NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.
New policies will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.
Reviewed policies will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.
If a policy is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.
This policy provides a mechanism for the evaluation of new posts and those affected by a significant change in content.
All NHS Fife employees covered by the AfC agreement.
HR, Line Managers and staff, AfC Matchers / Evaluators and Staff Side Representatives.
- OPERATIONAL SYSTEM
4.1 This policy covers the situation where a completely new post is developed which does not have an existing Agenda for Change (AfC) job description, AfC profile or AfC banding outcome. Where a generic job description has been created from various existing job descriptions already banded in line with this policy, reference should be made to the guidance on preparing generic job descriptions, attached as Appendix 5.
4.2 It also covers the situation where it can be demonstrated that a post has changed significantly over a period of time where an employee or manager may request a review of the current AfC banding subject to the criterion detailed below.
4.3 The procedure described within this policy is an evaluation process for posts that have changed significantly over a period of time referred to above; it does not deal with service issues where a role and job description could progress to an alternative existing job description within a structure. This should be dealt with as a recruitment matter and not evaluation activity.
- CREATION AND EVALUATION OF A NEW POST
5.1 The line manager responsible for creating the new post will submit the attached form JE10 – New Post: Job Description Submission to their HR Officer / Adviser, appendix 2. In line with NHS Fife’s process for approval of new posts, the manager must ensure that the JE10 is signed by the relevant EDG member and that funding is in place, before submission for evaluation.
5.2 Prior to submitting a JE10, the manager must establish that there is no other suitable job description and band outcome which could be used for the post eitherwithin / outwith their own area. Assistance in establishing whether this is the case will be provided by the relevant HR Officer / Adviser. In these circumstances, a band will be confirmed.
5.3 The HR Officer / Adviser will record details of the assigned band on the JE14 (appendix 3) form and will send a copy of the completed form to the Senior HR Manager, for retention with the records of evaluation outcomes and a copy being kept with the appointment documentation for the post. The HR Officer / Adviser will send email notification of the outcome to the line manager and the HR Officer / Adviser for the designated area.
5.4 It is anticipated that with the vast number of profiles and job descriptions now available that the number of posts falling into the “new post” category will be minimal.
5.5 Arrangements will be made for job descriptions for individual new posts to be matched and consistency checked as required by appropriately trained and experienced evaluators, working in partnership, following the agreed NHS Fife job matching / evaluation process.
5.6 An assessment of any new post established within a service should be undertaken by the manager in order to determine whether the role as described within the job description is accurate in terms of the duties required of the postholder and demands of the role, this period of time is referred to as “bedding in”.
5.7 The period of time given to allow a new post to “bed in” is suggested below:
Bedding In Period
1 to 5
7 to 8
8 and above
5.8 If there are subsequent changes to the content of a new post overtime as the post holder undertakes the role, these should be considered in line with Section 6 below.
- POSTS WHERE THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POST
Requesting a Banding Review
6.1 If an employee holds the view that their post has changed significantly enough to warrant a review of the banding outcome they must first of all discuss their view with their line manager and then submit their request using the attached “employee request for significant change review” form, appendix 4. A copy of the form should be kept by the employee. The manager must then arrange to discuss the content of the relevant job description with the employee within four weeks of the date of the request
6.2 If a line manager considers that a post has changed significantly to warrant a banding review of the current AfC banding the line manager will notify the employee of this and arrange to discuss the content of the relevant job description with the employee within four weeks of the date of that notification. The manager’s agreement will be recorded on the request for significant change review form, for submission to HR along with subsequent evidential paperwork and copied to the employee for their own personal records.
6.3 The line manager and the employee will discuss and agree any amendments to the job description, tracking these changes for ease of reference, relating to 6.1 or 6.2 above. Any discussions should include the manager making the employee aware of the fact that a banding review may result in the post remaining at the same band, increasing or decreasing by a band. Any amendments to the job description must be able to be evidenced and they must be deemed to be significant in nature to meet the requirements for a formal review to be undertaken.
This policy will also be used in situations where there has been a significant reduction in the duties and responsibilities of any post and where there has been a review of posts within a structure. In those situations, a review will be initiated by the manager or HR Officer / Adviser with responsibility for the area involved.
At this point the manager and the employee will agree the date when the job changed and record this on the JE10 form.
Should there be any dispute regarding the date of change, this should be resolved in accordance with NHS Scotland Workforce Grievance Policy at https://workforce.nhs.scot/.
Where the manager does not agree with the employee that the post has significantly changed and the employee still wishes to submit a request for a Significant Change Review, they should proceed as detailed in step 6.13.
6.4 The line manager will arrange to discuss the amended content of the current job description with the relevant HR Officer / Adviser. The HR Officer / Adviser will provide advice on the impact of the changes to the current banding of the post.
6.5 The amended job description with agreed changes highlighted / tracked should then be sent to the Senior HR Manager for consideration, together with a completed JE10 form, as detailed in paragraph 5.1 above.
6.6 The effective date for any change in band outcome will be the date the manager and postholder agreed the job had changed, as referred to above, provided the change does not relate to a change in organisational structure or an agreed, planned change of duties within NHS Fife in which case the effective date will be agreed during those discussions.
It can often be the case that changes can occur to the content of a job description over time which would not result in an impact upon the current banding.
6.7 The decision as to whether the changes to the job description are significant enough to warrant a formal review will be taken by the Senior HR Manager, in conjunction with a nominated Staff Side Job Evaluation representative. It is not possible to provide definitive criterion to describe the definition of significant, however, in broad terms these are likely to be:
- Requirement to obtain a specific qualification / course relevant and commensurate with the increased role and responsibilities being undertaken, e.g., qualification / training required to work as a specialist nurse.
