1210 - Special Consultant



Audience List

  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Staff
  • Personnel Transactions Supervisors


This policy provides:

  • The appropriate use of the Special Consultant classification.

  • The time limitations surrounding the use of the Special Consultant classification.

  • The salary guidelines for the Special Consultant classification.

  • The required documentation for appointments to the Special Consultant classification.


The Special Consultant is a non-testing classification used to make temporary appointments to meet short-term needs for highly specialized services that cannot be accommodated within the civil service classification structure. The intent of the State Constitution and state civil service laws and regulations is that employment of individuals in state civil service shall be through the use of existing classifications and the selection process. In the event that the classification plan and existing eligible lists cannot meet the needs of the department, the Special Consultant classification may be utilized as an exception to the use of civil service classifications and selection plans to meet the highly specialized needs. In some cases, it may be possible for departments to obtain specialized services from other state agencies under inter-agency agreements rather than through use of the Special Consultant classification.


A department may make a temporary appointment to the Special Consultant classification when all of the following criteria are met:

  • The work or project is of an expert, unique, or technical nature.

  • The work is short-term but may involve multiple phases and goals.

  • The anticipated duration of the work shall not exceed nine months.

  • Specialized skills, knowledge, and experience are needed for the work or project which are not available within existing civil service classifications.

  • The candidates background matches the specialized requirements used to justify and describe the Special Consultant position.

  • The salary is within the established guidelines below.

In accordance with Labor Code section 432.3, prior salary, current salary, or competing job offer salary may not be used to set a salary rate. This means departments and/or hiring managers may not inquire, directly or indirectly, about a candidate’s salary history information, including compensation and benefits.

While there is no salary range for Special Consultant, the established maximum salary guidelines are as follows:

Established maximum guidelines for Special Consultant
Type of Special Consultant:Rate should not exceed the maximum rate for the class of:

Certified Medical Specialist

Physician and Surgeon, Range D (7551)

Licensed Physician

Physician and Surgeon, Range D (7551)


Deputy Attorney General IV (5705)


Research Specialist IV – Various Studies-, Range A (7859)

Note: Approval must be obtained from CalHR for salaries that exceed the maximums cited above.

Note: Approval must be obtained from the Exempt Unit in situations where departments have a need to use the Special Consultant classification pending an exempt appointment. Requests must be submitted to the EPR inbox at EPR@calhr.ca.gov.


The Special Consultant classification shall not be used for long-term or ongoing work. Special Consultant appointments shall not exceed nine months, which equates to 189 working days in any 12-month period. When counting 189 days, every day worked, including partial days worked, paid absences, and paid holidays are counted. The nine-month limit is governed by the State Constitution and California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 265.1. There is no legal basis for exceptions to this limit.

Note: Appointments made to the Special Consultant classification prior to July 1, 2017, are subject to the previous policy of 194 days being equal to nine months.

The time base of a Special Consultant will depend on the department’s needs, either full-time or intermittent. The 9-month period may be computed on a calendar or actual time worked basis. Intermittent appointments to the Special Consultant classification may proceed on an actual time-worked basis until 189 days have been reached within a calendar period of 18 months or less.

Special Consultant hiring packages shall include the following documents and information:

  • Classification and/or Certification Action Request (Std. 625)

  • Justification including the following information:

    • Description of the need for a Special Consultant.

    • Description of the duties the Special Consultant will perform.

    • Description of how and why the work is important or mission critical.

    • Description of the needed expertise to meet the department’s need.

    • Indicate why the needed expertise cannot be obtained from permanent staff or through an interagency agreement and what factors were considered.

    • Description of the candidate’s background and how it supports the required skills and expertise needed for the Special Consultant position.

    • Description of the recruitment efforts and outcome made during the selection process.

    • Salary rate and duration of the appointment.

  • Candidate’s completed application (Std. 678)

  • Duty Statement

  • Organization Chart (current & proposed)

Note: Documentation shall be maintained pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 26.




  • PML 2007-026: PML 2007-026 - 9/25/2007 - Delegation of Personnel Management Functions Update

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division

Contact Person

Personnel Management Division
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Management Division
Phone: 916-909-3709
Fax: 916-327-1886
Email: pmd@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

Please note that some PDF Forms may not be opened directly in your browser. These PDF forms may be downloaded and saved to your computer to be opened with Adobe Reader.

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 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan