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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Grading Reviews

1. Policy Statement / Purpose

1.1 From 1 June – 31 August 2018 the current grading moratorium will be lifted to allow any business critical grading anomalies to be addressed.

1.1.1 Note: All documents outlined below are available online or by calling ext. 46564

1.1.2 If you require permission to work in the UK please consult your HR Contact before completing a grading review application as there may be restrictions by the UK Border Agency on changing the grade of the role you occupy.

2. Scope

2.1 This Policy and Procedure:

2.1.1 Applies to Members of staff in Grades 1 to 9 who are not on the Academic, Teaching or Research tracks. This policy includes Academic, Teaching & Research Staff in Grades 6 . Please note that for Teaching and Research roles a CV is also submitted to allow the relevant Faculty PVC to assess the applicant’s academic contribution and esteem and to recommend an appropriate grade based on evidence provided within the CV.

2.1.2 Does not apply to Teaching, Research and Academic Staff in Grades 7, 8 and 9, nor staff who will follow the Progression and Promotion policy.

2.1.3 Does not apply to Restructures.

3. Policy, Procedures and Enforcement

3.1 Introduction

3.1.1 All staff have the opportunity for career progression as a result of University and Department-led changes to the duties and responsibilities of their current role. Before submitting a Grading Review request, members of staff should note that role changes must only be made in line with the business needs of the University and with the approval of the Head of Department/College.

3.1.2 The Grading Review process analyses the role currently being performed when changes have already occurred. It is not a developmental exercise and only standardised written feedback will be provided on the outcome.

3.1.3 Members of staff can apply for a Grading Review once per 12 month period. The 12 month period will begin from the most recent date in line with the following options: a.) The date the member of staff was informed of the outcome of their last Grading Review b.) the date changes to a role were confirmed (following job evaluation) as a result of a restructure c.) the date when an individual was appointed to a role via recruitment. An individual must have been in their current role for 12 months in order to apply for a grading review.

3.1.4 An increase in volume of work will not necessarily result in an increase in job size sufficient enough to merit a change in grade. Evidence should be provided that there is a significant increase in responsibility and accountability.

3.1.5 The Grading Review submission will be reviewed by HERA trained representatives from HR and the campus trade unions. The selected analysts involved in the Grading Review decision must declare any conflict of interest.

3.1.6 All Grading Review decisions will be made in accordance with the University's Equal Pay Policy https://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/policies/condemp/equalpay/

3.2 Procedure

3.2.1 All essential documents should be submitted electronically to reward.team@durham.ac.uk

3.2.2 To make a Grading Review submission, the member of staff must submit the following documents electronically:

a) A Job Description that reflects the current role and includes a completed Person Specification

b) Organisation Chart

c) Grading Review Form (R1)

d) Research and Teaching Staff must also submit a CV with their R1 form, and increased funding must be secured before a grading review for an externally funded role or research post is requested. This increased funding should be confirmed by the Head of Department in section 8 of the R1 form.

3.2.3 A Job Description and Person Specification must be provided. If an existing Job Description and Person Specification are being re-submitted, the document must highlight the changes since the last submission and clearly show the significant changes in job duties. The ‘Writing Job Descriptions and Person Specifications’ guidance can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/local/recruitment/recruiters/recguide/vacplan/jobdespersspec/.

3.2.4 A Grading Review Form (R1) must be completed and signed by the individual, Head of Department/College and UEC Lead. For a Word version click here.

3.3 Submission

3.3.1 Members of staff are responsible in ensuring that all relevant information is submitted in their application. An appeal will not be allowed on the grounds that full job information was not submitted in the original application.

3.3.2 Copies of the completed forms should be sent to the Head of Department/College to complete and sign Section B of the RI form. The Head of Department/College must verify that the information provided is accurate, or if unable to verify the accuracy to consult in the first instance with the individual’s line manager to address any concerns. The Head of Department/College must also confirm that there is enough resource in the staffing budget to fund the increase in grade if applicable, and make a note of this in section 9 on the R1 form. Following this, the Head of Department/College may wish to provide comments on the R1 form following discussion with the individual(s) to obtain additional information.

The Head of Department/College should refer to the Guide for Verifiers: https://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/policies/gradingreview/guideforverifiers/

3.3.3 The Job Description, Person Specification, organisational chart and R1 form should be forwarded to the relevant UEC Lead to complete and sign Section C of the RI form. The UEC Lead must confirm that there is enough resource in the staffing budget to fund the increase in grade if applicable, and make a note of this in section C on the R1 form. In the event that the UEC Lead is unwilling to sign the R1 form, they can make comments on the form and the grading review application will still progress to the next stage. A signature and any comments should be actioned by the UEC Lead within 4 weeks of receiving the application. If comments are entered on the R1 form then HR may contact the Head of Division to discuss these comments further.

