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CA Department of Insurance

Civil Service Exam Process - Part 4

Examination Appeal Process

If you believe you have been disadvantaged in some way during the examination process, i.e., the minimum qualifications for the classification were misinterpreted, or your score was the result of fraud, discrimination, or other improper acts or circumstances, you have the right to file a written appeal with the State Personnel Board (SPB).

The SPB has indicated that the following are NOT considered valid reasonsfor an appeal unless accompanied by significant evidence of fraud, discrimination or other improper acts.

  • The interview panel did not include a member from the SPB or from outside of State civil service.
  • You were not informed that the interview would be tape recorded or a recording of the interview was not made or was inaudible.
  • You believe the job performance information written about you by managerial staff warranted a higher score than you received.
  • You received a low or disqualifying score in the examination after being more successful in a prior examination.
  • You want to submit additional information about your qualifications which could have been attached to your Promotional Readiness Evaluation (PRE) or presented to the interview panel during an interview.
  • You did not challenge a panel member's participation because you thought you would be rated fairly, but after receiving your score, you believe you were rated unfairly.

If you are disqualified for an examination given by the Department of Insurance, you have the right to contact the Department's Human Resources Management - Examination Section at (916) 492-3300 and request a copy of the Interviewer's Report - Qualifications Appraisal Panel. This form identifies the basis for your disqualification. You may also request to listen to or purchase a copy of your interview tape recording. Requests to listen to your interview tape must be submitted in writing to:

Department of Insurance
Human Resources Management
Selections & Recruitment Unit
300 Capitol Mall, 13th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please include your name, examination title and date of interview in your letter. You will be contacted with a date and time to review your interview tape. An examination technician will be present while you listen to the interview tape.

Formal Procedures

If you are unable to resolve your concerns regarding the examination, you may wish to file a written appeal. Your appeal must contain the examination title, the name of the department, the final filing date and the postmark date on the envelope containing your notice of examination results. If you file an appeal based on rejection of your application not meeting the minimum qualifications for a classification, you must also state why you believe your experience and/or education meets the minimum qualifications.

When to File: Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of the postmark date on the envelope that contains your notice of examination results.

Where to File:

State Personnel Board
Appeals Division
801 Capitol Mall
P. O. Box 944201
Sacramento, CA 94244-2010

Your appeal will be reviewed by the SPB. Most examination appeals involve a review or investigation by SPB staff, and/or informal hearings before an appeal panel comprised of designated SPB managers and subject matter experts. If your appeal concerns your interview, the SPB may, as part of their investigation, review the recording of your interview to determine if your interview was fair and equitable. At the conclusion of its investigation, the SPB will make a decision to sustain or reject your appeal. The department will abide by the SPB's decision.


Job Opportunity

Job Opportunity Announcements

To fill a job vacancy, the hiring department usually circulates and posts a written job opportunity announcement. Each job opportunity announcement includes the name of the hiring department, the position title, tenure and time base, location, salary, duties, desirable qualifications, who may apply, how to apply, and the date by which applications must be received. There are several ways to track State civil service job vacancies.

Bulletin Boards: Departmental personnel offices receive job opportunity announcements from other departments and usually post them where both the public and State employees can review them.

On-line: The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) maintains employment information via the Internet at:  Persons who have access to on-line services can access examination and job vacancy information.

Employment Inquiries: Departments may mail employment inquiries to eligible candidates on current eligible lists for job vacancies. The Employment Inquiry identifies the classification, location, salary range, hiring department, time base, tenure, and contact telephone number for a specific vacant position.

Read the job opportunity announcement carefully. If you are interested in applying for a particular job vacancy, you should complete and submit an original, standard State application (STD. 687). Some hiring departments may also require additional information, such as a resume, cover letter, and validation of licenses, certificates and/or credentials. Requirements vary from job to job. The job opportunity announcement will state the requirements for application along with a contact phone number to call for questions. The Department of Insurance's job opportunity recording telephone number is (916) 492-3393. Remember to keep a copy of the job announcement for any position to which you submit an application. You will need the announcement to help prepare for the job interview.

Hiring Interview

If you are contacted for a hiring interview, you may turn down (or waive) as many job offers as you wish without having your name removed from the promotional eligibility list. On open lists, if you turn down a third job offer, your name is permanently removed from the eligible list. If you can only accept a position in specific geographic areas, write a letter to the testing department listing the areas you will be interested in working. You will then be contacted for positions in the areas you specified. It is essential that you respond to all contacts, as your name may be removed from the eligibility list.

During a hiring interview, your work experience, personal qualifications, and educational preparation will be assessed against the qualifications required to perform the duties of the position. If selected for the position, the hiring supervisor will discuss the reporting date and other departmental requirements that must be completed for appointment to the position. For tips on preparing for interviews, reference "Examination Interview".

Appointment Options

Before a manager or supervisor can make an offer of employment to an individual, he or she must confirm that the job applicant is eligible for appointment. There are several appointment options to consider. Some of these include:

  • List Eligibility
    Transferring your eligibility from one promotional list to another may be possible, depending upon the circumstances. The final decision is made by the hiring department. For information on transferring your list eligibility, contact the personnel office in the hiring department.
  • Reemployment List
  • Reinstatement (Mandatory)
  • Reinstatement (Permissive)
  • State Restriction of Appointment (SROA) List
  • Training and Development Assignment (T&D)
  • Transfer
    A State civil service employee may transfer within a department or to another department. A department may decide to accept applications only from its own staff, but it is not obligated to give them preferences. State employees may be competing against other State employees seeking transfers or training and development assignments, former State employees seeking to reinstate, and persons on employment lists.

    Under State Personnel Board Rules 430-433, you may transfer from one job classification to another if the level of duties, responsibility, and salary of the two classes are substantially the same and the classes are not in the same series. It is not necessary to meet the education and experience requirements; but you must meet any legal requirements for the classification (i.e. licenses, credentials, etc). The transfer must not constitute a promotion, and the State may establish policy to limit transfer to certain classes.
  • "Substantially the same salary" means that the maximum salary of any class for which you were appointed from an employment list and attained a permanent appointment compared to the maximum salary of the desired class is no further apart than two salary steps (approximately 10 percent) minus $1. Other restrictions may apply, suchas when classes are in the same series. Eligibility for appointment should be confirmed with the departmental personnel office.
  • "Duties and responsibilities". The hiring department makes the final decision about what is "substantially the same."
  • The staffs of the Supreme Court, the Appellate Courts, the Legislature, the University of California, and the California State Universities are NOT in the civil service, and the State Personnel Board's transfer policiesdo not apply to them.

Probationary Period

Once you have accepted a position, you may serve a probationary period of six months to one year. During the probationary period, you and yoursupervisor will have regular discussions regarding your performance. The probationary period is considered the last phase of an examination because it is the last hurdle you need to jump through before you can obtain permanent civil status in the new classification.

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