Job Evaluation and HERA

The information which follows applies only to roles in the Professional Services job family. Roles in the academic job families have been graded using locally developed role profiles based on national guidance. 

Creating New and Amending Existing Posts

Please refer to the HERA Evaluation Process Flowchart (Managers), which details how the creation of new roles and changes to existing roles should be managed.  

Please contact our HR Advisor team or the HERA specialist, when you are considering creating a new role or are looking to making changes to an existing post.  This will enable us to:

  • Advise on role creation and how to effectively utilise job descriptions
  • Identify similar roles within the business, which may offer comparable duties.
  • Provide further information on job evaluation processes and timescales.
  • Effectively support the efficient evaluation of roles and the provision of robust grade outcomes.

Our Job Description Writing Guidance also provides further information and a template that can be utilised as required.

Prior to submitting a role for job evaluation, please ensure that the budget holder has approved any potential financial implications.  Roles should be submitted by Line Managers of the post or senior managers if required. 

Submitting Roles for Job Evaluation

Please submit a copy of a finalised job description to HERA@exeter.ac.uk along with:

  • Copies of descriptions used to inform the creation of the new post.
  • Job descriptions for existing roles that contain similar or comparable duties where available.
  • If changes are made to an existing post, please highlight these amendments via track changes and comments.

Job Matching

The above information will then enable the HR Advisor team to assess if a grade match can be established with an existing role.

Job matching is the first step in evaluating roles and provides an efficient way of grading posts, whilst ensuring pay parity.

Grade matches are determined based on a sufficient correlation between duties of new and existing posts and are informed by historical evaluation work. Quality job descriptions are required to ensure an effective outcome.

If we are unable to ascertain a grade match with an existing post, a HERA evaluation will be completed to ascertain grading.

If a HERA evaluation is required, further evidence as to the duties and responsibilities will be gathered to ensure that roles are effectively assessed, and that robust, as well as fair grades outcome are provided.

Evidence is collected via the HERA Role Assessment interview, which explores targeted questions mapped to the HERA framework.

This assessment format offers a more efficient way of collating the required evidence in comparison to the HERA Assessment Form 2. Completed directly by managers, this form often required at least a 4 hour time period to detail the necessary evidence and examples.

The HERA assessment interview will instead take approximately 2 hours to complete and provides managers with:

  • A more effective platform to outline the duties, level of responsibility and supporting evidence.
  • An opportunity to discuss the circumstances of the requested grade.
  • Support with navigating the HERA framework, terminology and in formulating examples or evidence. 

It also best enables the HERA specialist to collate a robust portfolio of evidence and develop a sufficient understanding of duties in order to provide fair grade outcomes that support pay parity objectives.

Managers are welcome to complete the assessment in one 2 hour session, or alternatively, split this into two 1 hour sessions.

The HERA specialist will contact managers to arrange a convenient time for the assessment, once the requirement for a HERA evaluation has been determined. Assessments will take place via Teams.

Preparing for a Role Assessment

Please refer to the HERA Assessment Guidance for Managers for further information. To prepare for the assessment, we recommend that managers fully read this guidance and ensure answers and supporting evidence can be provided in response to the questions on page 3.

Prior to the assessment, managers will be required to complete and submit a Form 1 Request for HERA Grading Assessment, along with a copy of an organisational chart.  These documents will further support an efficient evaluation by providing a concise picture of the circumstances of the role, and its relationships with the wider team.

Evidence Portfolio

Once completed, managers will receive a copy of the HERA assessment document containing notes taken during the interview that concisely capture the information and evidence discussed.

Managers are advised to review and amend the assessment document where required, to ensure an accurate presentation of the role. Additional evidence can also be added at this stage of the process.

Individuals who wish to request a grading review of their current role should discuss this with their line manager in the first instance.

Line Management Submissions

It is expected that in the majority of cases, line managers will support the request and will make the submission on the individual’s behalf. Managers should also confirm that the application is supported by the senior management of their Service/College.

Please also ensure that requests for grading reviews are discussed with the appropriate HR Advisor or HR Business Partner, prior to submission.  This will enable us to offer support in identifying suitable remuneration opportunities and with completing an efficient grading review. 

The HERA Grading Review Process Flowchart sets out the steps of this process.

Submitting a Request

Please submit a copy of a finalised job description to HERA@exeter.ac.uk that clearly details amendments made to the role via track changes.

The HERA specialist will then assess these changes to determine significance and whether a HERA grading review is required.

A grading review is applicable where:

  • There are significant, permanent changes to the duties and responsibilities of the role.
  • A minimum of twelve months has passed since the individual was appointed or the last HERA grading assessment took place.

If a HERA grading review is advised, the HERA specialist will complete an HERA assessment interview and compile an evidence portfolio for evaluation.  Please see the HERA Role Assessment section of the website for further information.  

Individual Grading Review Submissions

For individual grading reviews that are not supported by management and are submitted independently, the content of the job description and HERA assessment document will need to be agreed with line management.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the differences will be recorded on these documents.

Once finalised, please return the HERA assessment document to HERA@exeter.ac.uk.  An evaluation of the role will then be completed and a grade outcome provided.  

We aim to provide grade outcomes within 5 to 10 working days, from receipt of the finalised HERA assessment document. Timescales may however vary, if the role is particularly complex or if a HERA panel review is required.  

All roles are effectively prioritised and we ensure that outcomes are provided as soon as possible.

Outcomes will be communicated via email to managers and where appropriate, individuals.

Grading Review Outcomes

Managers and role-holders should be aware that a grading review may increase or decrease the HERA scoring and grade of a post.

Grade increases will take effect from the first of the month, following the completion of the HERA assessment interview. Any delay in the role being assessed will therefore not negatively impact on the individual.

Individuals will receive formal written confirmation of the new grade and salary.

Salary protection arrangements will be applied in instances of grade decrease, following confirmation that the evaluation has taken account of all the relevant information. The role holder will be provided with written notification of the grade change and salary protection arrangements.

Feedback

Where appropriate, feedback will be provided to support outcomes. This will offer further insight into scoring and why a specific outcome has been reached.

Once an outcome has been provided, we would not seek to revaluate roles for a minimum of 12 months, unless the post has been significantly changed, for example new duties hold little resemblance to the originally submitted job description.

 

Depending on the complexity and seniority of the role, validation of grading by the HERA panel may be required. 

Managers will be advised if a panel review is necessary and should also attend a feedback session with the HERA specialist prior to the panel review.

Panels are held on a monthly basis and will assess up to four roles per meeting. Panels consist of qualified specialists who will review the initial evaluation and further assess scoring.  

For a role to be considered at a panel all documentation must be received a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the panel date. This allows time for panel members to review scoring and for papers to be circulated.

Panels are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  •  8 June
  •  14 July
  •  11 August
  •  21 September

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.

Feedback sessions and a HERA panel review should be completed prior to submitting a request for an appeal.

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

Requests for appeals must be made in writing and should be submitted to the Director of Human Resources, copied to HERA@exeter.ac.uk, within 30 working days following notification of the outcome of the HERA grading assessment.

For further information about the appeals process, please contact Jessica McGinn at HERA@exeter.ac.uk.