Guidance on completing the job evaluation form (revised Nov 2003)
These notes should assist you in completing the job evaluation form. The notes are written from the perspective of the current jobholder. It is important that you read through the notes and all of the form carefully before starting to complete it. Even then don't rush into completing the form straight away. It's best for you to think for a few days about how the job relates to the sort of information requested.
If you are filling in the form as the jobholder, you should make sure that you include all aspects of the work you are required to do. Line managers should also ensure that the information is accurate and complete before signing the form.
Where a new post is being proposed, or a post is vacant, the form should be completed by the line manager and/or Head of Division/Department on the basis of the work the post holder will be expected to do.
Note: The form is concerned only with the job that is required to be done; the performance of the individual should be disregarded as this is reflected in the APDR process.
What is job evaluation and where does JEGS fit in?
Job evaluation is a means of assessing the relative quality (weight) of jobs by measuring them against established criteria. The same approach is used for all jobs and involves the assessment of seven factors which are found in all kinds of work. Assessment of a job is based on the overall balance of all the job activities. The factors are:
- Knowledge and skills
- Contacts and communications
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Management of resources
JEGS (Job Evaluation and Grading Support) is a computerised system which calculates a score for each of the seven factors based on the information in the job evaluation form. The total score for the job provides an indication of the appropriate BBSRC pay band.
When is it used?
JEGS is used to help set the correct grading when a new post is proposed or where either management or individual employees believe there is a need to review the grading of an existing post.
Who makes the decision on the grading of a job?
The evaluator/s will assess the case first and then pass the information to the establishment grading panel for further consideration. The panel is made up of experienced, often senior, managers who will check the JEGS assessment (they are all trained to use the system) and make adjustments if they see necessary. They may also pass comment on the overall need for the post and the organisation of the work. They then make a recommendation to the Director.
Completing the form
There are two versions of the job evaluation form, depending on if your establishment uses UK Shared Business Services Ltd (SBS). For establishments using SBS the form is available on KnowledgeBase and should, where possible, be completed electronically. For establishments not using SBS, the Job Evaluation form in can either be completed on a PC or manually. If you use the electronic PC version of the form, a hypertext link at each section will lead you to the relevant notes in this document (see below). Should you need any additional advice, this can be provided by your Research Council HR team. At most sites there is also a small number of nominated staff, including trade union representatives, who have received training in the JEGS system and can also provide assistance.
Notes about completing the job evaluation form
Complete this section as far as possible. Names are not required on the form.
Where a new post is being proposed, you should outline why the proposed activities are needed. If any other posts carry out the same or similar functions, these should be mentioned.
Where the proposal is to re-grade an existing post you should describe the changes that have taken place in (or have been proposed for) the job and explain why these have occurred. For example, there may have been a change in the management structure which requires the jobholder to take on considerable additional responsibility.
Whatever is written in this section, it should reflect in the post's forward job plan and the evaluator and Grading Panel may ask to see a copy.
An organisational chart is useful as it gives the evaluator a clear view of where the job sits in the organisation. However, you do not need to reproduce the entire structure of the establishment. The post to which the form applies should be clearly identified, along with the two management levels above the post, with the jobs they manage. Also show all the staff for which the post itself has management responsibility. Many posts have regular working relationships with people or groups who have different line managers - these should be shown by means of broken/dotted lines. An example is shown below.
The job factors
For most jobs there is an ideal qualification. A person will then probably need a period of experience after they qualify before they are fully suited to a job. However, often it would be possible to undertake the same job with a lower qualification but with a longer period of experience. Questions (a)-(d) explore these possibilities and seek to establish a balance between them.
Qualifications - For some jobs there is a clear and invariable appropriate formal qualification but in many cases previous experience and performance could be a substitute. For example a PhD may be the most appropriate qualification for a researcher job but a good degree and the right experience and track record could substitute. In that case the answer to question (a) would be a PhD and to question (c) would be a BSc.
Experience - Questions (b) and (d) relate to the absolute minimum period of experience required to perform the job effectively. Question (b) relates to question (a), question (d) relates to question (c). Experience not only includes the time since qualification but may also include time required for on the job training/development. However, only work experience that relates directly to the job should be counted, rather than the total years worked. In the example of a research job, a holder of a BSc might require 5 or 6 years direct experience whereas a PhD may require little more than a year. Simply underline the most appropriate period.
