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University of Bath

Job evaluation

Follow the procedure to submit a new or existing role for evaluation and grading.


The grades for jobs covered by the University of Bath’s pay structure (Grades 2 to 9) are determined through job evaluation. Job evaluation and grading review is the ongoing process of evaluating new jobs, and reviewing existing ones where appropriate to ensure pay and grading is appropriate to the duties and responsibilities of jobs.

The key purpose of job evaluation is to ensure fairness and consistency by measuring all jobs against the same criteria. In order to ensure this it may be necessary to assess comparable jobs which have not been referred when carrying out the requested grading review of another job, or as part of a review of the fairness and equity of gradings across the University.

The criteria used during the process of job grading review are contained within the Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA) job evaluation scheme.

Request for a job grading review will be based on the business needs of the Department, usually as a result of either a re-structuring exercise, the need for new work to be undertaken, or because the demands of a particular job have change significantly. Heads of Department/Service are responsible for ensuring that there is provision for the costs of any re-grading within their departmental salaries budget.

This procedure excludes those jobs that are covered by the Career Progression arrangements in the Education and Research job family.


  • A grading review request must be based on significant and permanent changes in the levels of responsibility and accountability of a job. For temporary changes to jobs (e.g. to cover maternity leave, long-term sickness) contact the relevant HR Advisor /Business Partner.

  • The grading of a job may also be assessed where it has been cited by other staff or identified as being inconsistent with the grading of comparable jobs.

  • A grading review request should not be based on how the responsibilities or activities might or will change in the future

  • Grades of existing jobs should only be evaluated once within any 12 month period (unless part of a significant restructuring process)

  • An increase in volume of work will not necessarily result in an increase in job size sufficient to merit a change in grade. Evidence would need to be provided that this increase in volume has resulted in a significant increase in responsibility /accountability

  • It is expected that any disagreements between a member of staff and manager relating to the requirements/demands of the job will be resolved at a local level.

Review of new/vacant jobs

Approval to recruit

Approval to recruit to a newly established or vacant job has to be given by the Staff Vacancies Review Group (SVRG) and the Vice-Chancellor’s Group (VCG).

All newly established jobs must be evaluated or benchmarked using HERA before they are considered by SVRG. For the replacement of existing vacant posts, there will normally be a check to make sure that any changes to the job description do not have a significant potential impact on the grading of the job.

The appropriate line manager is responsible for preparing a job description and person specification in the standard format to assist with the evaluation process.

Job grading review panel

This panel will normally meet on a weekly basis to consider grades of new and vacant jobs. This panel consists of a minimum of three HR Business Partners, and will be normally chaired by the HR Manager (Reward). All panel members are fully trained in the application of the HERA scheme and the University’s local scoring rationale.

All paperwork relating to a new or vacant job must be forwarded to the relevant HR Business Partner/HR Advisor in the first instance. If the job requires a new HERA profile the HR Business Partner/HR Advisor will need to discuss timescales for completion of the grading review. The HR Business Partner/HR Advisor may wish to discuss any queries arising from the paperwork with the line manager concerned, and to recommend any amendments to the paperwork.

Evaluation process

As part of the evaluation process the panel will consider three approaches:

  • If the job is identical to an existing job it can be benchmarked to the relevant existing HERA profile

  • If the job is similar to an existing job it may be benchmarked to the relevant existing profile with a small number of changes to the existing HERA profile

  • If the job is new and no existing comparable job is identified it will require a new HERA profile


Confirmation of the grading outcome and any feedback will be given to the line manager by the HR Business Partner/HR Advisor as soon as possible after the meeting. The line manager can then complete the online Staff Request Form.

The grading decision relating to a new or vacant job made by the Job Grading Review Panel is final.

Review of existing jobs

Requesting a grading review

A review of an existing job may only be considered where:

  • the responsibilities have changed significantly to meet the requirements of the Department since the job was last evaluated

  • there is a concern about the relativity of a job and the consistency of its grading with that of comparable jobs

  • approval has been given by Staff Vacancy Review Group (SVRG) that the change in grade is an agreed change to the organisation design structure

Jobs can evolve over time owing to factors such as the impact of technology, changing organisation structures and staff turnover. Whilst individual jobholders can also shape jobs, grading review can only focus on the requirements of the job and not the performance of the individual jobholder. Where it is apparent that a grading review has been requested due to the high performance of the jobholder, the HR Business Partner/HR Advisor will discuss with the line manager the option of nominating the jobholder for an award under the Contribution Pay Scheme.

Where a review is requested the following documents must be completed and submitted to the appropriate HR Business Partner/HR Advisor:

  • Job Evaluation and Grading Review Request Form. Evidence will be required of a significant permanent change in duties and responsibilities before a re-evaluation will be considered.

