County Licensing Program


Licensing Examinations For
DEPUTY COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER
DEPUTY COUNTY SEALER OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

Application and Fees

Applications must be filed electronically at: https://apps1.cdfa.ca.gov/countylicensingexam/. A fee of $75.00 will be charged for the administration of each exam. Fees for all exams must be remitted with the electronic application via credit or debit card. Refunds will be issued to candidates not meeting minimum qualifications.

Candidates successfully passing the written exam will be automatically registered to take the next scheduled oral exam without additional fees. Candidates that have failed in a previous attempt to pass the oral exam must re-apply and pay an additional $75.00 fee to register for an oral exam. Candidates that have passed the written exam will be given up to five (5) attempts to pass the oral portion of the exam, within three years of taking the written portion of the exam, before being required to re-take the written exam.

Examination Registration Period

Qualified candidates submitting applications during each registration period will be scheduled for testing in the corresponding administration period indicated below. Applications received before or after the registration period will need to register for a future exam cycle.

Oral and written exams will be administered twice a year, during the dates below:

Written Examinations

Registration Begins Registration Ends Exam Dates
October 4, 2019 January 17, 2020 March 9-13, 2020
March 13, 2020 July 17, 2020 August 31, 2020 - September 4, 2020

Oral Examinations

Registration Begins Registration Ends Exam Dates
June 10, 2019 September 9, 2019 Nov/Dec 2019
October 4, 2019 March 6, 2020 May/June 2020
April 1, 2020 August 28, 2020 Nov/Dec 2020

Examination Locations

Written exams will typically be administered at the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures office located in each county. Candidates currently employed by a county will be scheduled in that county. Candidates not currently employed by a county will be scheduled in the county in which they reside.

Oral exams will be scheduled regionally depending on the number of participating candidates in any given area.

Notice of Examinations and Rescheduling

Candidates will receive notice of the exam location, date, and time at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the exam date. If you believe you have applied and paid fees for an upcoming exam and have not received this notice, please contact the CDFA Licensing program at 916-653-5866 or cdfa.county_exams@cdfa.ca.gov as soon as possible. Candidates unable to present an examination notice may not be allowed into the exam.

Candidates wishing to reschedule exams must notify the County Licensing Program at least fourteen (14) days before the scheduled testing date. Failure to provide this advance notice, and not appearing for an exam, will result in fee forfeiture and necessitate re-applying for the exam in a future cycle. Candidates noticing the program at least fourteen days before the scheduled testing date will be rescheduled during the current cycle or postponed to the next exam cycle at the discretion of the Licensing Program. No fee refunds will be issued to qualified candidates.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must meet the following criteria to be admitted to the exam:

Deputy County Agricultural Commissioner

  1. Possession of a valid statewide County Agricultural Inspector/Biologist licenses in all categories for which licenses are issued; and
  2. Two (2) years of experience in the enforcement of agricultural or weights and measures laws or in agricultural pest control or in the production, processing, or marketing of agricultural commodities. This experience must have been at a level comparable to County Agricultural or Weights and Measures Inspector; and
  3. Education: Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college with specialization in one or more appropriate disciplines in agricultural or biological sciences as determined by the Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture.

Deputy County Sealer of Weights and Measures

  1. Possession of valid statewide County Weights and Measures Inspector licenses in all categories for which licenses are issued; and
  2. Two (2) years of experience in the enforcement of agricultural or weights and measures laws or in agricultural pest control or in the production, processing, or marketing of agricultural commodities. This experience must have been at a level comparable to County Agricultural or Weights and Measures Inspector; and
  3. Education equivalent to graduation from college with major work in chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, or other job related majors such as law enforcement, commerce and marketing. (Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for up to two years of the required college education on a year-for-year basis. Persons applying under this pattern must have a minimum of 15 semester units of college training in one or more of the qualifying majors).

Examination Information and Scope

Personal calculators may be used during the exam. Other personal effects, including purses, backpacks, and cell phones will not be allowed in the exam room and should be stored in a secure location prior to arriving for testing.

The entire licensing exam will consist of separate written and oral exams – candidates must pass both components to be qualified to receive a license.

Written Examination

Written exams will consist of multiple choice questions for both the Deputy Agricultural Commissioner and Deputy Sealer of Weights and Measures candidates.  Questions will test the candidate's knowledge of:

  • Administration, management and supervision including personnel administration, program planning, budgeting, training, and public relations principles.
  • Structure and function of county government.
  • Laws and regulations relating to the management practices of County Agricultural Commissioners or County Sealers of Weights and Measures.
  • Statewide policies relating to county agricultural or weights and measures programs.

Additionally, scoring of the essay questions will be based on the candidate’s ability to:

  • Understand the question
  • Respond in a complete and accurate manner
  • Provide a well-organized response
  • Use proper sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation
  • Write in a legible manner
Note: Candidates possessing a Deputy Agricultural Commissioner or Deputy Sealer of Weights and Measures license will only be required to complete an abbreviated multiple-choice exam consisting of questions specific to the exam applied for. No essay questions will be administered to these candidates.

Oral Examination

Candidates must achieve a rating of 70% or higher on the written portion of the exam to be admitted to the oral exam. During the oral exam, each candidate will appear before an exam panel. The panel will pose questions, pertaining to the license being tested for, designed to evaluate the candidate's:

  • Job knowledge
  • Judgement
  • Leadership abilities
  • Supervisory skills
  • Understanding of program activities and issues

Oral examinations will be scored on a pass/fail basis.

Licenses

Upon successful completion of both the written and oral portions of the exam, a license of eligibility will be issued to the candidate. Licenses are valid for five (5) years unless revoked.

California law requires the Deputy Agricultural Commissioners and Deputy Sealers of Weights and Measures possess licenses demonstrating job proficiency. While the CDFA is tasked with overseeing the testing and licensing of potential candidates, each county is responsible for hiring and determining the qualifications of its own employees. To be hired, candidates must qualify for the licenses of eligibility exams and meet all requirements of the hiring county. Counties may require additional experience or education beyond that of the licensing exam requirements.

Expiring licenses may be renewed, at the request of the license holder, without further examination if the holder is employed in any county agricultural or weights and measures position, with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, or with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. A holder of a license of eligibility who is not employed in one of the above capacities, but who otherwise meets the minimum license qualifications, may apply to renew the license prior to its expiration upon passing a requalifying exam.

Right of Appeal

Appeals of exam results must be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture at 1220 N Street, Sacramento, California  95814 within thirty (30) of the mailing of the Notice of Exam Results to candidates.  To be considered, appeals must include the exam title, date of exam, and basis of appeal. Written examination material will not be made available to candidates for review.


For questions or assistance regarding licensing exams, please contact the
 CDFA County Licensing Program at
cdfa.county_exams@cdfa.ca.gov  or 916-653-5866