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Compensation - Position Descriptions

Please be aware: Submitting false statements on position descriptions is a violation of State Civil Service rules which may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination!

Position Description Form

Key Facts About Position Classification

Position classification IS NOT based on:

- volume of work

- quality of work

- value of employee to organization

- length of service

- probable loss of employee to a better position

Position classification IS based on:

- the kind of work performed

- the level of difficulty and responsibility of the work performed

- the knowledge, skill and abilities required to do the work


Occupational Groups
    Records Management and Office Support Services
    1. Clerical and Records Management
    2. Purchasing, Supply and Sales
    Fiscal Services
    1. Accounting and Auditing
    2. Insurance
    3. Rate and Financial Analysis
    Administrative Services
    1. Legal
    2. General Administrative
    3. Executive Administrative
    4. Human Resources and Employment
    5. Information Technology
    Information and Education Services
    1. Planning, Research and Management Analysis
    2. Marketing, Information, and Library Sciences
    3. Training and Education
    4. Museums and Cultural Arts
    5. Educational Television
    Health and Social Services
    1. Professional Medical
    2. Social and Mental Health Services
    3. Therapeutic Treatment
    4. Personal Care and Support
    5. Non-professional Medical
    6. Laboratory and Diagnostic
    7. Facility Administration
    Enforcement and Investigation Services
    1. Industry and Natural Resources Regulation and Control
    2. Health and Sanitation Regulation and Control
    3. Transportation Regulation and Control
    4. Agricultural Regulation and Control
    5. Law Enforcement and Investigations
    6. Correctional Security
    Engineering Services
    1. Professional and Administrative Engineering
    2. Architecture
    3. Technical and Support Engineering
    Institutional and Trade Services
    1. Custodial, Domestic and Grounds
    2. Food Services
    3. Labor, Maintenance, and Trades
    4. Vehicular Operations and Maintenance
    5. Printing Services
    6. Radio and Electronic Communications
    Recreation, Conservation, and Agriculture
    1. Farming, Food Production and Processing
    2. Parks, Wildlife, Conservation and Forestry Services
Responsibilities of Various Personnel in Preparing and Acting on Position Descriptions

The supervisor is responsible for:

- Assigning and reassigning duties

- Counseling employees on the features and requirements of the classification system

- Preparing official position descriptions for his or her employees OR reviewing position descriptions prepared by employees and commenting on the accuracy and clearness of the information

- Explaining the duties to the employee

- Discussing the position's duties with the State Civil Service classification consultants during position allocation reviews

The employee is responsible for:

- Recording the position's duties accurately on the position description form OR discussing duties and responsibilities with the supervisor

- Explaining the duties to the State Civil Service classification consultants during position allocation reviews

The personnel officer is responsible for:

- Explaining the features of the classification system and offering advice on the preparation of position descriptions

- Reviewing position descriptions and recommending the proper job title

- Submitting position descriptions to State Civil Service

The State Civil Service classification consultants are responsible for:

- Reviewing position descriptions and allocating positions to the proper job titles

- Conducting position allocation reviews to obtain more information about positions

Terms Used In Position Classification

Task - A work activity that makes up one of the steps in the performance of a duty

Duty - A set of related tasks that are performed for the same general purpose

Position - A set of duties requiring the services of one Employee

Job - A group of positions that are very similar in their major duties

Occupation - A group of jobs requiring similar knowledges, skills and abilities

Types of Supervision Exercised and Received

Terms listed below describe types of supervision exercised and received. Any combination of these terms may apply to an individual job. For example, a job may include more than one type of supervision exercised as well as receive more than one type of supervision. These terms are generally acceptable; however, you may use more specific words to clarify these job elements.

  1. Types of Supervision Exercised (NOTE: Merely reviewing work of another employee does not constitute supervision. Supervisory duties must be a continuous and recurring part of the job. See Supervisory Section under Levels of Work caption.)
    1. Direct Line - responsibility for production and quality of subordinates; determines work assignments, priorities and procedures; approves leave requests; and formally (or provides major input into) evaluates subordinates' performance.
    2. Staff - formally advises and assists management.
    3. Functional - supervises subordinates only when they are assigned to assist with the completion of a specific task (function).
    4. Lead worker - performs same duties as subordinates, but sets pace of work unit. May give informal direction to other workers.
    5. Project Basis - supervises incumbents while working on a specific project. Usually, subordinates vary from project to project.
    6. Regulatory Supervision- This is not considered true supervision but represents those jobs which exist to provide direction, review judgments made by other sections or departments, set standards, policies and procedures, override judgments made by supervisors or managers of functions under their control or exercise similar controls. Such control is over other positions with a separate " boss" for leave approval, performance evaluation and administrative review of work as well as some technical review.
  2. Types of Supervision Received
    1. Close - frequent and detailed review of work. Instruction, advice and assistance readily available.
    2. General - instruction, advice and assistance available as needed. Review of work may be frequent but not usually detailed. Emphasis is placed on quality of completed assignments.
    3. Broad - instruction, advice and assistance available at request of employee. Review of work is not detailed and usually emphasizes accomplishment of broad work unit objectives rather than specific work assignments.
    4. Administrative direction - advice and assistance limited to accomplishment of broad agency objectives and policies.
Supervisor - First Line

