Job Evaluation Scheme - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Job Evaluation?

Job Evaluation is a systematic process for assessing whether a particular job’s grade is properly matched to its duties and responsibility.

Why is a job evaluated?

Over time, the demands and responsibilities associated with a post can change. If the post holder is of the view that his/her posts needs to be evaluated, they can apply for an evaluation of the post, subject to satisfying the criteria for evaluation.

What grades are covered by the HSE scheme?

The agreement covers clerical and administrative grades III to VI, and related grades. (A grade VI post holder can apply for upgrading under the scheme.) To apply, a post holder must have been in the post for two years.

What are the related/analogous grades?

If a post sits on an exactly the same scale as a post within the Clerical Administrative Grades, the post is deemed as analogous and can access the scheme. Any requests outside of this will be dealt with by the Job Evaluation Board.

Can I apply for evaluation of my substantive post if I am on a temporary appointment?

Regarding the above, the Board decided that in the interest of fairness those on temporary appointments may apply for evaluation of their substantive post i.e. the post they anticipate returning to when the temporary appointment is over.

Edit at 28th January 2019

The agreement that applicants cannot be out of a substantive post for more than 12 months has been adjusted.  An applicant who is out of a substantive post for up to but not exceeding 2 years retains their right to apply for job evaluation for his/her substantive post. 

Please note decisions issued by the Job Evaluation Scheme are in relation to the post.

Can I take up a temporary assignment while I am waiting for an evaluation of my substantive post?

You may take up a temporary assignment while waiting for an evaluation meeting.  However, the time out of the substantive post for which you have applied for evaluation cannot exceed 2 years.  When you are contacted by Job Evaluation Scheme with an appointment for evaluation, if you are no longer in the post for any reason, you must advise the Scheme in order to ensure your eligibility.  Please note that decisions issued by the Job Evaluation Scheme are in relation to the post.

How do I make an application for a job evaluation?

An application form is available from here  The last page of the form has some additional information regarding the way applications will be prioritised.

The HR Circular issued on the matter is here: .

Does my line manager need to sign the application form?

Yes. Your line manager (Grade V or above) must verify that the description of duties expressed on the form is accurate. This is then forwarded to the Senior Manager (Grade VIII or above). Subsequently the Senior Manager will forward the application to the relevant National Director of the Division for submission to the scheme.

Can I get assistance when filling out the form?

Your line manager should be able to assist you when you make an application.

What information should I include on the form?

The application form is very structured and targeted.   Applicants should list their duties and answer all the questions, which are designed to map the duties onto the competency and knowledge in each category.

Applicants should:

  • Read the guidelines included around the procedure.
  • Be aware of what all the five ‘factors’ cover. (See below ‘how is a post evaluated?’)
  • Read all the questions on the application form carefully.
  • Answer all the questions (do not say questions are ‘not applicable’).
  • Present his/her role in the best possible light, but without exaggerating it (remember that your line manager will have to verify the accuracy of answers).
  • Give full and consistent answers and avoid generalisations.
  • Avoid ‘cutting and pasting’ answers.
  • Give examples and descriptions of specific elements of his/her job that relate to the various factors and elaborate on them where possible.
  • Use additional space where more is needed to include relevant details.

My current position is split between two services. How do I reflect this in the form?

A complete list of duties comprising both elements of the post should be listed on the form.

What happens after I submit my application?

Your application form will be assessed to ensure that it is complete and you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt. In due course, an evaluation team will meet with the post holder. This meeting is not an assessment of you or your performance; it is a meeting to find out more about the job, its responsibilities and duties and to assist the evaluators in making their decisions.

**Update 22.11.2017 : Due to the volume of emails being received we are not currently issuing receipts.**

Is job evaluation a performance assessment?

No. Job evaluation schemes are not the same as performance assessments. They assess the skills and responsibilities required of a particular post, rather than the individual performing it.

How is a post evaluated?

A post is examined and scored against set criteria under 5 key headings:

  1. Professional and Technical Competence
  2. Problem solving
  3. Decision Making
  4. Responsibility and Accountability
  5. Communications

Who conducts the evaluation?

Independent evaluation teams consisting of one HSE representative and one IMPACT representative. Evaluations are usually carried out using a combination of the application form and a face-to-face discussion with the post holder.

How do I get the results of Job Evaluation?

