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BUREAU OF HUMAN RESOURCES
HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY AND PRACTICES MANUAL

5.6 CERTIFICATION TYPES AND USES

Reference Civil Service Rules, Ch. 8, which explains certification and appointment procedures that agencies may use to fill vacancies.

CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Most state government jobs are subject to the State of Maine Civil Service System. The basis for the civil service system is found in the Civil Service Law (Title 5, Maine Revised Statutes Annotated) and Civil Service Rules. Jobs that are subject to the civil service system are "classified" positions. The civil service system follows merit principles for equal employment opportunity and the selection and advancement of employees on the basis of fair and objective competition.

Some jobs are excluded from the civil service system by the Legislature. Jobs that are excluded from the civil service system are "unclassified" positions. All unclassified positions have a basis in law and all unclassified positions are filled through the direct hire process. Employees who fill unclassified positions that are excluded from the collective bargaining process are appointed to serve at the pleasure of the hiring authority. Employees who fill unclassified positions that are covered by the bargaining process are subject to the tenure terms of their collective bargaining agreement. Examples of unclassified "serve-at-the-pleasure" positions include cabinet members, heads of State boards and agencies and major policy-influencing appointees. Examples of unclassified positions that are covered by a collective bargaining agreement include teachers, physicians, scientists and other highly professional lines. (Note: By law, the Bureau of Human Resources must apply its classification and pay program for classified jobs to unclassified jobs if these unclassified jobs are not salaried by the Governor or assigned to a specific pay grade by the Legislature.)

The civil service system is centrally administered by the Bureau of Human Resources through its classification and pay, recruitment and examination, and register and certification programs. Under the classification and pay program, jobs that have similar work and work responsibilities are grouped and assigned to a common job classification and salary grade. Under the recruitment and examination program, vacancies are announced and applicants are tested and scored using competitive, job-related measures (e.g., written or oral examinations, evaluations of individual experience and training, or a combination of these methods). Under the register and certification program, persons who successfully complete the examination process are placed on classification registers by score, and job referrals are made from these registers in accordance with these competitive scores and other criteria such as civil service status, conditions of work (full-time, part-time, seasonal, permanent, temporary, shift work), and geographic preferences.

For some classified jobs (e.g., labor and trade jobs, highly scientific or technical jobs, and jobs that are unique to an agency), the full responsibility for recruitment, examination, and selection is delegated to the agency human resources division. These jobs are designated direct hire. Agencies that are authorized direct-hire classified jobs must follow the same merit principles for filling vacancies that are followed by the Bureau of Human Resources for jobs that are centrally controlled.

THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

There are several internal factors that should be considered before requesting a certification. Among them are:

There are also external factors that influence the certification process. Among them are:

REQUESTING THE BEST CERTIFICATION

Agency human resource representatives are responsible for requesting certifications for vacancies within the agency. Different types of certifications will provide different sets of names. Supervisors and managers should become familiar with certification types so that they can make informed choices when requesting a certification to fill a vacancy. Informed choices will minimize delays and avoid unnecessary paperwork for both the agency and the Bureau of Human Resources. The following information will assist supervisors and managers with these important choices:

Without exception, state employees who are laid off are considered first, whether by direct hire or from a class certification, regardless of what type of certification may be requested. State employees who have been laid off or displaced retain extensive rights with respect to recall to their former classification or work location. In the event that a vacancy occurs in a classification or work location to which a state employee has recall rights, a "Layoff from Classification" (LC) certification will be issued. No other names will be certified unless the layoff candidate(s) refuses the job.

Under some circumstances, not selecting a layoff candidate may be based on the candidate’s lack of qualifications for a specific position. Written justification for non-selection must be submitted to the Director, Bureau of Human Resources. Additional names will not be provided unless the reason for non-selection is approved. The standard for non-selection of a layoff candidate based on qualifications is narrowly interpreted and should be considered an exceptional situation.

State employees who are laid off from a related classification or higher classification also retain certain preferences. In the event that a vacancy occurs in a related classification or a higher classification from which a state employee has been laid off, the employee’s name will be added to the requested certification as a "Layoff from Related or Higher Classification" (LR) candidate. LR candidates must be interviewed along with other certified candidates and are given preference in hiring. Specific reasons for non-selection must be provided.




CERTIFICATION TYPES AND USES

The following table summarizes the different certification types and explains how they are generally used . Depending on position needs, the basic certification types (left hand column) may be modified by additional factors (listed in the right hand column).

 

CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

STANDARD:
Receive the six top-scoring candidates of: First - agency employees with status (acting capacity appointments do not have status); Second - state employees with status from outside of the requesting agency; Third - names of former state employees (re-employment); Fourth - non-state employees; until the list is complete.

The Standard Certification is most frequently used and will be provided unless an agency requests an alternative method of certification.

