Classification procedures for professional positions

Introduction

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 new and existing positions in accordance with the Professional Staff Classification descriptors.

9. A professional position description (PD) is part of the documentation required to determine the appropriate classification of a position. HR Services may also:

  • Consider benchmarking to enable comparisons against like positions in the University;
  • Request further information from the applicant/incumbent of the position and their Supervisor; and/or
  • Interview the incumbent of the position and their supervisor.

10. The classification will normally be completed within six weeks of the date the approved PD is received by HR Services.

Delegations

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

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

New positions

13. All new positions, for periods in excess of six months, are classified before being filled.

14. The supervisor of the new position and/or Head of Work Unit is required to prepare the following documents for discussion with the work unit's HR Consultant:

  • A draft PD for the new position using the Professional PD template; and
  • An organisational chart (identifying the position and its relationships to other positions within the work unit).

15. When agreement on the document content is reached, the final version of the position description is attached to the PD Cover Sheet and signed by the supervisor, the Head of the Work Unit and the relevant Executive Member before returning it to the relevant HR Consultant.

16. After the position's classification has been assessed by HR Services, it will be referred to the Director, Human Resources for approval.

17. Where the HR consultant determines the position should be classified as a generic position, a recommendation will be provided to the Director, Human Resources.

18. If a classification decision cannot be reached or the Director, Human Resources requires further information, the documentation will be referred back to the relevant supervisor with specific questions that need to be addressed.

19. HR Services will advise the outcome to the Head of the Work Unit.

Existing positions

20. An employee or their supervisor may apply for a review of the classification of the employee's position if the duties and responsibilities of the position have substantially changed.

21. Positions cannot be reviewed more than once within a two year period unless special circumstances exist and approval is given by the Director, Human Resources.

22. Where a classification review is requested, a Classification Review Request is to be completed. If the position is occupied, a copy of the employee's last performance review is also required.

23. The Classification Review Request is completed by the Head of the Work Unit and referred to the relevant Executive Member for consideration, together with a:

  • Current organisational chart clearly identifying the position and its current classification;
  • Copy of the occupant's most recent performance review, if the position is occupied; and
  • A copy of the existing PD.

24. Where the employee and supervisor do not agree on the scope or description of the duties, HR Services will request further information from the incumbent, their supervisor and/or Head of Work Unit to finalise the professional PD.

25. 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 a 'Classification Review Request' and approach their work unit's HR Consultant directly for assistance.

26. After being advised that a classification review has been approved, the supervisor, in consultation with the employee occupying the position, prepares the following documents for discussion with the work unit's HR Consultant:

  • A draft professional PD using the Professional PD template; and
  • An organisational chart (identifying the position and its relationships to other positions within the work unit).

27. When agreement on the content is reached, the final PD is signed by the employee, the supervisor, the Head of the Work Unit and the relevant Executive Member and returned to the relevant HR Consultant.

28. If a classification decision cannot be reached or the Director, Human Resources requires further information, the documentation will be referred back to the relevant supervisor with specific questions that need to be addressed.

29. HR Services will advise the outcome to the occupant of the position and the Head of the Work Unit.

Classification outcomes

30. When an existing position is reclassified to a higher level, the employee will be paid at the base level of the higher salary level from the date the request for review was approved by the relevant delegated offer.

a. Classification increases by more than one level

31. 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 can be directly appointed to the newly classified position providing:
    • Their last performance review was satisfactory; and
    • 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).

32. 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.

b. Classification decreases

33. 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

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

35. 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.

36. 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).

37. The committee will undertake a review of the PD, normally within six weeks of receiving the review request.

38. 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.