DeKalb County Government

Human Resources Department Policy Document
May 1, 2012

Education vs. Experience Equivalence
I. PURPOSE: This policy establishes a new standard for determining applicant qualifications for DeKalb County positions at pay grades 33 and below, by allowing related experience to substitute for education. II. BACKGROUND: DeKalb County’s current practice has been to disqualify an individual for employment, promotion or transfer when the minimum education requirement is not met. Experience was not substituted or recognized as equivalent to formal education for any position regardless of pay grade. A survey of our standard seven jurisdictions revealed that six of the seven have an equivalency clause. In addition, several department heads and managers felt that that the existing policy diluted the County’s competitive edge, and limited the growth opportunity of a number of talented employees. III. DEFINITION Minimum Qualifications - All successful candidates shall meet minimum qualifications as established in the position classification specification which outlines education and experience requirements and provides that related experience can be substituted for requisite formal education for positions at pay grades 33 and below. Equivalence – The substitution of experience for education is allowed when determining whether an applicant meets position qualifications. This provision provides for substitution of relevant work experience for education on a year-for-year basis. Only related professional-level experience will be credited for professional positions. IV. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE CHANGE The Human Resources Director or designee establishes the experience equivalency for job classifications at salary grade 33 and below. Examinations will be practical and reveal the capacity of the candidate to perform the essential duties of a position based on the candidate’s education and experience and related knowledge, skills and abilities. All candidates will be evaluated consistently and impartially. Examinations may consist of written tests; performance measurements; skills test; representative work samples; rating of training, education and/or experience; structured oral examinations; interviews; and physical fitness, either singly or in combination. These examinations should test fairly the ability and fitness of the applicant to discharge efficiently the duties of the position to be filled. Education and experience will be considered only when it can be shown to be job related and likely to affect performance on the job. Applicants for positions at the executive level will continue to meet qualification standards outlined in the classification specification. Qualifications for positions at these pay grades, with specific exceptions, still require candidates to possess the established formal education for which experience cannot substitute for HR revised 05/01/12

education. This administrative procedure change is effective immediately. V. ADMINISTRATION The Human Resources (HR) Director, in conjunction with County departments, will be responsible for the administration of this policy. This policy document does not specifically address all issues that may arise regarding employment, promotional and transfer opportunity. Issues that arise not specifically addressed by this policy will be resolved by the HR Director, in consultation with the department heads and elected officials, in a manner consistent with the intent of this policy and the DeKalb County Code. Employment, promotion and transfer are subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of the DeKalb County Code, which are not fully described in this policy. This policy is subject to change at any time.

HR revised 05/01/12

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