Human Resources

Classification of general staff positions

Further information

Professional and general staff agreement

The evaluation and classification of positions is a process used by the University to ensure positions with similar levels of responsibility and work value are accorded similar classification levels.

This entails an understanding of the relationship of a specific position to others in the organisation and to the organisation’s objectives.

All classification assessments are undertaken by Human Resources.

The primary tool used for the assessment of a position is the Classification Descriptors as follows.

  1. Definition 1: Details of qualifications attained
  2. Definition 2: Supervision, line management, management
  3. Definition 3: Classification dimensions
  4. Creation of a new position prior to advertising
  5. Changes to a current position description
  6. Organisational restructure
  7. Procedures

Definition 1: Details of qualifications attained

Year 12

Completion of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, usually in Year 12 of secondary school.

Trade certificate

Completion of an apprenticeship, normally of four years duration, or equivalent recognition; for example, Certificate III.

Post-trade certificate

A course or courses of study augmenting a trade certificate and usually requiring at least 300 hours of study.

Certificates I and II

Courses that recognise basic vocational skills and knowledge, without a Year 12 prerequisite.

Certificate III

A course that provides a range of well-developed skills and is comparable to a trade certificate.

Certificate IV

A course that provides greater breadth and depth of skill and knowledge and is comparable to a two year part-time post-Year 12 or post-trade certificate course.

Diploma

A two year full time or four year part time course with a Year 12 prerequisite.

Advanced Diploma

A course at a higher education or vocational educational and training institution, typically equivalent to three years full time post Year 12 study.

Degree

A recognised degree or three year full time diploma from a tertiary institution. The degree may take between 3 and 5 years to complete on a full time basis, and may be combined with a graduate certificate or diploma.

Post-graduate degree

A recognised master's degree or doctoral award (for the purposes of these descriptors, a post graduate certificate or diploma of up to one year's full time study is included in the same category as a degree and is not included in this postgraduate category).

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Definition 2: Supervision, line management, management

Supervision is distinguished in these descriptors, from line management and management. Supervision refers to providing day-to-day guidance, straightforward rostering, assistance and control to employees. It includes on-the-job training, work allocation and attendance monitoring.

Close supervision

Clear and detailed instructions are provided. Tasks are covered by standard procedures. Deviations from procedures or unfamiliar situations are referred to higher levels. Work is regularly checked.

Routine supervision

Direction is provided on the tasks to be undertaken with some latitude to rearrange sequences and discriminate between established methods. Guidance on the approach to standard circumstances is provided in procedures, guidance on the approach to non-standard circumstances is provided by a supervisor. Checking is selective rather than constant.

General direction

Direction is provided on the assignments to be undertaken, with the occupant determining the appropriate use of established methods, tasks and sequences. There is some scope to determine an approach in the absence of established procedures or detailed instructions, but guidance is readily available. Performance is checked by assignment completion.

Broad direction

Direction is provided in terms of objectives which may require the planning of staff, time and material resources for their completion. Limited detailed guidance will be available and the development or modification of procedures by the employee may be required. Performance will be measured against objectives.

Line management refers to processes of reviewing performance against objectives and/or job requirements, of contributing to local procedures and job design to achieve section objectives, allocating resources within agreed levels and categories and participating in the selection and promotion of staff. Management adds to line management the setting of longer term priorities and objectives, the shaping of organisational structures and a greater influence over the size and composition of the resources available.

Definition 3: Classification dimensions

Education, training and experience

The type and duration of formal education and training which the duties of the classification level typically require for effective performance. Education and training is the process of acquiring skills and knowledge through formal education, on-the-job instruction or exposure to procedures. Experience is the process of acquiring skills and knowledge through previous employment.

Supervision and independence

This dimension covers both the way in which employees are supervised or managed and the role of employees in supervising or managing others. Independence is the extent to which an employee is able (or allowed) to work effectively without supervision or direction.

Task level

The type, complexity and responsibility of tasks typically performed by employees within each classification level.

