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State Personnel Management Manual

Policy Bulletin #97-01

 2200 Separations and Leaves
June 20, 1997

Title Comparability Determinations for Reemployment Lists

The following is a new statement and explanation of policy on title comparability and certification for the purposes of reemployment.


This policy unifies the standard for comparisons made to determine title comparability for primary redeployment lists, reemployment rosters, placement rosters and transfer lists. It also restates the policy on preferred list title comparability. This bulletin replaces all extant policy statements on comparability determinations established pursuant to Civil Service Law §§78, 79, 81, 81-a, and 81-b.

General Policy on Comparisons of Titles, Selection Plans, Qualifications, Duties and Responsibilities

In order to meet the requirements and intent of the Civil Service Law, Rule and Regulations, and to certify that individuals are eligible for appointments to positions in the classified service, the Department of Civil Service must make comparisons among titles and, for the competitive class, must also make comparisons among selection plans.

Factors Analyzed When Making ALL Comparability Decisions

Regardless of the type of list, the following factors are considered:

  • the tasks and activities typically performed by incumbents in the target titles
  • the essential knowledges, skills and abilities required for successful performance of the duties and responsibilities for the target titles
  • the selection plans which have been or may be used to fill the target titles, including:
    • minimum qualifications for admission to examinations
    • types of tests, their contents and difficulty
    • the on-the-job training, or orientation, or formal training required for completion of the probationary period
  • titles found comparable for transfer pursuant to §70.1

  • Comparability Policy for Reemployment Lists

  1. The standard for title comparability will be the same for reemployment roster (§81-a), ARTL transfer (§78), redeployment list (§79) and placement roster (§81-b) determinations except as noted below.
    Comparable titles shall be those in which the eligibles are likely to be able to successfully perform the required duties and responsibilities within a reasonable period of time after a standard period of orientation and training, as determined by analysis of the factors listed above. In order to mitigate the impact of position abolitions or movement, these determinations shall be as broad as possible. Moreover, since a probationary period is required for almost all of these appointments, determinations should be made with a presumption in favor of inclusion when analysis discloses a similarity in the factors listed above. In this regard, similarity need not be found for every factor as long as the analysis suggests overall comparability exists. Competitive class titles may be certified to non-competitive and labor class titles, but not the reverse
  2. In determining comparable titles for preferred list certification, only those titles in the same jurisdictional class in which all employees in the layoff title are likely to be able to fully perform, with limited orientation, the essential duties and responsibilities of the positions in the titles being filled shall be declared comparable. The necessary degree of similarity in the factors for comparison for redeployment list, reemployment roster, placement roster and ARTL transfer list certification shall be less than the degree of similarity required for preferred list comparability.

  3. General Description of the Titles Determined to be Comparable for the Various Types of Reemployment Lists

Preferred lists (§81) -- must include same title, and for the competitive class, direct line promotion titles (if any). Except in rare cases where there is a very high degree of similarity between two titles, the "other" titles mentioned in the law should be comparable on a reemployment roster basis.

Redeployment lists (§79) -- must include same title and comparable titles at the same or a similar level. Because of provisions for salary protection, the intent is to redeploy affected employees to positions in their title or to titles at similar grade levels. Thus, redeployment determinations will generally be made to titles within one organizational level (or within five salary grades, if one organizational level is less than five salary grades) below that of the impacted title. Where that would result in few or no redeployment opportunities, lower level titles will be considered.

Agency Reduction Transfer Lists (ARTLs) (§78) -- must be same title, direct line, and all comparable titles deemed comparable for reemployment roster certification.

Reemployment rosters (§81-a) -- may not be title to title or direct line lower level titles, but will include all other titles deemed comparable at all levels.

Placement rosters (§81-b) -- have been expanded to include the same titles as ARTLs and Reemployment rosters.


Employees may potentially be certified to all grade levels for which their comparable titles exist for preferred lists, ARTLs, reemployment rosters and placement rosters. Because individual employees may be unwilling to accept positions at lower levels, Civil Service will ask employees to designate the lowest grade level to which they would accept employment, and will certify based on their choices.

Other Considerations

  • Specialists, including parenthetics, can be certified to generalist positions but generalists may not, in all cases, be appropriate to certify for specialist positions.
  • Titles with language parenthetics should be comparable to fill the same titles as their non-language parenthetic counterparts.
  • A managerial or supervisory layoff title may be comparable to fill another title at a similar level in a different agency or program when the occupation is found in both places, such as financial or information management, and does not require extensive knowledge of agency-specific programs or operations.
  • A program management or higher-level professional title may be certified against other agencies' program titles at the journey level, but not to higher levels where these require extensive program expertise and knowledge of agency operations, and/or where incumbents must supervise and train subordinates in program operations, and/or where they must make substantial contributions to policy development.
  • Managers and directors of multiple function program areas are generally presumed appointable to lower level positions in all those program areas.

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