The Classification / Reclassification Process

Home / Campus and Medical Center / ( Published on 2014-09-25 )


The process of classification involves the assignment of a set of duties and responsibilities to an appropriate job function and level within that function. Classification of a position takes place when a job is newly created or when there are significant changes in the duties assigned to an existing position.

When there is a significant change in the duties assigned to a position, it may be necessary to request a reclassification. It is important to remember that the duties and responsibilities assigned to a position, rather than the individual occupying the position, are the focus of the classification process. Therefore, a complete and accurate description of these duties serves as the primary basis for classification decisions.

There are a number of resources available to you in the process of putting together a reclassification request:

a) System-wide Specifications by Classification/Title Code

b) UCSF Internal Guidelines

d) Job Evaluation Matrices

e) Your assigned HR Generalist

A complete reclassification request packet includes the following:

  • A cover memo from the supervisor or manager who is requesting the reclassification. If the supervisor supports the reclassification request, the specific reasons should be documented here. A summary of the duties and responsibilities which have changed since the last job description was written is especially helpful and should be included on the Job Description/Employment Requisition Form (JD/ERF).
  • The JD/ERF is used for al staff positions however the supplemental questionnaire will vary depending on the position. The job description may be completed by the employee or the immediate supervisor, depending on which person is most familiar with the position. If the incumbent is new to the job or the position is vacant, the supervisor should complete the job description. Otherwise, the incumbent may complete it and the supervisor, who has the authority and responsibility to determine the position's actual duties and responsibilities, should review and validate it. Signatures from the incumbent, the supervisor and the department manager should appear on the job description. By signing, both the supervisor and the incumbent are confirming that this is an accurate description of the duties assigned to the position. Any discrepancies should be resolved within the department prior to submittal of the request.
  • An organizational chart for the unit or division indicating where the position fits within the organization.

Classification Determination

Your HR Generalist reviews the packet for completeness upon receipt. Requests are typically processed in the order received. The HR staff member assigned to evaluate the job compares the job description with University classification standards and local supplements, makes appropriate peer comparisons, determines the appropriate classification/payroll title for the position, and informs the supervisor of the classification decision. The supervisor then informs the incumbent of the results. If the job materials do not provide sufficient information to reach a classification decision, the HR staff member will contact the employee and/or supervisor to obtain additional information and/or clarification of the duties.

Job Evaluation/Classification Tools

The process of job evaluation – the analysis and assignment of positions to job titles and classification levels – involves the examination of several factors that are key components of the wide variety of work at UCSF.  The staff in Human Resources use systems designed to measure these factors (commonly referred to as compensable factors) to determine the appropriate classification level of positions.  Examples of typical compensable factors used in job evaluation are:

  • Nature of Work - The type, variety and complexity of duties performed
  • Independence - The authority or "freedom of action" vested in a position as well as to what extent the position is supervised
  • Knowledge - The education, specialized skills and job knowledge required for successful performance of the duties
  • Decision Making - The criticality, impact and consequence of decisions made by the position
  • Scope and Impact - The extent to which the work impacts the organization within and outside the organization
  • Collaboration - The extent to which the work requires organizational collaboration and the degree of complexity involved in the collaboration
  • Span of Control - The extent to which the position is supervisory and the nature of the supervisory responsibilities

Job Evaluation Matrices

One of the tools used to measure the compensable factors present in a position is a job evaluation matrix.  A job evaluation matrix is an analytical tool that outlines and summarizes the various factors that are considered when determining a job level.  The matrix also provides a hierarchy of work behaviors related to each factor that suggests differences between levels of work.  It is important to remember that most jobs have components that fall into more than one level therefore classification decisions are influenced by where the greatest proportion of work falls.

To assist in understanding how jobs are evaluated and how classification levels are determined, we have developed job evaluation matrices for some of the most frequently utilized job families at UCSF.  The Job Evaluation Matrix - Clerical/Administrative, Job Evaluation Matrix - Analyst Series, and Job Evaluation Matrix - Staff Research Associate are designed to describe the key compensable factors typically evaluated and measured for the associated job family.  These matrices serve as guidelines and are used in conjunction with Systemwide specifications to understand and assign classification levels at UCSF.

Effective Dates

When a position is reclassified, the effective date of the reclassification is typically the first of the month following receipt of the request in Human Resources. Therefore, it is important that all requests be submitted promptly by the department. Any exceptions require written justification and documentation from the department.

Salary Setting Resulting from Reclassification

Salary setting for position covered by a collective bargaining agreement is subject to the terms and conditions of the appropriate agreement.  You should consult you HR Generalist for assistance in understanding those agreements.  For positions and titles that are non-represented, employees may receive a salary increase upon upward reclassification from zero to 15%. 

A UC employee who is laterally reclassified to a classification with an equivalent salary range typically does not receive a change in salary. Exceptions should be discussed on an individual basis with your Compensation Consultant.

A UC employee who is downwardly reclassified to a classification with a lower salary range maximum may receive a decrease in pay to result in a salary that falls within the new salary range. Any increase in an employee's salary upon downward reclassification is an exception and requires approval form your Compensation Consultant. Exceptions should be discussed on an individual basis with your Compensation Consultant.

Exceptions falling outside of the above salary setting parameters will require additional HR approval.

Department Appeal

If the department disagrees with a classification decision and wishes to appeal, the appeal, with written reasons for disagreement, may be submitted to your HR Generalist for an additional independent review under the signature of the department head within thirty days of receiving written notification of the classification decision. Review of the appeal will typically be completed within 30 days. The originally submitted job description as approved by the supervisor and the written reasons for disagreement will be the basis of the appeal review. The appeal process is not intended to consider revisions of the job description directed towards achieving a desired classification. Any revisions to the originally submitted job description will constitute a new classification request.

Employee Appeal

If the department agrees with the decision but the employee disagrees, employees may request further review. Requests must be in writing and should be submitted to the HR Generalist within 30 calendar days of the date on which the reclassification decision was issued. The request shall state the basis upon which the employee is requesting a review.