Organisational relationships and Impact

The level of knowledge and awareness of the organisation, its structure and functions that would be expected of employees at each proposed classification level and the purposes to which that organisational knowledge may be put. Impact refers to the level of influence employees may have on the organisation.

Judgment and problem solving

Judgment is the ability to make sound decisions based on an understanding of relevant procedures and recognising the consequences of decisions taken or actions performed. Problem solving is the process of defining or selecting the appropriate course of action.

This dimension looks at how much of each of these two qualities applies at each classification level.

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Level 1
Education, training and experience
  • Not applicable
Task
  • Perform repetitive tasks, covered by instructions and procedures, for which the job holder usually requires less than one month of on the job training to achieve competence.
  • Able to follow clear instructions. Some knowledge of materials and equipment may be required.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Solve problems where the situations encountered are repetitive, the alternatives for the job holder are limited and readily learned, and the required action is clear or can be readily referred to higher levels.
Supervision and independence
  • Close supervision.
  • Clear and detailed instructions are provided. Tasks are covered by standard procedures. Responses to unfamiliar situations are determined at higher levels.
  • Work is regularly checked.
  • In the case of experienced staff working alone and following set routines, some latitude to rearrange sequences and discriminate between established methods.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Can be expected to provide straightforward information to others on building or service locations.
  • Staff follow procedures and demonstrate basic courtesy in their dealings with others: the impact of established procedures on other people or work areas is the concern of more senior staff.
Level 2
Education, training and Eexperience
  1. Completion of year 12 with nought to 12 months relevant work experience, or Completion of year 10 and typically 2 to 3 years relevant work experience or
  2. Completion of Certificate I or II with work related experience.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Task
  • Perform a range of straightforward tasks, adhering to clear instructions and procedures.
  • Under instruction, may occasionally perform some more complex tasks for which detailed procedures or standardised instructions exist and where assistance or advice is readily available.
  • Task competency, including knowledge of the procedures to be followed, can be acquired through on the job training and/or short courses consistent with training level 2.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Solve relatively simple problems - problems are similar, the relevant response is covered by established procedures/instructions, the choices to be made between alternate actions follow familiar patterns and assistance is available when unusual circumstances are encountered or when established responses are not effective. May exercise judgement over task sequencing on a day to day basis.
Supervision and independence
  • Routine supervision.
  • Direction is provided on the tasks to be undertaken.
  • The job holder has some limited discretion to choose between established methods and sequences provided set priorities and timetables are met.
  • The approach to standard circumstances is covered in procedures and checked on a selective basis.
  • Non standard or more complex tasks will be subject to detailed instructions and checking.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Knowledge of and ability to relay information on requirements or procedures in own work area or perform tasks which may involve providing a general directory service to members of the public, students and other staff (eg. advise on the location, role and availability of personnel and services).
  • Use tact in dealing with others.
Level 3
Education, training and experience
  1. Completion of a trades certificate or Certificate III, without subsequent experience as a qualified tradesperson upon appointment, or Completion of Year 12 or Certificate II, typically with at least 1 year's subsequent relevant work experience, or
  2. Completion of a Diploma with no relevant on the job experience, Staff advancing through this level may perform duties which require further on the job training or knowledge and training equivalent to progress toward completion of a Certificate IV or diploma.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience. Staff advancing through this level may perform duties which require further on the job training or knowledge and training equivalent to progress toward completion of an associate diploma.
Task
  • Some task complexity, requiring the practical application of acquired skills and knowledge consistent with training level 3.
  • Exercise discretion within established work methods, procedures and priorities to diagnose problems, or to choose between alternate approved work methods or procedures and to determine task sequences.
  • Tasks may involve written and verbal communication skills, numerical skills, organising skills, data collection, and the use of a range of equipment at a level of complexity equivalent to the standard use of word processing software or to the application of skills gained through the acquisition of a single trade certificate.
Judgement and problem solving

Will:

