The ability to transfer list eligibility may reduce unnecessary examining and offer additional employment opportunities for the eligible candidates. It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) that transfer of list eligibility is discretionary and applicable for the following:

DGS Employee

  • Open List
    • Employee does not have to be reachable on the “from” department’s list but must be reachable on DGS’ list upon transfer
    • Employee must have a job offer
  • Promotional List
    • Employee must complete probation (refer to Short Term Appointment)
    • Employee does not have to be in a reachable rank on the “from” department’s list and does not have to have a job offer

Non-DGS Employee

  • Open and Promotional Lists
    • State employee does not have to be reachable on the “from” department’s list but must be reachable on DGS’ list upon transfer
    • Employee must have a job offer

Transfer of list eligibility is appropriate if it is the same classification and DGS concurs with the transfer. Transfers can only be made from promotional lists to promotional lists and from open lists to open lists. Transfer of list eligibility between promotional and open lists is prohibited. As the receiving department, DGS will determine if the examinations are similar in complexity and subject matter.

Employees with promotional list eligibility who move from one agency or subdivision to another agency or subdivision without a break in service may transfer such promotional list eligibility to the appropriate promotional list of the new agency or subdivision if such list was established as a result of an examination for the same subject matter and with the same education and experience admittance requirements (State Personnel Board [SPB] Rule 154).


Same Classification
Classifications are considered to be the same whenever the titles are identical or when the titles differ only by an additional hyphenated or parenthetical portion designating a characteristic, which does not impact the general subject matter covered in the examination. Some examples are listed below:

  1. Cook I and Cook I (Correctional Facility)
  2. A classification series concept comprised of various specialty fields and a general core classification such as Research Analyst I (Economics), (Demography), (Social/Behavioral), and (General). List eligibility may be transferred from a parenthetical specialty to a general core classification but it is not permissible to transfer eligibility from the general classification to a specialty classification. Similarly, eligibility may not be transferred from one specialty to another.
  3. Split-classification concept for supervisor and specialist classifications such as Accountant I (Supervisor) and Accountant I (Specialist) are considered to be the same classification. Further, Staff Services Manger II (Supervisory) and Staff Services Manager II (Managerial) does allow for transfer since the examination is conducted as a series and the examination content is the same. However, transferability of the above and other similar classification series, by the C&P Analyst, must be done on a case by case basis.

Same Examination
Examinations for the same classification given at different times or in different departments are considered to be the same examination. However, the Selections Analyst must verify that the examinations are similar.

Similar Examination
Examinations are considered similar if the subject matter of the examinations are similar in scope and complexity. Two examinations may still be considered similar even though they may have differed with regard to the testing method or tools utilized.

An interview-only and a written test may be similar if the same general subject matter was covered. When testing methods differ in a transfer request, each case should be evaluated on the basis of whether the same general subject matter was covered by the two methods. A copy of each examination announcement shall be reviewed by the Selections Unit Analyst to determine similarity and complexity. The Selection Analyst shall obtain the examination bulletin from the other department to determine compatibility; if compatible, approves the TOE.

However, an education and experience (E&E) examination is not considered similar and is not transferable except to other E&E lists.

Note: Transfer of eligibility to an E&E list from a list resulting from another examination plan/method is permitted. (Reference Selection Manual Section 5210 [old]).

List in Existence
A list shall be deemed to exist if the person’s original list eligibility is valid and the DGS accepts the transfer of list eligibility. (The DGS must have an eligibility list even though it contains no names.)

DGS Concurrence
DGS approval is required for any transfer of promotional list eligibility and for any open list, which is maintained by the DGS. The DGS may approve the request if the necessary requirements are met and there are no applicable restrictions. However, no department is ever required to approve a request which is otherwise permissible. The DGS’ discretion is necessary due to the variety of hiring needs that occur among different departments and classifications. In addition to the definitions listed above, and as a result of the expanded concept of transfer of eligibility between similar examinations, there are a number of other factors which may differ when a request is being reviewed for approval. These additional situations are listed below as guidelines in determining whether transfer of list eligibility is appropriate:

Examination Maintenance
Factors When lists differ because one is a “dated” list and the other is a “merged” list, the life of one list is not the same length of time as the other. If the examination administration dates are not the same, transfer of list eligibility is still permissible. However, transfer of list eligibility shall not extend a person’s eligibility for more than four years from the adoption of the original list that created the eligibility. An appointment made, as a result of eligibility list transfer, shall not predate the date of the original list eligibility.

Scoring Method
Eligibility may still be transferred when scoring methods differ between the two lists, e.g., one list was scored according to limited ranks and the other list utilized full range of scores. When eligibility is transferred between employment lists with different scoring methods, the person’s rating shall be converted to comply with the scoring method of the list to which eligibility is being transferred. Additional ranks or inappropriate scores shall not be created by a transfer of eligibility.