Skills, knowledge and expertise - Simply stating the level of qualification (ie: BSc or NVQ3) does not give the full picture. Question (e) asks for more detail. Firstly, what subjects are involved? It may be a degree in a particular subject or a specific trade or technical qualification. Additionally, the job may require a range of skills and techniques that are not covered by a formal qualification. This could include the need to apply basic knowledge to an unusual environment; the ability to give clear and accurate presentations; a regularly updated knowledge of specialist equipment; or a clear understanding of European funding for science. It may not always be obvious! You may have used these skills for years and take them for granted. So, you will need to think carefully about the skills you actually use in performing the activities in the job.
This section asks about the interactions and communications (telephone, face to face, in writing or by e-mail) that you have with people in connection with your work. Here, we are talking about people who do not have the same manager as you, are not managed by you, and are not fellow team members. Contacts outside the establishment may be to interact with colleagues or opposite numbers in the same field or profession, or may be to do business with people whose expertise and concerns lie elsewhere.
In parts (a) and (b) a table is provided showing broad levels of individuals in the establishment, other UK research establishments (including universities), or in government departments. You are asked to briefly outline the reason for the contact for each of the levels shown on the form. For example, contacts may be to pass on or receive information; discuss topics in detail; deliver seminar presentations; persuade others; or to negotiate terms or priorities etc. In section (c) the same sort of information is required but you will need to add details of what the person does in their organisation or they may be an individual – for example, a farmer.
In part (c) you do not need to list all of the people you communicate with. A representative sample will do. In all three sections where there is more than one reason for the contact, describe the most typical.
Note: Very few jobs will involve contacts at all levels; where there is no contact at a particular level, simply enter “none required”. Equally, very few jobs have no contacts at all.
This section describes how your time is spent in terms of job activities or, in the case of a new post, what the jobholder will be expected to do. For example, a post may:
- Be developing a new scientific technique. This could involve activities such as: planning experimental activity; carrying out or adapting routine techniques; developing and carrying out new techniques; collating and interpreting results and contributing to the published results; and background research and reading, or
- Provide a suitable supply of animals (or plants) for experimental purposes. This could involve activities such as: planning a breeding (growing) programme to produce animals (plants) in the right numbers and condition at the right times; carrying out animal husbandry (plant care) procedures: preparing animals for theatre; sampling tasks; and post-operative care, or
- Provide and maintain services (electrical, plumbing, carpentry, instrumentation etc). This could involve activities such as: assessing requirements and planning the work to be done; carrying out installation work; performing scheduled maintenance and testing; carrying out emergency repairs; organising supply of materials and equipment; and supervising contractors
It is important that you include all of the activities agreed with your line manager because further information about them is required later in the form. You should also put down what percentage of your time you spend in each of these activities. However, if you have already accounted for over 90% of your time and you are still left with a number of tasks, don't spend ages trying to decide whether you spend 1.5% or 3% of your time on this or that! Simply list the tasks and allocate an overall percentage. If the evaluator needs to know more detail, they will come back to you.
Also in this section you are asked to comment on the types of problems you face in your job , how you analyse and solve them and the types of decisions you make.
What do we mean by “problem solving”?
This section asks about the type and level of the thinking that has to be done and the judgement that has to be exercised when doing each of the main job activities. All activities, even the most straightforward ones, involve some thinking about what is to be done, about what the procedures are and the actions they will require.
For each of the main activities of the job, give examples that describe what generally happens in the job activities, rather than exceptional difficulties or snags, so that a balanced picture of the job is given. So chose a typical task - or more than one if you prefer.
Describe what has to be thought about and taken into account in order to do the task; what problems or issues do the tasks present and how are they resolved. Some tasks will need strict observance of the procedures that have been set down and may involve the same kind of subjects every time. Others may involve making adjustments, while others bring up new issues or present situations that have not been met before. In such cases you should describe the types of original thinking, initiative or creativity required to resolve the issues. The type, levels and detail of thinking can vary considerably between the main job activities.
- A scientist might describe planning experiments with examples of the protocols he/she referred to or how requirements were identified by reference to various sources; or, describe the judgement used in carrying out or adapting routine techniques. They might give examples of consideration given to existing procedures and how they can be applied to the current process; etc
- Someone with responsibility for experimental animals (plants) might describe how, in planning a programme, the numbers of animals (plants) are arrived at, and what the production procedures involve; or what procedures or standard practices govern the animal husbandry (plant care) tasks that are done, or
- Someone in a Buildings and Maintenance section might provide examples of how he/she assesses requirements and plans the work to be done; the procedures in place for carrying out installation work; performing scheduled maintenance and testing; how he/she identifies the need for and the right way of carrying out emergency repairs; etc
What about “decision making”?
