Grade and category descriptions

The grade and category descriptions may be used as a guide to departments when determining the grade of a role.

Grade descriptions

The overarching grade descriptions are intentionally generic and do not explicitly describe any particular job. They show the typical requirements and responsibilities for staff operating at each grade.

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Individuals have a substantial reputation in their field and make a significant impact on the institution and/or their discipline. They commonly have extensive experience with a high level of expertise, exercising substantial independent responsibility and discretion. They regularly work in areas where there is a lack of precedent, requiring innovative thought to develop appropriate solutions which take into account the strategic implications for the institution. They share in the development of policy and strategic plans and/or manage major projects which will have long-lasting effects on significant parts of the institution. They contribute to University-wide decision-making, and may influence (inter)national level policy-making within their own area of expertise. Role holders are typically responsible for a range of activity in a large department, faculty, or division, or for a significant functional area across the institution. They direct large teams and the interaction between them, frame their overall standards and objectives, and manage performance and development.

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Staff at this grade have a recognised reputation and expertise and are likely to be called upon to provide expert opinion or specialist advice and are likely to contribute to University wide policy. They typically have management responsibility for setting the goals and managing the resources, performance and development of a team. They have a significant role in strategic planning, play a leading role in networks, and contribute to collaborative decisions which affect a large department, division, or major research project. They lead the investigation and research into complex and sensitive matters, approaching problems from different perspectives to devise an optimal solution.

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Roleholders are experienced professionals or have an established research career and exercise a greater level of responsibility than at grade seven. They are most likely to be involved in development work involving input to policy and strategy, or influencing a curriculum or research programme. They have operational responsibility for an area of work or specific aspects of a large project, defining the standards and making decisions within the scope of this work, and have significant input to decision-making affecting the department, division, or research project. They are regularly called upon to present highly technical information, specialist or complex ideas, and/or to write reports and/or material for publication.

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Staff operating at this grade have acquired breadth and depth of expertise in a specific discipline. They may supervise a small operational unit, service, or team, or provide advice, development, and support in a specialist area, or be developing a teaching or research career. They plan and organise concurrent projects and are responsible for managing the links between them and guide the contribution of more junior members of the team. Dealing with others is an important aspect of the work, building relationships and collaborating with others to pursue shared interests. They analyse or research complex issues, concepts, and extensive data from different perspectives, applying existing methodologies and identify the relationships between interdependent factors. They write factual material or reports, and occasionally share in the dissemination of specialist information and complex concepts.

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The nature of the work at this grade varies considerably, and individuals provide technical or administrative support and advice, or contribute to a research team. They share in collaborative decisions affecting the section or project, propose and implement improvements to current working methods, and are responsible for the quality of a discrete area of work, developing protocols as necessary. They carry out detailed manipulation of data or research and write short reports or factual material. They may contribute sections to more substantial reports and publications. Jobs at this grade require the application of a working knowledge of theory or practice with specific aspects of deeper specialist skills and knowledge. They may also supervise others.

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Staff operating at this grade are required to take responsibility for planning their work and tend to plan and manage some short-term projects or co-ordinate activities and events. They are required to adapt and suggest improvements to procedures, which may involve the interpretation of customer requirements, and often contribute to decisions which impact on the work of the section. Day-to-day liaison and networking is carried out to build relationships and facilitate the future exchange of information. Communication with others often requires careful thought as to what to communicate and how best to convey the information. At this grade staff are often required to apply working knowledge of theory and practice to diagnose and resolve technical or procedural issues. Jobs at this grade tend to require staff to demonstrate continuous specialist development.

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Staff operating at this grade deal with non-standard work situations more regularly than staff at lower grades and take minor decisions often relating to the interpretation of procedures. They may be required to provide guidance to team members at lower grades, and may also be involved in supervising the work of others. They compose straightforward correspondence and manipulate and present routine data or information for analysis by others. Staff have responsibility for prioritising their work and ensuring the necessary equipment/materials are available. Jobs at this grade require postholders to have some knowledge of professional or technical practice.

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Staff operating at this grade exercise some personal responsibility and discretion in organising their work within well-defined boundaries. Tasks generally require staff to collate routine data or information for interpretation by others. Staff participate in, and deliver their contribution to, a team and may provide guidance to team members at lower grades. They carry out day-to-day liaison and may participate in networks to pass on information some of which may require careful explanation. Jobs at this grade tend to require some formal training and/or vocational qualifications.

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Staff operating at this grade have sufficient knowledge to work on day-to-day issues without continuous reference to others. They communicate regularly with others to pass on information, and may be the initial point of contact for enquirers. Staff carry out straightforward tasks to a given plan, which often require gathering information from standard sources or carrying out routine record keeping. The nature of the work requires staff to solve simple problems and take minor decisions relating to the immediate task in hand.

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Staff operating at this grade carry out prescribed and directed activities according to well defined procedures. They use basic principles and practices to complete tasks to a given plan with short, defined timescales. Tasks are of a routine nature and require staff to use straightforward communication to establish basic facts regarding the systems and procedures which impact directly on their work. Staff at this grade are given regular and direct supervision and work closely with colleagues whom they can turn to for support.

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Category descriptions

The category descriptions outline the requirements of the grades, presented in four broad staff categories: Research, Administrative & Professional, IT & Technical, and Operational Services.

The intention is to provide an overview of the typical work activities for each of the categories, as well as more detailed information about the requirements and responsibilities at each level. The descriptions indicate the main factors which differentiate one grade from another and demonstrate the key requirements for progression. The levels are generally additive and the skills and requirements build as the grade(s) increase.

Individuals will not necessarily carry out all of the activities mentioned at any particular grade, and some staff may carry out equivalent and/or additional duties.

 
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