Printer-friendly version

1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the process for the evaluation and classification of professional staff and research-related professional staff positions for HEW Levels 1 – 9.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule

Enterprise AgreementThe University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

Head - Head of the Organisational Unit

Job Family Representative - a representative of a job family (as outlined in the attached table) trained in the Hay job evaluation methodology

PSCC - Professional Staff Consultative Committee

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all professional positions at HEW Levels 1 – 9.

Level 10 positions are evaluated using the Cullen Egan Dell methodology and are excluded from these procedures.

4. Procedures Statement

An evaluation of a position’s classification level may occur when a new position is created, an existing position becomes vacant and the duties will change or where the work value of an existing position has changed over time.

All new positions (excluding research related positions) for which appointments of more than 12 months will be made or an unclassified position is extended beyond 12 months are evaluated using the Hay job evaluation methodology and assigned a classification at the appropriate HEW Level.

A request to evaluate an existing position can be initiated by the incumbent of the position or by the supervisor with the agreement of the staff member. The incumbent does not require the agreement of the supervisor to request evaluation. Positions filled for less than 12 months and research-related positions are evaluated and classified using the HEW level Job Descriptors for professional staff (Schedule 6 of the Enterprise Agreement).

For example, at the time of applying for a grant, the typical tasks and activities to be performed by the staff member, together with the training level and qualifications needed to perform those duties are determined and considered against the Job Descriptors.

5. Initiation of Evaluation Process

A Request for Job Evaluation form is submitted to the Human Resources Division. Advice on completion of the relevant paperwork, which consists of a position description, organisational chart and position analysis questionnaire, can be obtained from faculty, institute or central Human Resources Division staff or from a job family representative (other than the representative who will perform the role of position classification moderator). An evaluation may be initiated by the Authorised Officer when a new position is created, an existing position becomes vacant, or by the Authorised Officer or staff member where an existing position has changed over time, as follows:

5.1 Classification of a new position

When a new position is created, the Authorised Officer authorises a Request for Job Evaluation form and forwards it to the relevant Human Resources staff member before the position can be advertised. However, if the position description for a new position specifies duties and selection criteria that are substantially the same as an existing position in the same or similar organisation unit, this may be classified by the Human Resources Division at the same level as the other position(s) it replicates.

5.2 Classification of a vacant position

When a position becomes vacant, the Authorised Officer may assess that the duties should change and this may warrant reclassification. If, after comparing the new duty statement with the original position description, a significant change is identified, a Request for Job Evaluation form must be completed by the Authorised Officer and forwarded to Human Resources before the position can be advertised.

5.3 Classification of an existing position

The work value of a position may change over time to the extent that the incumbent, supervisor or Authorised Officer assesses that the position’s classification may no longer reflect the work value of the position. To initiate the job evaluation process, where it has been assessed that the duties for the position have changed, a new position description is developed and agreed between the supervisor and the incumbent.

When comparing the revised position description with the original position description, a significant change with respect to the knowledge and skills, scope of problem-solving or accountability (know-how, problem solving and accountability job factors used in the Hay Group job evaluation methodology as described in Section 6- Methodology for Job Evaluation) inherent in the duties of the position would warrant a Request for Job Evaluation form being sent to the Authorised Officer. The incumbent may refer the issue to the Head where the supervisor does not agree that the change in duties reflects a change in work value of the position. An application for evaluation may not be initiated by an incumbent more than once over a 12 month period.

The Authorised Officer, after reviewing the changed position description and in consultation with the supervisor and incumbent, may determine one of the following:

  1. that a significant change in duties has occurred and has resulted in a change to the work value, warranting an evaluation; or
  2. that significant changes resulting in a change to the work value have not occurred; or
  3. that the incumbent be directed to perform the duties outlined in the original position description.

Where the Authorised Officer agrees that the position description has changed significantly, a Request for Classification Evaluation form must be completed and submitted to the Human Resources Division. Where the Authorised Officer determines that significant change has not occurred, the incumbent may never-the-less continue to submit a Request for Classification Evaluation form to the Human Resources Division.

If the Authorised Officer directs the incumbent to perform the duties in the original position description, no further action will be taken.

6. Methodology for Job Evaluation

Information contained in a Position Analysis Questionnaire is evaluated using the Hay job evaluation methodology outlined below.

6.1 Hay Methodology

The Hay methodology is the basis on which jobs are evaluated at The University of Queensland, using three factors and eight dimensions common to all jobs.

The Hay method defines these as follows:

6.1.1 Know-how

The sum of every kind of knowledge, skill and experience, however acquired, needed for acceptable job performance. Know-how has three dimensions:

  • Technical know-how – practice, procedures, specialised techniques and knowledge within occupational fields and professional or scientific disciplines.
  • Breadth of management know-how – the requirement for know-how in integrating and harmonising the diverse elements involved in planning, organising, directing, controlling and innovating situations. This know-how can be exercised in an advisory capacity as well as executively.
  • Human relations skills – skills in working with or through other people.