  • solve similar problems, requiring some initiative and interpretation in the application of established rules, procedures, precedents, practices or techniques,
  • exercise some judgement over when to refer matters or seek assistance, and
  • where the opportunity arises, make suggestions and develop local job specific systems to assist in the completion of allocated tasks.
Supervision and independence
  • Routine Supervision to General Direction.
  • Direction is provided on the assignments to be undertaken, with the occupant determining the appropriate use of established methods, tasks and sequences, where
    • task objectives are well defined, and
    • choices are made between a range of straightforward alternatives.
  • Guidance on the approach to non standard, more complex or new circumstances will be provided by others.
  • Supervision of other staff may be required, where those staff perform a range of straightforward tasks, following set procedures or routines.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Apply a knowledge of the work area processes and take the impact of actions on other people or work areas into account when selecting between established work methods and sequences.
Level 4
Education, training and experience
  1. Completion of a diploma level qualification typically with relevant work related experience (including experience gained in parallel with undertaking part time study) or a certificate level qualification with post-certificate relevant work experience, or
  2. Year 12 and a detailed knowledge of specific administrative procedures and technical office skills, typically requiring at least 4 years relevant work experience, often combined with some formal training, to acquire, or
  3. Completion of a post-trade certificate or Certificate IV and subsequent relevant experience, or
  4. Completion of a trade certificate or Certificate III and subsequent relevant experience leading to the development of areas of specialisation through a depth of skills, or to the application of skills normally associated with a number of separate trades, or to the application of administrative and supervisory roles in conjunction with trade skills.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience
Task
  • Perform a variety of tasks which:
    • require a sound working knowledge of relevant trade, technical or administrative practices,
    • include limited creative, planning or design functions, and
    • require an awareness of the relevant theoretical or policy context.
  • Knowledge is applied to recurring circumstances, at a level of complexity equivalent to using a range of computer software applications to assist with job assignments, to setting up, using and demonstrating a range of standard procedures, equipment use and/or experiments or to applying skills ranging across more than one trade.
  • May involve the application of specialist skills, eg. producing documents involving complex layouts, instrument calibration or maintenance, guidance to others in the use of a limited range of equipment, or the application of post trade skills to maintenance tasks.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Solve standard problems within an established framework or body of knowledge by
    1. applying a range of procedures and work methods,
    2. being proficient in and interpreting a set of relatively straightforward rules, guidelines, manuals or technical procedures, and
    3. selecting from a range and combination of possible responses, based on some understanding of the principles or policies underlying established procedures, practices or systems.
  • Will use operational experience to monitor and contribute to local procedures and systems.
Supervision and independence
  • General direction.
  • Direction is provided on the assignments to be undertaken, with the occupant determining the appropriate use of established methods and sequences, where choices are made which require some understanding of a well defined policy framework or recourse to technical knowledge. Guidance is available.
  • May be responsible for
    • supervising others performing a range of tasks within a single work unit,
    • providing on the job training and assistance to others, and or
    • co-ordinating staff (including liaison with staff at higher levels) contributions to assignments or projects.
  • May undertake stand alone work appropriate to this level.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Apply a sound knowledge of the impact of the activities undertaken on other related functions or sections. Provide advice or assistance based on some depth of knowledge in own area. Assist others by:
    • providing information about procedures, rules or techniques, and by
    • interpreting procedures and selecting between work methods and sequences.
  • Where relevant case experiences arise, suggest changes to procedures, schedules or routines to facilitate good relations between work units or with clients.
Level 5
Education, training and experience
  • Perform duties at a skill level which requires:
    1. completion of a degree without subsequent relevant work experience as a graduate upon appointment, or
    2. completion of a diploma consolidated by a range of experience, typically requiring at least 2 years subsequent relevant work experience to acquire, or
    3. completion of a certificate IV or a post-trades certificate typically consolidated by extensive subsequent relevant experience.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.  
Task
  • Perform tasks which require
    1. the standard application of theoretical principles, procedures and techniques at the level of a less experienced graduate working in their field of expertise, or
    2. depth (i.e. the development of some areas of specialisation) or breadth of technical, trade or administrative expertise. Knowledge of particular procedures or techniques is supported by a sound appreciation of the relevant theoretical or policy framework, which guides the interpretations and choices required.
  • Apply, interpret and or advise on policies, systems, manuals, rules, procedures or guidelines, for example, the trailing of and reporting on experiment modifications for laboratory practicals, or the application of a substantial set of rules to the consideration of varying individual cases, or the initial or straightforward drafting of reports, submissions or non standard correspondence.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Solve diverse problems (characterised by subject range or depth) which require judgement and initiative based on:
