Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Probationary and Trial Service Periods for Civil Service Employees
For more information contact:
Human Resource Services
Probationary and trial service periods provide an opportunity for the employing department to observe and assess an employee’s work and to train and aid the employee in adjusting to a new position. These periods allow the University to determine whether or not to grant the employee permanent status in that position.
A new employee who does not have permanent status with the state of Washington must serve a probationary period when appointed to a civil service position (see BPPM 60.29).
An employee who has passed a probationary period and holds permanent status with the state of Washington may be required to serve a trial service period even when she or he holds permanent status in the classification, e.g., in the case of promotion or transfer (see BPPM 60.29).
This section applies to civil service employees.
An employee covered by a collective bargaining unit agreement is to refer to the applicable agreement regarding probationary and trial service periods.
Length of Periods
Probationary and trial service periods are for six months.
A probationary or trial service period is affected by the use of leave. If an employee uses leave without pay (LWOP) for an entire shift, her or his probationary or trial service period is extended on a day-for-day basis. (WAC 357-31-355, WAC 357-19-065)
Request for Extension
An appointing authority may submit a written request to the Director of Human Resource Services (HRS) for an extension of a probationary or trial service period. Such a request and approval must be for extraordinary reasons.
The Director of HRS must receive the written request for extension seven business days prior to the end of the six month probation or trial service period.
Probationary Period Separation
An appointing authority may separate a probationary employee who has not successfully completed his or her probationary period, in accordance with WAC 357-46.
To help assure compliance with state regulations, the appointing authority should contact HRS for assistance prior to initiating a separation during a probationary period.
A probationary employee must receive a minimum of one calendar day’s written notice before being separated.
An individual separated during a probationary period does not have the right to appeal the separation.
WSU Pullman Human Resource Services (HRS) is responsible for overseeing and approving personnel actions including separations for probationary and trial service employees at all WSU locations systemwide.
Trial Service Reversion
Reversion is defined as the voluntary or involuntary movement of an employee during the trial service period, resulting in placement in a position or on the employer’s internal layoff list. (WAC 357-01-290) See also BPPM 60.29.
The appointing authority may revert any employee who fails to meet the employer’s standards during the trial service period. The appointing authority must provide the employee with seven calendar days’ written notice. EXCEPTION: If during the last seven days of a trial service period, the employee commits an egregious act which warrants reversion, the appointing authority may immediately revert the employee without seven calendar days notice. (WAC 357-19-105)
To assure compliance with state regulations, the appointing authority should contact HRS for assistance prior to initiating a trial service reversion.
Within 30 calendar days from the date of appointment, an employee may voluntarily revert during a trial service period by providing seven calendar days’ written notice to the appointing authority.
After 30 calendar days from the date of appointment, an employee may voluntarily revert only at the discretion of the appointing authority to which the employee has reversion rights. The employee should contact HRS to assist with the voluntary reversion process.
A permanent employee who does not satisfactorily complete the trial service period has the right to revert to a position, if available, in accordance with the following:
- For an employee reverting from trial service following a promotion, transfer, or elevation, WSU must revert the employee to a vacant position for which the employee satisfies competencies and other position requirements and which is:
Allocated to the class the employee last held permanent status in; or
If no positions are available, allocated to a class which has the same or lower salary range maximum.
- For an employee reverting from trial service following a voluntary demotion, WSU must revert the employee to a vacant position:
For which the employee satisfies the competencies and other position requirements, and
Is allocated to a class which has the same or lower salary range maximum as the class from which the employee is reverting.
If the reverted employee is not returned to a permanent position in the class in which the employee last held permanent status, the employee may request to be placed on the internal layoff list.
An employee reverted during a trial service period does not have the right to appeal.
Revisions: June 2009 (Rev. 342); June 2006 – new policy (Rev. 281).