Introduction - Heriot

Promotion Procedures for Professional Services Staff (Grades 1-7)
1. Purpose and Scope
This procedure applies to Professional Services staff roles (Grades 1-7).
(Senior staff, Academic staff, including Teaching Fellows, and Research staff have separate
promotion processes)
1.1 Heriot-Watt University is committed to assisting staff in developing their careers and to
increasing the promotion opportunities available to Professional Services staff in Grades 1-7.
1.2 With effect from 30th September 2010, there will no longer be promotion boards for
Professional Services staff in Grades 1-7. Instead, promotion opportunities will occur on an
ongoing basis throughout the year. These will take the form of appointments to higher grade roles
that become available either through general vacancies, the re-grading of existing posts or
restructuring. It is anticipated that the number of promotion opportunities in the University may
increase slightly as a result of this process.
1.3 The University recognises the mutual benefit of supporting individuals to develop their careers
and operates an extensive development programme open to all employees. One example of this is
the Career Thinking Programme. Participating in this programme will raise awareness of career
development opportunities available within the University. It provides individuals with tools and
skills to actively manage their career and introduces the concept of flexible career paths within the
University. The PDR processes provide an opportunity for individuals to discuss their work
aspirations and seek access to relevant career development programmes.
1.4 The three mechanisms by which we envisage individuals moving into promoted positions are
as follows:
1) as a result of a vacancy arising in another unit – either because a replacement is required,
following a departure, or a new post has been created;
2) through the re-grading of the post the individual currently holds; or
3) as a consequence of restructuring of the unit within which the individual is currently
The procedure below explains the principles and processes to follow in each case.
2. General vacancies
2.1 Within any one School/Section, promotion opportunities for staff in Grades 1-7 are generally
limited. To create career development opportunities we wish to facilitate mobility within the
University. Managers will therefore be expected to encourage developmental moves and seek
wider advancement opportunities for their staff across the University as a whole and not just within
their own School/Section.
2.2 To ensure career opportunities are available to individuals, Schools/Sections are encouraged, as
far as possible, to advertise Professional Services vacancies in Grades 2-8, internally only, in the
first instance.
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2.3 Managers are encouraged to draw the attention of relevant staff to such internally advertised
opportunities for moving into a higher grade post.
3. Re-grading of existing posts
3.1 The University is committed to rewarding all members of staff fairly for the role to which they
have been appointed. It is recognised that the nature of a role may change over time and may result
in an increase in the range, complexity and level of duties and responsibilities. It is a key
management responsibility to control the workload and accountabilities for all staff in their areas to
avoid unnecessary grade drift or the risk of equal pay claims.
3.2 If changes to an individual’s role are significant and long-term, and have moved, or (if yet to be
implemented) will move, the duties into what might be a higher grade role, a grade review should
be undertaken using the HERA job evaluation procedure. Such a review may be established as part
of the annual planning process, initiated by the line manager, or requested by the role holder.
3.3 Where the development of the post to a higher grade, is being planned by the School/Section, it
is the responsibility of the management and relevant Financial Controller to ensure that the
additional costs are consistent with the budget existing for their area(s). Such cases should be
referred to VMG for approval in advance of implementation.
3.4 Where the changes are already well established (e.g. as a consequence of incremental
development of the post over an extended period) and are continuing, and the evaluation has
confirmed that the duties and responsibilities correspond to a higher grade, re-grading of the post
should follow. It is the responsibility of the School/Section’s management to accommodate the
additional costs within existing budgets.
3.5 Once the higher grade has been confirmed it would be normal to directly appoint the existing
role-holder into the re-graded role.
3.6 However, where the existing role-holder is subject to capability proceedings the new highergrade role should be advertised internally – with the aim of ensuring appointment of the best
candidate and providing internal mobility opportunities within the University. The existing roleholder would be entitled to apply.
