§ 5. Contents and Grading of Examinations  


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  • Each promotional examination shall relate directly to the minimum qualifications and duties of the class of positions for which the examination is being held. The names of applicants receiving a passing score on a promotional examination shall be entered on the appropriate eligible list. Official eligible lists will be maintained by the Civil Service Secretary, and will be made available to the public; provided however that names and scores of competitors who fail to qualify shall not be made public.

    A. Examinations held to establish an eligible list for any class may consist of the following components in any combination. Each of these components may be weighted OR may be used in progression such that candidates must pass one component before advancing to the next.

    • Written Tests: Uses a written tool to measure the applicant's qualifications for the class of positions being sought.

    • Education, Training and Experience Tests: measures the applicant's qualifications for the class of positions using a quantitative evaluation of his documentation of training and experience.

    • Oral Interview: Uses a structured oral interview tool to evaluate an applicant's qualifications for a class of positions, where a written test is unnecessary, impracticable or insufficient.

    • Practical Tests: includes such tests of performance or trade as will determine the ability and manual skill of competitors to perform the work involved.

    • Physical Ability Tests: consists of tests of physical condition, muscular strength, agility, and physical fitness of competitors.

    • Medical/Physical Fitness: includes an evaluation conducted by a licensed physician authorized by the Civil Service Commission concerning job-related criteria as determined by the Commission.

    • Behavior Assessment Tests: includes written, oral, or performance tests which predict the suitability of candidates to perform the work involved in the classification.

    • Background Check/Polygraph Tests.

    Each part of the examination for each classification shall be graded separately. Scores for each part shall be continuous (e.g. 1 to 100) or discrete (e.g. pass/fail). Weighting of the various parts of the examination shall be based upon the results of the job analysis. When supported by the results of the job analysis, parts of the exam may be used to determine eligibility to compete on later parts of the exam, and such parts may either be weighted or not weighted in the computation of the final score. Passing scores will be determined after the examination by the Civil Service examiner together with the Secretary. Determination of the passing score will be based on the results of the job analysis, analysis of examination results, consultation with subject matter experts, or other professional methods. The final grade for each candidate shall be a single score. If two or more candidates receive the same final grade, a candidate with veteran's preference will be ranked above a non-veteran. Ties between veterans and ties between non-veterans will be broken by priority of filing date on applications as indicated by the time stamp. The names of the applicants receiving a passing score shall be posted in the Commission's offices and entered on the appropriate eligible list. The grade of any applicant failing to qualify shall not be made public.

    The Secretary may designate various subject matter experts as special examiners to assist in preparing and/or grading examinations. Such special examiners are required to maintain strict confidentiality and security with regard to all examination matters.

    The identity of all persons taking promotional examinations shall be concealed from the examiners by use of an identification number which shall, whenever feasible, be used on all examination papers and the candidate's application when he presents himself for examination. The number shall be used from the beginning of the examination until the papers have all been rated. Any papers bearing the name of the applicant or any other identification mark, or any candidate who reveals his identification number to any member of the Commission or its staff, directly or indirectly, may be disqualified and the candidate so notified.

    All forms of cheating are strictly prohibited. Cheating will result in disqualification from competition.

    In promotional examinations, credit for seniority in service shall be added to the examination grade, but no credit for seniority or any other reason shall be added to an examination grade unless the applicant achieves a passing score on the examination without counting such extra credit.

    B. Credit for Seniority. For those making a passing score on the examination, additional credit for seniority will be awarded.

    1. Seniority credit on promotional examinations consists of credit awarded for continuous service which has not been broken by dismissal, layoff or resignation without reinstatement in the classified service of the City of Cincinnati, Board of Education and the University of Cincinnati (which includes University Hospital), except that credit for service with the University of Cincinnati shall be limited to City of Cincinnati and Board of Education employees in service as of July 1, 1977, and to University of Cincinnati service prior to July 1, 1977 when the University went under state control.

    2. Seniority credit is given for service in a provisional, temporary or seasonal appointment, if such service led directly into permanent employment without a break in service. Seniority credit is also given for service in a seasonal appointment if the employee receives a permanent appointment within a year of the most recent layoff. An employee whose city service is interrupted only by military service shall receive credit for seniority on the basis of his combined city and military service.

    3. A non-uniformed employee whose city service is interrupted only by a resignation under Rule 8, Section 4a, shall receive credit for his service prior to resignation. However, uniformed police and fire personnel are not entitled to seniority credit for service prior to a resignation. Additionally, in promoted fire ranks, credit is given only for service in the Fire Division. Seniority credit is not given for service as an unclassified, student, temporary, emergency, unclassified casual or federally funded (e.g., Emergency Employment Act, Public Service Employee, Comprehensive Employment Training Act, Model Cities, Pilot Cities, etc.) employee.

    4. For non-uniformed employees and uniformed police personnel, credit for seniority shall equal, for the first four years of creditable service, one percent of the total grade attainable in the promotional examination and for each of the fifth through fourteenth years of creditable service, six-tenths percent of the total grade attainable.

    5. For uniformed fire personnel, credit for seniority shall equal, for the first four years of creditable service, one percent of the total grade attainable in the promotional examination and for each of the fifth through tenth years of creditable service six-tenths percent of the total grade attainable. In computing the seniority credit for uniformed fire personnel, half of the credit set forth above will be given for each half year of service.

    6. If two or more candidates receive the same final grade on a promotional examination, including any additional credit, the candidate with the greatest seniority will be ranked highest. If two competitors were appointed on the same day, ties will be broken by priority of the filing date on current applications as indicated by time stamp.