Crediting Experience for Pay Purposes

Crediting Experience for Pay Purposes





REPLACES V.6 – July 1, 2003

6.00 - Credit for Experience

We believe as a school district that being able to recruit and keep highly effective employees is a key to our success. Not only must we offer pay rates that enable us to compete for good talent, but our rates must also recognize and reward the valueof loyalty, dedication and the enhanced abilities individuals typically acquire with length of service.

Our belief in the importance of dedicatedemployees is the primary reason why all of our pay scales reward employees for length of service with our district. Simply stated, webelieve length of service with FCS uniquely expands and enhances the knowledge and skills of employees, thus making each employee increasingly valuable to our success.

This does not mean in any way that we regard experience with otheremployers as unimportant. In fact, successful “outside”experience is often the reason why one applicant will be selected over others competing for jobs. Instead, it is intendedto recognize that “outside” experience usually does not have the same valueto FCS as experience gained as an FCS employee.

In certain situations, however, experience gained in outside jobs so closely matches the nature, usefulness and value of experience with FCS that it may be counted in whole or in part for pay purposes as if it had been earned with us.

The FCS HUMAN RESOURCES department is responsible for reviewing prior experience and for determining the extent to which it may be credited for pay purposes based upon localand state regulations, procedures and guidelines designed to ensure fairness and consistency. Determinations of experiencecredit for certificated educators are made according to rules published by the State of Georgia. Determinations for non-certificatedemployees and for some situations not covered by state rule are guided by FCS procedures and practices. The FCS procedures described in this section were designed generally to parallel the key concepts of experience-assessment embodied in state rules for education professionals. Our procedure – CREDITING EXPERIENCE FORPAY PURPOSES – outlines the primary processes and criteria we observe in situations not covered by state rules.


"Current period of employment" – The numberof consecutive creditable years of service to thedistrict beginning with the most recent date on which anindividual was approved or actually started working,whichever is later. Service rendered under annualemployment contracts is considered "continuous"service unless interrupted by separation (voluntary orinvoluntary termination of the employment relationship).

"Creditable Year": (A “creditable year” for certificated professional employees is determined as referenced in Section 6.02.) For all other employees: One "year" ofexperience as an employee of the school district isconsidered to have been earned for purposes of payscaleadvancement when the employee was in activeservice on a full-time* basis (or on approved leave of absence) for at least 63 percent of the total number ofworkdays designated on the annual work calendarapplicable to the employee. One year of work experienceoutsidethe school district is defined as a period of 12consecutive months of continuous employment by thesame employer or consecutive and substantiallyuninterrupted periods of employment with more thanone employer when each period continued for aminimum of six months and is otherwise creditable.

If employed for a year (as defined previously) for at leastfour hours daily but less than full-time, credit may begranted for one-half of a year. A one-half year creditearned through this provision may be combined with anyother one-half credit similarly earned to yield one fullyear of credit for pay purposes.

Credit may notbe granted for any period of employmentin which the individual was engaged to work fewer thanfourhours daily (or on an alternative schedule thatyields at least twenty work hours in a typical five-day week).

Credit may be granted for temporary or substitute serviceonly if explicit requirements are met. Specifically, theindividual must have: been engaged continuously: 1)for a full year (as defined by these procedures); 2)on afull-timebasis (minimum of 7.5 hours daily); 3) in thesamejob or position; 4) with the same employer; and 5)with duties, responsibilities and performanceexpectationsof the individual that are allindistinguishable from a non-temporary individual in thejob or position in every respect but job title.


All experience must be verified in writing by the designatedofficial of each former employer before it may be evaluatedby FCS HUMAN RESOURCESfor possible credit. Forms and instructions for experience verification are available fromHUMAN RESOURCES. While HUMAN RESOURCES will gladly assistemployees as






REPLACES V.6 – July 1, 2003

needed in verifying experience, it is eachemployee's responsibility to distribute verification forms andto ensure completed forms are submitted for evaluation.

Verification forms must be supplied in a timely manner. Experience accepted by FCS will be credited during thepayroll month submitted, and the employee’s pay rate willbe adjusted back to the employee’s first workday of thefiscal year (July 1 – June 30) in which verification forms aresubmitted. In no case may pay rate changes be backdatedbeyondJuly 1 of the fiscal year in which verification formsare submitted.


For all employees holding jobs for which professionalcertification is required by the Georgia ProfessionalStandards Commissionor by FCS, placement at salary stepsrepresenting years of experience will be based uponproperly verified experience utilizing experiencedeterminationrules established by the State of Georgia.


(This category applies to all FLSA-exempt jobs that are requiredby FCSto hold a bachelor's degree or higher but are not required by the Professional Standards Commission to hold professionalcertification.)

