It is the policy of the Classification and Pay Unit that all Requests for Personnel Action (RPA) are submitted with an appropriate position justification.

Components of a Justification
When filling a vacant position with a different classification or when promoting an incumbent in place with an RPA, the position justification must:

  • Provide relevant background information
  • Discuss how the proposed classification satisfies the classification specification and/or allocation standards
  • Describe how the duties of the position fit into the role of the unit or the mission of the department.

The position justification is intended to amplify/clarify the duty statement and organizational chart placement and should answer the following questions:

  • What has changed in the duties and responsibilities of the position? (include changes that have taken place in the organizational mission, structure, workload, backlog(s), special project(s), etc.)
  • What is the level of responsibility for the classification/position?
  • What is the complexity and sensitivity of the position?
  • What is the initiative and originality of the position?
  • What is the consequence of error of this position? (include the level of authority to make commitments, responsibility for decisions, etc.)
  • What is the type of contact and relationship with others?
  • Is there a change in the position's supervisory relationship? If so, to whom?
  • How will the duties of the old position now be handled? (no longer exist, why?; handled by another, who/why?, etc.)
  • Additional comments

When Required
A position justification is required for all personnel transactions.

If you are filling a vacancy, with no change in duties, the position justification may be brief; but should contain, at a minimum:

  • The status of the prior incumbent (i.e., retired, promoted to another unit, training, or transferred to another department)
  • The business need to fill the vacancy
  • The consequences of not filling the vacancy

The position justification must include all components if the action requested is one of the following:

  • Transferring
  • Reclassifying
  • Filling a position with a limited term appointment
  • Substantially changing the duties

Hiring Freeze
During a hiring freeze, the Department of Finance (DOF) requires specific position information when submitting a Request for Hiring Freeze Exemption, DF-160a.

DGS developed a guide, Hiring Freeze Exemption Request Justification, which provides the requestor the questions to be answered on the DF-160a. The questions to be answered include:

  • Consequence of not filling the position (as it relates to the Department, other State agencies, the public, etc.)
  • Specific impact of not filling the position:
    • fiscal impact
    • impact on workload
    • impact on staffing
  • Options/alternatives considered (also discuss ability to redirect work to other staff/units/programs/Departments, training and development (T&D) assignments, out-of-class assignments, transfer, etc.) and the results.


Responsible Control Agency

  • California Department of Human Resources
  • Department of Finance

Other Resource Materials

  • Classification and Pay Guide section 320


Classification and Pay Unit

Department of General Services
Office of Human Resources

707 3rd Street, 7th Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Contact your assigned Classification and Pay Analyst.