Process of grading review and appeal

University Grading Panel

  1. Grading of all posts will be undertaken by Human Resources by fully trained evaluators with experience of undertaking full job evaluation using the University’s job evaluation scheme. The exact process for evaluation is determined by Human Resources.
  2. The exceptions to the above are where an evaluation is appealed (see further details) or where a restructuring/reorganisation is undertaken that involves the evaluation of 15 or more jobs. In such circumstances the evaluations will be done jointly by trained and experienced evaluators from Human Resources and the recognised trade unions.

Agreement of job description content

  1. In the case of a new or vacant post, the job description will be drawn up by the recruiting Faculty or Directorate using the relevant HR template. Advice may be sought, if necessary, from Human Resources.
  2. In the case of the regrading of an existing post holder, if the job description cannot be agreed between a post holder and their line manager, the first stage in resolving the issue will be a meeting involving the line manager (or other appropriate person nominated by the relevant PVC/Dean or Director); Human Resources; a union representative, (if requested by the post holder); and the post holder. The post holder will be advised of their right to be represented at the meeting by a union representative. The meeting will be held at a mutually convenient time, and Human Resources produce notes of the meeting for subsequent agreement.
  3. If this meeting does not achieve agreement, the post holder may ask for arbitration by Human Resources. If they are dissatisfied by the decision of the Director of HR, they may raise the matter through the Grievance Procedure.
  4. Role holders have the right to submit their job for re-evaluation even if not supported by their line manager but cannot do so without their manager’s knowledge. In the event that a role holder and their line manager are not in agreement over a grading submission then the role holder will retain the right to request a re-evaluation

Grading process

  1. The agreed job description and person specification should be sent to Human Resources.
  2. A job description for any new post will only be evaluated once within any 12 month-period (unless it is part of a significant restructuring process). It is the responsibility of the recruiting manager to ensure this is in final form prior to submission for grading.
  3. Human Resources will check job description content and ensure it is in accordance with the notes for guidance on writing job descriptions, gather any relevant information on role, e.g. structure, relativities, comparator posts, etc.
  4. Human Resources will then undertake an initial scoring by a ‘first evaluator’ who will then pass the outcome, along with all accompanying information/documentation, onto a ‘second evaluator’, outside of their immediate team. Second evaluation will score the role and moderate as appropriate and then forward the outcome onto a scheduled panel meeting which will ‘final evaluate’ all roles to determine grade.
  5. The final evaluation panel will also access all information/documentation viewed by previous evaluators. All such material will be uploaded to the job evaluation database for reference. Key scoring decisions and their justification/context will be captured within the ‘notes’ section of the scoring record so that a historical context can be secured.
  6. The University Grading panel will meet fortnightly to grade posts and will communicate in writing the final grade to recruiting/line manager and/or role holder as appropriate.
  7. The post will be advertised and recruited at the grade confirmed by panel.
  8. If the grade is disputed, the recruiting/line manager (in the case of a vacant post) or the post holder (in the case of regarding request) may submit an appeal in writing to the University Grading Appeal Panel. This panel will normally be held every two months and no appellant should expect to wait longer than three months for an appeal panel hearing. Dates and deadlines will be notified by Human Resources team on receipt of the notification of appeal.
  9. Should any appeal result in a change of grade for an existing post holder, the regrading will be backdated to the date of at which the revised job description content was received by the Reward team.

