Frequently Asked Questions - Limited Examination and Appointment Program

What is LEAP?

The California Department of Human Resources' Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) is an alternate examination and appointment process designed to facilitate the recruitment and hiring of persons with disabilities into State of California civil service employment. Individuals who qualify for LEAP are able to apply for any LEAP specified examination for which minimum qualifications are met.

How do I Qualify for LEAP? (LEAP Certification)

To be eligible for LEAP, the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) must certify that individuals meet the requirements of a person with a disability. DOR consumers may contact their counselor to determine eligibility.

DOR contact information:

How do I Apply for Testing?

Once the LEAP certificate has been obtained, one may apply for LEAP examinations during open testing periods. In addition, anyone may continue to apply for traditional, non-LEAP, State examinations.

LEAP examination announcements are available online at: Examination announcements are also available at the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and at Employment Development Department’s (EDD) One Stop Centers located throughout the state.

What is the LEAP Selection Process?

LEAP examinations are given online via the Internet, or by mail. Be sure to check each bulletin to determine the format in which the LEAP examination is given.

Online Process

If the examination is given online, access the CalHR Jobs website at and follow the steps below:

  • Enter LEAP in the Job Title field box
  • Click on Search
  • Click the "Bulletins" link
  • Select the exam by clicking on the correct Exam ID link
  • Click on the "Click Here" for a copy of the official exam bulletin link
  • After reviewing the bulletin, scroll to the bottom of the bulletin and click on the Exam link to access the exam
  • Complete the Leap Certification page to proceed with the exam process
  • Once you are in the exam, answer the Minimum Qualifications’ (MQs) questions
  • Once the MQ’s are met, click the 'Continue' button to begin answering exam questions
  • After each section is completed, click the 'Continue' button
  • At the 'Consent Agreement' screen, answers may be reviewed, consent given and score requested
  • Print the 'Results' screen and keep it for reference

Mail-in Process

If the examination is given by mail, follow those instructions.

To request a reasonable accommodation for testing, mark the appropriate box on question 2 of the application and the testing department will contact you to make specific arrangements.

If applications are rejected, applicants are notified and given a reason for the rejection. An applicant may appeal the rejection of their application, regardless of the type of examination that was taken. A formal written appeal must be submitted to the SPB Appeals Division within 30 days of receipt of the notice of rejection.

LEAP Testing

The LEAP examination consists of two parts: 1) a Readiness Evaluation, and 2) a Job Examination Period.

Part I - Readiness Evaluation: Candidates’ education, experience, and personal qualifications are evaluated through a competitive examination process to determine whether the minimum qualifications are met for LEAP-designated classifications.

Part II - Job Examination Period (JEP): Once hired, the candidate serves a temporary, on-the-job performance evaluation known as the Job Examination Period (JEP). A written review will be given at least twice during the evaluation period. If performance standards are met, the candidate has completed the entire LEAP examination.

After successfully passing the examination, the candidate will then be appointed to civil service status. The appointment could be permanent or limited term, depending on the position. LEAP candidates hired on or after July 1, 2016 do not serve a probationary period.

Job Search

If successful in the Readiness Evaluation part of the examination, the candidate’s name will be placed on a LEAP referral list and made available to State departments. Any such person may apply to vacant positions of the classification/job titles and be appointed/hired from a referral list to participate in Part 2 of the LEAP examination. Each LEAP examination may be taken no more than once in an eighteen-month period.

Names of successful candidates will remain on the list for 24 months, and those individuals can be interviewed for any vacant jobs in that classification. Although some departments send contact letters to obtain applications for their vacancies, candidates are encouraged to apply directly for job vacancies. To check for job vacancies, go to ( and enter the exam name in the "Job Title" field box. Click on Search, then click the vacancy link.

If list eligibility is requested, follow the instructions. Do not send a copy of the LEAP certificate when applying for employment unless the instructions say otherwise.

If invited for a hiring interview, there will be an opportunity to convince a department that you are the best person for that job. At times, departments may be interviewing a large number of people. If you are not hired, your name will remain on the eligible list, and you can be interviewed for other job openings. If you choose not to accept a job offer from a department, there is no penalty for doing so. If hired, you will begin the second part of the LEAP Examination, the Job Examination Period.

Reasonable Accommodation

A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment to enable individuals with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. This may include special equipment, a modified workspace, or support services such as a reader or interpreter. Reasonable Accommodations may be requested from the employing department.

Appeal Rights

While the LEAP process is somewhat different from the traditional examination process, rights are protected in the same way. The following actions may be appealed to the State Personnel Board: denial of LEAP Certification, rejection of the application, results of the Readiness Evaluation, and termination from the Job Examination Period.

Pay and Benefits

LEAP candidates receive the same salary as employees in the parallel civil service classification. Initial appointment is on a temporary basis until successful completion of the Job Examination Period. The Job Examination Period will count toward seniority, and sick leave and vacation benefits will begin to accrue.

LEAP Contact Information

For more information regarding the LEAP Program, please visit our website at