Placement for experience purposes on salary bands is basedupon years of experience in the field or profession in whichthe person is employed by FCS. If a certificated employeeholds a position for which he or she possesses a valid andappropriate in-field certificate, but the position, per se, doesnot requirecertification, then the employee will be placedon the salary scale based upon State of Georgia rules forcertificated employees or the years of creditable experiencethe individual has in the position's field of expertise,whichever is higher. Experience creditable under state rulesand experience eligible for credit based on non-educationalprofessional expertise may be added together only if theeducation component was in a supervisory (administrative)role and the non-education professional experience was atan organizational level comparable to the schooldistrict position.


For purposes of transitioning to the new pay system in 1995
paraprofessional employees retained whatever credit for completed college courses was recorded in the payroll system at that time,
even if the courses did not meet the criteria established by current procedures. Courses submitted after February 1, 1995, must meet current criteria in order to be credited.

Subject to limitations, credit may be awarded for certainfull-time experience earned in comparable jobs outside theschool district. Service with other public school districtsin pupil transportation positions having the same,

essentially the same or higher level responsibilities as theposition held in ForsythCounty may be credited withoutlimits. Full-time and regular experience transportingpassengers in buses for a public or private employer (e.g.,MARTA, Greyhound, etc.) may be credited at the rate of one-halfyear for each verified year of service; however, the totalcredit may not exceed sevenyears.


Regular full-time employees in paraprofessionalpositions will be placed within the appropriate pay bandcorresponding to their highest level of education asrecognized by the district. (See tablebelow.)

P-1 / High School diploma or equivalency
P-2 / 45QH / 27SH of acceptable college credit (see paragraph below)
P-3 / Associate's degree or at least 90QH/54SH of acceptable college credit (see paragraph below)
P-4 / 135QH/81SH of acceptable college credit (see paragraph below)
P-5 / Bachelor's degree or higher


Types of college courses and programs that may be credited toward advancement from P-1 to P-5 are limited to acceptable college credit as defined by Professional Standards Commission (PSC) Rules 505-2-.02 (Classification – Category, Title, Type, Field, Level), 505-2-.22 (PSC-Accepted Accreditation; Validation of Non-Accredited Degrees). Courses considered “remedial” in nature (generally numbered below the “100” level) are not eligible for credit.

Officialtranscripts must be submitted to establish eligibilityfor any pay level higher than P-1. The district does notaccept copies of diplomas, grade reports, unofficialtranscripts or similar documents for pay purposes.Transcripts will be credited during the payroll monthsubmitted, and the employee’s pay rate will be adjustedback to the employee’s first workday of the fiscal year (July1 – June 30) in which the transcripts are submitted. In nocase may pay rate changes be backdated beyondJuly 1 ofthe fiscal year in which transcripts are submitted.

Experience credit for pay purposes may be granted toindividuals employed as paraprofessionals if compatiblewith the following guidelines: 1) full-time employment in

accredited schools or lottery-funded prekindergarten programs performing essential dutieshighlycomparable to those of performed by FCS paraprofessionals; or2) service in professionalpositions (e.g., teacher,administrator, etc.) that meets eligibility requirements forcredit under State Board of Education rules.






REPLACES V.6 – July 1, 2003


The required standard credential for all personnel providing educational sign language interpreting for children who are deaf or hard of hearingshall hold a current Georgia Quality Assurance Screening (G-QAS) rating of Level III or higher in both interpreting and transliterating, as approved and maintained by the Georgia Department of Labor/Vocational Rehabilitation Program (DOL/VR), and/or documentation of advanced interpreting skills and qualifications through current national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), and/or documentation of advanced interpreting skills and qualifications through current national certification from the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Levels III, IV, or V, and/or documentation of advanced interpreting skills and qualifications through a current Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) rating of Level 3.5 or higher. The EIPA rating cannot be more than five years old. (160-4-7-.14, 7-1-07).

Interpreters holding the required standard credential, as defined above, will be placed on the teacher/professional compensation schedule. Experience credit for pay purposes may be granted for full-time employment as a sign language interpreter in a school or other professional setting, while holding the required standard credential during the service time.


Persons employed in jobs identified as “skilled trades” suchas electrician, plumber and HVAC technician may becredited with the full number of years of experienceperforming at the “journeyman” level or equivalent in theskilled trade subject to conditions described below. To beconsidered, the employee must ensure the school district isprovided with written verification by the owner (orsupervisor authorized to verify experience). The verificationmust include the dates of employment and describe thenature and scope of duties and responsibilities performedduring the employment. If different jobs were held for thesame employer, then eachjob should be documented.

Experience generally may be credited onlywhen performedunder one of the following conditions: 1) the employee helda professional trade license or certificate issued by an entitywhose purpose is to evaluate and endorse skill and abilitylevels through testing, monitoring, etc.;2) completion of a formal apprenticeship program orcomprehensive training program such as those offeredby trade and technical schools; 3) experience incomparable jobs with educational or other governmentalinstitutions; or 4) situations where unique or highlyspecialized skills are required that, as a minimum, meet thegeneral intentof other requirements.

In most cases, experience credit is notgranted for“generalist” skills.

Note: Determination as to whether or not a trainingprogram satisfies the intent of this procedure will be madeon a case-by-case basis.


