The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) is actively working on a variety of streamlining efforts, one of which is an expanded delegation authority for position allocation, which includes exceptional allocations and classifications that were formerly restricted by Personnel Management Liaison (PML) 2007-026 | Personnel Management Liaison (PML) 2007-026 - Text Only (RTF).
CalHR has developed new procedures that allow departments more authority to allocate positions to virtually all State civil service job classifications without obtaining prior CalHR approval via a Classification and/or Certification Action Request (STD 625) form. These new procedures provide departments greater flexibility while improving efficiency and maintaining accountability.
Delegation is granted through an Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement between the department’s executive management and CalHR. This Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement defines the reporting requirements, responsibilities, obligations, and expectations of the department. As part of streamlining efforts, CalHR is assuming a more consultative role with departments, which replaces the position-by-position control that CalHR currently exercises over departments.
Departments that have signed a formal Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement with CalHR will have the authority to:
Allocate positions to the classifications that were specifically listed as restricted by PML 2007-026.
Make exceptional allocations to positions that do not meet allocation standards (e.g., insufficient subordinate staff for a supervisor) and/or that vary from traditional use described in the class specifications as long as those allocation are appropriately justified.
Departments will NOT be delegated authority for:
Use of department-specific classifications belonging to other departments without prior approval from CalHR. These position allocation requests must continue to come to CalHR via form STD. 625.
Misallocating a position under the guise of an “exceptional allocation” when a more appropriate classification is available.
Initiating use of a class with Safety or Peace Officer-Firefighter retirement in a capacity not already approved by CalHR.
Making exceptions to the retired annuitant 180-day waiting period as outlined in PML 2013-001 | PML 2013-001 - Text Only (RTF). Requests for exceptions to the waiting period must still come to CalHR for approval via the STD. 625 form.
Making additional appointments for managers and supervisors as outlined in PML 2013-015 | PML 2013-015 - Text Only (RTF).
All other aspects of the prior delegation program established by PML 2007-026 that were not superceded by other PMLs or are not explicitly expanded or modified by the new, signed Delegation Agreements remain in effect. Departments should direct any questions about the prior delegation program to their assigned Personnel Management Division analyst.
The “Classification Plan” is a system under which positions are grouped into classifications on the basis of their current duties and responsibilities. Each classification is distinguished by the class specification – a legal document approved by the State Personnel Board (SPB) and CalHR that describes the duties, responsibilities, typical tasks and qualification standards for that classification. The roughly 4,000 State classifications provide a uniform structure for the State’s compensation plan and examining process, which enables the State civil service to adhere to two key principles required by law in Government Code Section 18500:
Positions involving comparable duties and responsibilities are similarly classified and compensated.
Appointments are based upon merit and fitness ascertained through practical and competitive examination.
Every position in the State civil service must be properly allocated to one of the roughly 4,000 classifications in the Classification Plan. Government Code Section 19818.6 gives CalHR the authority to administer the Classification Plan and ensure that every position is appropriately allocated. In turn, Government Code 19818.14 gives CalHR the authority to delegate responsibility for position allocation to departments. It also gives CalHR authority to audit position allocations and order corrective action.
Misallocated positions (e.g., paying a person the rate of an Associate Governmental Program Analyst to perform low level clerical duties) undermine the “like pay for like work” requirement and subvert the Classification Plan.
When CalHR delegates authority, departments are under obligation by law to uphold the Classification Plan and to ensure allocation of every position to the appropriate class in the Classification Plan. This would also include ensuring that exceptional allocations – those positions which do not meet allocation standards and/or vary from the traditional use of the class as described in the specification – are made conscientiously and used only when no viable alternatives are available.
An exceptional allocation occurs when the duties of a position fall outside the typical or intended use of the class specification but are closely related to the classification scope and purpose. The most common exceptional allocations include supervisory classifications working in a non-supervisory capacity; and department or program specific classifications being used outside of the program or department to perform a related function. There are three main types of exceptional position allocations:
A supervisory class used in a position that has limited or no supervisory responsibility, but other equivalent responsibility. Example: Staff Services Manager I (SSM I) may rarely be used as a non-supervisory “specialist” when the position requires exceptional leadership as a highly-skilled, independent consultant expert with the authority to act on behalf of management in a specialty area. More than half the tasks assigned to such a specialist must exceed the normal range of the profession in terms of complexity and scope. The lack of supervisory responsibility is offset by the equal complexity and responsibility of the extraordinary duties assigned. For more guidance on this specific example, see the Allocation guideline for Staff Services Manager I (Specialist) (4800) (HR Net access required) found on HR NET.
