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Grading Review Procedures

1 Introduction

This document sets out the procedures for the review of the grading of posts excluding applications for academic promotion (personal chair, reader, senior lecturer, and senior professional tutors) which are covered by separate procedures. The procedures apply equally to posts with different types of contract, whether part-time, full-time, open-ended, and fixed-term.


Cardiff University is committed to the principles of equal pay for work of equal value. The grading system is based upon systematic evaluation, using the Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA) scheme, of the duties and responsibilities attached to a post and not upon the personal merits of individual post-holders. High levels of individual performance within the scope of a grade are recognised through the Discretionary Payments procedures.

 

2 Request for a review of grading

A grading review is generally undertaken when an individual post has evolved significantly over time in terms of the duties and responsibilities involved, or when there is some question as to whether a particular post is graded correctly. Requests for grading reviews are normally made either by:


(i)     the Head of School/Directorate in partnership with the role-holder, or


(ii)     by a member of staff who may make a direct route application for a grading review. In cases where the Head of School is unable to support the application he/she must arrange for the application to be verified to ensure that the information given in respect of the case is accurate.

 

3 Procedure for review of grading

The process is initiated by completion of a “Declaration of Intent to Apply” form which is submitted to the HR Division prior to the completion of the “HERA Review Request Form and verified HERA Questionnaire”. The role holder will be invited to a “Regrading Explained” briefing/advice session following which they should submit a completed a “HERA Review Request Form and verified HERA Questionnaire”. The completed forms should be submitted to the HR Division, accompanied by an up-to-date job description and an organisational chart. No additional documentation or materials, such as examples of work or testimonials, may be submitted. Clarification may be requested to inform the scoring and consideration of the application.

There is no fixed date for submission of requests and those submitted will be considered on a rolling basis. Only one application may be made in respect of a particular post within a twelve month period.

On receipt of the application within HR the questionnaire will be double scored and the agreed score reviewed in accordance with the University’s established grade boundaries. HR staff may liaise with the postholder and/or the line manager to inform their review.

The outcome of the grading review application will normally be confirmed to the Head of School/Directorate and the postholder within two working weeks of the application being considered. A copy of the postholder’s score in relation to the grade boundary will be included for information and where the application has failed to achieve a move to a higher grade or has been red circled a brief analysis of areas of strength and weakness will be provided.

There are three possible outcomes to this process:-

  • The role is graded correctly; or
  • The role has developed and has moved to a higher grade; or
  • The role is below the requirements of the current grade, and the post will be moved to a lower grade. Transitional salary protection (red-circling) will be offered for a period of 1 year at which point the role will revert to the top of the appropriate grade.

The panel will be supported by a member of HR staff. 

To ensure transparency and fairness of the process, the panel membership will not normally include members from a School or Directorate with applications for consideration.  In the eventuality that this is not possible, such a panel member will not participate in discussions or decisions relating to staff within their School or Directorate. 

The outcome of the grading review will be confirmed to the Head of School/Directorate and the postholder within one week of the review.  There are three possible outcomes to this process:-

  • The role is graded correctly;  or
  • The role has developed and has moved to a higher grade;  or
  • The role is below the requirements of the current grade, and the post will be moved to a lower grade.  Transitional salary protection (red-circling) will be offered for a period of 4 years during 2007(this will be reviewed annually with effect from the 1 January 2008), at which point the role will revert to the top of the appropriate grade.

Any change in salary will be effective from the first of the month following notification of the result by the HR Division. The postholder has a right to appeal against the decision.

 

4 Appeal

Any formal appeal must be submitted in writing to the Director of HR within ten working days of the date of the letter giving the outcome of the application. This letter must state the grounds of appeal, with reference to the “HERA Review Request Form and HERA Questionnaire”.

The “HERA Review Request Form, the letter of appeal and the HERA Questionnaire” will be considered by an appeal panel, made up of:

  • A Pro Vice-Chancellor (normally Chair)
  • A Head of School or Directorate
  • A representative from Human Resources
  • Relevant trade union representative (s).

The Panel will be supported by a member of HR staff.

The appellant will be notified of the decision of the appeal panel normally within one working week of its meeting. The decision of the appeal panel is final.

If the outcome of the appeal is a change to the grade of the post, any change in salary will be effective from the first of the month following notification of the result by the HR Division.

 

5 Further Advice

The relevant HR Manager is available to provide advice on any aspect of this process and training for potential applicants and those required to act as verifiers is held on a bimonthly basis.

Guidance on completing a “HERA Review Request Form and HERA Questionnaire” can be found at (Web address).

 

6 Monitoring

The outcome of grading reviews will be monitored in terms of the grade, gender, ethnic origin and disability status of the post holders involved. Monitoring data will be discussed with our recognised trade unions and considered by the HR Committee and Equality and Diversity Committee to ensure that there are no discriminatory effects of this procedure.

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