University Grading Appeal Panel

  1. Where an appeal is requested a formal panel hearing will be arranged. Appeals can be submitted by either the role holder or the line manager but either party must notify the other of their intention and keep them informed. It is recommended that role holders and line managers work together on appeal submissions.
  2. Appeal panel hearings will normally be held within two months of the appellant formally notifying Human Resources of that intention and not more than three. Acknowledgement of the appeal request will be sent will normally be sent within 10 working days of receipt and copy in relevant line managers as well as other relevant role holders The date of the grading appeal panel and details of the process will be communicated to the role holder and their line manager as soon as reasonably possible afterwards and normally no more than a further 5 working days.. Appeal hearings will normally seek to hear two or more separate appeals and in some circumstances this may cause a delay.
  3. The appeal will be considered by a panel consisting of two people fully trained in the university job evaluation scheme. One person will be nominated by the university management and the other by Unison or UCU. Neither person will have been involved in the appellant’s or a related evaluation process previously, including checking the evaluation.
  4. The appellant will be given the total job evaluation score for their post and the scores for each element to enable them to consider their appeal submission. Appellants will receive this within 5 working days of their request.
  5. Appellants who are trade union members are encouraged to consult their trade union to access advice and support from local branch officials with experience of job evaluation.
  6. The appellant must submit a written statement setting out which scoring elements they wish to appeal against and why. The written submission shall be submitted by, or on behalf of the appellant, not less than 15 working days before the hearing and must have been agreed by the line manager for accuracy. In exceptional circumstances the Chair of the Appeal Panel may agree to receive an oral submission only. Please see Guidance and advice on preparing for an appeal.
  7. A response to the appellant’s submission will be prepared by Human Resources and provided to the Grading Appeal Panel. A copy will be provided to the appellant for their information.
  8. The appeal will be considered by the panel on the basis of the written submissions which shall relate solely to the evaluation of the information contained in the role description and/or record of evidence. Exceptionally, the panel may consider oral evidence presented at the hearing, however any such evidence will need to be validated and may delay the outcome of the appeal outcome. Where the panel have sought to validate new evidence, the appellant will be informed as to what the panel have established.
  9. The appellant may attend the hearing and, if so, may be accompanied by a colleague or union representative.
  10. The appeal panel may call for additional evidence and/or a re-evaluation interview.
  11. The panel may decide to uphold or reject all or any part of an appeal. If there is disagreement between the panel members, the management representative shall have a casting vote. The panel shall give its decision in writing within five working days of the hearing, setting out the reasons for each part of its decision and whether or not each part was a unanimous decision.
  12. The effective date for any re-grading decision as a result of the panel hearing shall be the date at which the revised job description content was received. The University Grading Appeal Panel’s decision is final.
  13. The outcomes of all appeals (and the related paperwork where requested) shall be available to the Grading Review Group.

Grading of temporary additional duties

  1. Ideally, any grading of temporary additional duties should be submitted for assessment prior to being undertaken and not retrospectively. However, in exceptional cases where the additional duties cannot be predicted, requests should be sent to the link HR Business Partnership Manager within a month of the duties being undertaken by the post holder. These will be assessed for evaluation and grading..
  2. If the temporary additional duties change during the active period, a further review may be undertaken. Managers should follow the same procedure and submit a revision within a month of the change. Proposed additional duties should be submitted to the HR Business Partnership Manager in writing with the current job description of the role holder for evaluation and grading. If a post holder is acting up wholly into a completely different role for a finite period (i.e. with a confirmed start and end date), the staff member will be paid at the evaluated grade for the period of acting-up. The role holder will be assimilated to the bottom of that new grade, except that where there is overlap between the grades, s/he will be paid at the next highest spinal point within the normal maximum of the appropriate grade.
  3. If the acting up arrangement is shared between a number of roles, or only part of the role is to be performed by any role holder in an acting capacity, the appropriate manager should add the relevant duties to the role holder’s current job description (under the heading “temporary additional duties”), give a start and end date, and forward this to the link Business Partnership Manager. The job description will be evaluated on a temporary basis using the university job evaluation system.
  4. The role will be graded and, if appropriate, a notional temporary new grade allocated for the duration. The role holder will then be paid an honorarium in respect of the temporary additional duties. The amount will be based on the difference between the role holder’s current salary and the bottom of that new notional grade, except that where there is overlap between the grades, s/he will receive an honorarium based at the next highest spinal point within the normal maximum of the appropriate grade.
  5. In exceptional circumstances where the new duties do not result in a higher grade, an honorarium may be agreed in respect of the temporary additional duties. Any honorarium agreed will be equivalent to no more than an increase of two increments, within the normal maximum of the current grade of the post holder undertaking the additional duties. In cases where the role holder is already paid at the normal maximum of the grade, the honorarium can exceed this point for the period.
  6. All honoraria for temporary additional duties where the duties do not change the grade of the post must be authorised by the HR Director and Registrar.

Sharing of information with staff and the recognised trade unions and ongoing review of the job evaluation process

  1. After every meeting of the final evaluation panel, the full scoring breakdown will be provided to UNISON for their information along with other associated documentation such as the job description, supporting narrative, etc.
  2. The full scoring breakdown will be made available for all role holders upon request and any line manager can request the scoring breakdowns for those roles that they are responsible for. Normally such requests will be responded to within 5 working days.
  3. A Grading Review Group would be established which would initially meet quarterly. The exact terms of reference of this group are to be finalised but the group has an oversight role for the good governance of the job evaluation process at Oxford Brookes and the integrity in applying the HERA system. This joint HR-Trade Union group would be the forum whereby perceived trends/patterns in evaluations that were of potential concern could be discussed and future policy development surrounding job evaluation would be agreed.

Last update January 2017