A position where use of the class varies from the traditional use described in the class specification but retains the same level of duties and responsibilities. Example: A scientist class may typically perform hands-on scientific field work, but a department may decide it needs a position with scientific experience and knowledge to advise upper management on policies related to the scientific field. The scientist class may be used as an exceptional allocation in such a capacity. The same level of knowledge, skills and abilities are required to perform the scientific policy review work as are required for field work. However, the variety and scope of the policy-advising work may not be a perfect match for the scientist classification, as the policy-advising position is not involved in hands-on data gathering. The complexity, decision-making authority, sensitivity, and consequence of error may be greater as the policy-advising position may have broader extent of impact. Such a position would be considered a truly exceptional allocation.
A position that uses a department-specific class that does not belong to the using department. Example: A new program is established in Department A. Its mission is similar to the mission of a long-standing program in Department B, but has a distinct but equivalent scope of responsibility. Department B uses its own department-specific class to accomplish its work. Department B’s class specification describes the same variety of typical tasks, complexity of work, decision-making authority, consequence of error and sensitivity as Department A’s new program, but in a different setting or location. This type of exceptional allocation must still be submitted to CalHR for pre-approval.
With delegation, departments will have expanded authority for position allocation, including exceptional allocations and classifications that were formerly restricted by PML 2007-026 | PML 2007-026 - Text Only (RTF). The types of position allocations that are and are not delegated are discussed below.
Use of Formerly Restricted Classifications
Truly Exceptional Allocations
Use of Department-Specific Classifications Belonging to Another Department
The new delegated processes and required documents for these types of exceptional allocation are also summarized in the Exceptional Allocation Process Flowchart Exceptional Allocation Process Flowchart.pdf | Exceptional Allocation Process Flowchart.pdf - Text Only (RTF) and the Exceptional Allocation (STD. 625) Document Checklist | Exceptional Allocation (STD. 625) Document Checklist - Text Only (RTF).
Delegated departments may better understand the standards historically applied by CalHR when reviewing exceptional allocation requests by reviewing the information found on the Exceptional Allocation Guide page.
Since 2007, most departments have had delegated authority for allocation of positions to most State civil service classifications, as long as those allocations clearly fall within the concept of the classification or established allocation guidelines. The following specific classifications were restricted by PML 2007-026, which had required departments to submit STD. 625 packages to CalHR for approval before filling positions:
Data Processing Manager IV
Labor Relations Specialist
Labor Relations Manager I
Labor Relations Manager II
Once a department has signed an Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement, the department will have authority to allocate positions to the above classifications without prior approval by CalHR. Delegated departments need only complete their normal internal documents associated with the Request for Personnel Action (RPA) process for establishing the position and will no longer need to complete a STD. 625 form at all, as long as the allocation fully meets the class specification and standard allocation guidelines.
In addition, the Information Technology (IT) Specialist III classification was newly established with a Modified Classification Review (MCR) 0 on January 31, 2018. However, in the interest of streamlining, departments may also allocate to this classification without CalHR's prior approval. The IT Specialist III position(s) must be documented and reported to CalHR on the Exceptional Allocation Reporting Worksheet in the same way as the above formerly restricted classifications even for standard use. This will enable CalHR to monitor the statewide usage of the classification and ensure departments clearly understand the intent for these allocations.
No Std. 625 form needed if allocation meets class specification and allocation standards
Request for Personnel Action
Current duty statement
Proposed duty statement
Current organizational chart
Proposed organizational chart
All forms, org charts and justification memos must be signed
If any potential position allocation of the above listed classifications do not fully meet the class specification and allocation guidelines, the department must follow the procedures outlined below under Truly Exceptional Allocations, which will require a STD. 625 form to be kept internally for department records.
In addition, the PML 2007-026 also required CalHR prior approval for the use of the following classifications:
Staff Services Manager I (Specialist)
Staff Services Manager II (Specialist)
The Staff Services Manager I (Specialist) and II (Specialist) concepts are always considered exceptional allocations and delegated departments must follow the procedures outlined below under Truly Exceptional Allocations, which will require a STD. 625 form to be kept internally for department records.
PML 2007-026 also required departments to obtain CalHR approval via the STD. 625 form for positions that are exceptions to standard allocation criteria.
With the new delegation program, once a department has signed an Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement, the department will have authority to make most exceptional allocation determinations without CalHR’s prior approval.
Exceptional allocations are those positions which do not meet allocation standards (e.g., insufficient subordinate staff for a supervisor) and/or vary from the traditional use of the classification as described in the specification. Exceptional allocations must be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary because there is no better alternative.