    1. theoretical knowledge, and or
    2. a thorough knowledge of a complex set, or a wide range, of rules, activities, techniques or procedures
    3. May make regular operational decisions on entitlements, or on the provision, availability or deployment of resources and services which impact outside the immediate work unit or on clients. May provide some assistance with forward planning, estimating and budgeting, derived from operational responsibilities.
Supervision and independence 
  • General direction.
  • Duties arise from role statements, supplemented by assignment allocation as relevant. Use theoretical/policy and technical knowledge to apply and interpret procedures. Participate in planning and scheduling a range of activities and responsibilities.
  • May:
    1. supervise staff and have responsibility for the day to day operation of a work unit where this involves setting priorities, meeting service standards and assisting with the monitoring or review of systems, or
    2. supervise or co-ordinate staff with different areas of skill.   
Organisational relationships and impact 
  • Apply a detailed knowledge of the interaction between work unit policies, systems and procedures and policies, systems and procedures in any other related areas, to:
    • respond to standard circumstances
    • advise, assist and influence others
    • where relevant suggest operational changes or make minor refinements to local procedures where the impact on related activities and procedures is considered.
Level 6
Education, training and experience
  • Perform duties at a skill level which requires:
    1. a degree, typically with 2 or more years subsequent relevant experience to consolidate the theories and principles learned, or
    2. a Diploma followed by either the development of specialist expertise or the development of broad knowledge, in technical or administrative fields, typically requiring 4 years subsequent experience.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Task
  • Perform a range of assignments which
    1. are guided by policy or objectives and, where relevant, by professional standards,
    2. require a conceptual understanding of relevant policies, procedures or systems, and
    3. require interpretation in the application of policy and/or precedent.
  • Some ingenuity in the investigation of a range of operating or design issues may be a key duty at this level. May support academic programs by designing and developing practical experiments and assisting with the development and planning of course work.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Solve diverse and unusual problems by analysing information where considerable interpretation of existing regulations, policies or procedures is required. Some discretion to innovate within own function and take responsibility for outcomes.
  • May:
    1. apply theoretical/policy and technical/procedural knowledge to design, diagnose, analyse, review, develop or test complex systems, data, equipment or procedures,
    2. develop section procedures,
    3. use considerable technical skills to design equipment to a limited brief or to liaise with equipment users to better define requirements, and or
    4. undertake planning involving resource use or develop proposals for resource allocation.
Supervision and independence
  • General to Broad Direction.
  • Duties arise from role statements, supplemented by assignment allocation as relevant.
  • Within policy, will set medium term priorities and monitor work flows and systems within an area of responsibility (i.e., for own position and for a team or section if applicable).
  • May have supervisory responsibility and some line management responsibility for staff performing a set of related functions. May have staff reporting indirectly to the position.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Provide authoritative advice in the context of widely varying circumstances.
  • Adapt techniques and interpret or modify procedures to achieve objectives, where any changes are within policy and either their impact is largely restricted to the work unit(s) concerned or they are authorised at higher levels.
  • May provide influential input to policy or systems development on the basis of expertise in the operational aspects of current systems and their impact.
Level 7
Education, training and experience
  • Perform duties at a skill level which requires:
    1. a degree with typically at least 4 years subsequent relevant experience to consolidate and extend the theories and principles learned, or
    2. extensive experience and management and or specialist expertise.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Task
  • Apply substantial theoretical and technical knowledge and experience to a range of issues and circumstances requiring considerable independent analysis and interpretation. In addition,
  • May:
    1. provide consultancy advice to others, and/or
    2. practice, or provide comprehensive instruction to students or staff, in a specialised area of theoretical, policy or technical complexity.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Independently apply theoretical or policy knowledge to:
    1. modify and adapt techniques to develop innovative methodologies,
    2. research and analyse a situation to propose new responses or solutions, and or
    3. take a leading role in the application of proven techniques involving considerable theoretical and technical sophistication.
  • Focus on objectives rather than procedures and precedents. May involve the interpretation or application of policy which has an impact beyond the immediate work area.
Supervision and independence
  • Broad direction.
  • Direction is provided in terms of objectives. A contribution to the planning of work programs and the review, development or modification of procedures (within policy) by the employee will be required.
  • May have line management responsibility for staff delivering a range of administrative, technical or professional services, including the provision of advice on procedures, systems, priorities and budgets for the program concerned to more senior managers.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Duties require knowledge of the relationship between a range of diverse policies and activities.
  • May negotiate solutions where a range of interests have to be accommodated.
