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Understanding HERA feedback and appeals. Aims of today’s session. to provide a general update on the assimilation of support staff to the new grading structure to clarify the role that the HERA job evaluation scheme has played in moving your role to the new grading structure

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aims of today s session
Aims of today’s session
  • to provide a general update on the assimilation of support staff to the new grading structure
  • to clarify the role that the HERA job evaluation scheme has played in moving your role to the new grading structure
  • to explain how HERA works
  • to explain the process by which an assimilation outcome can be appealed
general update
General update
  • all support staff will move to the new grading structure with effect from May 1, 2008
  • outcomes are based on the results of a matching exercise which has assessed the demands of all support staff roles using HERA
  • individual letters to be sent out in the week of March 10 (will be distributed via Heads of School and Office)
information provided to individuals
Information provided to individuals
  • confirmation of relevant role or job title
  • HERA point score achieved through matching
  • grade to which that score equates and the range of HERA points for that grade
  • copy of the new grading structure which shows how previous grades relate to it
  • how to access the appeals procedure (this is the same for academic and support staff)
expected outcomes of support staff matching
Expected outcomes of support staff matching
  • approximately 550 staff will see no immediate change to their pay or grading
  • around 70 individuals will be affected by “red-circling”, ie their current grade or pay will be higher than the maximum point of their assigned grade
  • approximately 250 staff will be “green-circled” and will move to a higher spine point in their assigned grade
  • an Administrator, currently on spine point 20 in MG11, is advised that her HERA score is 260 points
  • 260 points is within the range for SG5 (all roles which scored between 240 -284 HERA points)
  • her current salary spine point is already within the SG5 range
  • outcome – no change to pay and grading; progress by annual increments to grade maximum
h igher e ducation r ole a nalysis
Higher Education Role Analysis
  • a job evaluation scheme designed for the HE sector which aims to cover all roles in Higher Education
  • the elements or factors of the scheme reflect the activities and demands that are important in jobs in HE
  • HERA was extensively trialled and tested and has been used by the majority of HEI’s in developing new pay and grading structures
  • the scheme was developed by leading pay and grading consultants, Towers Perrin and Trades Unions were involved throughout
why develop hera
Why develop HERA?
  • there was a proliferation of pay rates and bargaining units in Higher Education  
  • jobs were constantly changing and new jobs were being created which did not fit old grading structures
  • equal pay legislation had brought the concept of equal pay for work of equal value and increased the number of equal pay claims. This has helped motivate employers to review the way they pay their staff
  • there was a desire to create a job evaluation scheme which was designed specifically for the HE sector
the hera scheme
The HERA scheme
  • 14 elements or factors
  • 50 questions that have to be scored for each role profiled
  • a theoretical maximum of 1,000 points and a theoretical minimum of about 150
  • examples provided by individuals are coded by trained role analysts, then fed into a computerised scoring system which calculates a total role score
appeals process
Appeals process
  • request a copy of your individual role profile
  • talk to your line manager or Head of School/Office

three stage formal appeal process

  • complete a Grading Appeal Registration form (by Friday April 11, 2008)
  • have your role individually assessed and scored – requires the completion of a HERA Written Record (within two weeks)
  • (if still dissatisfied) submit request for consideration by an Appeals Panel
appeal outcomes stage iv
Appeal outcomes – stage IV
  • role score increases and now falls into the points range for a different grade – job is re-graded
  • role score increases but within the same range – job stays the same
  • (theoretically) role score decreases …
the hera written record
The HERA Written Record
  • records evidence of the requirements of your role
  • provides questions to draw out evidence of what is required in any given role
  • offers prompts to help organise examples under each element
  • gives the opportunity to record any evidence you feel is relevant – but remember that two or three examples under any one heading normally suffice

Note: if you’re not sure what to include, please ask your line manager. Trades Unions can also offer support to members

on completion
On completion
  • sign and return the Written Record to the HERA team in the Personnel Department. They will arrange for the evidence you have provided to be confirmed with your manager or someone who knows your role well and who has the necessary authority. This person is the verifier
  • if there is any difference of opinion about the evidence, you will be notified. If agreement cannot be reached, both your version and the verifier’s version will be passed to a trained role analyst for scoring
oral communication questions
Oral communication questions

Covers communication in both informal and formal situations

This may include the need to convey basic factual information clearly and accurately; conveying information in the most appropriate format; explaining complex or detailed specialist information

Do you receive, understand and convey:

1 straightforward information in a clear and accurate manner?