For any exceptionally allocated position, delegated departments must complete a STD. 625 Form and a memorandum of justification signed by their Personnel Officer, to keep with their other internal RPA documents associated with the position. For example, the Staff Services Manager I (Specialist) and Staff Services Manager II (Specialist) concepts are always considered exceptional allocations and delegated departments must always complete a STD. 625 and a memorandum of justification for their internal records on such positions in addition to the normal RPA documents (e.g., duty statements, organizational charts). CalHR also recommends placing a copy of the signed, dated Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement in the RPA file for all truly exceptional allocations.
The presence of a STD. 625 in a department’s file is an indicator to departmental human resources staff that the position is not to be used for internal comparison or as a standard upon which to base other allocations. CalHR also recommends notating truly exceptionally allocated positions on the department’s organizational charts.
To better understand the standards historically applied by CalHR when reviewing exceptional allocation requests, read the Exceptional Allocation Guide.
STD. 625 needed for internal records only
Request for Personnel Action (RPA)
Copy of signed, dated Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement (recommended)
Departments will not be delegated authority for use of department-specific classifications belonging to other departments without prior approval from CalHR. These position allocation requests must continue to come to CalHR via a STD. 625.
For example, the Project Manager (Information Technology) classification is a department-specific classification designed only for use by California Correctional Health Care Services and the California Department of Technology. Any other department wanting to use this classification would have to get permission from CalHR, following the traditional STD. 625 process. In addition, departments would be expected to obtain written permission from the owner department and submit that with the STD. 625 request to CalHR.
Std. 625 package must go to CalHR
Owner department’s permission to use classification
Once a department has signed an Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement, it will be responsible for compiling and maintaining a list of all its current truly exceptional allocations by position. Departments are responsible for notifying CalHR of changes to their exceptional allocations by submitting a Monthly Exceptional Allocation Reporting Worksheet via email to their Personnel Management Division Analyst and the Delegation.Project@calhr.ca.gov inbox by the 10th calendar day of the month.
The Monthly Exceptional Allocation Reporting Worksheet | Monthly Exceptional Allocation Reporting Worksheet - Text Only (RTF) must include all positions where the allocation does not meet the standards for allocation outlined in the class specification or allocation guidelines. For example, all Staff Services Manager I (Specialist) allocations must be identified on the list. This list must also include all positions where the department uses a department-specific classification belonging to another department. Departments must not include on this list standard allocations for the following classifications; however, exceptional allocations for the following classifications would be reported:
IT Specialist III
Monthly Exceptional Allocation Reporting Worksheet must report the position number, classification title, incumbent name (or vacancy), date approved (internally or by CalHR), and reason why position is considered exceptional. Departments must submit a “negative response” report even when no changes have been made during the month.
Departments that perform human resources work for other departments must maintain a separate Monthly Exceptional Allocation Reporting Worksheet for each appointing authority.
While reporting will be done initially via spreadsheets and email, CalHR plans to launch an interactive website by July 2015 that will provide a more automated means of reporting and monitoring while increasing transparency in the allocations made statewide. More information will be provided to departments as CalHR progresses on the new automated website.
Delegated departments must develop and maintain, for CalHR’s Human Resources Quality Review and monthly monitoring purposes, adequate justifications and documentation for all position allocations, including exceptional allocations. The following tips will assist departments in ensuring they are properly allocating positions, and maintaining proper position allocation documentation:
Organizational charts must be signed and contain classification titles, position numbers, incumbent names and must clearly show reporting relationships. Organizational charts are due to CalHR annually on January 1 as a condition of the Exceptional Allocation Delegation Agreement.
Duty statements must be specific, clear and detailed enough that a third party could read it and understand what the position does. Duty statements must include percentages of time spent in each group of duties.
Departments should develop internal written allocation guidelines for department-specific classifications, if CalHR has not already established any.
Exceptional allocations must have a detailed justification memo.
CalHR will monitor each department’s positions via reports from the State Controller’s Office on a monthly basis. Departments will be notified immediately if discrepancies or suspect allocations are found. CalHR may request that departments provide select exceptional allocation packages to CalHR for random review at any time during the delegation period.
CalHR will also audit departmental position allocations as part of CalHR’s Human Resources Quality Review Program (HR Net access required). Also, during any CalHR Human Resources Quality Review of a delegated department, positions not meeting standard allocation guidelines that do not have internally approved STD. 625 forms and adequate memorandums of justification documenting their exceptional status will be cited as misallocations by CalHR.
Any questions about STD.625 exceptional allocation delegation should be addressed to the department’s assigned Personnel Management Division analyst at CalHR.