Effective Date: 12/19/00

Policy Statement 5: Classification


Classification and Compensation is responsible for administering the State of North Carolina Classification and Compensation Plan for all ECU positions subject to the State Personnel Act (SPA). Its objectives are to: 1) maintain campus-wide equity in job classifications by applying consistent criteria to the duties and responsibilities assigned to SPA positions; and 2) assist the campus in effectively and appropriately utilizing the State Classification System to address classification/organizational design needs.

The Classification and Compensation staff provides a number of services to campus which assist in ensuring that its employees are in positions which are appropriately classified:

  1. Job description writing assistance - Classification Analysts help to focus the job description on significant facts and describe them in objective terms. They can provide assistance in developing a logical outline and defining duties in a clear and concise language.

  2. Position design - Classification Analysts can assist in analyzing new activities or functions introduced into an organization and in developing well-defined roles and/or functions.

  3. Organizational design or study - Classification Analysts can assist in examining job relationships within an organization, identifying overlaps and omissions in accountability, and highlighting the critical aspects and needs of each job. This would also involve an examination of the work flow within the organization.

    Classification and Compensation achieves its objectives primarily through job analysis and position classification. This process usually begins with a description of the position to be evaluated. The job description is the principal documentation used by the Classification Analyst although supplementary data is also considered.

Job Analysis

A job analysis is a review of a position's assigned duties and responsibilities. The analysis involves research, examination, and clarification of a job's distinct functions, objectives, and organizational relationships to fully reflect the role of the position within the organization.

The Classification Analyst collects the required data through the following:

  1. Job Description

    The job description should be written by the department head or supervisor. The primary focus of the job description should be based on job content and not the performance or qualifications of the individual in the position.

    A complete, effective job description should include the following:

    1. Overview of the department, program, or organizational unit.

    2. Summary statement of purpose which defines the job's basic charge and its overall function.

    3. Descriptive information about the main components of the job as well as an approximate percentage of time and ranking for each function.

    4. Examples of duties and responsibilities assigned to the position that explain how objectives are to be achieved.

    Form PD OSS-93 is used for office support services positions. The PD 102R-92 is the form to be used in preparing the job description for all other positions. Both forms are available from the Department of Human Resources.

    Each employee should have a copy or access to a copy of his/her job description. To maintain an accurate and complete job description (and appropriate classification), the job description should be reviewed and revised, if necessary, when a new employee is placed into the position, or if there has been change in the organizational unit. A job description should be reviewed at least once a year by the supervisor to ensure that it is still accurate.

  2. Organizational chart

    An organizational chart provides an overview of the department or organizational unit involved in a classification review and is a ready reference to each position's placement within the organization. The chart provides a basis for understanding the relationship between positions and delineating the various levels of supervision and distribution of responsibilities.

    The chart should be clearly defined so that someone unfamiliar with the organization can readily understand its structure. It should include the following information:

    1. Identifying information -- school/division, department, section, and/or unit in one corner of the chart.

    2. Name of each unit, each position (EPA and SPA), and employee name.

    3. Position title/classification, employee name and position number (new positions to be established should be reflected on the chart). Working titles and descriptive unit names may be used in addition to this information.

    4. Solid lines to indicate direct supervision.

    5. Broken lines to indicate a coordinative working relationship.

    6. Date the chart was prepared.

    7. Signature of the department head.

    Each request for classification should be accompanied by a current and accurate organizational chart.

  3. Audit interview

    The Classification Analyst may meet with the employee and/or supervisor to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the position and the organizational structure of the department, to answer any questions from the job description or to obtain additional and clarifying information needed to complete the review of the position.

Position Classification

Position Classification is the formal assignment of a classification title, salary grade, and descriptive title to a job or a group of jobs which are so similar in duties and responsibilities that they justify common treatment in selection, compensation, and other employment processes.

  1. Occupational Categories

    Positions at the University are classified according to designated occupational categories. The following are examples of some of the occupational categories and some of the classes used at ECU.

    1. Office Support Services: Administrative Secretary, Executive Assistant, Office Assistant, Processing Assistant, Program Assistant

    2. Service Maintenance and Skilled Trades: Maintenance Mechanic, Electrician, Construction Estimator, Mason

    3. Research: Research Technician, Research Analyst, Laboratory Research Specialist

    4. Administrative: Business Officer, University Administrative Manager, Administrative Officer

  2. Classification Factors

    Jobs are evaluated and measured against standard criteria applied consistently for all jobs within designated occupational classes. The analytical process involves an examination of the relative degree of common job characteristics present in a position. Major characteristics or allocation/classification factors include:

    1. difficulty and complexity of work

    2. level of responsibility for decision making and the consequence of error

    3. analytical requirements (thinking necessary for solving problems)

    4. level of independence (supervision received)

    5. subject matter and/or knowledge required

Classification is not an exact science; it is reasoned judgment based upon knowledge of the classification system and the requirements of a position.

A department may submit a request to Classification and Compensation for:

  1. classification of a new position

  2. classification review of an existing position as a result of significant changes in assigned duties and responsibilities

  3. organizational change

  4. status change or extension of time-limited position

  5. reactivation of a permanent position (Positions vacant for at least one year must be reactivated before being filled)

  6. abolishment of a permanent position

  7. source of funding change for a position


  1. Departmental Procedures

    Before submitting a classification request, the supervisor or department should ensure that the classification request is justified (for existing positions). They should contact the Classification Analyst assigned to their division to discuss the changes in the position. This will result in a better description of the position's duties and prevent employees and supervisors from submitting requests prematurely. The supervisor or department head should ensure that sufficient funds are available for establishing a new position or making reclassification salary adjustments. To request a classification action, the department forwards the following items to the Department of Human Resources:

    1. ECU One Form - Request for Position Classification which documents the necessary administrative data and the financial resources to support the new position or upgraded position. This form must be signed by the department head and administrative unit head before being submitted to Classification and Compensation.

      The Budget Office verifies that adequate funds are available to establish a new position or to reclassify an existing position. To avoid delay in the process, funding and support information on the ECU One Form should be complete and accurate and approved prior to submitting to Classification and Compensation.

      The ECU One Form (and other materials) should be submitted to the Classification and Compensation Section at least 60 days prior to the anticipated effective date of the proposed (re)classification (or other personnel action).

    2. PD 102R-92 Form - Job Description, PD OSS-93 Form - Job Description for Office Support Services Positions or EPA 103 for EPA non-instructional positions.

    3. Current Organizational Chart

    4. ADA Checklist

  2. Classification Procedures

    When Classification and Compensation receives an official classification request with the required documents, the steps in processing a request to establish a new position or reclassify an existing position are as follows:

    1. A Classification Analyst reviews the job description and supporting documentation. Since classification and pay equity must be examined within the organizational context, the Analyst obtains and reviews information about the department, the organizational structure, related positions and reporting relationships. The Classification Analyst may then conduct an audit interview with the supervisor and/or the employee.

    2. Findings of the analysis and the classification recommendations are discussed with the requesting supervisor.

    3. Classification and Compensation finalizes the classification request, or if necessary, submits the request to the Office of State Personnel for audit and review.

    4. The effective date for the implementation of the Classification Action will be the first day of the pay period following completion of the review.