Classification Process

South Dakota Civil Service Employees are grouped into civil service classes. Each class has a Class Specification, which generally describes the duties, distinguishing features, and other information about positions in that class. Bureau of Human Resources classification staff determine the appropriate classification for each position.

The Board of Regents has delegated classification authority – Regents civil service employees should contact their campus Human Resource office for classification information.

The steps below indicate the process followed when an employee completes and submits a Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ). Please contact the Bureau of Human Resources at 605.773.3148 if you need assistance or have questions.

  1. Employee completes a Position Description Questionnaire and submits it to his/her supervisor. See How to Complete a PDQ for more information.
  2. Supervisor reviews the PDQ, completes the supervisor's section, and submits the document to the agency's Human Resource Manager.
  3. The Human Resource Manager reviews, signs, and forwards the document to the Classification Section of the Bureau of Human Resources where it is logged in and assigned to a classification analyst.
  4. The classification analyst will typically arrange a classification review, sometimes known as a desk audit, with the incumbent. These can be conducted in person or over the phone. During the review, the classification analyst and incumbent will discuss the duties assigned to the position, how the duties are performed, how the job has changed, etc. The classification analyst may also contact the employee's supervisor, lead worker, or other agency staff to gather more information about the position. See How to Prepare for a Classification Review for more information.
  5. The classification analyst will review applicable class specifications and make comparisons to other positions in those classes. Each position is considered based on its duties and where it best fits in the available class descriptions, with the intent to ensure consistency statewide for all Civil Service positions. The decision involves, but is not limited to, an analysis of the current duties, decision-making, problems and challenges, delegated authority, and the department's organizational structure. See How does the Classification Analyst decide which classification a job is? for more information.
  6. Notification will be sent in the form of a classification action notice to the agency's Human Resource Manager, who will then forward the notification to the supervisor and ultimately, the employee.
Classification analysts look at several factors when determining which classification is appropriate for a position.
  • Information provided in the Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
  • Information provided at the classification review
  • Input from department management
  • Comparisons to similar positions throughout state government
  • Class specifications
  • The decision involves the following:

  • Analysis of your present duties
  • Extent of your decision-making and delegated authority
  • Problems and challenges you meet and resolve
  • How your position fits into your department's organizational structure.
  • Each position is classified based on where it best fits in the available class specifications. The intent is to ensure consistency statewide for all civil service positions. Some areas that are not considered in a classification decision are:

  • Performance;
  • Qualifications or background;
  • Compensation;
  • Longevity;
  • The necessity of the position; or
  • Duties that have not yet been assigned or assumed.
  • There are many misconceptions about when a reclassification is appropriate. Individuals may feel that they are ready for an upward reclass because they are at the top of their salary range, are loyal employees, or perhaps feel that they work harder than anyone else in their departments. Supervisors may feel pressure to upwardly reclass their employees for these reasons as well, or perhaps to keep someone who has found a higher paying job elsewhere. While there are many desirable qualities for employees to have that should be recognized, classification is based solely on the duties assigned to a position, not the qualifications or qualities of the incumbent. Put simply, we classify the job, not the person.

Classification actions can be appealed within 14 days after notification of the classification action. Contact your Human Resource Manager for specific information on the grievance procedure for your agency.

Classification: Civil Service positions are in a designated classification. Classification is determined by the Bureau of Human Resources. The duties of the classification are listed on a class specification.

Class Specification: This is a document prepared by the Bureau of Human Resources. This document describes the position purpose, distinguishing features, duties, reporting relationships, challenges and problems, decision-making authority, contact with others, working conditions, and knowledge, skills and abilities of a particular classification.

Classification Analyst: An individual in the Bureau of Human Resources who will be assigned to review your PDQ, review your position, and make a recommendation on the most appropriate classification of your position.

Classification Review: When a classification analyst communicates with the person who has completed the PDQ and discusses their duties, challenges and problems, and decisions made and referred. Typically done in person or over the phone (sometimes referred to as a "desk audit").

Incumbent: Person who has completed the PDQ and is in the position being reviewed.

Classification Action Notice: This document is generated by the Classification Analyst and indicates what action was taken relevant to the position being reviewed.