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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter D. EXAMINATIONS


Sec.


602a.8.    Selection of examination method.
602a.9.    Development of examinations.
602a.10.    Administration of examinations.
602a.11.    Promotion examinations.
602a.12.    Prohibited conduct in examinations.
602a.13.    Scoring of examinations.
602a.14.    Examination analysis and alternatives.

§ 602a.8. Selection of examination method.

 The appointing authority shall select the method of examination to be used for the job classification or position(s) for which the employment list or promotion list is being established. Except as otherwise authorized in this subpart, or as authorized in writing by the Office of Administration, appointing authorities may not develop and administer their own examinations for appointment or promotion in the classified service.

§ 602a.9. Development of examinations.

 (a)  Tests and assessments in examinations. The Office of Administration may develop and administer written, oral and performance tests, as well as assessments of education, training and experience. The Office of Administration may further authorize medical tests, physical strength and agility tests, personality or interest inventories, biographical inventories, and other types of tests or assessments, singly or in combination, as the circumstances warrant. Additionally, for promotional examinations, the Office of Administration may authorize performance criteria, such as seniority and performance evaluations.

 (b)  Basis for examinations. Position descriptions shall be the primary basis and source of authority for the content and level of difficulty of examinations. Supplemental job information, obtained through job analysis and job specifications, may be used as a further basis for examination standards.

 (c)  Limitations on examinations. No examination will require an applicant to provide information concerning their age, race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political opinions or affiliations, union membership or affiliations, AIDS or HIV status, or disability; nor will the information be required in another manner by an official or employee of the Office of Administration or of an appointing authority in connection with the appointment or promotion to a position within the classified service, except as otherwise permitted by the act or this subpart.

 (d)  Collaboration in examination content. The Office of Administration may collaborate with representatives of appointing authorities, qualified testing organizations and other qualified individuals regarding the content of examinations. The interchange of information shall be made under circumstances and conditions designed to prevent premature disclosure of examination content to prospective applicants.

 (e)  Cooperative testing. The Office of Administration may authorize collaboration with another public testing or placement agency in a program of cooperative testing of applicants, provided competitive principles are observed.

 (f)  Weighting of tests and evaluations. If multiple tests or assessments constitute the entirety of an examination, the Office of Administration, after considering the relative value of the tests or assessments in measuring the relative capacity and fitness of applicants to perform the duties of the job classification or position(s) to which they applied, and after consultation with the appointing authority, will fix the relative weights of the tests or assessments. Modifications to the relative weights will be announced to all applicants.

§ 602a.10. Administration of examinations.

 (a)  Frequency of examinations. The Office of Administration will administer examinations to establish employment and promotion lists when necessary to meet or anticipate the employment needs of appointing authorities.

 (b)  Notice of examinations. The Office of Administration shall publish notices of examinations, which announce the method of examination and, if applicable, the date, time and location that the examination will be held. Notices of examinations will be accessible through the Office of Administration’s web site and shall be published for a minimum of 2 weeks. The Office of Administration may also publish notices of examinations using alternative methods of publication at its discretion.

 (c)  Collaboration in administering examinations. The Office of Administration may collaborate with representatives of appointing authorities, qualified testing organizations and other qualified individuals in administering examinations. The interchange of information shall be made under circumstances and conditions designed to prevent premature disclosure of examination content to prospective applicants.

 (d)  Notice of admittance to examination. An applicant will be notified of admittance or non-admittance to an examination.

 (e)  Refusal to examine. The Office of Administration is not required to examine an applicant who lacks the established requirements for admission to the examination, the minimum qualifications for employment in the relevant job classification or, where applicable, the selective criteria required for appointment or promotion to the specific position to which the applicant applied. The Office of Administration may refuse to examine an applicant if any of the following occur:

   (1)  The applicant has been convicted of, or has pled guilty to, a crime, including a plea of nolo contendere, or has otherwise engaged in conduct that renders the applicant unfit or unsuitable for the position sought.

   (2)  The applicant has been terminated from employment for incompetency or misconduct that renders the applicant unfit or unsuitable for the position sought.

   (3)  The applicant has made a false statement, or omitted a material fact, or engaged in, or attempted to engage in, deception or fraud in application, examination, securing eligibility, or seeking appointment or promotion.

