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Applicant Invite

An invitation to an applicant to establish an Applicant Account to be attached to an established ECOS Profile. This feature is not available yet in ECOS.


An individual who has submitted an application form to compete in a State civil service examination.

Application (678)

The State Application Form. There is a paper version and there is an electronic version. They contain a person’s personal information ( name, contact information, SSN/Partial SSN, Birth Month, Birth Date, first 3 letters of last name at birth, EZid ) Basic employment Questions, Education, Work History, Demographic/EEO data.

Applicant Account (App Account)

A Login I.D. and password for an Applicant User to manage their personal information and associated Applicant Records and Eligibility Records through their CalCareer Account.


The openness of programs, processes, and services to disabled persons.

Application Method

Refers to the type of application the department chooses to accept. To date the options are: Electronic, Postal, and/or in-Person.

Armed Forces

Means the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Revenue Marine Service, and the Army and Navy Nurse Corps. Active service as a nurse in the American Red Cross during World War I shall be considered service in the "armed forces." (Gov. Code 18540)


Your Application has been submitted to the hiring department for review.


Base Score

The score received in an examination in ECOS before any extra points are added or percentage is calculated. Also see, "Raw Score".

Basis (Exam Basis)

The Basis in which an examination is being administered: Open; Open, Non-Promotional; and Promotional


See “Exam Bulletin”

Bilingual Employee

A bilingual employee has been certified by CalHR, or an authorized agent, as possessing sufficient fluency to provide services to the public in a non-English language. An employee working in a designated bilingual position is eligible for a pay differential.

Bilingual Position

A position designated by the department to provide non-English services to the public.


Job connection system for State of California retirees interested in working as retired annuitants to list their skill sets.


Career Credits

Extra points awarded in Open, Non-Promotional examination to Civil Service Employees meeting the criteria to receive a Career Credits in addition to their passing score in the examination.

Cert Rank

The rank of an individual(s) on a specific Cert list.

Classification Code

The Code assigned to State of California Civil Service Classification

Classification Specification (Class Spec)

The Civil Service definition of a type of job classification as approved by the Board. Typically Includes: a Class Title, Class Code, Description, KSAs, MQs, and other specifics. (2 CCR § 75.2)

Conditions of Employment (COE)

Conditions under which a successful applicant wish to be considered for employment for an Eligibility Record. Conditions of Employment may include Geographical location, Tenure, Timebase, Department, or work type area/category (Preference Flags).

Contact (Letter)

See "Employment Inquiry"

Continuous (Filing Type)

An Examination that does not have an established final filing date and allows for individuals to submit an application without limitations until it is closed.

Class Series

Means any vertically related group of classes, covering the same occupational specialty and same program area, which constitute a primary promotional pattern for a specifically identifiable group of employees. (2 CCR § 75.1)


The knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, or special personal characteristics that contribute to individual or organizational job-related performance. Competencies may relate to practical or theoretical understanding of subjects, the capacities to perform acts, patterns of action or conduct, critical or strategic thinking, decision making or judgment, interdisciplinary skills, or transferable skills. (2 CCR § 76.3)

Cutoff Date

The time frame, item number, or thing designated to be the limit of something. (e.g. For reasonable accommodations it is the date the business user wants to review RA requests.)


An applicant who has been accepted as an examination participant. Also known as, candidate.


An applicant who has been accepted as an examination participant. Also known as "competitor".

Career Executive

An employee appointed from an employment list established for the express purpose of providing a list of persons with permanent status in the civil service who are available for career executive assignments, in which selection, classification, salary, tenure, and other conditions of employment may be varied from those prevailing under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 18800) to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 19570), inclusive, for other employees in the state civil service. (Gov. Code 18546)

Career Executive Assignment

An appointment to a high administrative and policy influencing position within the state civil service in which the incumbent's primary responsibility is the managing of a major function or the rendering of management advice to top-level administrative authority. (Gov. Code 18547)


Employment system available for State of California Job Seekers. This systems provides for an Applicant portal allowing self-management and tracking of employment activities with various available employment tools.

Civil Service

The administration of government in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations.


Disabled Veteran

Any veteran as defined in Section 18540.4 who is currently declared by the United States Veterans Administration to be 10 percent or more disabled as a result of service in the armed forces. Proof of such disability shall be deemed conclusive if it is of record in the United States Veterans Administration. (Gov. Code 18541)



Acronym for: Examination and Certification Online System


Is the “key” in identifying individuals in ECOS, it is rooted in the ECOS Profile and displayed on all app Records, Elig Records, and App Accounts. In Legacy, the key identifier of an individual was the SSN and in OSS it was the EZid. The ECOS ID must belong to only ONE person, but may have many Eligibility Records and Applicant Records. An ECOS ID may belong to only ONE App Account.

