Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP)
The Limited Examination Appointment Program (LEAP) provides an alternative to the traditional civil service examination and appointment process to facilitate the hiring of persons with disabilities in the state civil service. The policy of the State of California is to ensure efforts are made toward the recruitment, hire, and retention of persons with disabilities.
Government Code Section 19240 authorizes the Department of Human Resources (CalHR), consistent with State Personnel Board (SPB) rules and regulations, as the responsible agency for the administration of the LEAP.
The Department of General Services (DGS) has delegated authority to appoint the LEAP candidate to the parallel civil service classification upon successful completion of the Job Examination Period (JEP) without prior review or approval by CalHR. It is the policy of DGS that all laws, rules, policies, and procedures prescribed by CalHR and SPB regarding the appointment process are adhered to, without exception.
DGS’ Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office ensures that individuals with disabilities have equal access to employment opportunities and benefits. The LEAP Coordinator is within the EEO Office. The LEAP Coordinator communicates with key departmental contacts, maintains knowledge of candidate’s status, provides tools and information to supervisors, informs candidates of what to expect, and effectively addresses issues that may arise throughout the JEP.
All State positions must be filled based on the applicants' merit, including skills, education, experience, and examination performance. The merit system not only ensures the top candidates are selected for interview, but also ensures the State remains an Equal Opportunity Employer. By reviewing each application received, hiring managers can be sure they interviewed the top candidates based on merit alone. The hiring process begins with initial verification of minimum qualifications and a secondary on-the-job evaluation where competitors are assessed on job-specific criteria that require performance of the essential functions of the position.
Refer to the Office of Human Resources’ (OHR) Hiring Toolkit and Personnel Operations Manual (POM) for more information on the Hiring Process.
LEAP-Referral List Eligibility
All applicants must first satisfy the criteria to be placed on a LEAP-referral list for the LEAP-certified classification to which the applicant seeks an examination appointment. DGS or its designee shall conduct competitive examinations to determine the qualifications and readiness of persons with disabilities for state employment.
LEAP candidates whose names have been placed on a LEAP-referral list shall remain on the list until they are selected for a full-time appointment after successful completion of an examination appointment or for 24 months from the date the applicant's name is placed on the list, whichever occurs first.
Dual List Eligibility and Transfer of Eligibility
A candidate may simultaneously be on both a LEAP-referral list and a non-LEAP eligibility list. A transfer between a LEAP-referral list and a non-LEAP eligibility list is not permitted.
When the final candidate is selected from a LEAP-referral list, the candidate will serve the examination appointment. An appointment to a position for the purpose of completing a job performance evaluation is known as an examination appointment.
LEAP candidates must be appointed directly into the parallel class (the class of the position for which the candidate is testing as opposed to class code 4687) to serve the JEP.
Job Examination Period
Prior to the examination appointment, the supervisor shall provide the candidate with the duty statement of the position and explain the duties and functions they are expected to perform and what will be evaluated during the JEP. The LEAP Coordinator will contact the newly hired LEAP candidate and the LEAP candidate’s supervisor to explain the process and timelines.
The JEP allows for the demonstration of the candidate’s ability to perform the essential functions of the position. During the JEP, the supervisor shall evaluate and assess the candidate’s job performance and shall provide a JEP Evaluation Form (CalHR 273) to the candidate no less than once every four weeks regardless of time base.
Note: LEAP is an examination process, and JEP Evaluation Forms should not be placed in candidates’ Official Personnel File.
Evaluations During Job Examination Period
The JEP shall be based upon the job classification as set forth in the duty statement of the position to which the candidate has been appointed for examination and shall adhere to the following:
- Identify the competencies necessary to successfully perform the duties of the position.
- Provide the candidate with sufficient opportunity to demonstrate their competencies to successfully perform the duties of the position.
- Provide guidelines for feedback.
- Set an evaluation schedule no less than once every four weeks (regardless of time base) pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Section 547.58.3.
Length of the Job Examination Period
The JEP shall be the same as the length of the probationary period of the parallel classification. For LEAP appointments to positions that have a full-time time base, the length of the JEP shall be based on monthly pay periods worked. For LEAP appointments to positions that have a part-time or intermittent time base, the length of the JEP shall be based on the following:
- If the probationary period for a parallel classification is six (6) months, the JEP shall be 840 hours.
- If the probationary period for a parallel classification is one (1) year, the JEP shall be 1,680 hours.
- If the position has an intermittent time base and the parallel classification has a one-year probationary period, candidates may work in excess of the 1,500-hour working limitation (during the JEP) within 12 consecutive months.
- Hours worked toward completion of the JEP must be physically worked. Time off work shall not be counted.
A LEAP candidate who has been selected for an examination appointment shall be appointed by way of a limited-term (LT) appointment for a period not to exceed one (1) year (12 months) while serving a JEP.
Medical and Background Requirement
The medical and background clearance processes are the same for LEAP as for any other appointment.
Salaries and Benefits
During the JEP, the candidate shall not acquire permanent civil service status, but shall receive the same salary and benefits to which other state employees in LT positions are entitled, including Merit/Special Salary Adjustments (SISA/MSA) and alternate range changes. Time spent in the JEP counts as time served in the classification.