   (4)  The applicant lacks professionalism, honesty, trustworthiness or dependability.

   (5)  The applicant does not meet qualifications required by Federal or State law or regulation.

   (6)  The applicant has voluntarily waived their right to apply for, or accept, employment in the classified service under a settlement agreement.

 (f)  Failure to appear for in-person examination. An applicant who fails to appear for an in-person examination due to an act or omission of the Office of Administration or another appropriate reason, as determined by the Office of Administration, shall be given a delayed in-person examination in place of the one for which the applicant failed to appear. If an applicant’s failure to appear for an in-person examination was not caused by an act or omission of the Office of Administration or another appropriate reason, as determined by the Office of Administration, the applicant shall be prohibited from taking any in-person examinations for a period of 6 months from the scheduled date of the in-person examination. Repeated failures to appear for an in-person examination on the part of the applicant may result in the applicant being prohibited from taking any in-person examinations for a period of time determined by the Office of Administration, but not to exceed 2 years.

 (g)  Cancellation of examination. Applicants taking an examination will be given equal opportunity to demonstrate relative merit and fitness. The Office of Administration may cancel, postpone or reschedule an examination, or parts of them if severable, whenever the conditions under which an examination is held have materially impaired its competitive nature or worth in assessing qualifications. The Office of Administration may also cancel, postpone or reschedule an examination whenever it finds holding the examination impracticable or unnecessary. The reasons for canceling, postponing or rescheduling an examination shall be made part of the examination record. If parts of a multipart examination are canceled, the Office of Administration shall reassign the weights, in an equitable manner, to the remaining part or parts.

 (h)  Retaking examination. The Office of Administration may designate in a notice of examination the time frame within which an applicant may retake an examination. Applicants who attempt to retake an examination outside of the designated time frame may have their examination rejected and may be prohibited from taking further examinations for a period of time to be determined by the Office of Administration.

§ 602a.11. Promotion examinations.

 (a)  Except as indicated in this section, a promotion examination will be open to probationary and regular employees who occupy a position with a lower maximum salary than the position relevant to the examination, possess the minimum qualifications for employment in the relevant job classification and, where applicable, possess the selective criteria required for promotion to the relevant position. As approved by the Office of Administration, a promotion examination may be limited to employees occupying positions in specified jobs classifications.

 (b)  Upon the request of an appointing authority, the Office of Administration may, in its discretion, limit entrance to a promotion examination to regular employees who occupy a position with a lower maximum salary than the position relevant to the examination, possess the minimum qualifications for employment in the relevant job classification and, where applicable, possess the selective criteria required for promotion to the relevant position.

 (c)  The Office of Administration may, after consultation with the appropriate appointing authorities, establish the length of service required of an employee in the qualifying job classification or classifications for eligibility to participate in a promotion examination.

§ 602a.12. Prohibited conduct in examinations.

 (a)  Cheating or seeking undue advantage. An individual may not impersonate an applicant or have another individual impersonate an applicant in connection with an examination; or use or attempt to use unauthorized aids or assistance, including copying or attempting to copy from or helping or attempting to help another individual in any part of an examination; or otherwise seek to attain undue advantage for themself or others in connection with the examination.

 (b)  Improper use of examination materials. An individual may not copy, record or transcribe an examination question or answer; or remove from the examination room a question sheet, answer sheet or booklet, scrap papers, notes or other papers, or any materials related to the content of the examination. An individual will be notified of these requirements prior to taking an examination, and no examiner, proctor, monitor, or other person charged with the supervision of an individual or group of individuals taking an examination will have authority to waive it.

 (c)  Violations. The Office of Administration may disqualify from examination or otherwise refuse to certify an applicant who violates this section.

§ 602a.13. Scoring of examinations.

 (a)  Qualifying raw scores. The Office of Administration shall set qualifying raw scores for each examination. When there is a multipart examination, the Office of Administration may require applicants to attain a qualifying raw score on each part of the examination. In determining qualifying raw scores, the Office of Administration may consider both the number and quality of prospective eligibles needed to serve the best interests of the classified service, as well as the validity and reliability of the examination.