  • Job description. This should be an annotated version of the original job description showing clearly the proposed changes to the job.

  • Job Evaluation questionnaire: this must be completed by the current role holder and verified by the line manager.

  • Organisation chart showing the location of the job under review.

It is the line manager’s responsibility to ensure that all documents are complete in final form prior to making a request for job grading review. In certain cases we may also require copies of job descriptions for jobs within the same work team as the job under review.

Job Grading Review Panel

This panel will meet on a regular basis to consider grading reviews of existing jobs. The membership of this panel will be the same as for new/vacant jobs.

Evaluation process

The evaluation process will be the same as for new/vacant jobs.


The relevant HR Business Partner/HR Advisor will notify the Head of Department/Service and line manager of the outcome of the grading review. The HR Business Partner/HR Advisor will confirm in writing the outcome of the grading review to the current job holder within 5 working days of the panel meeting.

A grading review may or may not lead to an increase in HERA points or grade. In some cases a review could lead to a decrease in points in non-changed elements due to continued consistency checking. The possible outcomes from a grading review are:

a) Increase in points but still within same grade There is no change to grade or salary, and increment date stays the same

b) Increase in points leading to higher grade The job holder’s salary will move to the new grade minimum spinal point with effect from the first day of the month following the submission of the paperwork to the HR Business Partner/HR Advisor. In exceptional cases where there is an overwhelming reason why another date should be used, the Director of Human Resources may consider authorising a different effective date of change. Where the job holder’s current salary is at or above the new grade minimum their salary will increase to the next increment point above their current salary.

c) Decrease in points but still within same grade There is no change to grade or salary, and increment date stays the same.

d) Decrease in points leading to lower grade Where, however, the decrease in points means the job now falls within the points boundary for a lower grade this outcome will be communicated by the HR Business Partner/HR Advisor to the relevant Head of Department in the first instance.

If the current pay of the job holder is higher than the grade maximum point of the new lower grade, the job holder will have his/her salary protected under the University’s pay protection arrangements i.e.

  • The member of staff will have their current salary protected for one year from the date of re-evaluation, or until the salary of the new grade for the job matches the current salary – whichever is earlier.

  • Protected salaries are on a ‘mark time’ basis: this means that the member of staff will not be eligible for cost of living rises, normal progression increments or contribution increments or merit awards during this period.

  • At the end of the protection period the member of staff’s salary will reduce to the grade maximum of the grade of their job. Pay protection will cease if the member of staff is successful in their application to another job.

Grading review appeals process

Request for appeal

An appeal request should be made in writing to the Deputy Director of Human Resources within 10 working days of the date specified on the grading review outcome letter.

The Deputy Director of Human Resources will advise the job holder and line manager of the date of the next available appeals panel date.

An appeal form will be issued to the appellant for completion. The appellant will be asked to state the grounds on which they wish to appeal, and provide information to support this. The appeal form must be completed and returned to the Deputy Director of Human Resources within 20 working days of date of issue.

Job grading appeals panel

The appeal will be considered by a panel consisting of 3 people:

a) The Deputy Director of Human Resources or nominee (Chair). b) A senior member of University staff from a different department / Faculty / School from that of the appellant. c) A trade union representative.

A trained and experienced HERA analyst will be available to provide technical guidance to the panel.

Grounds for appeal

An appeal may be lodged only on the following specified grounds. Note that disagreeing with the panel’s decision is not a sufficient ground in itself.

Grounds Document to include with the appeal
1 Incorrect or incomplete information was submitted to the panel A revised and accurate job description. A supporting statement clearly stating the specific differences from the original form, and why the original submission was incorrect or incomplete
2 Other relevant information has come to light that is likely to affect the grading decision A statement clearly stating what the relevant information is, and how it has a material effect on the grading of the job.
3 The evaluation panel failed to follow its stated procedure in a way that was potentially material to the grading decision The evaluation panel failed to follow its stated procedure in a way that was potentially material to the grading decision

Should the responsibilities/demands of the job have changed following the submission of a grading review request, this information will be considered at a future grading review round, not via the appeals process.

In considering the appeal, the Appeal Panel will review the written submission from the appellant, and may request further information from either the appellant or the Grading Review Panel. The Appeal Panel may also request relevant parties to attend a hearing.


The possible outcomes of an appeal are:

 - The original grading outcome is confirmed

 - The job is referred back to the Job Grading Review Panel for re-consideration if it considered that the process leading to the grading has been flawed, and has impacted on the grading decision reached.

The Chair of the Job Grading Appeals Panel will inform the appellant in writing of the panel decision within 5 working days.

The decision of the Job Grading Appeals Panel and any subsequent Job Grading Review Panel is final.

23 July 2020