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State Personnel Management Manual
Advisory Memorandum # 06-02

2010 Probation
July, 2006

TO: Department and Agency Personnel, Human Resource, and Affirmative Action Offices

FROM: Terry Jordan, Director of Staffing Services
Stella Chen Harding, Director of NYS Civil Service Commission Operations

SUBJECT: Revision to Advisory Memorandum #86-02 “Probation is the last, and perhaps most critical, step…”

This memorandum updates Advisory Memorandum #86-02 in Section 2010 of the State Personnel Management Manual. That Advisory Memorandum should be removed and replaced with this document. The “white pages” of SPMM section 2010 – distributed under Transmittal Memorandum 49, August 1999 – are under revision. The changes documented in this Advisory Memorandum will appear in the upcoming revision. Pending publication of the revision, please annotate SPMM 2010.220 to reflect this amended policy.

Probation is the last and perhaps most critical step in the selection process. It is the intent of the Civil Service Commission that permanent appointments, including promotions and transfers, require satisfactory completion of a probationary term which shall include a minimum and a maximum period of probation. As set forth in Rule 4.5, a probationer may be terminated if his or her conduct or performance is unsatisfactory. When effecting a probationary termination, agencies should adhere to all relevant Rule 4.5 procedural standards and requirements.

Appointing authorities are vested with discretion regarding whether to retain or terminate a probationer as specified in Rule 4.5. The Civil Service Commission will not review the determinations of appointing authorities in such matters, whether on the merits or in those instances alleging procedural defects in an agency’s administration of Rule 4.5. Notwithstanding, the Department of Civil Service will continue to monitor agency compliance with Rule 4.5 and may elect to investigate and/or correct specific instances where substantiated, material violations of Rule 4.5 have occurred.

Agencies should not terminate probationers who voluntarily leave their positions before the end of their probationary terms solely to obtain budget waivers to fill behind the departed employees. This constitutes a violation of the intent and purposes of the probationary period.

Questions concerning probationary administration and the provisions of Rule 4.5 should be directed to your Staffing Services Representative.