Here you are asked for examples of the decisions that you make independently in each of the activities in your job. All work involves decisions, even if some actions taken are completely dictated by instructions or procedures. The examples should include all of the actions or processes that you control without the involvement of your manager – where you have the final say. (Where you pass information and advice to others for the final decision, please see the next section.) Remember to give at least one example for each of the main job activities. The form asks about how often each of your examples happens.
The form also asks about how often each of your examples happens. You do not need to be very precise about this. Its purpose is to give the evaluator a better “feel” for the balance of the job. All you need to show is whether the examples you describe happen within the activity: most of the time (M); frequently, but not most of the time (F); or sometimes (S).
This relates to all information, advice, suggestions and recommendations that you make direct to more senior staff who manage your work, and to immediate work colleagues. This also includes topics that you have considered and found solutions for, but on which the manager or someone higher up makes the decision over exactly what action to take.
Describe how the information and/or advice is given for each example. This may be as data/information; or as suggestions in a note or at team or one-to-one meetings with your manager or team leader; or as more formal reports with recommendations.
Try and give some indication as to what the implications are for the information/advice you pass on – what does he/she do with it. For example does it just affect your manager or immediate colleagues or could it affect other groups within the establishment or beyond?
Note: Remember that people identified in "Contacts and Communications" should not be included in this section.
Autonomy does not just mean how closely you are supervised. There are a number of other aspects to be considered. Guidance on how to do the job is available from a number of other sources. For example, you may go to other senior staff or colleagues, especially those who are specialists in a particular area. Often there are clear policies and procedures which have to be followed to carry out a task. To what extent do they cover your job or do you have to modify them to suit requirements – even have to develop and write the original policies and procedures on some occasions? Similarly, there are often manuals or other clearly written instructions available (protocols, user manuals, desk instructions etc) which have to be followed to the letter. In other jobs, these exist but only in rather general terms and you might have the freedom to apply the detail depending on circumstances.
If policies, procedures or manuals are followed, an indication of their complexity would be helpful.
Alternatively, some tasks are covered by practice and precedent - things are not necessarily written down, but they “have always been done that way”. Again, you may have greater or lesser freedom to modify or develop these established methods.
However, the degree of supervision is important and Part (ii) deals with this. The evaluator needs to know such things as: how the work of your post is controlled; how often is the quality and quantity of the work checked; how often are there reviews of progress and results; is your manager readily available or are they at a different location or frequently absent from the site.
This section has three parts and asks about your responsibilities for: financial resources; leading or working within a team; and managing staff.
Part (i) Financial resources - 5 different levels of responsibility are described. Select the example that best describes your responsibility and underline it. Below these examples is a space to enter the total annual amount of financial resources you have responsibility for.
Part (ii) Team-working and leadership - Describe the way in which you are required to work in a team and how the team is made up. Your role may be as a member of a team, made up of people using similar skills within an individual group or section, or perhaps drawn from a number of different sections and having different specialisms. You may be a specialist within a team or wider group. If so, please give some indication of your role and the numbers/types of people who might come to you for help and/or advice. Alternatively, you may lead a team, which might be within a discrete section or perhaps include people making a range of different specialist contributions. You may have more than one role. For example you may be a member of more than one different type of teams, or may lead a team in one of your work activities while being a member of another team during a different activity.
Part (iii) Nature of management role – Firstly, the evaluator needs to know the total number of staff for whom you have a direct management responsibility. The section then goes on give 6 different examples of levels of management responsibility. Select the example that best fits your job and underline it. In this part, “supervision” means controlling both the quantity and quality of the work of other staff on a day-to-day basis, but not having full line management responsibility. Part (b) asks you to describe any particular issues or special circumstances that affect the task of managing the staff for whom you are responsible.
Think about your job and the effect doing it has on others. How widely is the output of you job felt just within the group; within the department; across the whole establishment; or externally as well? Describe the effects of the actions and decisions on which you have complete control or the final say. Hopefully most of these will be good effects - for example a librarian can ensure clear and smooth flows of information to enable researchers to have up-to-date information at their fingertips. But there may be adverse effects if decisions are wrong or things go awry – somebody working in a public speaking capacity inadvertently gives out some incorrect or misleading information.
This section is provided for you and your line manager to provide information in addition to that given elsewhere on the form or to comment on any circumstances or issues that may have some bearing on the evaluation of the job. If there are any unresolved differences between you and your line manager about the content of the form they should be recorded here.
The form provides for both you and your line manager to sign.
You are both asked if the activities described in the form are consistent with the forward job plan. Where there are differences, these should be identified in section 11 of the form or on a separate sheet of paper.
Last updated 19/06/15
Amendment 183 - June 2015