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Staff Services Analyst Transfer Exam (SSATE)
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
Can you take both exams?
How long is my eligibility?
How long do I have to wait before taking the exam again if I failed?
I have already passed the previous SPB written exam.  Do I have to take the transfer exam?
I have already passed the new SPB Life Experience Questionnaire.  Do I have to take the transfer exam?
I have prior LEAP eligibility, is it still active?
Will my two results (on-line exam & transfer exam) be merged?
Will state time be granted to take the transfer exam?
I am in a higher classification than SSA.  Do I have to take the transfer exam?
I am on a limited term assignment to SSA.  Do I have to take the transfer exam?
How do I reinstate to SSA?
Upon a medical demotion or medical transfer, do employees need to take the transfer exam?
What pay range will I go into?
What’s the difference between the SPB on-line exam and the SSA transfer exam?
I have taken the transfer exam at another department.
I am not a CDCR employee.  Can I take the transfer exam?
I have a non-list (A02) appointment to SSA.  Can I take the on-line exam?
Do I have to take the transfer exam for a Training and Development (T&D) Assignment?
What’s the difference between Office of Selection Services (OSS) and Plata Personnel Services?

Q:        How do I apply?
A:        Print the Lateral Transfer Request Form and mail or personally deliver it to one of the three locations on the bulletin.  Do not send it to more than one location as it will create a backlog of applicants.

Q:        Can I take both exams?
A:        Yes.  The on-line exam, also known as the Life Experience Questionnaire, is an exam that will result in a certification list, which will provide the candidate with a list appointment (A01) when hired.  The transfer exam only gives an employee approval to lateral transfer based on “substantially the same salary rules” and provides the employee with a transfer appointment (A02).

Q:        I have passed the transfer exam.  How long is my eligibility good for?
A:        You will have indefinite eligibility and will not need to take the SSA transfer exam again.

Q:        I have failed the transfer exam.  How long do I have to wait until I can take the test again?
A:        You will have to wait twelve months from the date that you took the exam before you will be allowed to retest.

Q:        Do I have to take the SSA transfer exam if I have taken and passed the old SSA written exam?
A:        No, you don’t have to take the transfer exam if you have taken and passed the old SSA written exam since January 2000.  All exam results have been saved since this date and all passing scores are deemed equivalent to the SSA transfer exam.

Q:        Do I have to take the SSA transfer exam if I have taken and passed the new SSA Life Experience Questionnaire on-line?
A:        Yes, you will have to take the transfer exam if you want to lateral transfer to an SSA position.  However, waiting to be hired off the list may be more beneficial to your career in the future.

Q:        Do I have to take the SSA transfer exam if I have prior LEAP eligibility?
A:        Yes, if your LEAP eligibility has expired, the SSA transfer exam before being appointed.

Q:        Will the two results (on-line exam & transfer exam) be merged?
A:        No.  These are two separate processes.  On-Line – creating a certification list resulting in an A01 appointment.  Transfer Exam – only grants an employee the approval to transfer (A02 appointment) based on existing salary rules.

Q:        Will state time be granted for the transfer exam?
A:        Rank and file employees should refer to their bargaining unit contract regarding time off for civil service exams.  For all other employees, Government Code 19991 provides that state employees be granted the necessary time off to take an exam scheduled during working hours.

Q:        If an employee is in a higher classification and wants to demote to SSA, do they still need to take the transfer exam?
A:       Yes.  The only exception would be a medical demotion or a medical transfer.

Q:        Do I have to take the transfer exam if I am a limited term SSA?
A:        Yes.  You will need to take the exam before accepting a permanent full time position

Q:        What about employees who are reinstating, will they have to take the transfer exam?
A:        If the employee has a previous permanent appointment to the SSA classification in their employment history, they have already obtained status in the class and will not need to take the transfer exam.  If their eligibility is based on a different classification that allows them to transfer to SSA, they will need to take the transfer exam.

 

Q:        Upon a medical demotion or medical transfer, will the employee need to take the transfer exam?
A:       No.  They must meet the MQs for the SSA (G) classification and do not take the transfer exam.

Q:        When an employee qualifies for movement into a SSA position via the transfer exam, what range will they go into?
A:        The transfer exam is only an approval for movement into the SSA class.  Range placement continues to depend on the salary determination process.

Q:        What about the A01 vs. A02 issue.  If an employee has taken the on-line exam and has also passed the transfer exam, can they transfer to SSA (A02) and then later be hired off of the SSA list (A01)?
A:       Yes.  Once an employee obtains permanent status in a classification, they may be hired again (or tested again) for the sole purpose of providing the employee with an A01 appointment.

Q:        What about employees who have taken the transfer exam at another department, are their results transferable?
A:        Yes, their results may be used by CDCR.  All departments will be testing and the results will be compiled into one database that will be accessed by all via the SPBs on-line system. 

Q:        Will we be able to test an employee from another department?
A:        OSS will work with hiring programs if they have made a hiring commitment or would like to hire an individual from another department.  However, our bulletin says its limited to CDCR employees.

Q:        An employee has a non-list (A02) appointment to SSA and now wants to take the on-line exam, can they?
A:        No.      SPB will eliminate anyone from one of their exams who has already obtained permanent status in the testing class.  If by chance SPB missed someone, they would still not be allowed to be appointed from the list.

Q:        Does an employee have to pass the SSA transfer exam prior to being placed on a Training and Development (T&D) Assignment?
A:        No, but they must pass the transfer exam before being transferred into the position by the conclusion of the T&D assignment.

Q:        The transfer exam announcement states that you may apply with the Office of Selection Services (OSS) and Plata Personnel Services.  What’s the difference?
A:        There really isn’t a difference other than location drop off convenience.  OSS and the California Prison Health Care System (Plata Personnel Services) will be working closely together to meet the department’s hiring needs.  You may also apply at any adult institution or juvenile facility Personnel Office.

Q:        Will state time be granted for the Life Experience Questionnaire (online) exam?
A:        No.  Since the on-line exam is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, employees have ample opportunity to take the exam on their own time.

Q:        What is the verification process for the educational requirement for the on-line exam?
A:        Hiring supervisors/managers may require proof either at the time of application (i.e., copies of transcripts to be attached to their application), at the time of interview or at the time a job offer is made; however a copy of the transcripts must be obtained prior to hire.  Official transcripts are not required.

Q:        What type of document is considered adequate proof to meet educational requirements?
A:        Acceptable proof of graduation with a Bachelor's degree may include copies of transcripts, or internet printouts of classes and credits completed with a statement that a Bachelor's degree was received and the date received.  Official transcripts are not required.

Q:        If a hiring supervisor finds that an applicant does not meet the MQ’s, how do we remove them from the list?
A:        Contact the Office of Selection Services (OSS) to request to withhold the individual.  You will be required to provide documentation. 

Q:        With the new alternate range criteria, can employees without a degree still move to range C?
A:        Yes.  The changes to the range criteria ADDED alternatives for range movement.  It did not remove the traditional “time in grade” movement process.

Q:        Upon advertising for a vacant SSA position, we anticipate receiving a large number of requests from employees to take the transfer exam.  Will OSS staff be available to give the exam to meet hiring needs?
A:        OSS will work diligently to make every effort to support the needs of the institutions/programs and administer the transfer exam as quickly as possible.
 
Q:       If an employee passed the old SSA transfer exam, how do we verify status?

A:        SPB has a database that identifies all employees who took the old SSA written exam and passed.  For your hiring package, access the database and print the screen showing your employee/candidate and their score.

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