Classification procedures for professional positions


1. Professional positions are established, documented, reviewed periodically and classified by the University, based on the needs of the University and work unit at the time. Evaluating the classification of positions occurs within an organisational context. Positions do not exist in isolation, they interact with other positions around them.

2. As part of the classification process, the reporting structures, the communication networks, how the position relates and interacts with other positions within the University and how the position impacts on the organisation are considered. At all times, the position reflects the needs of the University and work unit and will be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect those needs.

3. Jobs are created, change and evolve with the introduction of new technology, procedures, regulations and structures. The classification process is about capturing and measuring the relative job worth of a position at a point in time and ensuring the classification of the position is appropriate.

4. The classification process focuses on the actual requirements of the position, not on a person or their performance. It measures the content or 'work value', not the volume of work. The work value of a position depends on a range of factors including the experience, skills and training required to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Classification process

5. A 10 level single stream classification structure of Higher Education Worker (HEW) is used for the purpose of classifying professional staff positions covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

6. The University classifies positions based on:

  • Qualifications, skills, qualities, abilities and experience required to undertake the position; and
  • Knowledge, problem solving, accountability and complexity of the tasks required to perform the key responsibilities of the position.

7. Classification does not incorporate any assessment of the personal attributes, qualifications held, performance of the occupant of the position, or workload.

8. HR Services classifies positions in accordance with the Professional Staff Classification descriptors.

9. 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.

10. A Position Analysis may support the appropriate classification of a position. HR Services may also:

  • Request further information from the applicant/incumbent of the position and their supervisor; and/or
  • Interview the incumbent of the position and their supervisor.

11. The classification will normally be completed within six weeks from the date the Position classification form, organisational chart and Position Description (PD) is received by HR Services.

12. All new positions, for periods in excess of six months, require classification before being advertised or filled through a temporary appointment by invitation.

13. The supervisor of the new position and/or Head of Work Unit is required to prepare the following documents for consideration by the work unit’s HR Business Partner:

  • Position Description
  • Position classification form
  • An organisational chart with HEW levels (identifying the position and its relationships to other positions within the work unit).

14. The Position Analysis can be used as a basis to prepare the draft PD. Reference may also be made to the Best practice guide - Writing an effective Position Description or the Position description fact sheet.

Existing positions

15. Position descriptions should be reviewed annually as part of the Performance Review and Planning (PRP) discussions and updated as needed.

16. HR Services manages and records all staff PDs. Any updated versions are to be reviewed and agreed to by HR Services. Changes that are not substantial in nature should be reflected in the PD and forwarded to HR Services for record keeping. When reviewing, reference should be made to the Best practice guide - Writing an effective Position Descriptionor the Position description fact sheet

17. If changes to a position are substantial and the level of complexity and/or work value has increased, an employee or their supervisor may apply for a review of the classification of a continuing position.

18. To progress a classification review, the Position classification form must be submitted to HR Services along with the current and updated position description and an organisation chart with HEW levels (identifying the position and its relationships to other positions within the work unit). The supervisor is responsible for obtaining Head of Work Unit approval.

19. If an employee believes that the classification of their position should be reviewed, but their supervisor does not support a review, the employee may document the changes to the position on their current PD and the Position classification form and approach their work unit's HR Business Partner directly for assistance.

20. The classification of a position cannot be reviewed more than once within a two-year period unless special circumstances exist and approval is given by the Director, Human Resources.

Classification outcomes

21. When an existing position is classified at a higher level, the employee will be paid at the base level of the higher salary level from the date the application was received by the Head of Work Unit

22. If the classification outcome results in a classification change of more than one level (for example, a HEW 5 position is reclassified to HEW7) the following process applies:

  • Where the position is occupied by an employee on an ongoing basis, the employee may directly appointed to the newly classified position providing:
    • They have met the training, experience and qualifications selection criteria for the position (both the employee and supervisor are to meet to determine what development action, if any, is necessary for the employee to meet the criteria).
    • They have demonstrated a strong performance track record as evidenced by recent PRP processes.

23. If the above conditions are not met, the Director, Human Resources will discuss the options with the Head of the Work Unit and relevant Executive Member. Options may include advertising the position.

24. If the outcome is at a lower classification than the position's current classification, the position is classified at the new level but the occupant retains their existing level while they remain in the position. When the position becomes vacant, it will be filled at the new classification level.

Review of a classification outcome

25. The employee, the supervisor or Head of Work Unit may seek a review of the classification assessment within 10 working days of receiving advice of the classification decision from HR Services.

26. Requests for review should be signed by the occupant, their supervisor, the Head of Work Unit and the relevant Executive Member before being directed to the Vice President (Finance). The request must be in writing and should set out the reasons for the review.

27. A committee, chaired by the Director, Human Resources, will consider applications for review in accordance with these procedures. The committee will comprise:

  • Two employees, nominated by the Director, Human Resources, who were not involved in the original classification process;
  • One employee nominated by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU); and
  • One employee nominated by the National Tertiary Education Industry Union (NTEU).

28. The committee will undertake a review of the PD, normally within six weeks of receiving the review request. The Committee will refer their recommendation to the Vice President (Finance) for a final decision. The occupant of the position, their supervisor, the Head of Work Unit and the relevant Executive Member will be advised of the outcome.


29. The Director, Human Resources has the delegation to approve the classification of new and existing positions.

30. The Vice President (Finance) has the delegation to approve the outcome of a review of a classification assessment.