The purpose of individual position audits is to determine whether the position is properly allocated in either the existing or proposed classification. The audit is initiated in situations where the information obtained for the position is insufficient to make a determination on the position’s classification.

An audit may also be initiated in the following situations:

  1. A request to approve or verify the allocation of a position to an existing class. The position may be either vacant or filled at the time of the request.
  2. A grievance from an employee alleging out-of-class work or a request from an employee that requires analysis of an employee’s duties and responsibilities in order to determine the proper classification.
  3. A request from a Program for the establishment of a new class to which a position or positions are to be allocated.
  4. A review of the classification plan requiring auditing of individual positions.
  5. The department’s delegation plan stipulates that audits be conducted.

There are two types of individual desk audits: (1) paper audits and (2) on-site audits. See procedures below.

Procedure for on-site audits

These are conducted by interviewing the incumbent in the position in person. The audit is conducted by the Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst to properly allocate the position, whether the position is proposed for reclassification, or to create a new classification.

It is important to contact the incumbent in the position to be classified. In rare instances, where there is no incumbent, it would be appropriate to audit the incumbent of another position performing the same duties, if applicable. In order to obtain a different perspective of the job and gain a better understanding of its role in the unit, the C&P Analyst should also contact the incumbent’s supervisor.

Several items need to be considered in preparation for the individual audit.

  1. The incumbent shall complete a Classification Program Questionnaire (CPQ) if a detailed CPQ has not been provided (see Attachments for sample CPQ). (CPQs are modified to address each classification.)
  2. Completion of a current essential functions duty statement. If an essential functions duty statement has not been completed for the position, the supervisor should complete the form and send a copy to the C&P Analyst immediately.
  3. Request a copy of the Duty Statement Questionnaire for the position. If one has not been completed, the supervisor should complete the form and send a copy to the C&P Analyst immediately (see Attachments).
  4. Based on the allocation factors being considered, the C&P Analyst should determine which materials or operations should be specifically reviewed during the audit and for what reasons.
  5. Decide which aspects of the job need to be directly observed and which can be covered by discussion with the incumbent, in order to determine their significance.
  6. The C&P Analyst should develop a list of specific questions to ask the employee, based on critical allocation factors for the class, and concentrating on those areas needing the most clarification.

Prior to conducting the audit, the C&P Analyst should communicate the following information concerning the audit to the incumbent:

  1. The purpose of the audit.
  2. The areas to be covered.
  3. A list of materials that should be available at the time of the audit.
  4. Additional special requests (tours, meetings, etc.)
  5. The estimated amount of time required for the audit (approximate).

Materials and resources used in the audit vary, and the analyst should be aware of their existence prior to conducting the audit. These resources could prove helpful in assisting in determining the position’s proper allocation.

  • Class specifications.
  • Allocation standards for a class.
  • Staff within the CCD at CalHR.
  • Duty Statement Questionnaire, Classification Position Questionnaire and Duty Statement.
  • Previous audit reports.
  • Approved rough drafts of pending, denied or proposed Board Items.
  • Pay Scales in the California State civil service.
  • Other staff members (departmental and CalHR).
  • Personnel Information Exchange (PIE) or other data bases.

When conducting the audit, the C&P Analyst should take all pertinent materials (specifications, allocation standards, and prepared questions) that they may want to refer to during the audit. It is best to meet individually with the incumbent, making them feel at ease. Meeting with the incumbent’s supervisor can be done after the analyst has completed auditing the incumbent. Ensure that the incumbent understands that the audit is being conducted to obtain information that will help classify the position, and not to evaluate their performance in the job. It is desirable to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the job with the incumbent, then cover the allocation factors if applicable. The employee should be given the opportunity to fully contribute information regarding the duties of the job. The C&P Analyst should ask for specific examples whenever possible. Thorough notes should be taken during the conversation.

At the conclusion of the audit, the C&P Analyst should always ask the incumbent if they have any further information they would like to add, and the analyst should leave their telephone number, should the incumbent desire to provide further information.

procedure for paper audits

Paper audits include review of the essential functions duty statement of a particular position, organization chart, CPQ that has been completed by the individual in the position and a DSQ that has been completed by the supervisor of the position. An assessment is made to determine whether the duties and description of the employees’ work are appropriate for the current or proposed classification. Typically, duty statements and related materials are reviewed to determine proper classification and job audit forms are reviewed when a duty statement does not provide adequate information for the C&P Analyst to classify the position.

Analysis and Conclusion
After sufficient information has been gathered, the C&P Analyst should compare this information with the class specification and allocation standards, and arrive at a conclusion as to whether the class is appropriate for the position. Conclusions that may be reached and the resulting procedures are as follows:

  1. The duties and responsibilities of the position meet the allocation standards for the class; the request should, therefore, be approved.
  2. The position’s duties and responsibilities clearly do not meet the allocation standards for the class requested, but instead appear more appropriate for another class. The C&P Analyst’s supervisor should be notified of this finding and the reasons for the conclusions reached. The options in this situation are to:
    • If possible, adjust the duties and responsibilities of the position to meet the allocation standards for the class requested, or
    • Use the class allocation the C&P Analyst has identified as appropriate.
  3. If the position’s duties and responsibilities do not clearly fall within the allocation standards of either the current, proposed, or other existing state classes, the C&P Analyst should determine one of the following:
    • Whether a new class is needed for the position. Other alternatives should be explored prior to recommending this option.
    • Which class or classes are relatively close in concept to the position being analyzed and which aspects of the job would need to be changed to meet the allocation standards for these classes.
    • The C&P Analyst should document their analysis explaining why the requested allocation cannot be made and outline the alternatives above.
    • The C&P Analyst should notify the incumbent of the final analysis of the desk audit. If there is a misallocation, the C&P Analyst, along with the incumbent’s supervisor, should discuss the misallocation with the incumbent providing the available options. If the incumbent voluntarily demotes/transfers, the incumbent must acknowledge this option in writing. If the incumbent does not voluntarily demote/transfer, see “Misallocations." 

If a position is determined to be misallocated, see C&P Guide, section 360, “Correcting Misallocations” or “Misallocations."


Responsible Control Agency

  • California Department of Human Resources

Other Resource Materials

  • Classification and Pay Guide section 355