Experience in nursing positions may be credited for pay purposes if it meets the following criteria and limitations: 1) the employee held a valid LPN or RN nursing license when the experience was earned; 2) the primary responsibility of the individual was to perform general nursing duties; and 3) the position was full-time.

To be considered, the employee must ensure the school district is provided with written verification by the supervisor or anyone authorized to verify experience. The verification must include the dates of employment and describe the nature and scope of duties and responsibilities performed during the employment. If different jobs were held for the same employer, then each different job should be documented.



An individual employed for the primary purpose ofinstalling, servicing, troubleshooting and repairingadvanced-technology systems and equipment may begranted pay-scale credit for prior work experience limitedonly to the extent that such experience is deemed highlycomparable to the primary requirements, duties andresponsibilities of the job to be performed for ForsythCounty Schools (FCS).

While all relevant prior experience may be evaluated forcredit, it is a fundamental prerequisite to granting credit thatit must have been gained through full-timeservice intechnology-support roles similar in both nature and scope tothe district’s job. It is not required, per, se, that everyelement of prior experience be identicalto the FCS job;however, the characteristic depth and breadth of technicalskill, effort and responsibility demanded routinely by formerjobs must be essentially the same type and level as thosehe/she would have had if he/she had been serving as atechnical support specialist for FCS.

For experience to be considered, the employee must ensurethe school district is provided with written verification ofexperience by the owner or supervisor of the formeremployer who is authorized to verify experience. Theverification must include the dates of employment anddescribe the nature and scope of duties and responsibilitiesperformed. If more than one job was performed for anemployer, then each different job should be described anddefined as to dates served, etc.


Experience in clerical positions may be credited for paypurposes depending upon the level and applicability ofspecialized knowledge. The district will grant credit basedupon the following general criteria and limitations: 1)

Experience - no limit - in highly comparable administrativesupport jobs with other public school systems; 2) Experience- maximum of seven years - in generally comparableadministrative support positions with other academic orgovernmental institutions.

The district may also credit experience for specializedknowledge when identified as critical to continuedoperations, in short supply or otherwise of exceptionalbenefit to FCS. In most cases, the range of specializedknowledge for which credit may be considered is limited totechnical and highly advanced skills (e.g., computeroperator, payroll specialist, etc.)

To be considered, the employee must ensure the school district is provided with written verification by the owner (orsupervisor authorized to verify experience). The verificationmust include the dates of employment and describe thenature and scope of duties and responsibilities performedduring the employment. If different jobs were held for thesame employer, then each different job should bedocumented.


These classifications may be credited with an unlimitednumber of years of experience for verified full-time servicein public schools. They may also be credited with up toseven years of service in highly comparable jobs with othereducational institutions, hospitals or well-established andrecognized entities. Experience in food service incommercial settings where the individual is involved in allaspects of broad-menu preparation may be credited to amaximum of seven years. The district usually does notcredit experience in “fast food” restaurants, other operationswith highly limited menus or food industry experience inwhich the individual is not fully involved in foodpreparation. Custodial experience with commercial cleaningagencies is potentially creditable to a maximum of sevenyears. The district generally will not consider any form ofhousehold or private residence cleaning. Up to seven yearsof prior experience may be credited for warehouse workersif gained in jobs having similar responsibilities as the FCSjobs working in operations comparable in nature and scopeto the FCS warehouse and distribution function.


Professional positions not designated to be paid from theTeacher Scale will be paid for experience according toProcedures 6.02 and 6.03.


Except for positions requiring a professional certificate orbachelor's degree as referenced in Procedures 6.02 and 6.03, all positions will be paid at the experience step ofthe appropriate local pay scale and bandcorresponding to the total number of creditable years ofexperience withFCS in regular positions during the current period of employmentwith FCS, regardless ofthe relevance of such experience to the current position.


An employee who transfers or is reassigned to anotherposition in this district will continue to receive credit for allexperience earned through employment with FCS. If anemployee is credited with “outside” experience in oneclassification, then transfers voluntarily to anotherclassification where the experience would not normally havebeen credited, then such outside credit must be withdrawn.


Former employees of FCS may, when reemployed, becredited with all previous full-time experience with thedistrict but limited to experience specifically in the samefield of service as the new position for which they are beingemployed. If the former employee has “outside” experiencein the same field as the new job as well as highlycomparable experience with FCS, then the amount of outsideexperience that may be credited may not exceed any otherlimitations specified in these procedures for outsideemployment (Procedures 6.02 - 6.09).

If a former employee rejoins the system and later becomesreclassified into a position for which he or she had priorexperience in the school system that was not originallycreditable based on irrelevance, then such experiencemay be substituted (but not added to) current experience ifgreater than experience in the current period. If priorexperience is substituted in this manner for currentexperience and the employee is later reclassified, then thecredit for prior experience to be carried forward to the newclassification is limited to the higher of: the number ofyears in the current period of service; or the years thatwould be creditable for "outside" experience underthe procedure for the new classification.