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State of New Jersey, Civil Service Commission
Governor Chris Christie • Lt.Governor Kim Guadagno
 
 
  1. What is a Certification?
  2. Who gets certified?
  3. When will I be certified?
  4. What happens when a Certification is issued?
  5. How long does a Certification last?
  6. I am not interested in the work location or the department where I’ve been certified to. Do I still need to respond to the Notification of Certification?
  7. What happens after I have responded to the Notification of Certification?
  8. Will I get a job since I have passed the test and I have been certified?
  9. What is the “Rule of Three?”
  10. I am a military Veteran. Do I have any rights on a Certification?
  11. What is Veterans’ Preference?
  12. I have taken the examination and I passed with a #1 ranking but, when I received my Notification of Certification, it indicates that I am in the #5 position. Is this a mistake?
  13. People I know have been certified and I have not received a Notification of Certification. Why haven’t I been certified?
  14. What happens if I am certified from an Eligibility List and that list expires?
  15. I have received a Disposition Notice. What happens next?
  16. I quit my government job, but now I would like to return. What can I do?
  17. Who do I contact if want to change my work location preferences for State Certifications or to get a copy of an Eligibility List?

  1. What is a Certification?
    When a vacancy needs to be filled from an
    Eligibility List an Appointing Authority will request that the Civil Service Commission issue a list of names from the Eligibility List, i.e. a Certification.

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  2. Who gets certified?
    Eligibles get certified in rank order, but on State Certifications, eligibles get certified in rank order and by geographic location.  On State Certifications, an eligible will only be certified to vacancies in counties where the eligible indicated on the examination application that he/she is willing to accept employment.

    For those that have passed the Law Enforcement Examination (LEE) for municipal and
    county law enforcement titles, i.e. Police Officer, Sheriff's Officer and County Correction
    Officer, eligibles are certified in rank order and by their residency as indicated on the Law Enforcement Examination application.  Where hiring preferences apply, eligibles must meet the residency requirements of the appointing jurisdiction as of the LEE's application closing date. 
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  3. When will I be certified?
    After the eligibility list is issued, an
    Appointing Authority will contact the Civil Service Commission when there is a need to fill a vacancy.  At that time, the Civil Service Commission will issue a Certification.

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  4. What happens when a Certification is issued?
    On open-competitive exam certifications, the Civil Service Commission will mail each certified eligible a Notification of Certification.  An eligible will have five (5) business days from the date on that Notification of Certification to respond to the Appointing Authority that is listed on the Notification of Certification to respond to the Appointing Authority that is noted on the Notification of Certification.

    On promotional exam certifications the Civil Service Commission or the Appointing Authority that requested the Certification will mail each certified eligible a Notification of Certification.  An eligible will have five (5) business days from the notice date on that Notification of Certification to respond to the Appointing Authority that is noted on the Notification of Certification.

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  5. How long does a Certification last?
    Typically, certifications are issued for three (3) months.  However, for public safety titles, such as fire fighter and police officer, certifications are issued for six (6) months.

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  6. I am not interested in the work location or the department where I’ve been certified to. Do I still need to respond to the Notification of Certification?
    Yes, you are required to respond to each Notification of Certification that you receive. If you wish to decline consideration for the position, you'll want to explain your reasoning in that response.

    If you do not respond to a Certification, your name will be removed from the Eligibility
    List and you will not receive any more Certifications issued from that Eligibility List.

    For the Law Enforcement Examination, eligibles that fail to respond to the Notification of Certification are removed from the Law Enforcement Examination pool of eligibles for the particular title area.

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  7. What happens after I have responded to the Notification of Certification?
    The Appointing Authority that requested the Certification may contact you depending on your position on the Certification and the number of vacancies that need to be filled.

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  8. Will I get a job since I have passed the test and I have been certified?
    Being on an
    Eligibility List and receiving a Notification of Certification does not guarantee an appointment.  The Appointing Authority that requested the Certification will conduct a pre-employment screening of eligibles that responded as interested to the Notification of Certification and can appoint any one of the top three interested eligibles that successfully complete the pre-employment screening in accordance with the Rule of Three.

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  9. What is the “Rule of Three?”
    The "
    Rule of Three allows an Appointing Authority to appoint any one of the top three interested eligibles from a Certification to a permanent position.

