Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 60: Personnel

Project Employment–Civil Service

BPPM 60.23

For more information contact:
   Human Resource Services


The University may appoint classified (civil service and bargaining unit-covered) employees to project positions. Project positions are for the purpose of a defined project. The employer expects the project work to be of a time-limited nature with an expected end date. (WAC 357-19-305)

This section (BPPM 60.23) covers only procedures regarding appointment of civil service employees to project positions.

To appoint a collective bargaining unit employee to a project position, refer to the applicable collective bargaining unit agreement.


Project appointments must be a minimum of six months and one day in duration and at least .50 FTE.

Civil Service Rules

Project civil service positions follow the civil service rules including classification, salary, PID, and leave accruals (see WAC 357).

Project positions covered by collective bargaining agreements follow the applicable agreements regarding employment rules.


WSU Pullman Human Resource Services (HRS) is responsible for overseeing and approving project employment status for positions at WSU locations systemwide.

Starting a Project Position

Position Creation

Create a project position in Workday. See the Workday Create and Close a Position reference guide.


If the defined project is not completed by the specified end date, the department may renew the employee to a project position after the end of the initial appointment with HRS approval.

Reduction in Force

Contact HRS at least 30 days before reducing an occupied position to a project position. Layoff procedures may apply to the reduction (see BPPM 60.37).


Departments use the standard recruitment process to fill project positions (see BPPM 60.18). The recruitment requisition must indicate the project status of the position, including the expected ending date.

Sexual Misconduct

Prior to an offer of employment, WSU must comply with RCW 28B.112.080. To comply with this law, hiring departments may not make an offer of employment until approved by HRS. 

If hiring an applicant outside of Workday Recruit, departments are to contact their HRS Service Team prior to extending an offer.

Exception to Open Recruitment

Appointing authorities may request direct appointment without conducting a recruitment for project civil service positions. See BPPM 60.18 regarding exceptions to open recruitment.

Required Statement

Include the following statement in the recruitment requisition, the Position Description, and the offer letter:

“This is a project position and is expected to end on (enter mm/dd/yyyy). Renewal is dependent on the need for extension to complete the project.”


At the time of initial appointment and subsequent renewal of appointment, if applicable, the University notifies the employee in writing of the status of the project appointment and the expected ending date of the project appointment in accordance with WAC 357-19-315.

Review Periods


An employee accepting a project position who does not have permanent status must serve a six month probationary period. The employee gains permanent status within the specific project upon completion of the probationary period in accordance with WAC 357-19-320.

Trial Service

An employee with permanent status within a specific project must serve a trial service period in accordance with WAC 357-19-325 if the employee:

  • Promotes to another position within the same project; or
  • Voluntarily transfers to another position within the same project; or
  • Voluntarily demotes to another position within the same project.

See BPPM 60.31.


Department Actions

The department requests the creation of a new project position or the review of a vacant project position in Workday. See the applicable Workday Staffing reference guide.

Submit to HRS Through OPDRS

The department submits the following to HRS for review and approval through OPDRS.

  • Position description
  • Proposed salary
  • Performance expectations
  • Organization chart showing the civil service position’s relationship to other positions in the department to HRS

See BPPM 60.02 for instructions.

To access OPDRS, go to:

To view advisory samples for creating position descriptions and performance expectations for a civil service position, go to the Managers–Classification and Compensation area of the HRS website.

HRS must complete the position review before an online requisition is added as a job posting on WSUJobs.

Create a Recruitment Request

Recruitment requests for all classified positions are processed through Workday. See BPPM 60.18 and the Workday Create, Edit, and Close Job Requisition reference guide.

HRS Actions

Position Review

Once HRS receives the updated position description, proposed salary, performance expectations, and organization chart, HRS reviews the information to determine the appropriate job classification.

Conclusion of Project

The conclusion of a project appointment may result in a layoff of a permanent employee. An employee laid off from a project position will have layoff rights only within the specific project (see BPPM 60.37).

When a permanent employee leaves a permanent position without a break in service to accept a project appointment, the permanent employee is placed on the internal layoff list and has additional rights, in accordance with WAC 357-19-340 (see BPPM 60.37).

An employee who held permanent status prior to accepting a project appointment without a break in service may request to return to their permanent position by providing 14 calendar days written notice of intent to return to the position they held immediately prior to accepting the project appointment. The employee submits the written request to the appointing authority of the permanent position the employee previously held and sends a copy to HRS. The appointing authority may grant or deny the request and provides written notice.

Revisions:  December 2020 (Rev. 559); Nov. 2017 (Rev. 504); Oct. 2014 (Rev. 439); July 2013 (Rev. 414); Oct. 2011 (Rev. 388); Jan. 2011 (Rev. 374); June 2009 (Rev. 342); Dec. 2008 (Rev. 333); May 2008 – new policy (Rev. 322).