Candidate Selection

"Rule of Three"
New York State Civil Service Law requires that an appointing authority must select from the top 3 candidates willing to accept an appointment.
Some examples:
  • Three scores of 100 (choice of 3 candidates)
  • One at 100, 12 at 95 (choice of all 13 candidates since all 95s are tied with the same score)
  • One at 100, 1 at 95, 4 at 90 (choice of 6)
If there are less than 3 candidates willing to accept the current appointment offer, the appointing authority does not have to use the list and can make a provisional appointment, which will result in the scheduling of a new examination.

List Eligibility
In accordance with the New York State Civil Service Law, an eligible list must remain in existence for 1 year from the date of its establishment or until there are no candidates left who are willing to accept appointment, whichever occurs first. The Civil Service Commission may extend “the life” of the list beyond 1 year to a maximum of 4 years.

A new examination in the title may be requested and held at any time during the life of an existing eligible list. It is the responsibility of the candidate on the existing list to keep abreast of the examination schedule and to apply for and participate in the new examination.

At the time of establishment of the new list, a decision is made on whether or not to allow the existing list (over 1 year of age) to continue or to replace it with the new list. When the “old” list is continued, the new list “supplements” the old list until a predetermined date. The old list is used first.