For research and teaching roles the PVC is required to assess the job description against the generic profiles and the CV of the applicant to assess if their academic esteem matches that required for the higher grade role. The PVC must provide comments on the R1 form to support or not support the application, and to indicate what grade they consider appropriate after consideration of the evidence.

3.3.4 If any grading case is not supported by the UEC Lead or the Head of Department/College for budgetary reasons, the grading review process will still proceed. In the event that the role is graded at a higher level, the Reward Team and HR Business Partner will discuss with the UEC Lead and Head of Department/College to determine whether the grade may be increased (and the source of the budget to potentially fund this must be identified) or whether the job description requires adjustment back to the original grade. Where appropriate, a one off payment may be made to reflect work undertaken at a higher grade. In exceptional cases and with evidence outlining the additional work over the whole period, a one of payment may be paid to reflect the work undertaken at a higher grade. The period of any backdating of pay will differ from case to case depending on the circumstances , but will not extend beyond 01 November 2016 (the point from which the grading moratorium was implemented).

3.3.5 On receipt of the fully complete application by the HR Reward Team, the target timescale for the completion of the Grading Review is six weeks. (Please note that if all of the required documentation or approvals are not provided the application will be returned). Where the timescale will not be met the individual and manager will be notified by a member of Human Resources.

3.4 Grading Review Process

3.4.1 The application will be analysed by a HERA trained member of HR. This may involve asking the individual and/or Head of Department supplementary questions. The documentation (Job Description and Person Specification, RI form and score grid) will then be forwarded to a HERA trained Trade Union (TU) representative for comment - the target timescale for TU analysis is 11 working days. The TU analyst will return the score grid to HR, highlighting any differences and identifying the evidence from the HERA document to support any differences. If required, a discussion may take place between the two analysts.

An absence of feedback from the TU analyst within 11 working days will be taken as acceptance of the scores.

3.4.2 If the two analysts agree the role is of a higher grade, the Reward Team and HR Business Partner will discuss with the UEC Lead and Head of Department/College to determine whether the grade may be increased (and the source of the budget to potentially fund this must be identified) or whether the job description requires adjustment back to the original grade. Where appropriate, a one off payment may be made to reflect work undertaken at a higher grade. In exceptional cases and with evidence outlining the additional work over the whole period, a one of payment may be paid to reflect the work undertaken at a higher grade. The period of any backdating of pay will differ from case to case depending on the circumstances , but will not extend beyond 01 November 2016 (the point from which the grading moratorium was implemented).

3.4.3 If the grade is increased, the change in grade will be backdated to the 1st of the month of the date that the submission was approved by the UEC Lead. This date will become the new normal increment date except where an individual is already at a higher salary point due to exceptional contribution points. In these cases an individual’s salary will remain the same, but the increment date will continue to be the anniversary of their last pay increment.

3.4.4 If the two analysts cannot agree on the grade outcome, the TU representative will provide an annotated scoring grid, showing any difference in the analysis when compared to the scores of the HR representative, and highlight the job evidence to support their conclusion. A meeting will be arranged to discuss the application with the analysts, chaired by the Assistant HR Director (Workforce Planning, Development & Reward). If agreement cannot be reached the chair will have the casting vote.

3.4.5 The decision of the Grading Review analysis will be:

    • the role is of a higher grade; or
    • the current grade correctly reflects the range of duties and responsibilities; or
    • the role is of a lower grade.

Following discussion with the UEC Lead and Head of Department/College on how to proceed, the decision of the Grading Review will be communicated by HR to the individual via their Head of Department/College.

A simplified version of the timescales for the grading review process can be found in Appendix A.

3.5 Appeals

3.5.1 The grounds for appeal are limited to procedural grounds. Appeals cannot be raised on the grounds that the member of staff disagrees with the outcome, or because the applicant has additional information he or she wishes to be considered. In such circumstances, additional information can only be considered at the next Grading Review.

3.5.2 Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources & Organisation Development within 10 days of the date specified on the Grading Review outcome. The Appeal should clearly state the grounds for appeal (note 6.1 above).

3.5.3 If agreed by the Director of Human Resources & Organisation Development an Appeal Panel will be established consisting of a HERA trained TU and HR analysts and the Research & Reward Manager or Assistant HR Director (all not previously involved in the Grading Review process). The Research & Reward Manager or Assistant HR Director will have the casting vote.

3.5.4 The decision of the Appeal Panel will be final.

4. Equality and Diversity

During the period in question, the impact will be assessed to inform future practices.

5. Related Information

Appendix A – Grading Review Process Simplified

6. Version Control

Current Status Version: V8.0

Approval date: 09 May 2018

Approved by: Joanne Race, Acting Director of HR

Contact for further information: Reward Team