1107 - Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP)



Audience List

  • Department Directors
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Officers
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • LEAP Coordinators
  • Personnel Officers


This policy:

  • Details the Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) including changes to the law and regulations affecting state departments.
  • Specifies pertinent timelines related to program administration and requirements for compliance.

  • Supersedes the Guidelines for Implementing the Statutes and Regulations Governing the Limited Examination and Appointment Program dated October 2005 (LEAP Manual).


It is the policy of the State of California to ensure efforts are made towards the recruitment, hire and retention of persons with disabilities. The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) is responsible for the administration of LEAP.


LEAP is a voluntary, competitive and alternative method of hiring persons with disabilities for state employment. The process begins with an initial assessment of minimum qualifications and a secondary on-the-job evaluation. During the evaluation period, competitors are assessed on job specific related criteria that requires performance of the essential functions of the job and qualifies for permanent appointment to state civil service.

Departments shall make LEAP appointments to vacant positions consistent with merit selection rules. Any job classification may be designated as a LEAP-certified classification, and shall have the same qualifications as the parallel (non-LEAP) classification.

Departments may designate coordinators to facilitate implementation of the LEAP examination and appointment process. Coordinators may act as liaisons for the appointing authority, LEAP candidates/incumbents, and CalHR during the examination appointment.


Job Examination Period

Appointment of LEAP Candidate

When departments hire a candidate through the LEAP process, a Job Examination Period (JEP) will be utilized to allow demonstration of the candidate’s ability to perform the essential functions of the position.

  1. The appointment type during the JEP shall be limited-term, not to exceed one year in duration except in the case of permissible absences.

    1. Prior to commencement of the JEP, the candidate shall be provided with the position duty statement and the evaluation standards that will be applied.

  2. The JEP shall be the length of the probationary period for the parallel classification.

    1. For LEAP appointments in positions that are a part-time or intermittent time base, the length of the JEP shall be based on the following:

      1. If the probationary period for the parallel classification is 6 months, the JEP shall be 840 hours.

      2. If the probationary period for the parallel classification is 1 year, the JEP shall be 1680 hours.

      3. If the position has an intermittent time base and the classification has a one-year probation period, departments may allow the candidate to work in excess of the 1500-hour working limitation (during the JEP) within 12 consecutive months where there is availability of work and funds.

      4. The appointing power may only extend or shorten the JEP when approved by CalHR under the following: 

        1. Extending the duration of the JEP shall only be considered based on permissible absences.

        2. Shortening the duration of the JEP is allowed when the candidate has demonstrated the ability to perform all duties. Reasons for shortening the JEP must be documented. In no event may a LEAP candidate serve less than three quarters of the JEP.

      5. Hours worked toward completion of the JEP must be physically worked. Time off shall not be counted as time worked.

Salary and Benefits

  1. LEAP candidates receive the same salary, health, dental, vision and leave benefits as other state employees in limited term positions.

  2. Those hired through the LEAP process receive the same general salary adjustments as those hired through non-LEAP processes.

  3. Time spent in the JEP counts as time served in the classification.

  4. Hiring Above the Minimum authorizations for extraordinary qualifications do not apply to LEAP appointments.

Bargaining Unit Designation

All candidates hired via the LEAP process shall be placed in the appropriate bargaining unit of the civil service classification and receive the same employment rights and privileges pursuant to the appropriate memorandum of understanding.


The appointing power shall assess job performance and provide written evaluations to LEAP candidates at least once every four weeks, regardless of time base.

Evaluations may be completed using CalHR Form 273. Departments are no longer required to submit a request to CalHR for approval to transition the employee to the non-LEAP appointment upon completion of the JEP. 


Only authorized persons shall have access to information regarding a candidate’s participation in LEAP. Information regarding a LEAP candidate’s eligibility or participation in the hiring process shall not be available to any member of an oral interview panel, performance-testing panel, or the appointing power or appointing power’s representative prior to appointment to civil service. Duty statements, electronic communications and any other written or verbal communications shared with unauthorized staff, or documents included in Official Personnel Files, shall not include references to LEAP candidates or make a distinction to identify such individuals.

Reasonable Accommodations

LEAP candidates may request and receive reasonable accommodation during the JEP in accordance with applicable laws and the department’s reasonable accommodation policy. Departments may request an extension of the JEP only if reasonable accommodation arrangements prevent the employee from working enough time to allow for a fair evaluation of the employee.

Transition upon Completion of JEP

Upon successful completion of the JEP, the candidate shall qualify for appointment to the civil service classification. Civil service status shall then accumulate. Candidates transitioned to a permanent civil service appointment after the JEP are not required to serve a probation period.

Termination of Job Examination Period 

If the LEAP candidate fails to satisfy the JEP’s job specific related criteria, the candidate’s examination appointment shall be terminated. The appointing power must provide written notice of the proposed action at least five working days prior to the effective date of the termination. The notice shall specify the reasons for termination, the right to respond to the appointing power, and the right to appeal the action to the State Personnel Board (Board). The notice shall include any applicable Board regulations related to appeals.

If the appointing power fails to terminate the appointment of a LEAP candidate within 30 days after the end of the JEP, it shall be presumed that the candidate satisfied the JEP job specific related criteria.


The following may be appealed to the State Personnel Board:

  • Refusal by the Department of Rehabilitation to certify eligibility to participate in LEAP

  • Disqualification from the LEAP Readiness Evaluation

  • Disqualification after interviewing with an interview panel

  • Denial of reasonable accommodation during the JEP

  • Termination of the examination appointment during the JEP




  • Form 273: Job Evaluation Period Evaluation

Web Pages

Authorized By

Chief, Selection Division
California Department of Human Resources, (CalHR), Selection Division

Contact Person

Civil Rights LEAP
LEAP , Office of Civil Rights
Phone: 916-324-0970
Email: LEAP@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Controlled Substance Abuse Testing and Treatment Program

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment