GENERAL INFORMATION BULLETIN No. 19-07
TO: Department and Agency Directors of Human Resources, Personnel and Affirmative Action Officers, Equal Opportunity Specialists, Diversity and Inclusion Specialists
FROM: Jessica Rowe, Director of Staffing Services
SUBJECT: Restructuring of Administrative Support Positions-Agency Guidance
DATE: October 31, 2019
A memorandum from the Director of Classification and Compensation dated October 8, 2019 announced the restructuring of the competitive secretarial titles to Administrative Assistant 1, Grade 11, and Administrative Assistant 2, Grade 15. In addition, a new two-year traineeship (Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 and 2, NS = Grade 8 and 10 respectively) leading to Administrative Assistant 1, Grade 11, was approved. The following information has been developed to guide agencies on the hiring and career mobility of employees in this new title series.
Appointment Status of Current Secretary 1 & Secretary 2
There will be no change in the salary grade, negotiating unit, jurisdictional classification, seniority or appointment status of current Secretary 1 and Secretary 2 incumbents as a result of this title structure change. Current incumbents, regardless of probationary status, will not be required to complete any coursework, but may participate in the courses offered by The NYS & CSEA Partnership for Education and Training (The NYS & CSEA Partnership) for their own professional development. Employees serving probation in the Secretary 1 or Secretary 2 title at the time of the title structure change will continue serving in their original probationary term.
Administrative Assistant Traineeship-Coursework Requirements
Trainees will be required to take eight courses, four mandatory and four elective, in the following administrative support competencies:
- Computer Skills and Technology
- Interpersonal and Customer Relations
- Professionalism and Self-Management
- Verbal and Written Communication
Trainees will be able to take these competencies through The NYS & CSEA Partnership, either through classroom or online training and webinars, or equivalent offerings through another entity as determined by the agency. As a resource, The NYS & CSEA Partnership is offering information on core course content to assist agencies with identifying appropriate coursework and making equivalency decisions.
Agencies are advised to use the Individualized Development Plan to identify the coursework that must be completed during the traineeship. The following four administrative support core courses are mandatory and should be completed before advancement or appointment to Administrative Assistant Trainee 2.
|Core Course||Administrative Support Competency|
|Microsoft Word Basics||Computer Skills and Technology|
|Customer Service||Interpersonal and Customer Relations|
|Organized Office Worker||Professionalism and Self-Management|
|Successful Business Writing||Verbal and Written Communication|
The agency will work with the employee to determine what four elective courses will meet the requirements based upon the duties and function of the position. These courses will have to fall under each of the four administrative support competencies. It is at that agency's discretion to approve all coursework and make equivalency determinations.
Four one-hour webinars in a competency may substitute for a one-day training for the elective courses only.
Appointment to the Administrative Assistant Traineeship
Appointment to the traineeship can be made as follows:
Administrative Assistant Trainee 1:
Reachable on an appropriate eligible list or eligible to transfer and, if transferring from a non-keyboarding title, proof of passing a keyboarding test (see Keyboarding Test section for more information).
Administrative Assistant Trainee 2:
Successful completion of 52 weeks of service as an Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 AND completion of the four core administrative support courses; OR
Reachable on an appropriate eligible list or eligible to transfer AND completion of the four core administrative support courses and, if transferring from a non-keyboarding title, proof of passing a keyboarding test (see Keyboarding Test section for more information).
Administrative Assistant 1:
Successful completion of 52 weeks of service as an Administrative Assistant Trainee 2 and completion of the four core administrative support courses AND completion of the four elective administrative support courses, as designated by the agency; OR
Reachable on an appropriate eligible list or eligible to transfer and successful completion of the four core administrative support courses AND completion of four elective administrative support courses, as designated by the agency. Proof of passing a keyboarding test will be required for those who have not previously served in a keyboarding title or have not yet taken a keyboarding test (see Keyboarding Test section for more information).
Eligible List Appropriateness Determinations
The Secretary 1 eligible list No. 37-923 and the Secretary 1 (Spanish Language) eligible list No. 38-024 have been declared appropriate to fill the Administrative Assistant 1 and language proficiency titles. Candidates who are appointed to the Administrative Assistant 1 from the Secretary 1 list will not be required to demonstrate they have completed the eight administrative support courses. Agencies may choose to make appointments directly to the Administrative Assistant 1 from these eligible lists until a new Administrative Assistant Trainee exam is held and the lists are established. The Secretary 2 eligible list No. 37-924 has been declared appropriate to fill the Administrative Assistant 2.
Due to the expanded candidate pool for the Administrative Assistant Traineeship, provisional appointments are not expected but may be allowed to the Administrative Assistant 1 or Administrative Assistant 2 if the eligible lists are exhausted.
To be appointed as an Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 or 2 or Administrative Assistant 1 or 2, candidates are required to pass a typing test that demonstrates the ability to enter text at a rate of at least 30 words per minute with at least 96% accuracy. Generally, the keyboarding test is only valid for five years from the date the candidate passes it.
Exception based on previous service in a keyboarding title:
If a candidate has previous service in a competitive title for which passing a keyboarding test was required, the candidate is not required to retake the keyboarding test, even if their service in such title was over five years ago.
Transfer to the Administrative Assistant Traineeship
To review the requirements necessary for transfer among clerical, keyboarding and office assistant titles, including the Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 or 2 or Administrative Assistant 1 or 2 titles, please refer to Policy Bulletin 19-01 which replaces guidance provided in Policy Bulletin 96-08.
Transfer Between Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 Positions
At the discretion of the appointing authority, individuals transferring during the first year of the traineeship may have time served in the prior position credited in the new position. Core administrative support coursework completed in their prior position must be counted when determining advancement to the Administrative Assistant Trainee 2.
Transfer Between Administrative Assistant Trainee 2 Positions
Individuals transferring during the second year of the traineeship will be required to restart their probationary period as an Administrative Assistant Trainee 2. The hiring authority will determine whether elective coursework previously obtained meets the requirements of the new position or if additional coursework is required.
Transfer Between Administrative Assistant 1 Positions
Individuals transferring to another Administrative Assistant 1 position after completing the traineeship will not be required to complete any additional coursework.
All advanced placement decisions are at the agency's discretion.
When appointing from an appropriate eligible list, the standard rules of reachability still apply; however, the level to which a reachable candidate may be appointed depends on their individual qualifications. For example, completion of the four administrative support core competency courses is required for advanced placement to Trainee 2. If the top three acceptors haven't completed the core coursework, agencies must fill the vacancy at the Trainee 1 level by selecting one of those acceptors. Agencies cannot skip three Trainee 1 level acceptors to reach a candidate who meets the qualifications for advanced placement at the Trainee 2 or journey level.
Advanced placement appointments will be made directly from the Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 eligible list to the Administrative Assistant Trainee 2 or to the Administrative Assistant 1 title. Once a permanent trainee appointment has been made, the agency cannot subsequently submit a new appointment to advance place the appointee. The employee must progress through the entire traineeship. For example, if an employee is appointed as a Trainee 1 but has completed the four administrative support core competencies and three of the four required elective administrative support courses, the employee may not then be appointed as an Administrative Assistant 1 upon completion of final elective course.
If an agency appoints someone as a Trainee 1 and later finds they could have advanced placed the appointee to a Trainee 2, an advanced placement appointment to the Trainee 2 will not be allowed, except in limited circumstances. In these exceptional instances, agencies must contact their Staffing Representative to request the change in appointment level by demonstrating that an administrative error prevented appointment at the appropriate level during the initial appointment.
Agencies will be required to inform their Staffing Representative of the appointment level prior to submitting the NYSTEP transaction. A form will be provided to agencies to indicate this information.
Early advancement after 18 months of service in the traineeship is at the discretion of the agency after a documented review of the employee's performance and completion of the required elective administrative support courses. A Trainee 2 who was advanced after completing year one of the traineeship and who transfers to a different position, whether in the same or a different agency, may be considered for early advancement to the full title after six months of service subsequent to the transfer.
The submission of the NYSTEP transaction for the early advancement will be the agency's attestation that the Trainee 2 is performing the full range of duties and responsibilities of the G-11 position and completion of required administrative support coursework.
Former New York State employees who served permanently as a Secretary 1 or Secretary 2 may be reinstated under Civil Service Rule 5.4 to Administrative Assistant 1 or Administrative Assistant 2, respectively and are not required to complete the core or elective administrative support competency coursework or retake the keyboarding test.
New York State employees who have served permanently in a clerical title other than Secretary 1 or 2, and who are eligible for reinstatement to the Administrative Assistant titles based on service in a transfer eligible title, must complete the core and/or elective administrative competency coursework prior to appointment above the Trainee 1 level. In addition, those whose prior service was in a non-keyboarding title will be required to pass a keyboarding test (see Keyboarding Test section for more information).
Please see the below links to FAQ's provided by the Division of Classification and Compensation for assistance in answering employee questions.