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This guidance covers the 14 ‘elements’ that make up the job evaluation scheme. It is intended to help you to write a written submission to the Grading Appeal Panel and to prepare for the appeal hearing itself.
The appeal panel will have a copy of your job description and your statement of the grounds for your appeal. At the meeting, the panel will ask questions for clarification and will give you an opportunity to explain why your role is not correctly graded.
An explanation of each element is provided and a number of questions are posed in relation to each element. Some of these questions may seem rather obvious but the intention is to help you identify the activities and responsibilities that are typical of your role (not just the most recent, rare or unusual ones). The main requirements of your role will be analysed, not activities or responsibilities you have become involved in for personal interest.
The University has developed ‘role profiles’ for some roles, e.g. academic roles (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Research Lead, etc.) as well some support roles in Faculties. The role profiles are generic job descriptions which are underpinned by HERA to evaluate the grade. In these cases, grading will be undertaken by matching the job description and duties against the relevant role profile. See the following links for more information:
Support staff are entitled to ask for the points scores for their job which gives a breakdown of how the job was graded for each aspect of the role (the 14 'elements'). This may help you identify individual elements where you think your role should be scored more highly. If your job description does not reflect the duties you undertake, this needs to be discussed with your line manager
You can discuss the scoring of the role with a trade union representative or your line manager and ask their advice.
When you submit an appeal request, you will be asked to list the elements of the role which you believe have been underscored, for example:
"I wish to appeal the following elements: Liaison & Networking and Initiative & Problem-solving"
Then give some examples below each heading to make a case for a higher score. You may find it helpful to use the prompts within the section below when outlining what is required in your post.
You may wish to make some notes of examples of what you do and how you do it. Appellants should expect to be asked questions about their role by members of the appeal panel at the hearing. You may wish to discuss your preparation with your line manager, other work colleagues or trade union representative in advance of the appeal hearing. This will help ensure that you are able to give the best possible reflection of your role during the hearing.
This element covers communication – oral, written, electronic or visual means - in both informal and formal situations. Signing, using hand signals, or using other means of communication with people with disabilities is also included. Communication includes the need to convey basic factual information clearly and accurately, conveying information in the most appropriate format, and explaining complex or detailed specialist information.
This first part is about oral communication and includes situations in which you may need to give or receive information by speaking and listening. Examples might include giving directions to students to help them find their way around the institution, answering telephone enquiries, giving presentations, attending or chairing meetings or engaging in negotiations.
You may find it helpful to consider:
The second part covers the need to communicate in writing including through electronic media such as e-mail, or through visual media such as film or slides. Examples might include responding to requests for information from the public, drafting internal letters about meetings, or contributing to a paper or policy publication.
This element is about team work and team leadership. A team is defined as a number of people who work together to achieve a common purpose. This could include internal or external teams, teams which are fixed, or those that change. Examples might include departmental, research, course development or project teams, teams involving students or people outside the institution (but not networks).
The role you hold in the team may include contributing as an active member, motivating others in the team, or providing leadership and direction for the team.
This element covers occasions when you are required to liaise with others both within and outside the institution and create networks of useful contacts. The reasons for doing this may include passing on information promptly to colleagues, ensuring mutual exchange of information, influencing developments through one’s contacts, or building an external reputation.
This element covers the help, assistance and services you are required to give to students, visitors, members of staff, and other users of the institution. 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.
This element covers the decisions which you make and their impact on your work, your team and the institution. You should consider independent and collaborative decisions and situations where you provide recommendations or advice to assist others in making a decision. You must also consider the impact of the decision on your work, team, department or institution. Note that it is assumed that you make the best decision in the circumstances, rather than considering what might happen if you made the wrong or poor decision.
This element is about organising, prioritising and planning time and resources - human, physical or financial. This may include planning and organising your own work or that of others, on day to day tasks or in project working. The element explores operational planning and planning for coming years, i.e. strategic planning.
This element is about identifying or developing options and selecting solutions to problems that typically occur in your role. This may include using your 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.
This element covers the occasions when you are required to investigate issues, analyse information and carry out research. These 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, establishing new methods or models for research, or setting the context for research.
You may find it helpful to consider:
This element covers the sensory and physical aspects of your role. These may include physical effort, co-ordination and dexterity, using aural examples to assess next actions, applying skilled techniques and co-ordinating sensory information and using high levels of dexterity where precision or accuracy is essential.
This element explores the impact the working environment has on you in your role and your ability to respond to and control that environment safely. This may include such things as temperature, noise or fumes, the work position and working in an outdoor environment.
This element is about your responsibilities for the welfare and wellbeing of students and staff within the institution, in both informal and formal situations. You may be required to give supportive advice and guidance or need to be aware of the support services that are available.
This element covers the development of the skills and knowledge of others in your work team. This may include the induction of new colleagues, coaching and appraising other team members whom you supervise, mentor or manage, and giving guidance or advice to your peers or supervisor on specific aspects of work.
This element is about what you are required to do to teach, train or provide learning support to students and others who are not part of the work team. This may include providing instruction to those who are using a particular service or working in a particular area for the first time. You may be required to carry out standard training, create development opportunities or be involved in the assessment and teaching of students.
If you do not have responsibilities in these areas, please move onto the final element. If you do carry out teaching, training or provide learning support, you may find it helpful to consider:
The final element explores the relevant knowledge and experience you are required to have to carry out your role. This may be about having sufficient experience to carry out your basic day-to-day responsibilities, acting as a leading authority, or having a breadth or depth of experience to act as a point of reference for others.
When considering the requirements of your role (as against your own personal knowledge and experience) you may find it helpful to consider:
If you feel that your role is comparable to another one within the University, it might be worth mentioning this in your appeal submission and you can request that comparator job description from Human Resources.
It might also be helpful to include an organisational chart that shows how your role fits in with others within your department.
Statements of general support from colleagues are, by contrast of little real value. Your appeal submission will always be received in good faith so supplementary statements from colleagues testifying to volume of work, performance levels and the general veracity of your appeal, etc. are not going to assist and may in fact deflect attention away from the evidence you submit related to specific elements.