(Revised: 11/2020)


Voluntary transfers are permissive situations that allow an employee to move to a new position or classification within the same or a different department upon competing for a vacancy. Voluntary transfers provide an essential and useful element of flexibility within the civil service process. They also provide employees with significant opportunities to develop and diversify their skills and obtain the type or location of position they prefer. These classifications must involve substantially the same salary range or salary level and shall be considered to involve substantially the same level of duties, responsibility, and salary for purposes of a transfer without an examination.

Employees shall meet the minimum qualifications of the “to” classification in order to transfer. All transfers must be based on the employee’s highest permanent list appointment, either probationary or permanent status. A permanent appointment is typically the employee’s highest list appointment. The employee may be required to serve a new probationary period. An employee who has only been appointed on a permanent-intermittent basis can only transfer to a classification on an intermittent basis unless the individual meets the criteria to increase their time base or receives a list appointment to another time base.


California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 2, Article 19. Transfer and Government Code (GC) Sections 18525.3, 1994.1-.4, and 19050.5 govern the voluntary and involuntary transfer authority and define the transfer process.


It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) to give employees in state civil service with permanent or probationary status the opportunity to appoint to positions in state civil service by way of transfer, without examination. This policy contains a description of the transfer process and adheres to the processes outlined by the applicable sections of the CCR and GC.


A transfer is the movement of an employee in state civil service with permanent or probationary status from one position to another position in the same class, or movement of an employee to a position in a different class that has substantially the same level of duties, responsibility and salary. Within civil service laws and regulations, transfers are at the discretion of the appointing power and can be either voluntary or involuntary on the part of the employee. Transfers do not require competition in a new civil service examination, since the employees' present status is presumed qualifying for status in the new class. However, a written and/or oral transfer examination may be requested by the appointing power or required by the State Personnel Board (SPB) when significantly different skills, knowledge and abilities are required in the new class.

Holds on Employees

CCR § 249.8, where an employee has accepted a voluntary transfer or demotion in the same or a different classification within the same or different appointing power, the current appointing power may hold the employee no more than 30 calendar days after the hiring agency provides written notice of the transfer or demotion. The impacted supervisors should negotiate a reasonable start date.

NOTE: Where an employee has accepted a promotion within the same or different appointing power, the current appointing power may hold the employee for no more than 14 calendar days after the hiring agency provides written notice of the promotion. The impacted supervisors should negotiate a reasonable start date.

Appointments Not Permitted to Transfer

The following types of appointments shall not be made by way of transfer, per CCR § 430:

  • An appointment from a rank and file classification to a supervisory or managerial classification.
  • An appointment from a supervisory classification to a managerial classification.
  • A limited-term or temporary appointment cannot be used as a basis for transfer eligibility.

Consecutive Transfers Involving Deep Classifications

Consecutive transfers without examination shall not be permitted where the combined effect of the transfers results in a promotional salary level; the promotional salary level may be exceeded to the extent that such additional increase is caused by progression through one deep class.

Deep Classification

A “deep” classification is a single classification in which every position allocated to that classification can be assigned any duty within the classification concept. Placement in an alternate range is based upon the individual’s skill and experience as defined under each alternate range criteria.

When an employee transfers to a deep classification, subsequent range advancements within the deep classification may move the employee to a salary level that is two steps or more higher than the pay level of the last classification in which the employee held a list appointment. Even though this occurs, the employee should still be allowed to transfer out of the deep classification to other classifications that are exactly at or below the pay level reached in the deep classification, since by providing a deep classification SPB has sanctioned movement to that level by meeting alternate range criteria, rather than by examination. However, further advancement cannot be allowed without a list appointment, except that the employee may transfer to a classification to which they could have transferred directly from their last or highest list appointment classification. Consecutive transfers shall not be permitted when their combined result would provide the employee with a promotion (salary of two steps or more). This is to ensure adherence to the basic principle that promotions in civil service must occur through competitive examinations.

A consecutive transfer involving a deep classification is appropriate when the employee could have transferred into the “to” classification from the classification of their last or highest list appointment. The highest range of the “from” classification is equal to or higher than the highest range of the “to” classification in which the employee has permanent or probationary status.

It is important to note that these special controls apply only to subsequent transfers of employees who have transferred into a deep classification. Employees with list appointments to deep classifications may transfer out based on the regular standards outlined in CCR § 428.


The following chart outlines the procedure followed for all transfer determinations:

Step  Action

Employee Resource Liaison (ERL)

  • Submits a completed Request for Personnel Action (RPA) to the Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst. Refer to the RPA Personnel Operations Manual (POM) section for additional information.
  • Upon employee selection, submits an eRPA cover sheet with all required documents and an eSheet with up to five names via Tracker to Examinations Unit for minimum qualifications determination.

Examinations Unit

  • Determines minimum qualifications and whether candidate(s) is a current or former state employee.
  • Contacts current/former department to obtain highest list appointment information.
  • Completes eSheet and routes to C&P Analyst via Tracker.


C&P Analyst


C&P Manager

  • Approves eligibility and routes to ERL. The program or client agency may then select an eligible candidate from eSheet to fill position.


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 Unit.