1408 Principal Clerk

Recruitment #CBT-1408-902844


Under direction, the 1408 Principal Clerk performs highly responsible, important, and difficult clerical work requiring extensive knowledge of departmental functions, and performs related duties as required. Essential functions of the classification include: supervising, planning, assigning and evaluating subordinate personnel engaged in a wide variety of office clerical work and/or disseminating, explaining and interpreting information requiring specialized knowledge of the policies and procedures of a department; handling confidential correspondence and sensitive and/or personal information; developing staff procedures; resolving day-to-day problems and/or complaints encountered by staff, the public, department representatives, and others; supervising and/or participating in the preparation and maintenance of statistics and records for reports using applicable computer systems; and supervising and/or preparing the processing and handling of administrative documents. May collect, calculate and process applicable charges, fees, taxes, etc. This position requires proficiency in basic computer application programs.

Essential Duties:
- Supervises, plans, assigns and evaluates subordinate personnel to ensure conformance with departmental regulations and policies, existing office procedures, and applicable laws and regulations. This includes maintaining personnel action requests, personnel files and other personnel records.

- Disseminates, explains and interprets important information requiring specialized knowledge of the policies and procedures of a department, as well as the regulations enforced by the department to the public and/or employees, contractors, vendors, etc.

- Performs highly responsible, important and difficult clerical work involving the exercise of individual judgment by knowing the applicable departmental procedures to which assigned.

- Reviews and resolves day-to-day transactions, problems and/or complaints encountered by co-workers and/or affiliated parties (members of the public, volunteers, students, city departments and other government agencies, etc.).

- Supervises and/or participates in the preparation and maintenance of a wide variety of records and reports by preparing, compiling, and maintaining statistics and records for these reports using applicable computer systems.

- Supervises and/or prepares the processing and general handling of administrative documents such as licenses, permits, purchase orders, work orders, requisitions, contracts, etc. This includes verifying the timeliness and accuracy of these documents.

- May collect, calculate and process applicable charges, fees and taxes, etc.

- Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

Three (3) years (equivalent to 6,000 hours) of verifiable highly responsible and diversified clerical experience including preparing and processing complex detailed work impacting an entire department or section; responding to and resolving difficult day-to-day problems and/or complaints encountered by staff, the public, other individuals, etc. on office operations and procedures; and explaining and interpreting complicated information to departments, staff, the public and/or others.

Substitution (any one of the following may substitute for six (6) months of the required experience):

  • Completion of a clerical training program (240 hours) OR
  • 15 semester units (or equivalent quarter units) of coursework from an accredited college or university OR
  • Possession of a certificate of completion from the San Francisco Department of Human Services Agency's Career Pathway Clerical Administrative Program

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org, @famsf.org, @ccsf.edu).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Joyce Chong, by telephone at 415-551-8929, or by email at joyce.chong@sfgov.org



Selection Procedures

Supplemental Questionnaire Evaluation (Qualifying):
Applicants are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire as part of the application process. The purpose of the supplemental questionnaire is to obtain specific information regarding an applicant’s education, experience and training in relation to the Minimum Qualifications for this position. It is essential that an applicant provide complete information in identifying their education, experience and training. The supplemental questionnaire will be used to evaluate if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications.


Clerical Test (Weighted 80%):
Candidates will be administered a written multiple choice exam to determine their relative knowledge, skill and ability level in one or more of the following job related areas as appropriate. These areas may include, but not be limited to: Ability to establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships and to effectively work with others; Ability to communicate effectively, professionally and courteously with others in a clear, concise, and understandable manner; Ability to enter data accurately into systems; Ability to prepare, organize and maintain records (e.g., clerical, office); Ability to use office machines and equipment (e.g., scanner, photocopy machine, calculator) for office operational needs; Ability to read and review information such as forms, documents, and/or reports for completeness, accuracy, grammar, punctuation, and spelling; Ability to utilize various computer software programs (e.g., word processing, excel, power-point) for the development of reports, spreadsheets, presentations and/or other purposes; Ability to understand information to assist in following directions; Ability to organize time and materials accordingly in order to work more efficiently; Knowledge of principles, practices, policies and procedures in office operations; Ability to exercise good judgment when making a decision such as considering risks and alternatives prior to making a decision; and Ability to use mathematical formulas (e.g., subtraction, addition, multiplication) to perform calculations and analysis.

Clerical Supervisory Written Exam (Weighted 20%):
Candidates will be administered a written multiple choice examination to determine their relative knowledge, skill and ability level in one or more of the following job related areas as appropriate. These areas may include, but not be limited to: Knowledge of methods used to develop office policies and procedures; Ability to supervise the work of clerical and other staff; Ability to plan and coordinate staff assignments; and Ability to develop performance evaluations.

Candidates must achieve a passing score on both the Clerical Test and the Clerical Supervisory Written Examination in order to be ranked on the eligible list.


This is a standardized written multiple-choice examination. In accordance with Civil Service Rule 111.11.4, inspection privileges do not apply to the questions and answers in this examination.

The scores you achieve on these examinations shall be valid and 'banked' for three years, starting from the date of the examination. This means that, during this three-year time period, you will not be required to take these tests again should you apply and be found eligible for a future announcement for which these particular tests are used. If the test for this future announcement is held within one year of the date of this examination, your score will be automatically applied to that announcement. However, after one year, you have the option to either (a) apply your test score to the other announcement or (b) re-take the test. Re-testing is permitted no sooner than one year from the date of the examination and only in association with your eligibility for another announcement for which this test is used. Please note that, should you re-test, your re-test score would become your official score since it is the most recent.

Note: The Clerical Test is a new exam, and therefore all applicants that meet the minimum qualifications will be required to report in person to the test site on their scheduled exam date in order to move forward in the exam process.

The hiring department may administer additional positions-specific selection procedures to make final hiring decisions.

Qualified applicants will be notified by email of the exact time, date, and location of the examinations. If you also apply and meet the minimum qualifications for the 1402 Junior Clerk, 1404 Clerk, 1406 Senior Clerk, and/or 1410 Chief Clerk recruitments, you will only be scheduled once for the Clerical Test. Requests for an alternate test date may be considered in limited circumstances and must be submitted to the analyst listed in this announcement within five (5) calendar days of the announcement of the test date.

Candidate scores on these examinations may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director.

Eligible List:
The eligible list resulting from this examination is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be of 24 months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Three Scores.  Additional selection processes may be conducted by the hiring department prior to making final hiring decisions.

Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights

Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  [Note: The correction of clerical errors in an announcement may be posted on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.] The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 110.4.  Such appeals must be submitted in writing to the Department of Human Resources, 1 S Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-5413 by close of business on the 5th business day following the issuance date of this examination announcement.  Information concerning other Civil Service Commission Rules involving announcements, applications and examination policies, including applicant appeal rights, can be found on the Civil Service Commission website at http://sfgov.org/civilservice/rules.

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures:
Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents:
Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work:
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at: 

Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: 

Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams: 
Information regarding seniority credit can be found at:

Exam Type: CPE
Issued: September 10, 2018 
Micki  Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: 902844


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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