3.7 In the latter circumstance, normal recruitment processes should be followed, including
interviews conducted by a properly constituted panel. Following interview, the successful applicant
would be appointed into the new role with effect from the date of taking up those duties.
3.8 In the event that the role holder of the existing post is not appointed to the higher grade
position, then options for redeployment to another suitable role elsewhere in the University would
be explored.
4. Grading and appointment to new roles
4.1 All new roles must be graded through the University’s job evaluation (HERA) procedure before
action is taken to fill the post.
4.2 Where a new role arises from a substantial or complete change to an existing role, e.g. through
re-structuring, the Head of School/Section must discuss, with an HR Adviser, how the changes to
the role will impact on other roles within the School/Section and subsequently make a case to VMG
for approval of the new role(s) arising from the planned restructuring.
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4.3 The existing staff in the restructured unit will be allocated to the new roles on the basis of their
existing skills, taking into account individual development opportunities. However, where a match
cannot be identified with the new structure, the relevant posts will be advertised internally. Where,
as a result of restructuring, a new role has been created at a higher grade it will normally be
advertised internally, in the first instance. Standard recruitment processes should be followed,
including interviews conducted by a properly constituted panel.
4.4 Following interview, the successful applicant would be appointed into the new role with effect
from the date of taking up those duties.
4.5 Where the creation of one or more new post(s), through re-structuring, directly results in the
loss of one or more lower graded posts, the role-holder(s) of those lower graded post(s) would be
eligible to apply for the new higher-grade post along with other internal applicants. In the event of
not being appointed to a new post, then options for redeployment to another suitable role elsewhere
in the University would be explored.
5. Grading Procedures
5.1 Roles are graded using HERA – the job evaluation process used by the University.
5.2 Job evaluation focuses on the requirement of the role and not the personal capabilities,
qualifications or characteristics etc. of individual role holders. Thus, the evaluation is based on the
elements of the job and not the performance of the person carrying it out.
5.3 Roles will be graded as and when the need arises, as outlined above.
5.4 The full process of grading a newly created role will normally be carried out once approval for
the role, at the anticipated level, has been approved by VMG.
5.5 All grading requests are to be submitted to the Human Resources Office and will be recorded on
a central database.
5.6 All grading requests must be supported by the relevant documentation, signed off by the Head
of School/Section, as follows:
a) a completed Job Overview Form (JOF) , verified by the Line Manager as well as the Head
of School/Section; and
b) an organisation chart, indicating the hierarchy of roles above and below the role under
Additionally, where the request relates to the re-grading of an existing role:
c) The Head of School/Section Request for Role Re-grading Form
Forms can be accessed on the University’s website at
5.7 All Job Overview Forms will be scored independently by two Role Analysts, one of whom will
usually be a trade union representative.
5.8 All job evaluations will be subject to a consistency check carried out by a panel of experienced
role analysts, including trade union representatives.
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6. Grading Outcomes
6.1 Grading outcomes will be notified to the Line Manager or Head of School/Section by an HR
6.2 If the grading outcome is not as the School/Section expected, then this can be discussed with an
HR Adviser to establish whether there might be relevant information missing from the JOF which
could affect the score. Similarly, individuals have the right to appeal against grading outcomes
following a HERA job evaluation.
6.3 It is the responsibility of the Line Manager to ensure that any individuals potentially affected by
a grading outcome (e.g. in a re-structuring case) receive feedback before the higher grade post is
7. Appeals
7.1 As noted in 6.2, the role-holder can appeal the outcome of HERA evaluation of their post.
7.2 Individuals have no right of appeal against non-selection for a higher graded post that has been
opened up to competition. However, managers are expected to provide constructive feedback to
unsuccessful internal applicants at the time of notifying them of the outcome. It is likely that
suitability and readiness for a higher graded post would also have been discussed through the PDR
8. Policy Review
This procedure will be reviewed every two years.
Promotions 1-7(Final)
Author:POD/Promotion Working Group
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