2 information which needs careful explanation or interpretation to help others understand, taking into account what to communicate and how best to convey the information to others?

3 complex conceptual ideas or complex information which may be highly detailed, technical or specialist?

oral communication
Oral communication


  • who do you talk to as part of your role?
  • what do you talk about?
  • why do you need to exchange this information?


  • giving directions
  • handling routine telephone enquiries
  • replying to simple requests for information
  • passing on messages
  • explaining procedures, regulations or course entry requirements
  • persuading colleagues to adopt a viewpoint
  • explaining the results of a research project to students or non-specialists in the subject area (for example in a lecture)
  • explaining new legal requirements and their implications to colleagues
written or electronic communication questions
Written or electronic communication questions

Covers communication through written, electronic or visual means in both informal and formal situations

This may include the need to convey basic factual information clearly and accurately; conveying information in the most appropriate format; and explaining complex or detailed specialist information

Do you receive, understand and convey:

4 straightforward information in a clear and accurate manner?

5 information which needs careful explanation or interpretation to help others understand, taking into account what to communicate and how best to convey the information to others?

6 complex conceptual ideas or complex information which may be highly detailed, technical or specialist?

written or electronic communication
Written or electronic communication


  • who do you write to?
  • what do you write about?
  • why do you need to send this information?


  • correspondence including e-mails
  • confirming appointments, course or meeting dates
  • writing a set of instructions
  • writing a case for a bid for funds
  • writing brochures or advertising material
  • writing minutes of meetings
  • drafting user and training manuals for equipment or systems
  • writing explanations of complex systems, regulations or procedures
  • preparing technical specifications for complex contracts such as new buildings, service specifications or capital equipment
teamwork motivation questions
Teamwork & motivation questions

Covers team work and team leadership when working in both internal and external teams

This may include the need to contribute as an active member of the team; motivating others in the team; and providing leadership and direction for the team

Are you required to:

7 participate in and deliver your contribution to a team?

8 be supportive and encouraging of others in a team;

help to build co-operation by setting an example and showing a flexible approach to delivering team results;

contribute to building team morale as an active participant in the team?

9 clarify the requirements; agree clear task objectives; questions

organise and delegate work fairly according to individual abilities;

help the team focus their efforts on the task in hand and motivate individual team members?

teamwork motivation questions22
Teamwork & motivation questions

Are you required to:

10 form and communicate a clear vision of what is to be achieved overall by a team;

encourage individuals to contribute to this common goal to the best of their ability;

create a sense of unity and common purpose?

11 understand and manage the inter-relationship between different teams and their impact on the overall aims of the institution;

help to break down barriers between teams;

build beneficial working relationships across the teams?

liaison networking questions
Liaison & networking questions

Covers liaising with others both within and outside the institution and creating networks of useful contacts

This may include passing on information promptly to colleagues; ensuring mutual exchange of information; influencing developments through one’s contacts; and building an external reputation

Are you required to:

  • carry out standard day to day liaison using existing procedures?
  • participate in networks within the institution or externally?
  • initiate, build or lead internal networks; maintain relationships over time; establish communication channels for self or others

15 initiate, develop or lead networks which are external to the institution?

liaison networking
Liaison & networking


  • who do you liaise with and why?
  • what information are you typically passing on or receiving?
  • what networks do you belong to and why?
  • what is the purpose of the network and what is your role in the network?
  • are you influencing developments through your contacts?
  • are you building a reputation for the institution?
  • are you bringing some benefit to the whole institution?
service delivery questions
Service deliveryquestions

Covers the provision of help and assistance to a high standard of service to students, visitors, members of staff and other users of the institution

This may include reacting to requests for information or advice; actively offering or promoting the services of the institution to others; and setting the overall standards of service offered

Are you required to:

16 deal with internal or external contacts who ask for service or require information?

create a positive image of the institution by being responsive and prompt in responding to requests and referring the user to the right person if necessary?

