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Career Executive Assignment Delegation

​Career Executive Assignment Delegation

In cooperation with both internal and external stakeholders, the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has implemented streamlined procedures that allow departments to manage more of their own Career Executive Assignment (CEA) programs. These procedures provide departments greater flexibility while improving efficiency and maintaining accountability.


CalHR grants delegation through a CEA Delegation Agreement between the department's executive management and CalHR. This CEA Delegation Agreement defines the reporting requirements, responsibilities, obligations, and expectations of the department. 


Departments that have signed a formal CEA Delegation Agreement with CalHR will have the authority to:


  • Establish new CEAs and make major concept revisions through the new CEA Action Proposal process

  • Make minor revisions to existing CEA concepts

  • Determine appropriate levels for existing CEAs

  • Set existing CEA salaries within an established salary cap


New CEAs

Effective January 1, 2016, under the California Code of Regulations, title 2, Section 548.5(a), departments that want to establish a new Career Executive Assignment (CEA) position or significantly revise the concept of an existing CEA position must submit to the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) a CEA Action Proposal to be posted on CalHR's website for public notice for 30 calendar days. If no opposition is filed during the 30-day period, the proposed CEA concept will be established without a hearing by the five-member State Personnel Board (SPB). If a valid opposition is submitted timely and CalHR concurs, then the CEA Action Proposal will be calendared for hearing by SPB, which will determine whether the proposal meets the criteria for inclusion in the CEA category as defined by Government Code Section 18547:


"Career executive assignment" means an appointment to a high administrative and policy influencing position within the state civil service in which the incumbent's primary responsibility is the managing of a major function or the rendering of management advice to top-level administrative authority. Such a position can be established only in the top managerial levels of state service and is typified by board responsibility for policy implementation and extensive participation in policy evolvement.


Please note that CalHR reviews all CEA proposals during the 30-day public posting period and if CalHR determines that the proposal does not meet the CEA concept, CalHR will contact the department to discuss next steps. This typically includes some type of revision to the proposal.


Departments must provide all information necessary for CalHR review and the public posting on the CEA Position Request - CalHR 881 form.



PML 2015-038 provides details regarding changes to the new process for establishing and significantly revising Career Executive Assignment (CEA) allocations.


CEA Leveling

Newly established CEA levels must be approved by CalHR. Changes to existing CEA levels are delegated to departments that have current delegation agreements. When making changes to the level of an existing CEA as well as when establishing the level of a new CEA, departments are responsible for using the CEA Position Request - CalHR 881​ form. The level of the CEA is determined by the size of the department and the reporting relationship of the CEA.


Salary Setting and the Salary Cap

CEA salary determinations are delegated to departments that have current delegation agreements. Delegated departments have been given a salary cap based on their existing CEA salaries and projected departmental priorities. Generally the salary cap will not be increased unless there is a general salary increase for CEAs, a new program is added that supports increasing the level of a CEA position, or a new CEA position is established. If a new CEA position is established, CalHR will determine the level,  and CalHR will increase the department’s salary cap to accommodate the new CEA position. CalHR issues an addendum to the CEA delegation agreement identifying the new salary cap. The salary cap will be reduced if a CEA position is converted to an exempt or civil service position, or if the CEA is abolished.
At the time of delegation, CalHR calculated the CEA salary cap for each department by adding the number of CEA positions assigned to each level and multiplying them by the maximum salary rate of that level. If a department had a CEA that was approved by CalHR to be paid over the maximum salary of their approved level CalHR used the CEA’s approved actual base salary for the calculation.  


CalHR may increase a department's salary cap when:

  • A new CEA position is established;
  • A new program is added that supports increasing the level of a CEA position; or
  • A pay program is approved for CEAs. (The salary cap should normally be increased by the percentage amount of the pay program. If a different approach is to be taken, directions will be given prior to implementation of the pay program). 


A salary cap will not be increased for any other reason. Specifically, after the salary cap has been established by CalHR, the salary cap will not be increased by CalHR if a department later wishes to pay an incumbent above the appropriate level of their position. Departments will have to manage their CEA pay within their salary cap.


Departments must not exceed their salary cap at any time and are expected to exercise sound personnel and fiscal management practices when administering their CEA program.


Reporting Requirements

Delegated departments are responsible for notifying CalHR of changes to their CEA allocations by submitting a CEA Reporting Worksheet | Monthly CEA Reporting Worksheet - Text Only (RTF) to their Personnel Management Division Analyst and the inbox by the 10th calendar day of the month.


The CEA Reporting Worksheet must report the incumbent’s name, primary function, position number, position title, approved CEA level, new CEA level, approved salary cap rate (maximum salary of level), current monthly salary and proposed monthly salary. CalHR uses this report to monitor each department’s salary cap compliance. Departments must submit a “negative response” report even when no changes have been made.


Departments that perform human resources work for other departments must maintain a separate CEA Reporting Worksheet for each appointing authority.


Record Keeping

Delegated departments must develop and maintain, for audit purposes, adequate justifications and appropriate forms for each CEA level increase, salary change, and new CEA position. The following list outlines the proper documentation to maintain for  their CEA program changes.


  • CEA Position Request - CalHR 881 (used by departmental human resources staff for each new or revised CEA)

  • Duty Statement (current and proposed for the CEA’s program or area of responsibility)

  • Organizational Chart (current and proposed for the CEA’s program or area of responsibility)

  • Executive Organizational Chart (high-level chart showing only CEAs and Exempts in relation to each other, with levels)

  • CEA Reporting Worksheet | Monthly CEA Reporting Worksheet - Text Only (RTF)

  • Analysis comparing other CEA positions to the proposed CEA position or level (optional)


Monitoring and Auditing

CalHR monitors each department’s CEA positions via reports from the State Controller’s Office on an ongoing basis. Departments will be notified immediately if discrepancies are found.


CalHR and the State Personnel Board (SPB) will also review departmental CEA programs as part of SPB’s Compliance Review and/or CalHR’s HR Review.


Any questions about CEA delegation should be addressed to the department’s assigned Personnel Management Division analyst at CalHR.

  Updated: 9/14/2017
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