Staff are exempt from Washington state civil service law (RCW 41.06) if they meet one or more nonacademic exemption criteria outlined in RCW 41.06.070(2)(a-b). These exemption criteria apply to the following groups of staff:
- All professional staff covered by the Professional Staff Program, including project appointments and limited term appointments.
- All contract covered staff covered by collective bargaining agreements established under RCW 41.56.
- Intercollegiate Athletics staff covered by the Intercollegiate Athletics Personnel Program.
- Hall Health Physicians covered by their employment program.
Staff covered by the Print Plant collective bargaining agreement are exempt from civil service under RCW 41.06.070(2)(c) and do not meet any of the exemption criteria outlined below. Academic personnel, temporary staff, and student employees are also exempt from civil service and do not meet any of the exemption criteria outlined below.
- Confidential Secretaries and Administrative Assistants to the President and Vice Presidents
Individuals serving as a confidential secretary and/or administrative assistant to the President or a vice president.
- Executive Heads of Major Administrative or Academic Divisions
Individuals serving as the:
- Provost, vice provosts, associate and assistant provosts, associate and assistant vice provosts, deans, associate and assistant deans, chairpersons, and academic personnel equivalent to a director;
- Vice presidents, associate and assistant vice presidents;
- Hospital administrators, and senior associate and associate hospital administrators;
- Directors and other administrative personnel who are responsible for a separate budgetary unit or units and direct the work of others. Heads of major administrative or academic divisions must have a reporting relationship not below that of director or the equivalent.
- Principal Assistants to Executive Heads
Individuals serving as principal assistants to executive heads of a major administrative or academic division and who have major administrative or program responsibility within the division/department and report directly to the executive head. The employee regularly exercises independent judgment and discretion in work directly related to management policies or department business operations and has delegated authority to make commitments that affect department operations.
- Counseling of Students 
Individuals responsible for directing and/or participating in providing academic, athletic, career, medical, financial aid, student activity, and/or personal counseling to students.
- Continuing Education 
Individuals that have responsibility for administrative, operational and/or educational components of extension or continuing education activities or programs.
- Research 
Individuals having formal academic preparation at least at the Bachelor’s level or demonstrated professional competence in a specific field of research, and having responsibility for or assisting in one or more of the following tasks:
- Identifying and defining research problems,
- Designing approaches or hypotheses to be tested and the methodology to be used,
- Designing specific phases of research projects,
- Analyzing results,
- Developing conclusions and hypotheses,
- Presenting research results in publishable form, and/or
- Obtaining research grants.
- Graphic Arts and Publications 
Individuals having prescribed academic preparation or special training in the fields of graphic arts, printing and publications, and who are assigned to a major academic or administrative unit and who are responsible for the development and design of scholarly or related publications, or the full range of printing and publication activities, including publication via digital or other non-print media.
- Program Direction/Control
Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for directing or controlling program operations and who are accountable for the allocation of resources and program results.
- Institutional Policy
Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for formulating University of Washington institutional policy.
- Human Resources (Personnel)
Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for exercising discretion and independent judgment in effecting, executing, and discharging personnel functions, such as employment, classification, compensation, benefits, affirmative action/equal employment opportunity, labor relations, employee relations, and training and development.
- Legislative Relations
Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for promoting information flow to and from local, state, and national governments; devising the institution’s lobbying strategies; and monitoring and analyzing bills and policies.
- Public Information
Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for planning and directing the development and communication of information designed to keep the public informed of the institution’s programs, accomplishments, and point of view. Individuals exercise discretion in determining content of written copy. Other duties may include creating ideas, laying out artwork, contacting media representatives, and representing the institution directly before the general public.
Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for:
- Establishing the unit’s fundraising goals and developing methods to accomplish them;
- Planning and conducting public contact programs designed to promote the public’s understanding of the unit’s activities; and/or,
- Cultivating donors.
- Senior Computer Systems and Network Programming
Individuals having demonstrated professional competence in computer systems and network programming above the journey-level, who independently perform work assignments, and devise methods and processes to meet new and unique work requirements and problems. Employees having substantial responsibility in at least one of the following areas:
- Applying systems analysis techniques and procedures including consulting with users to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
- Designing, developing, documenting, analyzing, creating, testing, or modifying computer systems or programs, including prototypes based on and related to user or system design specifications;
- Designing, documenting, testing, creating, or modifying computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
- A combination of these duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.
- Internal Audits and Investigations
Individuals responsible for examining and analyzing fiscal and/or administrative records, and institutional practices and procedures for:
- Compliance with internal and external regulations and policies, including those for patient, worker and public health and safety;
- Effectiveness of established controls;
- Efficiency of operations; and,
- Accuracy of reports and records.
Individuals report to management on investigation or audit results and resolve complaints, provide risk assessments, and/or make recommendations for training or to improve operations.
 The HR Compensation Office interprets exemption criteria specified in RCW 41.06.070 and applies these criteria to University positions to determine if the positions are properly exempted from the state’s civil service system.