - used for small units within an agency, such as a district or division. An employee's eligibility for reemployment lasts for five years unless an extension is granted by the State Personnel Board. Reemployment lists take preference over other civil service employment lists, including State Restriction of Appointment (SROA) lists.

Reinstatement (mandatory): A State civil service employee's eligibility for immediate reappointment to a previous classification following a leave of absence, a non-industrial disability leave, an industrial disability leave, a military leave, a temporary appointment, a limited term appointment, a rejection during probation, a medical termination, or a disability retirement.

Reinstatement (permissive): The eligibility status for appointment to a State civil service classification of persons who have had probationary or permanent status in state civil service and who have separated for various reasons. Reinstatement can be to the same classification or to one that he or she could have transferred to. This reinstatement option is indefinite.

Rider: An addendum issued after the initial release of an examination bulletin, which modifies the description of an examination.

Rule 235: This rule permits candidates who have moved from one department to another to compete in a promotional examination for a position in their former department.


Skill: A present, observable competence of a candidate to perform a learned act with ease and precision.

Special Personal Characteristics: Those physical requirements and/or personal qualities for specific classifications described on the classification specification as special personal characteristics.

Specification: The legal document with the class title, definition, typical tasks and minimum qualifications including knowledge, skills and abilities and personal characteristics of a classification.

State Personnel Board (SPB): (1) The five-member board appointed by the governor to ten-year terms to oversee the State Civil Service Merit System. (2) The State department which serves as staff to the five-member board in the areas of civil service examinations, selection, Equal Employment Opportunity, and appeals.

State Restriction of Appointment (SROA) List: The list maintained under the State Restriction of Appointments Program (SROA) developed to help surplus employees find new State jobs and to help State agencies fill vacant positions with experienced employees. SROA lists of surplus employees must be used and/or cleared before an appointing power may use other means of filling vacant positions in a restricted classification.

Structured Interview: A type of interview in which the candidate is given written questions to answer or problems to resolve at the oral interview site prior to his/her interview. The candidate then presents responses to the questions during the interview.


Test: A standardized examination, given to a group or to an individual to determine the presence or absence of a particular ability, knowledge, or skill; or to determine the degree to which such knowledge, skills, and abilities are present.

Test Type: See Examination Type.

Testing Agency: The department with authority to administer examinations for the establishment of eligibility lists for appointments to civil service positions.

Testing Period: A designated period of time during which standardized testing materials are used. Candidates are to participate in examinations only once during a testing period in order to avoid over exposure to a particular set of testing materials.

Training and Development (T&D) Assignment: These assignments are used for the training of employees within the same department, or for the temporary loaning or interchanging of personnel between departments for training purposes. They may be used also to broaden employees' skills and abilities, prepare them for careers in different occupational fields, or improve their potential for advancement.

Transfer: The movement of an employee from one position to another in the same classification or the movement of an employee to a position in a different classification that has substantially the same level of salary (a salary differential of less than 10 percent) but is not in the same promotional classification series.


Veterans Preference Points: They are awarded in any open and open/nonpromotional examinations other than the ones in which both college graduation and two or more years of experience are required. A veteran, the widow or widower of a veteran, the spouse of a veteran with a 100 percent disability, or a disabled veteran who passes the examination will have additional points added to his or her final score. Detailed information regarding veterans preference is provided in the General Information section of examination bulletins.

Waive Written Feature: The elimination of the requirement for the written portion of an examination based on a prior score, status appointment, registration/education or a combination of these factors.

Waiver: List eligible candidate indicates "not interested" in an appointment when contacted for a job hiring interview.

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