The outcome of the job evaluation will be sent to you and to whoever has signed your application. If the outcome of the job evaluation is a recommendation that the post be upgraded, your employer will then begin the process of filling this higher-grade post in line with HSE Circular 14/2016.

Can I appeal if I am unsuccessful?

The decision of the Evaluators is not open to review and the outcome of the evaluation process is not open to appeal. A request for a review of the process can be facilitated if an applicant believes it was flawed.

How long will the process take?

There’s a significant backlog because the scheme has been closed since 2008. Therefore, it’s impossible to assess how long the process of evaluating a particular job will take. In the initial phase of the Job Evaluation Scheme the following groupings will be prioritised:

  1. Applicants who had made an application for evaluation at the time of suspension of the scheme in 2008 and whose application remains relevant.   Applicants must be in the same post for which they originally applied.
  2. Applicants to the long term acting regularisation process, within the grade comprehended by the scheme, who have been re-directed to the scheme by the arbitrator.
  3. Applicants who have been redirected to job evaluation by outstanding third party recommendations.
  4. Applications at the level of Clerical Officer.
  5. All other applications within the grades comprehended by the scheme.

When will I know the outcome?

The evaluation team will generally certify the outcome of an evaluation.  This outcome will be issued a few weeks after the evaluation takes place. 

Am I guaranteed upgrading if I apply for job evaluation?

No. Posts will only be upgraded if the evaluators agree that it should be.

By how much can a post be upgraded?

The evaluation assessment awards a post a total number of points. This is based on the skills, responsibilities, qualifications and other requirements necessary to carry out that specific job. Each grade in the structure has its own points range, and the evaluated job is matched to the correct grade. Some job evaluations will result in no upgrading. Where upgrading occurs, they will most commonly move a job up one grade.

How will the post be filled if it’s upgraded through job evaluation?

Where an upgrade to a post is recommended by the joint evaluators and the post has been occupied by an individual for 4 years or more at the time of a job evaluation that individual will stay in the position. If the person has been in the position for less than four years, the post will be filled by competition.

Posts will be filled maximising available pool as follows:

  • A post in a Community Health Organisation (CHO) will be filled by advertising in the particular CHO.
  • A post in a Hospital Group will be filled by advertising in the particular Hospital Group.
  • A post in National Division will be filled by advertising in the particular National Division.

Do terms and conditions change if the post is upgraded?

Appointment to an upgraded post is treated as a promotion. The salary would increase, but any red-circled conditions (like annual leave and working hours) would be set aside and replaced by the new standard conditions under the public service agreements. In some circumstances, a post holder could end up working longer hours or having less leave if their post is upgraded.

If my post was upgraded would I receive back pay?

Generally, the effective date for upgrading is the date when the evaluation team certifies that the post should be upgraded. There would be no back pay in such cases.

Can I apply for Job Evaluation more than once?

Per the rules of the Scheme as agreed with IMPACT Trade Union, once a post has been evaluated, it cannot be re-evaluated for a further two year period from the date of the evaluation.

Identikit Posts

In exceptional circumstances scope may be available for a desktop exercise that allows for the evaluation of a group of identikit posts. The purpose of providing for identikit posts is to ensure that those doing the same job are treated equally.  Where posts fit the criteria of identikit, they can be dealt with as a group. This will be a decision of the National Job Evaluation Board.

The criteria for assessing identikit will be:

  • The same job title.
  • The exact same description, tasks, duties and responsibilities.
  • The exact same reporting relationship.

The criteria relevant to any group will be decided by the Board prior to any evaluations taking place. Applications will only be accepted to the relevant identikit pool where the criteria are fully met.  In this case whether a post is eligible for upgrade or not, then the identical posts are treated the same.

Medical Secretary Identikit

An identikit process is being used to review applications from Medical Secretaries.  This is a screening process which includes the use of a specific set of key criteria identified and agreed by HSE and FÓRSA as fundamental for those in Medical Secretary posts. 

Some applications will be approved as meeting requirements of a Medical Secretary at Grade IV. 

There may be information included on an application which is at variance with the agreed criteria.  The screening process will identify these applications as requiring an individual evaluation meeting.  Therefore, some applications reviewed under Medical Secretary Identikit screening will remain in the queue for an individual evaluation meeting. 

Canvassing will disqualify

Any canvassing by or on behalf of a post holder shall result in the disqualification of that post holder and their exclusion from the process.

Will the scheme be extended to other grades?

Right now it’s only open to clerical and administrative grades III to VI, and related grades.