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 Scheduling of Examinations | Selection Devices | Background Investigations | Medical Reviews | Continuous Examinations | Preparation of Examinations | Conduct of Examinations | Promotional Examinations | Flexible Staffing | Scoring of Examination | Notice of Results | Protest of Examination Content | Protest of Examination Procedures | Retaking Examinations | Disposition of Examination Records

Rule Six

601. Scheduling of Examinations.

The Personnel Director shall schedule examinations to fill vacancies in the classified service or to provide eligible lists for classes of positions where vacancies are likely to occur, and shall prepare or acquire, announce, and conduct such examinations as provided in these Rules. An examination may be scheduled and conducted as a promotional examination, as an open examination, or as both. Examinations for entrance into the classified service shall be on an open, competitive basis.

602. Selection Devices.

All selection devices shall be job related and developed from job information. Examinations shall test the relative fitness of applicants for entry into the classified service or for promotion within the service. Whenever feasible, selection methods shall conform to American Psychological Association's Division 14 (Industrial/Organizational) current standards. Descriptions of selection methods shall be maintained in the Personnel Department.

603. Background Investigations.

a. Investigations are conducted pursuant to the California Government and Penal Codes for applicants entering law enforcement and related occupations. This investigation may include fingerprinting and psychological and polygraph examinations, as well as reports from former employers, acquaintances, educational institutions, law enforcement agencies, credit reporting organizations, or other sources. Records of such examination shall be confidential and shall be retained by the appointing authority and divulged only to the Commission, if necessary, upon appeal or investigation, in which case they shall be presented in executive session to preserve confidentiality. Upon the written request and express waiver of confidentiality by the candidate, the appointing authority may divulge to the candidate the reasons why the candidate's background investigation did not meet the qualifications set forth in Rule Five.

b. State and Local Summary Criminal History Information checks are authorized pursuant to the California Penal Code for applicants entering positions where conviction of a specific crime renders the person unsuitable for the position. Conviction record checks may be obtained by the Personnel Director, at the request of the appointing authority, for applicants eligible for appointment to the position. Upon the written request and express waiver of confidentiality by the candidate, the Personnel Director may divulge to the candidate the reasons why the candidate's check did not meet the qualifications set forth in Rule Five.

604. Medical Reviews.

Prior to filling any position, the appointing authority shall submit a Physical Factors Checklist to the Personnel Director. The checklist shall specify the physical requirements and working conditions of the position. Each person entering County service shall be required to undergo a medical evaluation or examination, prior to appointment, to ensure the candidate's ability to perform the duties of the job as set forth on the checklist. An evaluation or examination for temporary appointment or extra help assignment may be waived, however, by the Personnel Director if it appears to be in the best interest of the County.

Inability to qualify in a preemployment medical examination or evaluation may be cause for:

a. withholding from placement on an eligible list;
b. removal from an eligible list;
c. withholding from certification until the required standards are met; or,
d. rejection of employment.

605. Continuous Examinations.

For classes of positions for which it is difficult to maintain adequate eligible lists, the Personnel Director may receive applications, conduct examinations, and create eligible lists on a continuous basis. The names of all eligibles who took the same or comparable examinations on different dates shall be ranked by score on one eligible list for purposes of certification.

606. Preparation of Examinations.  

Examinations shall be prepared under the direction of the Personnel Director who may request or employ persons of recognized attainments, other personnel agencies, personnel consultants or experts, officers or employees of the County or other public agencies, or such other assistance as may be deemed necessary, to assist in the preparation, conduct or grading of such examinations.

607. Conduct of Examinations.

The Personnel Director shall designate the time, place, and type of each examination, and when applicable, shall assign one or more boards to examine the candidates and proctors to administer the examinations. Remarks relating to an examination question which might unfairly assist in its solution shall not be made by an examiner.

Any applicant who appears late for an examination may be refused admittance and shall be refused admittance after any candidate has withdrawn or completed the test and left the examination room.

A candidate's examination shall be cancelled for:

a. improperly communicating with any other candidate during an examination;
b. giving or receiving any unauthorized assistance in an examination;
c. any copying or collusive act during an examination;
d. directly or indirectly obtaining information regarding examinations to which the candidate is not entitled;
e. any action that threatens the security of the examination material or violates the prescribed instructions for the examination; or,
f. evidence that the candidate was not the same person who made application.

Neither an appointing authority nor anyone in the department concerned shall be a member of an oral board for a departmental promotional examination. Appointing authorities and representatives of appointing authorities shall not participate in the ranking of candidates nor be present during the final ranking deliberations of the oral board for a departmental promotional examination.

Each candidate in an examination which includes physical exertion or other activity which may result in any injury or damage to the candidate or to the candidate's property may be required to execute a document releasing the County from any and all liability in connection with the examination. Failure to execute such a document when requested to do so shall result in disqualification of the candidate.

The Personnel Director may order that an examination be postponed or cancelled, in which case applicants shall be given suitable notice of such action.