Examination Base
Eligibility may be transferred from one type of open list to another, i.e., open to open non-promotional, service-wide open to departmental open. Eligibility may be transferred from one type of promotional list to another. Promotional lists include sub-divisional promotional lists, multi-departmental promotional lists, and service-wide promotional lists. However, transfer of list eligibility between promotional lists and open lists is prohibited.

factors when considering a request for eligibility transfer

The items listed below are factors DGS takes into consideration when granting or denying a request for eligibility transfer:

  • An offer of employment in the list classification has been made to the eligible
  • The eligible either anticipates or has experienced a geographical change of residence
  • The eligible recently has been appointed to a particular classification by the DGS and has employment list eligibility in other classifications which the DGS uses
  • A relatively new employee has completed a probationary period with the DGS and has eligibility on other lists
  • Special hiring needs exist that pertain to a specific list classification
  • There are general hiring needs requiring equal employment considerations
  • There is a possibility that the transfer would have an adverse impact on the existing eligibles on a promotional list
  • The necessary requirements and restrictions as previously outlined permit or prohibit such a transaction
  • The employee understands that s/he can only transfer list eligibility once; once eligibility is transferred, the employee is “forever” on DGS’ list(s)

NOTE: “forever” means that the SPB does not allow an eligible to transfer list eligibility more than once.

The transfer to a list containing from zero to two names or ranks must not constitute circumvention of another established list or unduly deprive other qualified employees from an opportunity to compete. Factors which should be considered include the following:

  1. What is the length of time needed to generate an eligible list?
  2. What is the number of vacancies likely to occur in the future?
  3. For DGS promotional examinations, how competitive would a DGS candidate be? For example, do they meet some seldom used open pattern, which allows entry, where individuals generally do not succeed in the examination?
  4. Does the transferee have a score that would make him/her reachable on the potential new DGS list?
  5. Is there an urgency connected to the filling of the position?

Instances where requests for such transfers generally would be inappropriate and should be denied include:

  • A proposed transfer of promotional list eligibility from one department to DGS where DGS does not have names on a list but has a number of potential competitors who have not been given the opportunity to compete for a particular classification. Permission to transfer list eligibility in such a case deprives those DGS employees of an opportunity to compete for promotion.
  • A proposed transfer of eligibility from a departmental open list on which the individual is not reachable. Generally speaking, another open list should be used as an appropriate list, rather than permitting the transfer of eligibility to create a list. Without this requirement, the right of individuals who have already competed in another open examination may be jeopardized.

The two examples described above identify circumstances which may be in violation of the merit principles. There may be other cases where no merit principles are violated. For instance, there is the case where a department had no competitors eligible to take an examination or where the competitors recently had been given the opportunity to compete but failed the examination. In such cases, the transfer of list eligibility of an individual from another departmental promotional list may be permitted, since it does not unduly deprive employees of their opportunity to compete.

limited term transfer status

SPB Rule 281 provides that no time served in a limited-term appointment may be used to complete probation or to other wise qualify for permanent or probationary status. Limited-term appointees do not serve probationary periods.

Employees who have previously served in a permanent or probationary appointment do not enhance his/her permanent/probationary status or rights (for example, to transfer or reinstate) through service under a limited-term appointment.

This fact should be carefully explained to persons considering accepting a limited-term appointment.


The following table depicts the steps and actions required to transfer list eligibility.

1 Requests to transfer eligibility from one employment list to DGS' list are initiated by the employee and Employee Resource Liaison (ERL) via the Transfer of List Eligibility Request (DGS OHR 29) form.
2 Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst must review and validate request to determine transfer eligibility based on TOE policy and forward to the Selections Unit Manager to determine examination compatibility (turn-around time is 24 hours).
3 Selections Unit Manager obtains both examination announcements and may contact “from” department to determine examination compatibility and approves/denies transfer (turn-around time is 24 hours).

C&P Analyst, based on review in Step 2 and 3;

If approved, completes remainder of TOE and obtains C&P Manager’s signature; and provides TOE to:

  • Certification Unit for processing (original) (placement may take up to 48 hours to appear on list)
  • “From” department (copy - for information only)
  • hired employee (copy)

If denied, notifies the employee and ERL the reasons for denial (one business day)

spb regulations

Employees, without a break in service, may transfer list eligibility (promotional or open) to another agency if such a promotional or open eligible list was established as a result of an examination for the same classification.

An employee who re-enters State service within six months after resignation and would have been eligible for certification from a promotional or open eligible list, may apply to have eligibility transferred to the appropriate promotional or open eligible list the new agency.


  1. Transfer of list eligibility is determined by the DGS C&P Analyst and the Selections Unit Manager
  2. The employee/candidate/DGS program completes DGS’ transfer form
  3. The receiving department (DGS) determines the compatibility of the examinations
  4. If the employee/candidate has eligibility on a DGS list and wants to transfer his/her eligibility from another department’s list, the employee/candidate does not have to be reachable on the “from” list to effect the transfer (if all other factors regarding transfer of list eligibility are in compliance). The employee/candidate would have dual eligibility and only be removed once appointed; s/he could request inactivity on the lower score (not recommended). Additionally, the testing period must be reviewed to determine that the employee/candidate has not taken the examination within the testing period (6, 12, 24, etc. months).

    However, the DGS shall be very cautious when allowing the transfer of eligibility of an employee/candidate score, creating dual eligibility, as this may indicate that the employee/candidate is not that qualified for the DGS position just because s/he received a higher score at another department for his/her position.
  5. If the employee/candidate is not reachable on the DGS list, the employee/candidate cannot transfer list eligibility.


Responsible Control Agency

  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • Government Code Section 18532-18533, 18902, 18950