Is contact usually initiated by the customer and does it typically involve routine tasks with set standards or procedures?

service delivery questions26
Service deliveryquestions

Are you required to:

17deal with internal or external contacts where the service is usually initiated by you, working within the institution's overall procedures or policies;


understand and explore customers’ needs; adapt the service accordingly to ensure the usefulness or appropriateness and quality of service (content, accuracy, level of information, cost)?

18 set the overall standards for service across a function or area of the institution;

monitor service levels;

pre-empt changes in customers’ needs and anticipate future requirements;

maintain overall quality balancing different demands;

ensure others have the support they need to provide quality service and fulfil their role?

service delivery
Service delivery


  • what service do you provide and to whom?
  • do you usually actively offer the service or do your customers come to you?
  • how do you find out what the service user wants?
  • who sets the overall standards and decides which services will be offered?
decision making questions
Decision making questions

Covers the impact of decisions within the institution and externally

This may include decisions which impact on one’s own work or team; decisions which impact across the institution; and decisions which could have significant impact in the longer term within or outside the institution

Are you required to:

19 take independent decisions?

20 be party to some collaborative decisions;

work with others to reach an optimal conclusion?

21 provide advice or input to contribute to the decision making of others?

decision making


Decision-making is split into three types: independent, collaborative and advice-giving, and to decide where decisions fall, you may need to ask:

  • what authority do you have to make decisions without the agreement of others?
  • how do you take typical decisions and what are the results of making them?
  • who else is involved in making your decisions and what is their contribution?
  • who or what do they impact and over what timescale?
  • do you help others make decisions for which you have no responsibility?
planning organising resources questions
Planning & organising resources questions

Covers organising, prioritising and planning time and resources, be they human, physical or financial

This may include planning and organising one’s own work; planning work for others on day to day tasks or on projects; carrying out operational planning; and planning for coming years

Are you required to:

22 complete tasks to a given plan, with allocated resources?

23 plan, prioritise and organise your own work or resources to achieve agreed objectives?

24 plan, prioritise and organise the work or resources of self and others within own area on a daily, weekly or monthly basis;

plan and manage small projects, ensuring the effective use of resources;

receive information from and provide information to others to complete your planning; monitor progress against the plan?

planning organising resources questions31
Planning & organising resources questions

Are you required to:

25 take responsibility for the operational planning and organisation of larger projects or an area of work;

co-ordinate a number of teams or projects on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis;

set performance standards and establish monitoring procedures to keep track of progress across these different aspects of work;

provide input to longer term planning?

26 carry out planning on a long-term or strategic basis that will affect large parts of the institution and possibly national or international activities?

does your planning and organisation typically cover a period of at least three to five years?

planning organising resources
Planning & organising resources


This element is about organising, prioritising and planning time and resources, be they human, physical or financial. This may include planning and organising your own work or that of others, on day to day tasks or in projects. The questions may explore operational planning and planning for coming years.

Do you:

  • work to a set pattern each day, eg carrying out routine maintenance, or work from a detailed set of instructions?
  • decide your own pattern of work and can select the order in which tasks are completed, providing the required output is achieved?
  • manage the resources (people, equipment, money) of a sub-section of a department?
  • manage a specific project, eg organising a conference or event such as a graduation ceremony or open day?
  • formulate the type of plan that will affect a substantial area of work and will involve people from several teams?
initiative problem solving questions
Initiative & problem solving questions

Covers identifying or developing options and selecting solutions to problems which occur in the role

This may include using initiative to select from available options; resolving problems where an immediate solution may not be apparent; dealing with complex problems; and anticipating problems which could have major repercussions

Are you required to:

27 solve standard day to day problems as they arise;

choose between a limited number of options which have clear consequences, by following guidelines or referring to what has been done before;

recognise when a problem should be referred to others?

28 use initiative and creativity to resolve problems where the optimal solution may not be immediately apparent but has to be assessed by a process of reasoning, weighing up the pros and cons of different approaches;

identify and assess practical options;

break the problem down into component parts?

initiative problem solving questions34
Initiative & problem solving questions

Are you required to:

29 resolve problems where there is a mass of information or diverse, partial and conflicting data, with a range of potential options available;

apply creativity to devise varied solutions, approaching the problem from different perspectives?

30 resolve problems where there is a lack of precedent which calls for innovation and creative thought to develop appropriate options;

anticipate problems and make projections;

initiate solutions which take into account strategic implications for the institution and which do not limit future choices?

initiative problem solving
Initiative & problem-solving


This set of questions is about identifying or developing options and selecting solutions to problems that typically occur in your role.

This may include using your initiative to select from available options, resolving problems where an immediate solution may not be apparent, dealing with complex problems and anticipating problems which could have major repercussions

analysis research questions
Analysis & research questions

Covers investigating issues, analysing information and carrying out research

This may include following standard procedures to gather and analyse data; identifying and designing appropriate methods of research; collating and analysing a range of data from different sources; and establishing new methods or models for research, setting the context for research

Are you required to:

31 establish the basic facts in situations which require further investigation and inform others if necessary?

32 analyse routine data or information using predetermined procedures and gathering the information from standard sources;

need to work accurately to complete the task precisely as specified?

analysis research questions37
Analysis & research questions

Are you required to:

33 identify an appropriate existing method of analysis or investigation according to the data and objectives;

recognise and interpret trends or patterns in data;

identify or source additional information which could potentially help the investigation as the analysis progresses?

34 analyse or research complex ideas, concepts or extensive data from different perspectives;

work out how best to apply existing methodologies according to the overall context, objectives and expectations;

identify the relationship between complex, interdependent factors?

35 identify the research question within a specific context;

generate original ideas to build on existing concepts;

generate new concepts and methodologies;

develop new avenues of research?

analysis research
Analysis & research


  • what data or information do you have available or need to obtain?
  • how do you obtain this data?
  • do you analyse the figures you obtain?
sensory physical demands question
Sensory & physical demands question

Covers the sensory and physical aspects of the role

This may include physical effort, co-ordination and dexterity, using aural evidence to assess next actions; applying skilled techniques and co-ordinating sensory information; and high levels of dexterity where precision or accuracy is essential

Are you required to:

A Carry out highly specialist or very complex tasks requiring either mastery of a wide range of complex sensory or physical techniques or involving unusually intense physical effort?

B Carry out tasks which require either mastery of a range of sensory or physical techniques, concentration to co-ordinate different senses or precision in applying these sensory skills, or involve considerable physical effort?

C Carry out tasks at a level which would require either learning certain methods or routines or involve moderate physical effort?

D Complete basic tasks which either would require either a minimum of instruction or light, if any, physical effort?

sensory physical demands
Sensory & physical demands


  • are you required to lift, carry or handle large or heavy objects?
  • do you carry out jobs using sophisticated equipment?
  • do you work in cramped, confined or difficult spaces or awkward positions?
  • do you
    • use keyboards or other devices for inputting straightforward data or finding routine information?
    • use other standard office equipment eg photocopiers, fax machines?
    • use gardening or maintenance tools?
    • use standard laboratory or workshop equipment eg cutters, lathes?
    • drive vehicles?
work environment questions
Work environment questions

Covers the impact the working environment has on the individual and your ability to respond to and control that environment safely

This may include such things as the temperature, noise or fumes, the work position and working in an outdoor environment

Are you required to:

37 work in an environment which is relatively stable and has little impact on you or the way in which work is completed?

38 understand how the work environment could impact on your own work or that of colleagues;

take standard actions, within health and safety guidelines where applicable, to adapt to the environment?

39 understand variability in your working environment and its potential negative impact on the work process or the health and safety of yourself or colleagues;

determine the level of risk and appropriate response?

work environment
Work environment


  • do you have to take any special measures to reduce the risk or control the environment before or while working?
  • do you make use of any safety equipment, special clothing?
  • are you responsible for controlling the environment and making sure that others are not at risk eg through carrying out risk assessments?
pastoral care welfare questions
Pastoral care & welfare questions

Covers the welfare and well being of students and staff within the institution, in both informal and formal situations

This may include the need to be aware of the support services available; giving supportive advice and guidance; and counselling others on specific issues

Are you required to:

40 show sensitivity to those who may need help or, in extreme cases, are showing signs of obvious distress;

initiate appropriate action by involving relevant people?