Eligibility Record (Elig Record)

An individual record for a person who has been granted eligibility for a classification (typically from successfully completing an examination, but sometimes it can be created by a layoff situation)

Eligible List

A list of persons who have been examined in an open competitive examination and are eligible for certification for a specific class. (Gov. Code 18532)

Eligible List Rank

The Rank of the individual(s) in regards to scores with recognized additional points and preference in accordance with the Cert Rule governing the Eligible List.

Employment Inquiry

Any communication, including, but not limited to, by way of letter, telephone, email, or other electronic means, used to contact candidates to determine their interest in a job vacancy. Most commonly seen as a letter sent to individuals on a Cert Lists to ascertain their interest in a specific position. Also referred to as a "Contact" or "Contact Letter". (2 CCR § 80.1)

Exam Bulletin (Bulletin)

Definition to be provided with the implementation of ECOS Phase 3 (P3).

Exam Plan

The specific classification that is to be administered with information such as the classification title, exam basis, ownership, geographical type, Career Credits, Vet Preference, and more.

Exam Basis

The type of exam that will be administered (e.g. promo, open).


A person legally holding a position in the State civil service. (Gov. Code 18526)


Term used to describe a passing score received on an examination. In order to apply for employment with the State of California, list eligibility must be established for the classification. List eligibility can be up to four years, but is typically one year in length. When list eligibility expires, an applicant must reapply to re-establish eligibility.

Employment Contact

Any communication, including, but not limited to, by way of letter, telephone, email, or other electronic means, used to contact candidates to determine their interest in a job vacancy. Most commonly seen as a letter sent to individuals on a Cert Lists to ascertain their interest in a specific position. Also referred to as a "Contact" or "Contact Letter". (2 CCR § 80.1)

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Each state agency is responsible for implementing non-discrimination policies, procedures, and practices, and ensuring they are integrated into every aspect of employment. Equal employment opportunity is afforded to all applicants and employees without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability (mental or physical), engaging in a protected activity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

Examination (Exam)

The examination bulletin includes the details for an individual classification or a group of related classes examination. The bulletin will include directions and details for the examination, how to apply, the admittance requirements, test type, and how the resultant eligibility list will be used.

Exempt Positions

These position are filled by election or appointment. They include members of boards and commissions, and appointees of the Governor. These officials are exempt from State civil service, and are often referred to as "exempt" officials.


Filing Type

Establishes how the exam will be administered if it is a Continuously (ongoing) or Limited (to specific dates).

Final Filing Date

The last day an application will be accepted.

Filing Format

The Application Method used to apply for examinations.


Job Examination Period (JEP)

The final part of the LEAP process. An individual appointed through LEAP serves a 2-4 month JEP (Number of months is determined by calculating 1/3 of the probation period for the classification) before transitioning to the Civil Service Classification.

Job Control

A number (example JC-####) that identifies each job posting. This number is located at the top of each job posting.

Job Postings

All the Detailed information of a specific Job advertised in CalCareer. The Job Postings from CalCareer replaced the old system known as “VPOS”.

Job Specifications

Details about minimum qualifications, education, etc.



Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. The Scope of the KSAs required of a individual in a classification, are listed on the Classification Specification.



The Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) allows qualified persons with disabilities to obtain jobs in the California civil service through taking on-the-job performance examinations instead of traditional written examinations.

Limited Term

A temporary job appointment to last a certain number of months.

List Score

An individual's final score, including all applicable extra points, on an eligible list

List Life

The length of time eligibility is in effect is listed as the “list life” on the examination bulletin. List life is typically 12 months and may be extended up to four years.


Minimum Qualifications

The Minimum Qualifications (MQs) are the Criteria an applicant must meet in the first Test component of an examination - the Application Review. The MQs are located on the Classification Specification and must be posted on the Examination Bulletin.


See "Minimum Qualifications"


Non-Testing Class

Anyone meeting the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification may apply for the position without taking an examination/assessment.


Open Exam

An Examination being administered on an Open Basis. No distinction is made between State employees and non-State employees. Veteran Preference is awarded to all Veterans on the eligible list meeting the Criteria to receive the Preference.

Open, Non-Promotional Exam

An Examination being administered on an Open, Non-Promotional Basis. Qualifying State employees receive Career Credits. Veteran Preference is awarded to all Veterans on the eligible list meeting the Criteria to receive the Preference.


Promotional Exam

An Examination being administered on a promotional basis. Applicants are required to meet the Entrance Requirement for the exam basis, typically working for the Department the exam is being administered, but there are some other means of meeting the criteria that are not as common.


