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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Tips for Classification Reviews

Experience shows that employees react differently to classification reviews.  Some are nervous, others are unsure of themselves.  Some are afraid and others are worried.  When all the various reactions are analyzed, a common factor is that many employees do not realize that they are already prepared for the audit because they know the responsibilities of their job better than anyone.  The following thoughts will help you to better understand the process and your role in it.

Organizations are constantly changing due to new programs, procedures, technologies, etc.  As a result, the duties and responsibilities of particular positions are affected.  To assure equal pay for substantially equal work, positions are reviewed from time to time by classification specialists.  A classification review is a way of gathering pertinent facts about a position.  For this reason, it is usually best if a desk (work site) audit is conducted to determine if major changes have occurred in a position in terms of duties and responsibilities. The classifier will need to interview both you and your supervisor to obtain information about the duties you perform and the level of responsibility assigned to your position.  It is important to remember, however, that the quality and quantity of your work is not rated and is not considered a factor when determining possible reclassification.

If you are notified that your position will be reviewed remember that it’s your job that will be reviewed, not you as a person.  Here are a few steps you can take to prepare for the interview:

  1. Is your present position description an accurate reflection of what you do?
  2. What kind of assignments have you had in the last year?
  3. What are the major duties (those that take most of your time)?
  4. Can you determine rough percentages of time for the major categories of the work you do?
  5. What kind of responsibilities do you have?
  6. What written guidelines do you refer to?
  7. How does your supervisor review your completed work?
  8. The way a position description is written is not important.  What is important is that you tell the classifier everything about your job, by telling him or her exactly what you do.
  9. Emphasize the major areas of your work and how the job fits into your unit’s operation.
  10. Do not understate or exaggerate your duties and responsibilities.
  11. It is sometimes helpful to make notes before the audit or outline how you want to tell us about your job.
  12. Having samples of work at hand is very useful.
  13. In most cases the desk audit will not take more than 1 hour of your time.
The “how” and “why” of your job description should be addressed to your supervisor, as he/she is the person who certifies that the job description is accurate and reflects duties actually assigned.