Selective (BHR Approval)1
Transfer Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific transfer name.
Demotion Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific demotion name
Specific re-employment name (BHR Approval)
Extended (BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4




CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

AGENCY PROMOTIONAL: Receive the six top-scoring candidates on the class register who have promotional status in the requesting agency. (Note: Non-state employees in acting capacity appointments do not have status.) An Agency Promotional certification may be considered to fill a vacancy in situations where agency-specific work experience is advantageous to successful performance in the position. Selective (BHR Approval)1
Transfer Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific transfer name
Demotion Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific demotion name
Specific Re-employment Name (BHR Approval)
Extended
(BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4




CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

STATEWIDE PROMOTIONAL: Receive the six top-scoring candidates on the class register who have statewide promotional status.

Note: No special preference is afforded to agency employees.

Like agency promotional, statewide promotional may be considered if experience in any agency would be advantageous to the requesting agency.

Selective (BHR Approval)1
Transfer Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific transfer name
Demotion Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific demotion name
Specific Re-employment Name (BHR Approval)
Extended
(BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4




CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

OPEN COMPETITIVE (BHR Approval):
Receive the six top-scoring candidates on the class register by score. That is, the six top-scoring candidates are certified without regard to agency or statewide promotional employment status.

An Open Competitive certification may be considered in situations such as a single incumbent class where the type of work (generally professional in nature) requires full competence at the time of hire or when circumstances preclude customary training and orientation.

Selective (BHR Approval)1
Transfer Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific transfer name
Demotion Names - Up to 3 additional names, by date on register.
Specific demotion name
Specific Re-employment Name (BHR Approval)
Extended
(BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4




CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

TRANSFERS ONLY:
Receive the names of current state employees in the same class and classifications in the same occupational group and salary range.

Note: The bargaining agreements afford certain rights to employees bidding for posted vacancies on a transfer basis. Agency human resource representatives should be consulted.

An employee may be placed on the Transfer Register in his or her class or in a related occupational group in the same salary range at any time. Employees complete PER 122, REQUEST FOR PLACEMENT ON TRANSFER/DEMOTION REGISTER and submit to BHR.

To transfer in the same salary range, but to an unrelated occupational group, the candidate must apply, when the class is open for recruitment, using the standard application, and be evaluated prior to being placed on the transfer register. Contact BHR for list of related classes.

Selective (BHR Approival)1
Extended (BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4




CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

DEMOTIONS ONLY:
Receive the names of six state employees with status in a higher salary range who have been placed on the Demotion Register.

An employee may be placed on the Demotion Register in a related occupational group or in a class previously held at any time. Employees complete PER 122, REQUEST FOR PLACEMENT ON TRANSFER/DEMOTION REGISTER and submit to BHR.

Otherwise, the employee must apply, using the standard application form, when the class is open for recruitment, and be evaluated prior to being placed on the Demotion Register. Contact BHR for list of related classes.

Selective (BHR Approval)1
Extended (BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4




CERTIFICATION TYPE

GENERAL USE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

RE-EMPLOYMENT ONLY (BHR Approval):
Receive the names of former employees who resigned in good standing while employed in the requested classification.

Reemployment candidates may be considered to fill a vacancy in situations where previous training or experience would be useful to the needs of the agency.

Employees must complete form PER 18, REQUEST FOR PLACEMENT ON THE RE-EMPLOYMENT REGISTER and submit to BHR. The last employing agency must approve placement on the Re-employment Register.

Selective (BHR Approval)1
Extended (BHR Approval)2
Expanded3
Acting Capacity4

1Selective: Receive names of candidates who meet job-specific special qualifications. A Selective certification may be considered when a position requires special qualifications (such as educational attainment, professional licensure, or specific work experience) in conjunction with the training and experience required for the class. Generally, the selective criteria should be reflected in the FJA for the position in question.

Requests for a Selective certification must be justified in writing and include the specific criteria to be used to identify the special qualification. Prior to certification, applications will be reviewed by BHR and/or agency staff to establish which candidates possess the required selective qualification(s). Selective candidates will then be certified by score and certification type.

2Extended Certification: An agency may request an extended certification in classifications where there have historically been large numbers of declines or if a large number of declines is anticipated for any other reason. These names may only be used to maintain a viable six-name certification by replacing candidates, in strict descending order, who either decline an interview, do not appear for a scheduled interview, or decline a job offer. It is important to note that candidates who are simply not selected ("non-selects") may not be replaced with candidates from the extended list. A request for an extended certification must be approved by the Bureau of Human Resources.

3Expanded Certification: All certifications are automatically expanded, by certification type, to include persons with disabilities and/or minority candidates. In certain situations, such as supervisory positions or non-traditional occupational groups, under-utilization based on gender may indicate that the implementation of affirmative action is appropriate. Agencies may request that certifications be expanded for females. Agency EEO Officers and human resource professionals should be consulted in these situations.

4Acting Capacity: A certification is required for all acting appointments that are greater than 90 days in duration. An Acting Capacity certification must be used in conjunction with one of the types listed above. (Note: Refusal of an interview for an acting capacity appointment does not jeopardize a candidate’s standing on the class register.



SPECIAL PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE:

 

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

FOR FURTHER ON-LINE ASSISTANCE:

Form PER 18: Request for Placement on the Re-employment Register
Form PER 122: Request for Placement on the Transfer/Demotion Register
BOER Memo 49: Conducting Competitive Selections

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