What is the purpose of a Classification Study?
An existing position may be studied through the Classification Study process because of department reorganization, changes in work processes or equipment used, or gradual accretion of additional duties and responsibilities.
A classification study may also compare a classification's salary range to equivalent classes in other jurisdictions, or to the local job market. Any recommendation to re-allocate a classification's assignment to a different salary plan/grade or to adjust its salary plan/grade based on the findings of such a study must be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for approval through the Form 11 process.
How is the Classification Study process performed?
An analysis, performed by an HR analyst, is based on a review of duties and responsibilities, interviews with the incumbent and/or their supervisor, and observation and review of work performed. This part of the analysis is known as a job audit, and is conducted by the HR analyst to evaluate the duties that constitute the position, not the performance or qualifications of the incumbent.
The first step in completing this analysis is done using a Position Description Questionnaire, which is a statement filled out by the current incumbent of the position, stating the specific duties and responsibilities that make up the position. The position is then evaluated in terms of such general classification factors as knowledge required, supervision exercised, supervision received, responsibility for policies and procedures, guidelines available, complexity of work, contacts, mental demands, physical demands, independence of action, and accountability.
Based on the findings of the job analysis, a recommendation is then reported to the HR Director. If the study recommends creation of an entirely new concept of work with a unique set of duties and responsibilities, a class specification and appropriate salary would be drafted and submitted, through the Form 11 process, to the Board of Supervisors for their approval. If the work was found to be similar to that of an existing class, the position(s) could be placed in that classification; however, if the existing class were designed for a specific program, an option would be to “Clone” the classification for generic application or for use within a specialized program that fits with the job analysis conducted. A “cloned" classification may be submitted for administrative review and approval by the HR Director. The new class should represent the same general concept and performance level of work, have the equivalent scope of duties and responsibilities, and require similar minimum qualification components. The salary of the duplicated class must be equivalent to the existing class, step for step, allowing, however, for a different salary plan and grade appropriate to the representation unit. The reclassification process would be utilized with any of the above actions to reclassify the affected incumbent appropriately.
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