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  10. I am a military Veteran. Do I have any rights on a Certification?
    Although you may be recognized as a veteran by the federal government, you are not automatically considered a veteran by the State of New Jersey for veterans' status on civil service examinations.  Veterans' Preference is granted to those eligibles who meet the Veterans' requirements of the
    NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA).  Once you are granted Veterans' status by NJDMAVA, you will have Veterans' Preference on all Eligibility Lists and Certifications.

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  11. What is Veterans’ Preference?
    1. On Open Competitive Exam Lists veterans that pass a Civil Service examination go to the top of the list in rank order.  Eligibles are ranked in the following order on open competitive lists:
      • Disabled Veterans (in rank order)
      • Veterans (in rank order)
      • Non Veterans (in rank order)
    2. NOTE:  On Police Officer and Fire Fighter lists, children of Police Officers and Fire Fighters that died in the line of duty are ranked above non veterans.

    3. On an open competitive Certification, an interested veteran cannot be bypassed.  The interested veteran must be appointed or removed for cause.
    4. On Promotional Exam Lists there is no distinction between veterans and non veterans i.e.; an eligible is ranked solely by final average, regardless of veterans' status.  The only exception is when there are veterans and non veterans within a tied rank; in that case, Veterans are listed above non veterans.
    5. On Promotional Exam Certifications, if an interested veteran heads the Certification, then the first appointment made must go to a veteran. 
      • For example, a promotional Certification is issued with the names of three interested eligibles.  One veteran is ranked number 1, one veteran is ranked number 3 and a non veteran is ranked number 2.  The Appointing Authority can appoint either the veteran ranked number 1 or the veteran ranked 3.  The department cannot appoint the number 2 ranked, non veteran. 
      • Conversely, if an interested non veteran heads a promotional Certification, then the Rule of Three applies i.e., any one of the top three interested eligibles can be appointed regardless of veterans' status. 
        For example, a promotional Certification is issued with the names of three interested eligibles.  One non veteran is ranked number 1, one non veteran is ranked number 3 and a disabled veteran is ranked number 2.  The department can appoint any of the top three eligibles.  Veterans' Preference does not apply.  The disabled veteran can be bypassed and the number 3 ranked, non veteran can be appointed.
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  12. I have taken the examination and I passed with a #1 ranking but, when I received my Notification of Certification, it indicates that I am in the #5 position. Is this a mistake?
    There are a number of causes that may affect your position on a certification:

    • If there are two active eligible lists for the same title, department and jurisdiction, eligibles on the active eligibility list that issued the earliest are certified first, followed by the eligibles on the active eligibility list that issued last.
    • When there is a Certification of eligibles that have a tied rank, eligibles are certified in alphabetical order by last name, unless there is a veteran in the tied rank, then Veterans' Preference applies.
    • Over the duration of the eligibility list, numerous certifications can be issued.  Although your ranking never changes, as eligibles are appointed or removed, your position on future certifications can be affected.

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  13. People I know have been certified and I have not received a Notification of Certification. Why haven’t I been certified?

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  14. What happens if I am certified from an Eligibility List and that list expires?
    When a Certification List is issued prior to the list expiring, the Appointing Authority may make appointments from the Certification up to the date that the Certification is due to be returned to the Civil Service Commission.

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  15. I have received a Disposition Notice. What happens next?
    A
    Disposition Notice advises whether you have been bypassed on a Certification, suspended from future certification, removed from the eligibility list or that the Certification has been cancelled.  In addition, the Disposition Notice advises you of your right to appeal and the procedures that must be followed to file an appeal.  If you disagree with the reason that you were bypassed, suspended or removed on a Certification, you have 20 days from the date on that Disposition Notice to submit a written appeal to the Civil Service Commission.

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  16. I quit my government job, but now I would like to return. What can I do?
    Within three (3) years from the effective date of a
    Permanent Employee  resignation in good standing, retirement or voluntary demolition he/she may request to be placed on a Regular Reemployment List through their former employer.  If the employer approves the request, then the Civil Service Commission will place the employee's name on a Regular Reemployment List. 

    This request must be submitted to your former employer within three years from the date of resignation, retirement or voluntary demotion since the Reemployment List only has a three (3) year duration from the effective date.  Click here for the Application for Reemployment. 

    NOTE: Police officer and fire fighter Regular Reemployment Lists shall have unlimited durations.

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  17. Who do I contact if want to change my work location preferences for State Certifications or to get a copy of an Eligibility List?
    These requests must be submitted, in writing, to the Civil Service Commission's Certification Unit, P.O. Box 313, Trenton, NJ 08625-0313.

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