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City of Rochester

Provisional Appointments FAQ

What is a provisional appointment?
An appointing authority may make a provisional appointment to a vacant, competitive, classified position if there is not a mandatory civil service list or other appropriate Civil Service list available to fill that vacancy on a permanent basis. A qualified applicant may be provisionally appointed and serve in the position until a Civil Service examination is administered and an established eligible list is used to make a permanent appointment in accordance with the Civil Service Rule of Three. 

What is the Civil Service Rule of Three?
Competitive job vacancies are filled from eligible lists according to the "Rule of Three," which requires the selection from among the three highest ranking eligibles willing to accept appointment.

What can I do to improve my chances of passing a Civil Service exam?
The City of Rochester's exams are related to the requirements of specific jobs; they are not general tests of intelligence or ability. The first way to prepare for the exam is to get an exam announcement for the title you are applying for, and read it carefully. The "Scope" of the exam provides: the form of the exam (written, oral, evaluation of training and experience, performance); the weight given to each part; and the subjects to be tested. Once you know the subject areas of the exam, you may use review books or textbooks in the areas to be tested; these can be obtained at the library. For example, if Writing Skills is an area you will be tested on, then a grammar review book may be appropriate. Another possibility is to look at the Civil Service review books (e.g., CSEA or Arco series) for sample questions and answers. Even if there isn't a review book for exactly the test you're taking, there may be others which include the same or similar topics. Many books contain general test-taking strategies, and may provide useful information to help in your preparation.

What Civil Service rights do I have as a provisional?
There are no permanent civil service rights attached to a provisional appointment. If you are currently a City employee who has permanent Civil Service status in another title, and accept a provisional appointment in a department other than your own, you will have no rights back to your previous position.

What is a permanent Civil Service appointment?
Permanent status is granted when an employee successfully completes a probationary period after appointment from a Civil Service eligible list. Probationary periods can range from 8 to 52 weeks.

What is an eligible list?
Every candidate who passes a Civil Service exam is placed on a list which contains the names of candidates eligible to be hired for positions in that job title. Candidates are listed in the order of their rank on the list, which is determined by their "final score." Final scores reflect scores on the exam, plus any points added for veteran's credits (and seniority points on promotional exams.)

What happens if I take the Civil Service test for the title I hold provisionally and either do not pass, or am not reachable on the eligible list?
Provisional appointments must cease within 60 days of the establishment of the eligible list for your title. If you do not have competitive rights back to your previous position, or do not find another position in the City in that time period, your employment will be terminated.

What happens if I take the Civil Service test for the title I hold provisionally, pass and am reachable on the eligible list?
Your department will either appoint you from the list or select another person who is reachable on the eligible list. If you are not appointed, you will need to vacate the position which you hold provisionally, within 60 days of the establishment of the eligible list for your title. If you do not have competitive rights back to your previous position or do not find another position in the City in that time period, your employment will be terminated.

What happens if I take the Civil Service test for the provisional title, am appointed and do not successfully complete the probationary period?
If you do not have prior permanent Civil Service status, you have no Civil Service rights. If you are a City employee who has prior permanent Civil Service status and you were appointed from a promotional list within your department, you may have rights back to your previous position.

 

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