HERA and job evaluation

  • HERA is a job evaluation scheme which was designed and developed by ECC in conjunction with higher education institutions (over 100 joined a consortium, along with representatives from national trades unions) specifically for use in higher education. HERA has been recognised by the Equal Opportunities Commission as a non-discriminatory job evaluation scheme. The majority of Higher education institutions have adopted HERA as their job evaluation scheme of choice.
    A job evaluation scheme can ensure:

    • A fair, equitable and transparent process for comparing the relative size of jobs
    • Consistency and parity across the University
    • A demonstration of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value
    • The promotion of fairness and equality generally

    HERA is an analytical factor-based job evaluation scheme. It aims to assess the relative value of roles in a consistent and equitable manner. HERA focuses on wider aspects of a role rather than on individual tasks and analyses roles based on 14 discrete elements covering a range of duties and responsibilities. Comprehensive information is gathered on roles by completing a role description, or through interview, and roles are then evaluated against each of the elements. Each element is scored, the scores for each element weighted appropriately, and then added together to give a total point score for each role. The total score indicates the relative size of the role.


    The reform of pay structures in the Higher Education sector commenced with the Independent Review of Higher Education Pay and Conditions (the Bett Report in 1999). HERA was developed to support the National Framework Agreement, under which HEIs undertook to reform their pay and grading structures. HERA was adopted by Oxford Brookes University to underpin the new 12-grade structure implemented in 2006. 

    Role profiles

    At Brookes we have developed ‘role profiles’ (or generic job descriptions) for academic roles and for support roles found in all of the Faculties. These roles profiles are underpinned by HERA to evaluate the grade for the role. Where there is an agreed role profile, grading will be undertaken by matching the job description against the relevant role profile. For more information, follow these links:

    HERA Elements and Weightings

    Each of the 14 elements of HERA is weighted as a percentage of the total potential score and each element has a maximum score in direct proportion to that percentage. The scheme weightings were developed in consultation with a sample of staff from the Higher Education sector to identify the relative importance of each of the elements.
    Element Summary description Weighting
    Communication This element covers communication through written, electronic or visual means and oral communication, formally and informally. This may include the need to convey basic factual information clearly and accurately, conveying information in the most appropriate format, and explaining complex, detailed and/or specialist information. 8%
    Teamwork and motivation This element covers teamwork and team leadership when working in both internal and external teams. This may include the need to contribute as an active member of the team, motivating others in the team, and providing leadership and direction for the team. 7%
    Liaison and networking This element covers liaising with others both within and outside the University and creating networks of useful contacts. This may include passing on information promptly to colleagues, ensuring mutual exchange of information, influencing developments through one's contacts, and building an external reputation. 6.5%
    Service delivery This element covers the provision of help and assistance to a high standard of service to students, visitors, members of staff and other users of the University. This may include reacting to requests for information or advice, actively offering or promoting the services of the institution to others, and setting the overall standards of service offered. 7%
    Decision making processes and outcomes This element covers the impact of decisions within the University and externally. This may include decisions which impact on one's own work or team, decisions which impact across the University, and decisions which could have significant impact in the longer term within or outside the University. 7%
    Planning and organising resources This element covers organising, prioritising and planning time and resources, be they human, physical or financial. This may include planning and organising one's own work, planning work for others on day to day tasks or on projects, carrying out operational planning, and planning for the coming years. 7%
    Initiative and problem solving This element covers identifying or developing options and selecting solutions to problems which occur in the role. This may include using the initiative to select from available options, resolving problems where an immediate solution may not be apparent, dealing with complex problems, and anticipating problems which could have major repercussions. 8%
    Analysis and research This element covers investigating issues, analysing information and carrying out research. This may include following standard procedures to gather and analyse data, identifying and designing appropriate methods of research, collating and analysing a range of data from different sources, and establishing new methods or models for research, setting the context for research. 7%
    Sensory and physical demands This element covers the sensory and physical aspects of the role required to complete tasks. This may include physical effort, co-ordination and dexterity, applying skilled techniques and co-ordinating sensory information, and high levels of dexterity where precision or accuracy is essential. 5%
    Work environment This element covers the impact the working environment has on the individual and their ability to respond to and control that environment safely. This may include such things as the temperature, noise or fumes, the work position and working in an outdoor environment. 6.5%
    Pastoral care and welfare This element covers the welfare and wellbeing of students and staff within the University in both formal and informal situations. This may include the need to be aware of the support services available, giving supportive advice and guidance, and counselling others on specific issues. 6%
    Team development This element covers the development of the skills and knowledge of others in the work team. This may include the induction of new colleagues, coaching and carrying our PDRs for any individuals who are supervised, mentored or managed by the role holder, and giving guidance or advice to one's peers or supervisor on specific aspects of work. 7%
    Teaching training and learning support This element covers the development of the skills and knowledge of students and others who are not part of the work team. This may include providing instruction to students or others when they are first using a particular service or working in a particular area, carrying out standard training and the assessment and teaching of students. 9.5%
    Knowledge and experience This element covers the relevant knowledge needed to carry out the role, however acquired, whether this is technical, professional or specialist. This may include the need for sufficient experience to carry out basic, day to day responsibilities, the need for a breadth or depth of experience to act as a point of reference for others, and the need to act as a leading authority in one's field or discipline. 8.5%

    Please note that these links are to the Oxford Brookes intranet; you will need to log in to access them if you are offsite.