- Significant increase in strategic responsibilities including the development of strategic plans, policies, service developments or service redesign.
- Significant increased budgetary authority and responsibility for ensuring there are no overspend issues and for taking appropriate recovery action as appropriate without reference to another line manager.
- Significant increase in staffing responsibilities incorporating the full range of management of staff issues (for example, conduct, concerns, performance management, management of attendance).
- Significant increase in autonomy with the organisation’s delegated responsibility and accountability for the decisions made and repercussions of these with less reference to another line manager than previously.
- Significant increase in the breadth and range of responsibilities within the post (for example more of the same is a volume not a grading issue).
- Significant requirement for specialised physical skills to support new roles, e.g., nurses undertaking minor surgery.
It is also absolutely clear that grading assessments of any post must be based upon the post and its requirements, not on the post holder or any particular skills, qualifications or experience that he or she may possess.
6.8 If a formal banding review is required this will be undertaken in partnership, in line with NHS Fife’s procedure and the Job Evaluation Handbook processes, and will involve 2 management and 2 staff side representatives. This review will determine if the changed job is likely to match a profile (not necessarily the one to which it may have matched before the change). If so, it will be matched following NHS Fife’s procedure. This panel will also ensure a consistent approach, taking into account other banding outcomes within NHS Fife, to ensure a consistency of application of the matching principles. The initial Job Description will be provided to the panel, together with the revised job description, with agreed changes highlighted or tracked.
6.9 If it is agreed that the changed job will not match any of the national profiles, or matching is unsuccessful, then it will be locally evaluated in accordance with NHS Fife’s procedure. However, it may be considered sensible to delay completion of the JAQ until such time as the changes have “bedded in” to give time for it to be established whether these changes are required to the role on a longer term basis. The effective date of any change in band as a result of the banding review will be the agreed date of when the job changed as notified on the form JE10 submitted to the Senior HR Manager.
6.10 The effective date of the change to pay, if the banding review outcome is confirmed as a lower band will be the next available pay date following the formal confirmation of the outcome of the review. This is to allow for completion of administration of the change to banding avoiding any overpayment to the employee(s) affected.
6.11 The line manager will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible after the panel has met. The manager will be responsible for notifying the employee of the outcome and for any payroll notification, where the band outcome is affected.
6.12 If it is deemed that a formal review is not required, the Senior HR Manager will provide this feedback in writing to the relevant manager, with the rationale for this decision.
Requesting a Review Without Manager Agreement
6.13 Where the line manager does not agree that there has been a significant change then this will be confirmed in writing by completion and return of the employee request review form to the employee and the form should be sent electronically to the Senior HR Manager. If the employee wishes to pursue their request for a review, then they should write to the Senior HR Manager, within four weeks of being notified of their manager’s disagreement enclosing the details of the areas where their post has changed significantly, their revised job description with changes highlighted / tracked and a rationale for why they disagree with the decision of their manager.
6.14 The Senior HR Manager, in conjunction with the nominated Staff Side Job Evaluation representative will consider all of this information and determine if a banding review is appropriate.
6.15 If the Senior HR Manager and nominated Staff Side Job Evaluation representative agree that a banding review is appropriate, then the steps detailed in paragraphs 6.8 to 6.10 will apply.
6.16 The effective date for any change in band outcome, provided the job description can be submitted for evaluation at that point and does not require any clarification or amendment will be the date both the manager and employee signed the employee request review form.
6.17 Where clarification or amendment is required, the effective date of any change will be the date of the finalised version of the JD being received back with the Senior HR Manager.
6.18 If the Senior HR Manager and nominated Staff Side Job Evaluation representative agree with the line manager, then 6.12 above will apply.
- APPEAL MECHANISMS
7.1 Upon receipt of the written notification of the banding outcome from the Senior HR Manager, the employee has, if they so wish, 10 working days within which to lodge a written appeal to the Senior HR Manager. The written appeal must detail the basis upon which the appeal is being lodged. The appeal is required to be validated by the relevant line manager.
7.2 When an appeal is received, it should be considered by a panel whose membership includes appropriately trained management and trade union / professional organisation representatives with the majority of it’s members different from the previous panel. This new panel will have access to all relevant papers and may obtain any additional information it feels necessary to come to a decision. The line manager will be required to provide confirmation on the accuracy of the appeal submission. The review panel should normally conduct its evaluation of the post within 20 working days of receipt of the appeal.
7.3 The Senior HR Manager will inform the relevant manager and employee of the appeal panel’s recommendation in writing within 10 working days of the appeal hearing. This notification must include an explanation for the decision reached. The Senior HR Manager, will assess any potential broader implications arising from the conclusion and also a mechanism for validating the process.
8. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
8.1 Significant change and new post outcomes are recognised to contain potential implications for other employees or groups within NHS Fife, and potentially against an even wider local or national setting. Both the panel and banding review panel recommendations must be considered by the Senior HR Manager in order to ensure that such implications are recognised and acted upon.
9.1 NHS Fife will continue to use TURAS to record all decisions and store job descriptions. Matched job reports will be provided in respect of matching and evaluation outcomes.
- RISK MANAGEMENT
10.1 The risks associated with ensuring consistency of grading issues and identification of potential equal pay issues will be managed by the Senior HR Manager.
- RELATED DOCUMENTS
11.1 Agenda for Change Job Evaluation Handbook, TURAS, Agenda for Change Matching Protocol and Consistency Checking Protocol, JE10, JE14 forms and Employee Request Form.
12.1 AfC Job Evaluation Handbook 7th Edition, September 2018 (amended April 2020).