6.1.2 Problem solving

The application of know-how required in the job to identify, define, analyse, reason and resolve problems. This entails thinking grounded on knowledge of facts, principles and means. Problem solving has two dimensions:

  • Freedom to Think - the environment in which thinking takes place.
  • Thinking Challenge – the challenge presented by the thinking to be done in the position.

6.1.3 Accountability

This is the answerability for action and the consequences of that action. It is the effect of the job on end results of the organisation. Accountability has three dimensions:

  • Freedom to Act – the extent of personal, procedural or systematic guidance or control the position receives.
  • Impact on End Results – the extent to which the position can directly affect actions necessary to produce results.
  • Magnitude – the extent to which the position impacts on the organisation.

7. Process

Following submission to the HR Division of the Request for Job Evaluation:

  • the Request and relevant documentation is considered and is assessed by an evaluator within the HR Division trained in the Hay Methodology
  • The Request and relevant documentation are then submitted, along with the evaluator’s assessment, to a Job Family Representative (a relevant career stream representative, if available) for moderation. The Job Family Representative cannot be from the same organisational area of the University as the staff member whose position is being evaluated.
  • An evaluator from the HR Division and job family moderator may contact the incumbent, supervisor or Head to clarify any issues or inconsistencies in the documentation
  • The outcome of the evaluation and moderation process is returned to the HR Division for final review. This review will include consideration of parity and consistency of outcomes with like positions across the University.
  • In the event that there is not agreement on classification level between the HR Division and the moderator, the classification level will be determined by the Authorised Officer.
  • In the event that the moderator does not complete the moderation of the position classification within five (5) working days of receipt of the evaluation from the evaluator, or other timeframe as agreed by the Authorised Officer, the evaluator’s assessment and relevant documents will be referred to the Authorised Officer for determination.
  • The incumbent and the supervisor will be notified of the outcome normally within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the request for evaluation by the Human Resources Division and advised that, if they are not satisfied with the outcome, they may refer the outcome to the Appeals Panel.

Incumbents and supervisors may contact the Human Resources Division for further feedback on the outcome of the classification process.

8. Appeals Panel

The Appeals Panel is convened by the Human Resources Division in the following instances:

  • where the staff member is not satisfied with the outcome of the evaluation process
  • where the supervisor is not satisfied with the outcome of the evaluation process or
  • where the HR Division is concerned with the outcome of the evaluation process in relation to the classification level of other like positions within the university.

An appeal can be made to the Panel on the grounds of either merit and/or process.

The Appeals Panel comprises:

  • a Human Resources Division representative (Chair);
  • a Human Resources representative;
  • a job family representative; and
  • a staff member nominated by the union representatives on the PSCC.

All members of the panel must be trained in the Hay methodology and be external to the organisational unit of the person submitting the request.

The Appeals Panel will consider all the material provided to the HR Division in the Request for Job Evaluation. The incumbent and the Authorised Officer of the classification submission, or nominee, may be invited to meet with the Appeals Panel to clarify any issues. The incumbent or Authorised Officer of the classification submission may also elect to meet separately with the Appeals Panel.

Site visits may be undertaken, as appropriate, to enable the panel members to take account of the local context for the position.

8.1 Parity and consistency

Parity and consistency with positions within the organisational unit and comparable positions elsewhere in the University is sought as part of the job classification process. The panel has the capacity to call for and review position descriptions and selection criteria for comparable jobs at the HEW level being considered in the relevant job family.

If a position has been referred to a panel by the Human Resources Division because of an apparent concern with parity or consistency, the panel will take account of the following information, to be provided by the Human Resources Division:

  • Reference to the level of know-how, problem solving or accountability job factors of the position that appear inconsistent in comparison with other like positions.
  • A report listing comparable positions in the same job family.
  • The sections where there are inconsistencies between the Position Description and the responses in the Request for Job Evaluation documentation.

If the Appeals Panel determines that the position description is valid and is consistent with the responses in the Request for Job Evaluation, the classification result for the position from the process outlined in Section 7 will stand.

If there is a discrepancy between the responses in the Request for Job Evaluation documentation and the position description, or what actually occurs in the position, the Appeals Panel will assess the position using the manual HAY methodology.

8.2 Decision

Every effort must be made by the Appeals Panel to reach a consensus decision, including seeking additional information where necessary. However, if consensus cannot be reached, a majority decision can be made. Panel members within the majority will articulate their reasons (which can include judgements about the know-how, problem solving and accountability job factors, and comparable positions, where relevant) in the written advice of the outcome to the incumbent and the Authorised Officer of the classification submission, without disclosing the identity of the dissenting panel member. Where a majority decision cannot be made, the matter, including all relevant documentation, will be submitted to the Authorised Officer for decision.

