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Linking of Classification Levels - Professional Staff Policy and Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) This policy outlines the circumstances for linking classification levels for professional staff positions.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) Nil

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Classification - is the allocation of one of the ten levels of classification, where each level is determined by the role and the responsibilities allocated to that position and described in the position description.

(4) Position Description - is the description for each professional staff position of the key duties, major responsibilities, and skill set required for the position.

(5) Parties - the incumbent of a position, their immediate supervisor, and the Executive Dean/Associate Director TAFE/Director.

(6) Classification; job redesign; classification levels; position description.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement


(7) In a dynamic work environment it is practical to anticipate that the role and responsibilities of a job may change over time. At the lower end of the ten professional staff classification levels it is envisaged that the University may attract and retain staff, and appropriately recognise and reward their increasing abilities, by linking the classification levels. Linking is also known in many organisations as 'broadbanding'.


(8) The classification structure will enhance career opportunities for professional staff and linking particular levels will provide a further opportunity to achieve this objective for lower salaried staff.

(9) Levels 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4, shall be linked levels. In relation to these levels that are to be linked, when appointments are made at the lower level and the incumbent has advanced in the position to the higher level, the duties and responsibilities of the position would normally revert to the lower level on vacancy, if practicable. Where the work of a vacant position has changed significantly and there is a need to maintain that position at the higher level a case may be made to the General Manager, HR Business Services, via the relevant line manager as per Human Resources Delegation Policy to retain that position at the higher level.

(10) All incumbents of positions at the lower of the linked levels will be eligible to be considered for advancement to the higher classification level. Advancement will not be automatic and more specific and rigorous tests will be applied to move from the lower to the higher linked level, than those used for normal incremental progression within a salary level.

(11) Advancement to a higher level in the linked structure will be dependent upon the following criteria:

  1. the duties and responsibilities of the higher level required by the Department to be undertaken,
  2. the staff member meets the training or qualifications requirements in the position classification standards for the higher level, and
  3. satisfactory performance at the lower level.

(12) It is the joint responsibility of the supervisor and staff member to plan for the advancement of a staff member to the higher of two linked levels. This responsibility includes the identification and provision of appropriate training. Departments will be expected to make reasonable efforts to ensure that duties and responsibilities at the higher level are available for appropriately qualified and skilled staff members appointed at the lower of two linked levels. Supervisors should plan ahead to enable expansion or restructuring of positions to provide this opportunity. Subject to there being a demonstrated need for the higher level duties to be performed, expansion or restructuring of the job may include:

  1. similar but more complex work;
  2. more responsibility in terms of resources;
  3. more complex work through additional duties not normally undertaken by the staff member;
  4. working with a substantially reduced level of supervision.

(13) It is expected that cases for advancement would normally be considered when the staff member is at the top increment of the lower level.

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Section 5 - Procedures

Linking of Levels 1 and 2

(14) Staff members appointed to Level 1 shall have access to advancement to Level 2 without promotion to a higher and different position where:

  1. they have the skill, achieved either through training or experience, or a combination of both, to warrant such advancement, and
  2. they perform duties, which require the skill levels at Level 2.

(15) Advancement to Level 2 may directly result from job redesign. It is recognised that jobs at HEW Level One have been structured in a particularly narrow way and that if staff employed at this level are to have realistic opportunities to proceed to Level 2, these areas of work must be reviewed to establish the potential for restructuring of the work to provide access to Level 2 work.

Principles of Advancement:

(16) All eligible staff members will be able to apply for advancement to the next linked level.

(17) Application will be on the initiative of the staff member, but it is expected that the staff member, Supervisor and Head of Department/Unit will have been working together to enable advancement.

(18) Applications for advancement will be made via the 'Application for Advancement Between Linked Levels' form, which will require the staff member to specify how he/she matches the relevant criteria for the new classification level.

Procedure for Advancement between Linked Levels

(19) Six months after a staff member has reached the top of the incremental scale in the lower of their linked levels, he/she shall receive a notice from People and Culture informing him/her that he/she is eligible to apply for advancement to the next level as at the date of the anniversary of their last increment. The invitation shall also specify a date by which the application should be made. This shall normally be three (3) months before the anniversary of the previous increment date.

(20) The Head of Department/Unit will receive a copy of the notice sent to the staff member and will be asked to work with the direct supervisor and staff member in planning the advancement of the member of staff.

(21) Should the staff member decide that he/she wishes to apply for advancement, they shall complete the form and submit it to the General Manager, HR Business Services, by the date advised in the invitation.

(22) The staff member's supervisor should endorse the application form. The staff member, however, has the right to forward the form without the supervisor's signature. If the application does not contain the supervisor's signature, the General Manager, HR Business Services or delegated senior officer will contact the supervisor to clarify why they did not support the application.

(23) The Head of Department/Unit should also endorse the application. If the Head of Department/Unit determines not to approve the application, he/she will need to demonstrate that the Department/Unit does not require the skills and/or duties of the higher level classification, that the individual does not have the necessary skills or has not performed satisfactorily at the lower level.

(24) The staff member shall receive notification of the decision generally one month before the anniversary of the last increment.

(25) If the application for advancement is rejected, the staff member will be provided with reasons in writing for the rejection. The staff member can request a rejection to be reviewed by the Review and Appeals Committee.

Advertising Linked Level Positions

(26) The University will normally advertise positions for initial appointment at one discrete level. In special circumstances the General Manager, HR Business Services, may approve advertisement of positions across two designated linked levels.

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(27) Nil