3002 - Minimum Qualifications (MQs) Calculating Experience & Verification of MQs Prior to Appointment


Examination and Hiring

Audience List

  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Human Resources Chiefs


This policy provides:

  • Definition of appropriate experience to meet MQs
  • Guidance for calculating amount of work experience (time) to satisfy Minimum Qualifications
  • Guidance to determine which jobs in a candidate’s work experience to count toward meeting MQs
  • Information regarding a candidate’s ability to examine for a position regardless of age
  • Direction that all candidates, with two exceptions, must demonstrate meeting the MQs of the classification before appointment
  • Direction for following up with candidates who are determined to not meet the MQs of the classification


During the examination process and before appointment, information submitted in the application process from all candidates, except those who are on reemployment lists or who have reinstatement rights, must be evaluated for verification of meeting the MQs of the classification.


In accordance with SPB Rule § 171, consideration shall be given to work experience gained in a part-time or full-time job, regardless of whether the job was a paid or a volunteer position or was within, or outside of, state service.

In accordance with SPB Rule § 171.1, when determining if a candidate’s work experience satisfies the minimum amount of work experience (or time) that may be required to satisfy the MQs for work experience in the classification specifications, the following shall apply:

  • The time required shall have been in a full-time or its part-time equivalent.
  • To determine amount of work experience, one must convert part-time experience (time) to its’ full time work experience equivalent. 173.33 hours of actual work time equals one month.  To calculate the years and months worked, an appointing power should perform two separate calculations, one that factors 52 weeks to equal one year and another that factors 4.35 to equal the number of weeks in one month. Use the candidate’s total amount of qualifying work experience time for performing both of the MQ experience calculations. Accept, and give credit for, whichever calculation results in a greater amount of time.

Please see the application section for an example of calculating work experience time using both factors.

When the applicant works more than one job concurrently, the hours worked in each job shall be added together, if the experience gained in the jobs relates to the same or substantially the same requirements listed in the classification specifications.

To receive work experience credit, the job responsibilities or duties must be performed on a routine basis, either daily, weekly, monthly or at certain times of the year.  Work experience gained as an occasional or incidental aspect of the job is not acceptable work experience.  Work experience gained in an out-of-class assignment shall be in accordance with SPB Rule § 212.

Overtime hours worked in a job where the employee is entitled to pay for the additional hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act shall be credited as additional time on an hour for hour basis.

Credit shall be received for qualifying experience in a full-time or part-time job held while enrolled in and attending school, except where the experience is required as part of the educational curriculum and except where the MQs require those courses of study and/or are related to the academic degree.

If an applicant’s position in state service has been reclassified, credit for time in the new class may be given from the date the reclassification was officially approved, even though the actual appointment did not occur until a later date.

In accordance with SPB Rule § 171.2, except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, any person who establishes that he or she satisfies the MQs for any state position is eligible, regardless of age, to take any civil service examination given for that position.

Per SPB Rule § 249.4, establishment of meeting the MQs of a class is not required for candidates who are on reemployment lists or who have mandatory reinstatement rights. For all other candidates, appointing powers (departments that intend to make hires to fill vacancies) must verify that candidates meet the MQs of the classification before being appointed.

If a candidate is found not to satisfy the MQs, the appointing power shall provide written notice to the candidate specifying which MQs are not satisfied and the reason(s) why and provide an opportunity for the candidate to establish that he or she satisfies the MQs of the classification.  The candidate shall have 10 working days to answer.

When a candidate fails to answer within the specified timeframe, the candidate may be considered to have abandoned the selection process.  If such a determination is made and the candidate’s eligibility was based upon list eligibility, his or her name shall be removed from the employment list (eligibility shall be inactivated).  The appointing power shall promptly inform the candidate in writing that his or her name has been removed from the eligibility list.  The notification shall also inform the candidate of his or her appeal rights. If the appointing power receives additional qualifying information from the candidate after the specified timeframe, the appointing power may consider the qualifying information and restore the candidate’s eligibility (activate candidate’s list eligibility). However, the appointing power may choose not to consider the candidate for the position for which he/she did not timely respond. Doing this will allow the candidate to continue to compete for the classification, and will allow the appointing power to continue with the hiring process without losing more time or causing unnecessary appeals.

If the candidate responds timely, but fails to establish that he or she satisfies the MQs, the candidate shall not be allowed to continue in the selection process and, if the candidate’s eligibility was based upon list eligibility, his or her name shall be removed from the employment list by placing a permanent “withhold” on the eligibility in Examination and Certification Online System (ECOS).  The appointing power shall promptly inform the candidate in writing of the determination and any actions taken by the appointing power related to the determination, including removing the candidate’s name from the employment list (placement of permanent “withhold”).  The notification shall also inform the candidate of his or her appeal rights.


You may use the MQ calculator to calculate amount of work experience. The following example is demonstrated in the MQ calculator.

Examples of Factoring Work Experience Time:

John has three years of qualifying, part-time work experience averaging 10 hours per week. Below are the two calculations that were performed to determine the amount of qualifying work experience John has:

52 Weeks Calculation:

  • The 52-weeks yearly calculation would be: 3 years x 52 weeks x 10 hours = 1560
  • Divide 1560 by 173.33 = 9.00 months of experience

4.35 Weeks Calculation:

  • The 4.35-weeks calculation would be (3 years) 36 months x 10 hours x 4.35 weeks = 1566/173.33 = 9.03 months of experience. 
  • Because the 4.35-weeks per month calculation results in greater time worked for the candidate, the amount of time produced by factoring work experience time by 4.35 weeks per month calculation, must be used.




Web Pages

Authorized By

Chris Dainard
Chief, Selection Division

Contact Person

Selection Division
Phone: 916-909-3757
Email: SDPolicy@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

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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