  • May develop proposals or recommendations which co-ordinate the interests of separate work units or contributors around a particular program, function or objective and share some accountability for the decisions taken.
Level 8
Education, training and experience
  • Perform duties at a skill level which requires:
    1. a degree with substantial extension of the theories and principles, typically requiring at least eight years relevant graduate experience, or
    2. a range of management experience, or
    3. postgraduate qualification with relevant experience.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Task
  • Perform tasks requiring the integration of substantial theoretical (or policy) and technical knowledge to
    1. manage established programs and budgets,
    2. develop, review or evaluate significant policies, programs or initiatives, usually with impact beyond the immediate area of responsibility, or requiring comprehensive contextual knowledge,
    3. be a recognised authority within the University in a complex specialised area,
    4. develop or apply new principles and technology, and or
    5. provide professional or consultancy services with recognised standing across or outside the University.
  • Tasks may span a range of activities in a complex, specialised environment.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Responsible for developing or implementing systems, or programs (including priorities, policies and procedures) within closely defined statements of role objectives, which may include a requirement to draw together the interests of several functional or specialist areas.
  • May provide key strategic advice on management or technical issues at Department level or equivalent.
Supervision and independence
  • Broad Direction.
  • Will advise on and have substantial influence over the establishment of priorities, programs and/or budgets (formulation and expenditure) for a major area.
  • Will have scope to reset priorities or resources within overall program objectives or between positions or sections for which the position has line management responsibility.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Apply a thorough knowledge of
    1. University wide policies, legislation and other external requirements relevant to the responsibilities of the position, and or
    2. diverse research and teaching activities (eg., at the level of a large Department),
  • to have a substantial influence on policy development, on Department or equivalent management and or to manage or co-ordinate a program(s).
Level 9
Education, training and experience
  • Perform duties at a skill level which requires:
    1. extensive management expertise and supporting experience, or
    2. postgraduate qualification and extensive relevant experience.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Task
  • Perform tasks involving
    1. a significant creative, planning, entrepreneurial or management contribution to the development or operation of major professional, management or administrative policies or programs, usually at or above the Faculty level or equivalent, and
    2. responsibility for or impact on significant resources.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Responsible for developing or implementing systems, services or programs (including priorities, policies and procedures) within broad statements of role objectives where responsibilities have been substantially delegated.
  • Have independence in the allocation of resources within constraints established by senior management.
Supervision and independence
  • Broad direction.
  • Manage programs, including, as relevant, setting longer term priorities and objectives, the shaping of organisational structures and influence over the size and composition of the resources available.
  • Alternatively, may have wide discretion in area of expertise and provide high level advice in a specialised area of theoretical or policy complexity with corporate impact.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Take a leading operational role in the development or review of policies or programs.
  • Responsibilities commonly require significant planning, liaison, consultation and negotiation, often involving external parties and or a comprehensive knowledge of external opportunities, regulations or requirements.
  • Apply a comprehensive knowledge of related programs. Duties may have corporate impacts.
Level 10
Education, training and experience
  • Perform duties at a skill level which requires:
    1. experience and expertise in the management of significant human and material resources, or
    2. experience and expertise in the provision of strategic policy advice affecting the direction of the University.
  • Or an equivalent knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
Task
  • Perform tasks requiring the conceptualisation, development, review and accountability for the operation of major professional, management or administrative policies or programs at the corporate level.
  • Significant high level creative, planning and management functions. Responsible for significant resources, or have a strong impact on the deployment of significant resources or major University policies.
Judgement and problem solving
  • Be accountable for the achievement of objectives and management of programs affecting a significant organisational area at Faculty level or equivalent.
  • Will be either an influential contributor to decisions over the allocation or use of substantial resources or to the development of policy with substantial corporate impact.
  • May have responsibility for managing substantial contract obligations or a substantial budget, including the discretion to re-allocate funds or priorities within a budget.
Supervision and independence
  • Broad direction.
  • Either:
    1. substantial management responsibility, usually for diverse activities, or
    2. work in a situation where job objectives, performance criteria and in some cases funding are proposed, developed and, in practical terms, determined by the job holder.
Organisational relationships and impact
  • Taking into account the views and interests of others
    1. carry operational responsibility (that is, be the catalyst or driving force) for the development or significant amendment of policies or systems at Faculty level or higher, or
    2. bring a multi-perspective understanding to the development, communication, marketing or implementation of new policies or programs.