Subsequent to the panel's deliberations, the chair will inform the Authorised Officer of the classification submission and the incumbent of the Panel’s decision within five (5) working days of the decision and will provide both parties with the opportunity to see further feedback. The decision of the Appeals Panel is final.

9. Broad-banding of Positions

Job evaluation determines the classification level of a position at a given point, and is undertaken when there is a clear expectation that the position will remain relatively stable for some period, and will undertake duties and responsibilities confined within one HEW level.

Nevertheless, the duties and responsibilities of some positions might extend over time beyond one classification level. Positions can be broad-banded across two classification levels within HEW Levels 1 to 7.

9.1 Principles for broad-banding

The following for broad-banding apply:

  • A position can be broad-banded between two levels within a specific organisation, or a group of positions in a job family within an organisational unit.
  • Position tasks must be documented and linked across two levels, characterised by work substantially similar across both levels, but where higher order know-how, problem solving or accountability is applicable at the higher level, drawing on advanced skills, knowledge and experience or qualifications.
  • Additional position specific knowledge and experience is required to perform the duties of the position at the higher level as these increase in scope and complexity.
  • There must be an organisational requirement for a position to be broad-banded and this will be planned for, approved and funded.
  • Positions characterised by frequent change or expansion in knowledge in the area of work, such as those in the Information Technology job family, can lend themselves to broad-banding.
  • Positions with a broad-banded classification will be reviewed at the time of filling a vacancy to confirm a position remains broad-banded, or if circumstances have changed, whether the position must be evaluated and re-classified to either the base level or the higher classification level.

The base level position is the source position from which broad-banding extends when there is an increase in the work value of the tasks involved over time. For instance, if the know-how, problem solving and accountability of a HEW Level 5 position extends into HEW Level 6 when higher level tasks were performed, and had been broad-banded HEW Level 5/6, then the HEW Level 5 would be the base position.

9.2 Process for broad-banding

The Head of the organisation unit, as part of the budget and staff planning process, and in consultation with relevant staff, can develop a broad-banding proposal in accordance with the principles (section 9.1) and submit a case for consideration.

The documentation for a proposal to be submitted to Human Resources must include:

  • A position description, linking each of the tasks across both levels and selection criteria linked across both levels, but with clear differentiation between the two levels. As a minimum, selection criteria must differentiate with respect to training level or qualifications/experience. An example position description developed for a broad-banded Librarian position is available from
  • A training program of on-the-job and other training activities that sets out the activities to be undertaken at the base level before progression to the higher level.

Evaluation of a broad-banded position will be in accordance with Section 7 – Process, except that in the event that there is not agreement on classification level between the HR Division evaluator and the Job Family Representative moderator, the matter will be referred to the Appeals Panel for determination.

9.3 Level of appointment

Recruitment advertisements must normally seek applicants for the base level position, but can indicate the position is broad-banded across two levels, if required by the organisational unit. Applicants must be given the duty statement and selection criteria for the base level and, if advertised as a broad-banded position, must also be given the selection criteria for the higher level to enable them to frame their application accordingly.

When deciding the level to which is to be appointed, as part of the recruitment and selection process, the following criteria are to be used:

  • New appointments to a broad-banded position will normally be to the first increment of the base HEW level.
  • In the event that the successful candidate has all the qualifications, skills and experience that correspond to the higher HEW level criteria, the appointment can be made to an increment of the higher level, as appropriate.

9.4 Progression to the higher level

There is a soft bar to progression through the broad-banded levels. Progression is not automatic. The following criteria must be met for a staff member to cross the soft bar from the base level to the first increment of the higher level:

  • There must be an organisational unit requirement for the position to be filled at the higher level.
  • The staff member must meet the training, experience and qualifications selection criteria for the higher level, and will have completed the on-the-job and other training activities specified in the training program to be undertaken at the base level.
  • Progression will be planned for and discussed at the annual performance appraisal, as part of the Recognition and Development Program. The supervisor and staff member must consider the following questions:
  • If the staff member does not currently have the required qualifications, knowledge and skills to undertake work at the higher level, what development action is necessary?
  • Can the requisite skills, experience and knowledge be developed on the job or with some other form of staff development?
  • The staff member's performance at the base level must have been assessed as satisfactory or higher in the annual performance appraisal.

A staff member must meet all the criteria for progression to the higher level of an approved broad-banded position. The Authorised Officer then signs the Recognition and Development Plan, on completion of the annual review, to approve progression to the higher level. The form is subsequently submitted to the relevant Faculty, Institute or Central Human Resources Officer for processing.

Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury