NHS Job Evaluation Handbook - Second Edition

This handbook outlines the new Job Evaluation Scheme purposely developed for the National Health Service as part of the new pay system, Agenda for Change

NHS Job Evaluation Handbook

7. Guide to the use of Profiles

1. Introduction

1.1 Profiles have been developed in order to:

  • Make the processes of assigning staff to one of the new pay bands as straightforward as possible. It would not be helpful to the NHS, and its staff, to have to undertake one million individual job evaluations in order to implement the new NHS pay scheme. The matching procedure ( see Section 8) has been developed to allow most jobs locally to be matched to nationally evaluated profiles on the basis of information from job descriptions, person specifications and oral information.
  • Provide a framework against which to check the consistency of local evaluations during the initial assimilation process and in the future ( see Section 11).

1.2 Profiles work on the premise that there are posts in the NHS which are fairly standard and which have many common features. Indeed one of the benefits of job evaluation is that it uses a common language and a common set of terms to describe all jobs. Job evaluation is about highlighting similarities between jobs via common language and measurement. Profiles apply these principles to particular job groups.

2. What profiles are and are not

2.1 Profiles are:

  • The outcomes of evaluations of jobs (see paragraph 3 below).
  • Explanations (rationales) for how national benchmark jobs evaluate as they do.

2.2 Profiles are NOT:

  • Job descriptions and are NOT intended to replace organisational job descriptions.
  • Person specifications, for recruitment purposes, although they may be helpful in drawing up person specifications in the future.

3. The development of profiles

3.1 The current steps in the development of a profile are as follows:

(1) Completion of Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) by jobholder(s), usually with the assistance of job analyst(s) to ensure all information included and accurate.

(2) Evaluation of JAQ(s), initially by joint evaluation panels, but for more recently completed JAQs by the JEWP profile sub-group ('the profile group').

(3) Draft profile prepared on basis of JAQ(s) and reviewed by whole profile group to ensure consistency of assessment against factor level definitions and other similar profiles.

(4) Distribution via the Shadow Executive (Executive Committee of the future) of the NHS Staff Council to interested parties for comment.

(5) Consideration of comments by profile group and revision of profile.

(6) Submission of revised profile to Shadow Executive for agreement to publish, or possible return to profile group with questions or comments for further review.

3.2 Following the formal establishment of the NHS Staff Council, recommendations on changes and additions or deletions to profiles will be made by a job evaluation sub-group of the Council, and submitted to the Council for a decision.

4. Use of profiles

4.1 Each profile represents a commonly occurring and recognisable job healthcare or non-healthcare job found in the health service. However, for many such jobs there are small variations in the duties, responsibilities and other demands within and between trusts and other health service organisations, which need to be acknowledged but which do not make a difference to the overall band outcome.

4.2 Such variations are shown as a range for the relevant factors. Factor ranges are generally not more than two levels, but can be three levels under the Effort and Working Conditions factors and the Responsibility for Research and Development factor, where considerable variations occur in practice in otherwise very similar jobs.

4.3 For each factor, examples are given to exemplify the benchmark evaluation. Generic examples of duties, responsibilities and skills have been used where possible. In some cases a specific example, usually a speciality specific example, has been used. The profile may still be applicable where the particular example used is not relevant to an individual job.

4.4 In some cases there is more than one profile where a single job title has been used historically (e.g. Clinical Coding Officer, Healthcare Assistant). This is usually because there is a wide range of duties and hence job weight carried out by staff with this title. The range is sufficient to span more than one new pay band. Employers working in partnership with staff organisations, in accordance with the agreed matching procedure, should determine which is the correct profile for the local post and assign the relevant pay band.

5. Generic profiles

5.1 Most of the current profiles apply to traditional job groups (e.g. Podiatry, Medical Records) for the purpose of transferring all employees onto the Agenda for Change pay band structures. However, one of the aims of Agenda for Change is to increase job flexibility, where this is agreed to be desirable. For some groups, therefore, more generic profiles have been jointly developed by agreement with representatives of the group in question. These are designed to apply to a range of posts, which are broadly similar but which may have been treated differently in the past (e.g. Finance, Healthcare Science).

5.2 Because of the range of job characteristics which can be covered by a single generic profile, this may mean that the profile score crosses the job evaluation range to a lower band. In each such case, the profile carries the following health warning:

"The band for jobs covered by this generic profile is band e.g. 4. The minimum total profile score falls below the band e.g. 4 grade boundary. This is the result of using a single generic profile to cover a number of jobs of equivalent but not necessarily similar factor demand. It is not anticipated that any job will be assessed at the minimum level of every possible factor range. If this were the case, it indicates that the job should instead be matched against a band e.g. 3 profile. If this is not successful, the job must be locally evaluated."

6. Profile labels

6.1 One of the points to come from the job evaluation benchmarking exercise was that current job title was not necessarily a good indicator of how the post evaluates. Terms like practitioner, officer, assistant etc tend to be used differently both by different staff groups and organisations. Organisations should therefore avoid assigning a pay band purely on the basis of job title. In a similar vein profiles do not refer to Whitley grades as it should not automatically be assumed that everyone on a specific Whitley grade will necessarily be assigned to the same new pay band.

6.2 Profile labels are intended to assist in identifying possible profiles for matching purposes and to help employees find the profiles of relevance to their own jobs. Profile labels are NOT intended to be used as job titles. Revised profiles include commonly found job titles; there is no reason why these should not continue to be used, except where they refer to Whitley or other previous grading structures.

6.3 The principles on which the current profile labelling system 1 as designed are:

  • Move away from the current various systems of job labelling and to emphasise the different approach and principles behind the Agenda for Change pay structure.
  • Provide labels with meaning to staff in terms of career development e.g. Nurse, Nurse Specialist, Nurse Advanced, Nurse Consultant; Medical Secretary Entry Level, Medical Secretary, Medical Secretary Higher Level.
  • Demonstrate commonality and potential for flexibility where reflected in profile content and outcomes e.g. Clinical Support Worker.
  • Keep job group profiles together in an alphabetical listing by starting with the job group name e.g. Dental Technician, Dental Technician Higher Level etc.

6.4 Profile labelling rules include:

(1) X (e.g. Medical Secretary, Midwife) Entry Level = Xs with one level lower in the Knowledge factor than the base level for Xs, but with the future expectation that jobholders will progress to the base level once the necessary knowledge and experience have been acquired. Experienced Xs may be assessed at this level, where the historical organisational structure has not provided opportunities for this type of development.

(2) X Higher Level = Xs with additional responsibilities that take the profile to the next pay band.

(3) X (e.g. Finance) Team Leader = team leader of a group of Xs, generally one band higher than the base level of Xs.

(4) X (e.g. Finance) Team Manager = first line manager of Xs, generally, two bands higher than the base level of Xs, responsible for a significant team or section within a service or department.

(5) X (e.g. Radiography) Assistant Practitioner = Xs with one level lower in the knowledge factor than the base entry level for Xs, providing technical or similar support to Xs.

(6) X (e.g. Nurse) Specialist = X with one level higher in the knowledge factor than the base level for Xs.

(7) X (e.g. Nurse) Advanced = X with two levels higher in the knowledge factor than the base level for Xs.

(8) X Consultant = X with the highest level of knowledge for the occupational group.

(9) Location indicators go in brackets e.g. (Community) and are supplemented by area of practice.

(10) Manager designation is only appropriate if the job manages staff; manager and sole carrier out of an area of responsibility should be designated Officer, Administrator or Practitioner as appropriate e.g. Fire Safety Officer.

7. Profile conventions

7.1 Each profile factor box contains one or more bold statements, taken from the relevant factor level definitions, and one or more text statements, summarising or exemplifying job information.

7.2 Bold statements pick out key words and phrases from the relevant factor level definitions and should be read in the context of the factor level definitions. A complete set of bold statements, as used in profiles, is available on the Agenda for Change web site at: www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/HumanResourcesAndTraining/ModernisingPay/AgendaForChange/fs/en

7.3 Detailed profile conventions are:

  • Bold and text statements at the same factor level are separated by a semi-colon; bold and text statements at different factor levels are separated by a forward slash.

Bold and text statements follow the order of the factor options in the scheme.

1 A detailed paper on the principles of profile labelling is available on the Agenda for Change website at: www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/HumanResourcesAndTraining/ModernisingPay/AgendaForChange/fs/en

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