Washington State University

Revised 11-17
Human Resource Services

Project Employment--Civil Service

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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 (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. (See 58.01 for definition of 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.


Position Creation

Complete a Position Action/PRR to establish a project position. See 58.02.

A department may create a project position if the defined project allows for an appointment of no less than .50 FTE lasting a minimum of six months and one day.


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 60.37.


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

Exception to Open Recruitment

Appointing authorities may request direct appointment without recruitment for project civil service positions. See 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.

Utilize the template offer letters available from Staff Recruitment ToolKit website at:

http://hrs.wsu.edu/APCSRTK Main



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:

See 60.31.


Department Actions

To request the creation of a new project position or the review of a vacant project position, the requesting department submits the following documentation as indicated.

Position Action/PRR

The requesting department submits a signed Position Action/PRR form to HRS Position Control; French 139, mail code 1014. See 58.02 for form completion instructions.

Review Requested Activity

HRS Position Control does not return copies to the department after processing the Position Action/PRR. Departmental personnel may review requested actions by accessing the AIS applications DEPPS or HEPPS, or in the Online Position Description and Recruitment System (OPDRS). See 60.02.

Submit to HRS Through OPDRS

After HRS Position Control assigns the position number, the department submits the following to HRS for review and approval through OPDRS:

See 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 Employees--Classification and Compensation area of the HRS website at:


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


Create a Recruitment Request

Recruitment requests for all classified positions are processed through OPDRS. See 60.18 for recruitment request procedures.

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.


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 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 60.37.