Note: Hiring Above the Minimum authorizations for extraordinary qualifications do not apply to LEAP appointments.
Bargaining Unit Designation
All candidates hired via the LEAP process shall be placed in the appropriate bargaining unit of the parallel civil service classification and receive the same employment rights and privileges pursuant to the appropriate memorandum of understanding.
Only authorized personnel shall have access to information regarding a candidate’s participation in LEAP. A LEAP candidate’s eligibility or participation in the hiring process shall not be disclosed to any member of an oral interview panel, performance-testing panel, or the appointing power or representative prior to appointment. Duty statements and any written or verbal communications shared with unauthorized personnel, or documents included in Official Personnel Files, shall not include references to LEAP candidates or make a distinction to identify such individuals.
The LEAP candidate may initiate a request for a Reasonable Accommodation (RA) to perform the essential functions of the job during the JEP. Upon the candidate’s request, the LEAP Coordinator and/or the supervisor shall refer the LEAP candidate to the DGS RA Coordinator.
Refer to the OHR Resources, RA section for more information.
Transition to Civil Service Classification
Upon successful completion of the JEP and the recommendation of the supervisor, the LEAP Coordinator reviews and approves the transition of the qualified candidate for appointment to the parallel civil service classification.
The candidate will be transitioned to the actual tenure and time base of the filled position.
If the appointment is to a parallel class in a permanent civil service position, civil service status shall accumulate. A candidate appointed into civil service in this way is not required to serve a probationary period.
If the supervisor finds that the candidate has clearly demonstrated that they can successfully perform all the duties and functions of the position to which they have examined, the supervisor may request approval from CalHR, through DGS’ EEO Office, to shorten the duration of the JEP. In no event may a candidate serve less than three-quarters of the JEP.
The hiring manager may request an extension of the JEP when it is determined that further evaluation of the candidate is required due to the candidate’s permissible absences. JEP extensions are requested by DGS’ EEO Office and must be approved by CalHR. The term of the extension shall be no more than a time period needed to determine whether the candidate can successfully perform the duties and functions of the position.
Termination of Appointment
If the supervisor determines that the candidate fails to satisfy the job-specific criteria of the JEP, the supervisor will make a recommendation to terminate the candidate's LT appointment. The LEAP Coordinator shall give the candidate a written notice of the proposed action at least five (5) working days prior to the effective date of the termination. Such notice shall specify the reasons for the termination, the right to respond to DGS, and the right to appeal the action to SPB. The notice shall also include any applicable SPB regulations related to appeals.
Note: If DGS fails to terminate the appointment of a candidate within thirty (30) calendar days after the end of the JEP, it shall be presumed that the candidate satisfied job-specific criteria of the JEP. DGS shall appoint the candidate to the parallel classification effective the day following the JEP.
Other types of separation include:
- Voluntary Resignation (S01)
- Termination Without Fault (S31)
- Termination with Fault (S40)
- Dismissal (S41)
An employee who has attained permanent civil service status prior to accepting a LEAP appointment, who does not successfully complete the JEP and who is terminated without fault, has the right to return to their former position.
It is the responsibility of the employee to inform the former appointing power within ten (10) working days after the effective date of the termination of their intent to exercise mandatory reinstatement rights.
An employee who has attained permanent civil service status prior to accepting a LEAP appointment and is dismissed (S41) does not have a right of return.
LEAP candidates may file an appeal with SPB for the following actions:
- A refusal by the Department of Rehabilitation to certify eligibility to participate in the program.
- A disqualification from the LEAP Readiness Evaluation.
- A disqualification after interviewing with an interview panel.
- A denial of a request for reasonable accommodation during the JEP.
- A termination of an appointment during the JEP.
If the appeal is granted, SPB shall take the appropriate corrective action.
The following chart outlines the procedure to process LEAP hires/appointments:
Classification and Pay (C&P) Unit
Process to Transition
The following chart outlines the procedure to transition to civil service classification:
Process to Extend or Shorten the JEP
Process to Terminate
The following chart outlines the procedure to terminate the examination appointment:
Note: DGS shall give the candidate a written notice of the proposed action at least five (5) working days prior to the effective date of the termination.
Government Code Sections
California Code of Regulations Sections
- 547.50 Definitions
- 547.51 Use of the Leap Process and RA
- 547.55 Leap-Referral List Eligibility
- 547.57 Length of Leap-Referral List Eligibility
- 547.57.4 Dual List Eligibility and Transfer of Eligibility
- 547.58 Examination Appointments
- 547.58.1 Length of the JEP
- 547.58.2 Job Evaluation Standards
- 547.58.3 Evaluations During the JEP
- 547.58.4 Status, Salary and Benefits During the JEP
- 547.58.5 Extension of Examination Appointment
- 547.58.6 Shortening the Duration of the JEP
- 547.58.7 Transition to Civil Service Classification
- 547.58.8 Termination of Examination Appointment
- 547.58.9 Appeal Rights, Requirements, and Time Periods
Other Reference Materials
- Personnel Operations Manual
- Limited Term
- Permissive Reinstatement
- Request of Personnel Action
- Reasonable Accommodation
- Human Resources Manual Section 1107 – LEAP
Responsible Control Agencies