Supervisory Jobs are written when the incumbents exercise line supervision over normally 2 to 5 subordinates. Although supervisors have responsibility for the actions/activities of their subordinates 100% of the time, the actual supervision of their activities (as opposed to doing the work normally associated with the tasks of subordinates) should be at least 50% of the time.

In addition, no subordinate should be claimed by more than one supervisor as their permanent supervisor, unless prior commitment has been given in writing by the Compensation Division Administrator recognizing such organizational structures as subordinate pools, project supervision, etc.

NOTE: Any position claiming the requisite number of subordinates and performing the same work tasks more than 50% of the time will not be allocated to a supervisory title.

Supervision must include the TWO MANDATORY supervisory elements and at least FOUR or more of the OPTIONAL elements listed below:

  1. (MANDATORY) Responsible for the productivity and quality of the subordinates work performance.
  2. (MANDATORY) Formally Evaluates ( or provides major input)subordinates performance (e.g. Annual Service Ratings, recommends promotions, recommends disciplinary actions, etc.)
  3. (MANDATORY) Determines work assignments, priorities, and procedures for subordinates.
  4. (OPTIONAL) Resolving technical problems; entailing responsibility for counseling subordinates and finding solutions to problems that the subordinates were unable to resolve. (This is not informal advice and assistance, as rendered by a senior staff member, but an officially assigned job responsibility.
  5. (MANDATORY) Approving annual and sick leave.
  6. (OPTIONAL) Interviewing, and recommending for selection, candidates who apply for vacant jobs or employees who apply for promotions in the area supervised.
  7. (OPTIONAL) Resolving complaints from subordinates.
  8. (OPTIONAL) Training of new employees.
  9. (OPTIONAL) Advising on problem resolutions through informal advice and assistance to subordinates.
  10. (OPTIONAL) Reporting on work quality and productivity of subordinates; however, without responsibility and accountability for the production and quality of their work.
Types of Employees Supervised

INMATES Can be used as equivalent to classified employees when it is documented that they perform the same duties as classified employees. Counted on a one-for-one basis.

STUDENTS Are not considered unless they perform duties which equate to those of full time classified employees. Normally counted on a two or three-to-one basis, depending on number of hours worked.

CONTRACTUAL Can be considered if these are used in place of classified employees, (e.g. health service providers, etc.) and then only if the results of their work are reviewed. In cases similar to highway contracting firms, the employees are not considered subordinates.

TEMPORARY Are not considered subordinates.

CONSULTANTS Should not be considered subordinates; however, if in a fiscal setting, credit may be given if the supervisor has the responsibility for production, quality, results and scope of the consultants work.

Subordinates in a Lower Job Series

Supervision of all types of subordinates must be on a Continuous, long term basis.

Types of Supervision

Regulatory Supervision- This is not considered true supervision but represents those jobs which exist to provide direction, review judgments made by other sections or departments, set standards, policies and procedures, override judgments made by supervisors or managers of functions under their control or exercise similar controls. Such control is over other positions with a separate "boss" for leave approval, performance evaluation and administrative review of work as well as some technical review.

Positions are considered to be under "regulatory supervision" when they receive policies and procedures from someone other than their true supervisor and decisions must be authorized by their boss as well as external positions.

Class and Pay, budget and purchasing central units exercise "regulatory supervision" over field personnel engaged in those activities.

Administrative services personnel regulating telecommunications, safety, property control and related activities exercise "regulatory supervision" over employees engaged in these activities.

The critical element is the degree of control within a job title's description. If the job specification requires that positions review decisions, countersign decisions, reject inaccurate decisions, require deadlines and priorities, mandate policy and procedures, this represents supervision.

It is not regulatory supervision if a job specification requires only giving advice, planning, suggesting amendments, identifying problems without implementing solutions or checking forms for accuracy prior to sending them to another jurisdiction.

Use of this term can clean-up "functional supervision" by redefining it to include milder forms of direct supervision over other employees such as "working supervisors", lead workers, assistant group supervisors, supervisors over groups for weeks or months at a time and other forms of supervision which almost meet our definition of direct supervision.