608. Promotional Examinations.

Whenever practicable, vacancies in the classified service shall be filled by promotion of qualified employees. In order to qualify for a promotional examination, an employee must be qualified as outlined in Rule Ten.

Except as otherwise provided for in these Rules, all promotional examinations shall be competitive. Candidates who attain the required rating in a promotional examination shall have their names placed on an eligible list, and appointments made therefrom shall be in the same manner as original appointments.

Each candidate for a promotional examination shall file a completed application form in accordance with Rule Five.

609. Flexible Staffing.

For those positions, specifically designated by the Board of Supervisors, to which promotion follows satisfactory completion of the prescribed time of work experience, such as in trainee classes, promotion may be effected on a non-competitive basis without examination. Such promotions shall be effective upon application by the incumbent and approval by the appointing authority.

610. Scoring of Examination.

The Personnel Director shall establish a procedure for scoring each examination which will give due weight to each portion of the examination and which will afford each qualified candidate an equal opportunity to compete. Candidates shall be required to attain a rating of not less than 70 percent in each part of the examination and an overall average of not less than 70 percent to qualify in the examination, unless otherwise specified in the announcement bulletin. If a candidate receives a majority of passing ratings in an oral panel interview or in an assessment center, the candidate shall receive a passing score regardless of the numerical average of the ratings. This passing score shall be equal to the numerical average of all raters' final scores, if passing, otherwise it shall be equal to the minimum passing score. Conversely, if a majority of the raters give a failing score, the candidate shall not pass the examination.

In examinations, the 70 percent used to represent the minimum qualifying score need not be the arithmetic 70 percent of the total possible score, but may be an adjusted score based on a consideration of the difficulty of the examination, the quality of competition, and the needs of the County. A score shall be valid only as long as the eligible list established from the examination is in effect.

The weight assigned to each part of an examination shall be multiplied by the candidate's score in that part; and the total thereof shall be the final examination score.

611. Notice of Results.

As soon as the eligible list is established, candidates shall be notified of the results of the examination. If the candidates are qualified for a place on the eligible list, they shall be notified of their ratings and relative standings on the list. When candidates are eliminated in an earlier part of the examination process, they may be notified at an earlier time.

612. Protest of Examination Content.  

For a period of three working days immediately following the day a non-standardized, written test is given, candidates may inspect their own answer sheets and a keyed copy of the examination either by appointment or during the regular business hours in the Personnel Department. If the test is copyrighted or the County has used materials from other jurisdictions or publishers which require that the test material be confidential, candidates shall not be permitted to review the examinations. Candidates shall be prohibited from copying any of the examination content. Records of oral examinations or assessment centers, particularly statements of the individual raters regarding the qualifications of the candidates upon which the ratings are based, are confidential and may not be reviewed by candidates.

During the three-day review period, a candidate may protest, in writing to the Personnel Director, the content of any portion of the examination. Protests of examination content shall be limited to assertions that:

a. the examination does not test for the knowledge, skills, or abilities required for the classification being tested for;

b. substantial error appears in the questions, or the answers.

After the examination review period has closed, no further protests will be accepted which are concerned with examination content, and the decision of the Personnel Director in any such protest shall be final.

The period of protest of examination content is three working days after administration of the examination, and during this period a candidate may protest, in writing to the Personnel Director, against the content of any portion of the examination. If a protest is filed, no test scores shall be revealed until such protest is resolved by the Personnel Director. After the examination review period has passed, no further protests will be accepted which are concerned with examination content.

613. Protest of Examination Procedures. 

During the first five working days immediately following the notification of examination results to candidates, any candidate may file a written complaint with the Personnel Director on the basis that irregularity, bias, or fraud occurred in some aspect of the examination procedure.

All complaints to the Personnel Director concerning any selection procedure shall state the nature of the complaint, the incident to which it refers, and the reasons the candidate believes the complaint should be upheld by the Personnel Director.

The Personnel Director shall investigate each complaint and shall uphold those complaints found justified. If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the Personnel Director, the matter shall be referred to the Commission. The Commission shall make a decision to grant or deny an investigation not later than one month after the matter is filed.

If, after investigation, the Commission finds that the applicant's score was affected by bias or fraud, the Commission's findings and decision shall be final. In other cases, the Commission shall forward its findings and recommendations to the Personnel Director.

614. Retaking Examinations.

Applicants may retake examinations which they previously failed, or they may retake examinations to improve their positions on the eligible lists. The recruitment must be open, however, and a new application must be filed. Applicants may retake examinations as set forth below:

a. Traditional written tests, if available, may be retaken every other month.
b. Self-evaluation questionnaires may be retaken once every three months.
c. Performance tests, oral panel interviews, and assessment center exercises may be retaken when next normally scheduled.

615. Disposition of Examination Records.  

All examination records and related papers are the property of the Personnel Director and shall be confidential records which may be inspected or copied only under such conditions as may be specified by the Personnel Director, Board of Supervisors, or competent judicial authority. All such records shall be retained for at least three years, after which time they may be destroyed as provided by law or retained thereafter for as long as the Personnel Director deems necessary.

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