Human Resources Division
Frequently asked questions
1. When can I advertise a role?
The advertisement cannot go ahead before the post has been formally graded by Grading and Reward and you have been issued with a CHRIS/1.
2. How do I get a new job graded?
A grading request form and CHRIS/PD33 must be completed and authorised by both the supervisor of the new role and by the departmental administrator/head of department. The two forms must then be sent to the Grading and Reward team for evaluation. All of this must happen before a role can be advertised or recruited to.
3. How do I get the grade of a vacant post reviewed?
Follow the procedure for question 2 above. The regrading box on the grading request form should be ticked.
4. How do I get the grade of a currently occupied role reviewed?
If an individual or supervisor believes that a role has developed beyond the current grade (and that it is not part of a wider departmental restructure or reorganisation) it may be put forward as a regrading application.
There may be occasions when this process is not appropriate and roles, vacant or occupied, are changing due to a restructure or reorganisation. The detail for this process can be found here.
5. How do I establish an additional identical or near identical post?
If it is identical only parts of the grading request form need be completed and you do not need to send a CHRIS/PD33.
If it is not identical a near clone can be set up. If it is not viewed as similar enough to the post given as reference it will be treated as a new post and graded individually.
6. How do I use the generic role profiles?
If you wish to establish a job for which a generic CHRIS/PD33 may have been written we suggest that you start by writing a simple list of duties and expectations for the role you wish to establish (this can be modified later for the recruitment process). Then compare this list to the generic CHRIS/PD33 closest in grade to that sought, to ensure compatibility. You may wish to practise this with existing CHRIS/PD33s in your department that have been HERA scored by Grading and Reward. If you are still uncertain/unclear contact Grading and Reward for further advice.
7. What is a CHRIS/PD33?
A CHRIS/PD33 is similar to a job description and outlines the duties and responsibilities of a post. It is designed to assist the evaluation of a role using HERA and describes not only the duties of the role but also specific aspects of the role in relation to the HERA elements.
8. Why don't CHRIS/PD33s reflect the elements of HERA more closely?
The CHRIS/PD33 is designed so that a roleholder or departmental representative can write a useful multi-purpose document. The CHRIS/PD33 can be used or adapted for recruitment/appraisal purposes as well as by Grading and Reward for scoring and grading the role.
9. What is a CHRIS/1 form?
This form should be used when a new graded post is to be set up on the CHRIS system. It should also be used to regrade existing vacant posts. Queries can be raised by calling the CHRIS Help Desk on (7)60999.
On agreeing the grade of a post with the department, Grading and Reward will complete Part 1 of this form and send it to the relevant institution. After receipt, Departments should use this form to provide details of the hours, funding and other information about the newly graded post. Guidance notes on its use are available.
10. Is there any guidance available to help staff complete the role description form CHRIS/PD33?
Formal guidance is being developed and this will also be made available on the Human Resources website. Training sessions are also available (contact Grading and Reward for further information). Members of staff may also seek guidance from their line managers/supervisors or trades union representatives.
11. What is job evaluation?
Job evaluation is a method of comparing the size of different jobs. It is a process that seeks to objectively measure the different elements of a job resulting in a total score for each job. The jobs are then placed in a rank order according to the total score or size. Only the job is evaluated, not the person doing the job.
12. What are the points boundaries?
Please see the single salary spine structure.
13. Is length of service valued under HERA?
While knowledge and experience, relevant to the role, is one of the fourteen elements in the HERA job evaluation scheme, it does not give credit directly for years in post. To do so could be discriminatory.
14. How will part-time roles be treated?
The role will be graded on the content of the CHRIS/PD33; that the role is filled on a part time basis is not relevant.
15. If other universities use HERA will their grades and salaries be the same for staff carrying out equivalent roles as those at Cambridge University?
The Framework Agreement provided the flexibility for universities to develop their own grade structures against a common pay spine. It is likely that universities will have developed different structures. Cambridge University has developed a structure that enables it to compete effectively for staff in local, national and international labour markets and thereby maintain its current pre-eminence in teaching and research.
16. When should a market supplement be applied?
There may be instances where market pressures indicate that, in order to recruit and retain certain members or groups of staff, a salary supplement should be paid above that provided by the grade. Such payments will only be paid where there is firm evidence to support the case being put forward and will be regularly reviewed.
17. How do I arrange for a market supplement to be paid?
Please speak with your HR Adviser or HR Business Manager in the first instance.
18. How will career development opportunities be made available for support staff?
Please see the Centre for Personal and Professional Development and speak to your line manager.
19. I am still red circled—what is going to happen?
Staff who are considered as red circled will have their salary protected for four years from 1 January 2006, or until such time within that period that this provision remains necessary. During the four-year protection period there may be opportunities to explore longer-term solutions, which may include enhancing responsibilities of the post so that a re-evaluation will result in a post upgrade, or moving the individual to an appropriate post at a higher grade when available. If this applies to you, please discuss your concerns with your line manager in the first instance. Further information can also be sought from your HR Adviser.