41 give advice on commonly occurring welfare issues or queries;

follow standard welfare procedures for the institution;

recognise when an individual should be referred elsewhere for professional help;

respect confidentiality?

pastoral care welfare questions44
Pastoral care & welfare questions

Are you required to:

42 give support, guidance or pastoral care where standard procedures do not always exist;

maintain confidentiality and build trust;

judge when to listen, when to give advice or guidance and when to refer the individual for professional help;

be fully aware of support networks for both yourself and the individual?

pastoral care welfare
Pastoral care & welfare


As a specified part of your role

  • do you need to be aware of available support services
  • give supportive advice and guidance
  • refer others to someone better able to help them
  • counsel others on specific issues
  • deal with disciplinary or other performance issues
  • help with relationship problems
team development questions
Team development questions

Covers the development of the skills and knowledge of others in the work team

This may include the induction of new colleagues; coaching and appraising any individuals who are supervised, mentored or managed by the role holder; and giving guidance or advice to one’s peers or supervisor on specific aspects of work

Are you required to:

43 advise or guide new starters working in the same role or unit on standard information or procedures?

44 train or guide others on specific tasks, issues or activities;

give advice, guidance and feedback on the basis of your own knowledge or experience;

deliver training?

team development questions47
Team development questions

Are you required to:

45 carry out training or development activity according to the needs of the individual or group;

identify current capabilities and future needs;

define the performance standards required;

identify appropriate developmental activity;

assess the application of learning;

give feedback and guidance on overall performance?

team development
Team development


  • what are you instructing, coaching or guiding others to do?
  • do you devise your own training materials?
  • who identifies the learning needs of the team members and decides whether any one individual should receive training or development?
  • how do you assess whether learning has occurred?
teaching and learning support questions
Teaching and learning support questions

Covers the development of the skills and knowledge of students and others who are not part of the work team

This may include providing instruction to students or others when they are first using a particular service or working in a particular area; carrying out standard training; and the assessment and teaching of students

Are you required to:

46 introduce students or others who are new to the area to standard information or procedures?

47 teach or train students or others on specific tasks, issues or activities;

assess performance and provide feedback during the event?

teaching and learning support questions50
Teaching and learning support questions

Are you required to:

48 teach, train or facilitate development activities for individuals or groups on certain aspects or subjects within a particular academic discipline or specialism;

monitor performance giving feedback and guidance;

act as a catalyst for further development or learning?

49 deliver a range of teaching or development activity within a particular academic discipline or specialism, teaching across the breadth or depth of the subject;

challenge thinking and fosters debate;

encourage the development of intellectual reasoning and rigour?

teaching learning support
Teaching & learning support


  • what techniques do you show or what skills do you train people outside your department in?
  • who decides how the content is to be delivered?
  • do you offer feedback on progress or assess learning?
knowledge experience question
Knowledge & experience question

Covers the relevant knowledge needed to carry out the role, however acquired, whether this is technical, professional or specialist

This may include the need for sufficient experience to carry out basic, day to day responsibilities; the need for a breadth or depth of experience to act as a point of reference for others; and the need to act as a leading authority in one’s field or discipline

Are you required to:

A be a leading authority in your subject or profession with widespread professional or public recognition?

B be recognised as an authority in your field or specialism within the institution or amongst external peers, based on demonstrated expertise;

shape and influence developments within the institution through your own contribution to your area of expertise?

knowledge experience question53
Knowledge & experience question

Are you required to:

C apply a breadth or depth of experience showing full working knowledge and proficiency of your own area of expertise;

act as a point of reference to others;

demonstrate continuous specialist development, acquiring and refining skills and expertise in new or related areas through undertaking and encouraging internal or external development activity?

D apply working knowledge of theory and practice, sharing this knowledge with others as appropriate;

demonstrate continuous specialist development by acquiring relevant skills and competencies?

E have sufficient knowledge or expertise to work on day to day issues in your own area without direct or continuous reference to others?

F be aware of basic principles and practices;

have an understanding of the systems and procedures which directly impact on your own work and be supervised or works closely with colleagues you can turn to for support?

knowledge experience
Knowledge & experience


  • what knowledge and experience do you need to carry out your responsibilities?
  • how long does it take to obtain your level of expertise?
  • how do people depend on you for expertise?
  • how do you develop and update your knowledge?
  • do you shape and influence developments and events in the institution?
  • if your job were advertised, what level of qualifications, skills, and experience would be required of your replacement?