With an additional modifier, we can group jobs into three distinct areas as follows:

  • DIRECT FIRST LINE SUPERVISORS OR HIGHER- Jobs for positions supervising the required number of subordinates (usually two or more), which exercise the required number of mandatory and optional supervisory elements.
  • FUNCTIONAL SUPERVISION- Jobs that supervise one position when the specs require more; supervise the required number of positions but don't fulfill the supervisory elements (they don't do service ratings or sign off on completed work); serve as assistant supervisor supervising in the absence of the boss; serve as lead workers setting the pace for other employees or serve as a true supervisor for a few days or months when assigned to a special program or project but don't supervise the required percentage of time.
  • REGULATORY SUPERVISION- Jobs which exercise control and authority over employees as a high percentage of their job (70%+), and perform supervisory elements over a number of other positions (at least 10%).

Additional adjective may be added as follows: Regulatory Supervision-State- Supervision over classified state employees and their functions.

Regulatory Supervision-Non-State- Supervision over non-state employees such as contractors, consultants, other governmental employees or related.

NON-SUPERVISORY- Jobs which claim no control over other employees or simply serve as a resource person, expert, trainer, planner, processor of document without authority to control the employees from whom the document were sent.

Work Levels

Levels of work are designated on job specifications to indicate the relativity of jobs in a series. Further, levels of work are used in determining mandatory supervisory training requirements. Listed below are definitions for each level.


The first level of a job series. Includes basic or trainee responsibilities. Usually a limited number of duties are assigned and/or duties are performed under close supervision. Agencies may use this level as the first step in a career progression group or may choose to cap the allocation of positions with very basic duties at this level.


At this level, the full range of duties typically associated with a job is assigned and employees perform under general supervision. Many positions placed in a career progression group are capped at this level. The experienced level includes those levels previously titled "journeyman".


Advanced tasks and duties are assigned and performed independently with minimum of supervision. Some tasks may not require approval by management staff before decisions are implemented. Some series may have multiple levels reported as advanced.


This is a non-supervisory level that receives higher pay than traditional non-supervisory jobs. Jobs at this level require the performance of higher level, more complex duties and possession of advanced, specialized skills (see State Civil Service Rule 5.9).


Allocations at this level are usually found in a headquarters office and possess the authority to review and approve policies or decisions made by field staff. This level typically does NOT have direct supervisory authority; however, duties include responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating program goals and results. Typically includes financial accountability for program budget and expenditures.


Jobs with this level of work MUST directly supervise subordinates and includes several of the more tangible supervisory tasks such as signing and approving leave, signing PES documents, countersigning or verbally authorizing important decisions of their staff, serving on interview selection panels to fill vacancies, etc. In addition, subordinates should not be claimed by more than one supervisor. Unusual circumstances involving “shared supervision” should be discussed with and approved by the staff of the SCS Compensation division. Supervisors are primarily responsible for production and quality control tasks rather than a high percentage of managerial level strategic planning, budget, and policy matters.


Managers "manage" people. Work emphasizes policy development, setting objectives as well as planning, implementing, controlling, and evaluating functions and staff. Managerial levels focus on achieving results through other staff. These positions are typically second line supervisors.

Managers make major recommendations and take actions, which have a direct and substantial affect on the agency and the programs served by:

  • determining program goals and shifts in resources and develops implementation plans of such goals.
  • accounting to upper management concerning the allocation, efficiency and status of use of resources.
  • coordinating program efforts with other internal work units and/or agencies. Advising higher-level officials of problems involving their unit’s relationship to broader programs.
  • delegating authority to subordinate supervisors and holding them accountable for the accomplishment of goals.

The manager level should be used to indicate a span of control, complexity and responsibility greater than the first-line supervisor.


Administrators spend a substantial percentage of time spent in long range planning, budgetary matters, responding to legislative inquiries and complaints, human resource issues, etc.

Administrators are among the highest classified levels in an organization. Typically, they report to an unclassified executive, deputy assistant secretary or undersecretary, elected official, or Commission. Often, administrators are directly over multiple sections and/or managers.


Executive level positions are almost exclusively unclassified, appointed or elected. They include department Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Under- secretaries, Assistant Secretaries or their equivalents (Vice-Presidents or Directors). Classified executive level jobs include Deputy Assistant Secretaries and Deputy Undersecretaries.

Writing a Position Description: Getting There in Four Steps


  1. What am I doing, why and under what conditions?
  2. Is this the way my supervisor wants my position to operate?


  1. What are the major duties of my position?
  2. How could my major duties be grouped together in a logical manner?
  3. How much time do I spend on each of my major duties?
  4. Which minor duties should I include in my position description?


  1. Begin with a mission statement.
  2. Begin each duty statement with an action verb.
  3. Be as brief as possible.
  4. Organize the information in a logical manner to give a picture of the work being performed.
  5. Include the time spent performing each major duty.


  1. Have you covered all the important facts about your duties?
  2. Have you presented your information accurately?
  3. Have you avoided overstating your duties?

If so, sign your position description in the space provided and submit it to your supervisor.

reviewed 3/2011