The HERA grading process

Roles in the academic job families have been graded using locally developed role profiles based on national guidance.  The information which follows applies only to roles in the Professional Services job family. To find out about the steps in the HERA process please take a look at the HERA Grading Process Flowchart (managers).

The HERA Grading Process Flowchart (managers) sets out how the establishment of new roles and changes to existing roles should normally be managed, and whether a new job description and full grading assessment is required.

You are advised to speak to your HR Advisor as early as possible when you are considering creating a new role, or making permanent and significant changes to an existing role to confirm which approach you are required to take.

Your HR Advisor will be able to advise you whether there is a similar job description/s in another part of the University which is comparable to the role you require and therefore a new job description and full evaluation may not be required. This advice will ensure that managers do not have to complete any unnecessary work.

In all cases a Form 1 Request for HERA Grading Assessment, job description and a structure chart for the relevant area will be required.

Requests for HERA grading assessments should be submitted by the line manager or other senior manager of the role required to be evaluated. They should ensure all the documentation has been fully completed and that the budget holder is fully aware of any potential financial implications of the grading assessment.

For new roles

For all new roles managers should send the following documents to HERA@exeter.ac.uk

  1. Form 1 Request for HERA Grading Assessment
  2. Form 2 HERA Job Role Assessment Form
  3. Job description and structure chart - see below

If your HR Advisor is unable to identify a similar job description or role, and the role you are proposing is truly new and unique, please create a new job description and submit with a proposed structure chart

If your HR Advisor has identified and provided you with a similar job description, please track changes on the job description and submit with a proposed structure chart.

 

For existing roles which managers wish to make changes to

It is important that the evidence to support HERA grading assessments remains current and relevant. Your HR Advisor will be able to advise when the role last went through a grading assessment and provide you with any available documentation for you to track changes.

You should send the following documents to: HERA@exeter.ac.uk

  1. Form 1 Request for HERA Grading Assessment
  2. Form 2 HERA Job Role Assessment Form - depending on the nature of the changes and the availability of documentation to support the grading, your HR Advisor may ask you to complete a number or all of the sections of this form
  3. Tracked changes job description and structure chart

Individuals who wish to request a grading review of their current role should discuss this with their line manager in the first instance. It is expected that in the majority of cases, a line manager will support the request and will make the submission on the individual’s behalf as a management supported request rather than a personal request. The line manager should confirm with the senior management of their Service/College that the application is supported by them.  

The HERA Grading Process Flowchart (individuals) sets out the steps of this process.

A grading review is only applicable where there are significant, permanent changes to the duties and responsibilities of the role and where a minimum of twelve months has passed since the individual was appointed or the last HERA grading assessment took place. Your HR Advisor will be able to advise what constitutes significant, permanent changes and therefore whether a grading review is appropriate so you are advised to discuss the proposed grading review with them at the earliest opportunity to avoid the unnecessary completion of forms.

For individual grading reviews which are not supported by management, you will need to complete the documentation, and you should agree the content with your line manager. Where you and your line manager cannot agree on the content of the questionnaire, the differences will be recorded on the form. (This is called a personal request for a grading review).

Managers and roleholders should be aware that a grading review may increase or decrease the HERA scoring and therefore the grade of a role may go up or down. Where the outcome of the review is lower than the current grade of the role, following confirmation that the assessment has taken account of all relevant information, the salary protection arrangements will be applied.

For all grading reviews please email the following documents to HERA@exeter.ac.uk

  1. Form 1 Request for HERA Grading Assessment
  2. Form 2 HERA Job Role Assessment Form
  3. Original job description
  4. Proposed job description and structure chart

The submitting manager should email the appropriate documents to HERA@exeter.ac.uk  Your submission will be acknowledged and you will be provided with an indicative timescale for the assessment.

A trained HERA Analyst will review and assess the information provided in the documents and score the role based on established and rigorous protocols.  Additional information may need to be gathered from the submitting manager, or where appropriate the individual, to complete the assessment.  The HERA Analyst’s initial assessment will assign a proposed grade to the role.

Following completion of the initial assessment, the role will be submitted to be validated at the next available panel of trained HERA Analysts. Panels are held on a monthly basis with on average 4 roles assessed at each panel.

For a role to be considered at a panel all documentation must be received a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the panel date to allow the initial assessment to take place and papers to be cirulated to panel members.

Panels are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • 19 November 2019
  • 18 December 2019
  • 24 January 2020
  • 17 February 2020

You will be advised of the date of the panel the role will be considered at, and whether the manager is required to attend. The manager may be requested to attend the panel to be able to deal with any queries/clarification that may be required to avoid any further delays in obtaining evidence.

The submitting manager, and where appropriate the individual, will be notified of the confirmed grade via email.

Your HR Advisor who has supported you will also be informed of the outcome to enable them to take forward any actions.

For grading reviews on an individual’s role:

  • any grade increase will take effect from the first of the month following receipt of the full documentation/ evidence required. Any delay in the role being assessed and validated will therefore not negatively impact on the individual.
  • any grade decrease, following confirmation that the assessment has taken account of all relevant information, the salary protection arrangements will be applied. The roleholder will be given written notification of the change in grade and the salary protection arrangements.

Managers or individuals who are not satisfied at the outcome of the HERA grading assessment will be advised to speak with Shelley Kelly, Senior HR Advisor (Reward and Strategic Projects) s.a.kelly@exeter.ac.uk in the first instance to help you to understand how the grade was determined.

Appeals will only be considered on the grounds that there was an incorrect application of the grading criteria during the scoring.

Managers or individuals who are not satisfied at the outcome of the HERA grading assessment will be advised to speak with Shelley Kelly, Senior HR Advisor (Reward and Strategic Projects) in the first instance to help you to understand how the grade was determined.

Individuals who have submitted a personal request for their grade to be reviewed, and are dissatisfied with the outcome, have the right to appeal to a joint management-trade union panel in accordance with the appeal procedure.

The appeal must be made in writing, stating the specific reasons why you are dissatisfied with the outcome to the Director of People Services within 30 working days following notification of the outcome of the HERA grading assessment.

Full details of the HERA Appeal Process.