Position design | Position evaluation

Position design

A position description forms the basis of the employment contract between UCT and a staff member. They enable the structuring and managing of positions in a uniform, factual, effective and efficient way. They underpin and support many human resources and people management processes and practices. Every position should have a position description.  Typically, a position is analysed and/or designed, written and/or reviewed before recruitment, when a new position holder starts or when substantive functions are added or removed from a position. Position descriptions are regularly reviewed and updated.
A position description is merely a description of a position. It does not design or define the position. Design and definition need to happen before a position description is written.
A position is not an independent entity that exists in a vacuum. A position exists within the context of an organisation (which has goals, purpose, visions, values etc.), an organisational structure (which is designed to ensure the organisation meet achieves its goals), and the business environment (which has a need which the organisation is designed to meet). Thus, a position cannot be designed, defined and described in a position description in isolation. A position needs to be designed within its context, before it can be defined and then described.  It must be designed, defined and described in relation to the positions that interact with it, business processes, the organisation and the business environment.
A design process identifies ineffective and inefficient work flows, processes, structures, systems. It redesigns, streamlines, simplifies, organises and improves. Positions are organised in a way that gives incumbents authority and responsibility for making decisions, solving problems and continually improving the quality of their work.
A position description is written using the HR191. Further position design and description writing assistance is available in the guide ‘How to write position descriptions’, and from your HR Business Partner. The UCT Competency Framework will also be useful.

Position evaluation

Position Evaluation is the rating of Positions according to a specifically planned procedure in order to determine the relative size and worth of each position. It examines the contents and requirements of Positions and measures these against a standard scale. We evaluate positions to determine their “intrinsic” worth. We systematically assess the degree of complexity of the position content, discretion and requirements, independent of any pre-conceived standards of remuneration and without regard to the qualities and performance of the position-holder performing the position. This results in a rational rank order of positions, and position structure based on a system that is readily understood, fair and defensible, for all stakeholders (e.g. management, position-holders and Human Resources). It results in position grades, scores, levels or ratings whereby positions can be compared with other positions, within and outside of an organisation, to determine their relative worth.
At UCT, Position Evaluation is used to evaluate and grade all PASS (Professional, Administrative and Support) Positions. A guide to the system and process, Position Evaluation – A Guide to the UCT process of evaluating a Position 2024, sets out the principles and processes, and the annual grading cycle dates. Position evaluation applications must be forwarded to your HR Business Partner on the HR192 and must be supported by the line manager and the relevant Dean or ED.