Creation of a new position prior to advertising

Heads, or equivalent, are required to submit a position description to Human Resources for classification assessment for new positions. Submission well in advance of the proposed advertising date is encouraged but a minimum period of two weeks is required.

Employee Relations Officers (Classifications), in Human Resources, are available to provide advice in the preparation of position descriptions.

Where an existing position is to be advertised and there are no changes to the position description on TRIM, the ‘Request to Advertise’ form can be submitted directly to HR Services via eRecruitment.

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Changes to a current position description

Changes to the position description of an approved position on Trim must always be done in consultation with the employee who holds the position.

Major changes

Major changes to a position description must be submitted by the delegated authority to Human Resources for assessment. These changes may include:

  • the inclusion of a completely new function
  • an increase in responsibility in a function which is currently performed and/or
  • increased responsibility in delegating and directing the work of others and accepting responsibility for their work

Major changes to position descriptions may require the submission of an application for reclassification which should include a case to justify the reclassification sought. Increases in work volume at the same level cannot form the basis of a case for reclassification.

Minor changes

Minor changes to a position description may be authorised by the delegated authority. These changes may include:

  • editorial changes, such as changes in the language but not the duties
  • rearrangements of existing duties to a minor extent; and/or
  • reallocation of duties between positions classified at the same level within schools/divisions

Amended position descriptions must be submitted electronically to Human Resources for registration on the TRIM database.

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Organisational restructure

The restructure of a school/division may have implications in the classification and/or title of general staff positions. Assistance and advice is available from Human Resources. Any changes to position descriptions must be submitted to Human Resources for evaluation. Major changes as a result of organisational restructures may require the submission of applications for reclassification or the advertisement of positions.

The University determines:

  • the title and/or classification of new or vacant positions based on the duties and responsibilities of the position
  • the title and/or organisational structure of any current position and/or groups of positions
  • the criteria for appointment or promotion to any position and/or groups of positions

Related information

Human Resources guide to using standard position descriptions and advertisements

This policy does not apply to casuals.

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Procedures

  1. Forward proposed Position Description by email from the Delegated Authority to the Classifications Officer in Employee Relations.
  2. The Classifications Officer will advise of the Position Number and TRIM Reference Number when the classification exercise is complete.
  3. Where a new position is to be advertised, the position will be advertised in accordance with the University’s advertising policy.

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