The period during which an employee demonstrates his/her ability to perform the job duties. After a job offer is accepted, an employee must pass probation to become a permanent State employee. For every classification, the probationary period can be either six months or twelve months. During this period, the manager/supervisor assesses the skills or knowledge the employee needs to develop and the guidance needed for an employee to succeed. An employee must demonstrate acceptable progress and the capabilities to fully perform at the expected level to pass probation.



See “Cert Rank” or “Eligible List Rank”

Reasonable Accommodation (RA)

Applicants/Eligibles may make a request for Reasonable Accommodations for any Test or hiring process. Reasonable accommodation, as it relates to the ECOS processes, is any modification or adjustment made to a Test administered, or Job interview process that enables an individual with a disability or medical condition to compete in the process.


A Category of Eligible Lists. Individuals on these lists are entitled to have preferential consideration in hiring for a position meeting the criteria of their eligibility due to their loss of previous employment.

Readiness Evaluation

The first part of the LEAP examination process, the Readiness Evaluation assesses an applicant’s ability to meet minimum qualifications for the job classification in which they wish to test.


Eligibility to return to state service. Government Code Section 19140 provides reinstatement eligibility if you previously held a State civil service position as a permanent or probationary employee, and separated from your position by (1) resignation, (2) service retirement, (3) absence without leave (AWOL), (4) accepting another civil service or exempt appointment without a break in continuity of State service, or (5) termination from a limited-term, temporary, Career Executive Assignment, or exempt appointment to which you were subsequently appointed without a break in service.

Retired Annuitants

Retired annuitants are individuals who have retired from the State, but who have returned to work for the State on a temporary basis.

Rule 211

California Code of Regulations, Section 211, provides that a State employee dismissed by adverse action may participate in State civil service examinations only if he or she has obtained prior approval from the State Personnel Board's Executive Officer. Requests to participate in open examinations must be submitted in writing to the State Personnel Board. The decision to approve or deny a request to participate in an examination is based on the circumstances surrounding the dismissal as well as the type of position the dismissed employee is seeking. In addition, the State Personnel Board considers the employee's evidence of corrected behavior, and his/her ability to assume the responsibilities and duties associated with a return to State service. Dismissed State employees do not have reinstatement eligibility and may not apply for vacant positions. Dismissed State employees may seek access to employment within the State civil service system only under the provisions of Section 211 described previously.


Seniority Points

Calculated according to current criteria for creating seniority points. Awarded in a few examinations in the state, and also utilized in Reemployment eligibility as well.


Indicated in the Classification Reference Data. Identifies other classifications included in the classification Specification Document


Indicates an examination / eligibility list for all State Departments (All of State Service)

Specification (Spec)

See “Classification Specification”

Spot Location

A geographical location to which an examination / eligibility list is restricted. It is the purpose of a focused recruitment for a specific geographical location.

State Restriction of Appointment (SROA)

Various types of Eligibility lists containing the names of individuals identified as being in jeopardy of losing their current jobs.


Refers to the entire state of California Geographic area


Refers to a sub-division of a department. A Subdivision has been given it's own hiring authority from the Legislature or Governor's office.

Scoring and Ranking

Examination results are scored and applicants are placed in ranks according to their scores. Generally, only the first three ranks of individuals are accessible for hire. An individual’s ranking may change as hires are made and/or more individuals are added to the eligibility list.



The Tenure in which an appointment is made. i.e. Limited Term and Permanent

Test Component

A testing mechanism utilized in an Examination. Each Examination must have at least one test component, but may utilize multiple test components.

Time Base

Time Base is the expected hours to be worked and in what fashion for a position. i.e. Full-time, Part-Time, and Intermittent


Instructional guides provided to applicants on specific topics.

Temporary Authorization Appointment (TAU)

A Temporary Authorization Appointment (TAU) may be made to a position for which there is no employment list. No person may serve in one or more positions under temporary appointment longer than 9 months in 12 consecutive months. (Gov. Code 19058). Also known as "Temporary Appointment".


The appointment of an employee to another position in the same class but under another appointing power or the appointment of an employee to a position in a different class that has substantially the same level of duties, responsibility, and salary, as determined by board rule, under the same or another appointing authority. (Gov. Code 18525.3)

Training and Development (T&D)

Assignments allow the temporary loan or assignment of employees within or between units or programs for periods not to exceed two years, for the purposes of training. T and D assignments are used to broaden the work experience of an employee with the intent of increasing their skills and abilities and/or work experience.


Please see Training and Development (T and D).


Veteran's Preference (Vet’s Preference)

Veterans' Preference is awarded in all examinations administered on an open basis to all Veterans meeting the criteria. Effective 1/1/14, Veterans' Preference places all individuals placed on an Open Eligible list meeting the Veterans' Preference criteria in Rank 1 of the Eligible list.