 (b)  Failure of part of examination. An applicant who fails to earn a qualifying raw score on any part of an examination may be disqualified from participating in any other parts of the examination, and if so disqualified, shall be deemed to have failed the entire examination.

 (c)  Use of examination scores. Final examination scores may be used to rank applicants or to categorize or group similarly qualified applicants.

   (1)  Ranking of applicants. When examination scores are used to rank applicants, the final earned score of each applicant who attained a qualifying raw score on the examination shall be calculated as follows:

     (i)   Examination scores shall be calculated in whole numbers.

     (ii)   The minimum qualifying raw score shall be assigned an examination score of 60.

     (iii)   The estimated highest qualifying raw score, the score which the best qualified individual would be reasonably expected to attain, shall be assigned an examination score of 100.

     (iv)   The intermediate qualifying raw scores shall be assigned examination scores between 60 and 100 based on their relationship to the qualifying raw score, the estimated highest qualifying raw score, and the reliability and accuracy of the examination procedures. Scores above the estimated highest qualifying raw score shall exceed an examination score of 100 and shall be assigned an examination score based on their relationship to the qualifying raw score and the estimated highest qualifying raw score.

     (v)   Ties in examination scores may not be broken.

   (2)  Categorization or grouping of applicants. When test scores are used to categorize or group similarly qualified applicants, all applicants in a category shall be assigned the same final examination score.

 (d)  Veterans preference. An applicant’s final examination score will be calculated prior to the application of veterans’ preference in accordance with the act, 51 Pa.C.S. Chapter 71 (relating to veterans’ preference), and this subpart.

 (e)  Correction of errors in scoring. The Office of Administration, upon finding an error in the calculation of an applicant’s examination score shall correct the error and report the error to the affected applicant, regardless of whether the applicant requested a reconsideration under subsection (f).

 (f)  Reconsideration. An applicant may request the Office of Administration reconsider the applicant’s examination score by submitting a written request for reconsideration to the Office of Administration within 5 business days of the date that the notice of examination score was sent to the applicant by the Office of Administration. The written request for reconsideration shall state the grounds for the request, specifically explaining why the applicant’s examination score is incorrect based on the examination answers provided by the applicant. The Office of Administration will re-review the applicant’s examination and provide the applicant with a further explanation or revised result.

   (1)  Appointing authorities may continue the hiring process while an applicant’s request for reconsideration is pending review by the Office of Administration.

   (2)  If the Office of Administration determines that, due to an administrative error, an applicant received an incorrect examination score, the Office of Administration will revise the applicant’s examination score and instruct the appointing authority to consider the applicant for appointment or promotion to the vacancy in accordance with the act and this subpart.

 (g)  Refusal to score examination. The Office of Administration is not required to score the examination of an applicant who lacks the established requirements for admission to the examination, the minimum qualifications for employment in the relevant job classification or, where applicable, the selective criteria required for appointment or promotion to the specific position to which the applicant applied. The Office of Administration may refuse to score the examination of an applicant if any of the following occur:

   (1)  The applicant has been convicted of, or has pled guilty to, a crime, including a plea of nolo contendere, or has otherwise engaged in conduct that renders the applicant unfit or unsuitable for the position sought.

   (2)  The applicant has been terminated from employment for incompetency or misconduct that renders the applicant unfit or unsuitable for the position sought.

   (3)  The applicant has made a false statement, or omitted a material fact, or engaged in, or attempted to engage in, deception or fraud in application, examination, securing eligibility, or seeking appointment or promotion.

   (4)  The applicant lacks professionalism, honesty, trustworthiness and dependability.

   (5)  The applicant does not meet qualifications required by Federal or State law or regulation.

   (6)  The applicant has voluntarily waived their right to apply for, or accept, employment in the classified service under a settlement agreement.

§ 602a.14. Examination analysis and alternatives.

 (a)  Analysis. The Office of Administration will initiate analysis of examinations as necessary to ensure that examinations do not discriminate on the basis of nonmerit factors.

 (b)  Invalidation and substitution. The Office of Administration, after investigation, may invalidate all or part of the examination results and, in its discretion, substitute an alternative method of examination. The Office of Administration will notify applicants of the action and the reasons, therefore.



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