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Position Descriptions


Completing a Position Description

  • General Information which includes the Employee Name, Department, Classification and Skill Level, Working Title (if applicable), FLSA status, Supervisor Name, Supervisor Title
  • Position Purpose – Brief paragraph stating the position’s objective, or the reason the position exists, and the degree of supervision
  • Special Conditions of Employment – Requirements such as being a mandated reporter, maintaining certifications or licenses, working an atypical schedule, or requiring travel
  • Essential Functional and Responsibilities
    • Separate responsibilities into 4-5 categories, listing these categories order of priority with percentages of no less than 5%
    • Each sentence should begin with an active verb, using a consistent verb tense for all responsibilities
    • Percentage should total to 100%
  • Minimum Qualifications
    • These should match those listed on the classification standards. Any supplemental qualifications should be listed as “preferred” or “desired”
  • Physical Requirements - Specify the physical requirements of the job, including cognitive functions
  • Work Environment  - Specify environmental conditions that may be encountered while performing the functions of the job
  • If the position leads or manages/supervises other employees, indicate number and classifications of those employees
  • Signatures

Additional Resources to Complete a Position Description


Position Description is Key

A position description should be clear, concise, and well documented, reflecting all duties of a position currently necessary to meet the operational and organizational needs of the department.  It is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities of the position.  Other functions may be assigned as deemed necessary.

A position description should be updated when the duties or skill level requirements have changed significantly. It is suggested that managers review and update position descriptions, at the time of the annual performance reviews. Classification and Compensation Services is available to discuss the impact of planned changes in assignments.

HEERA designated managers and supervisors retain the right to assign or remove duties.  It is suggested that managers review and update position descriptions, at the time of the annual performance reviews. Classification and Compensation Services is available to discuss the impact of planned changes in assignments.

Position Description Forms

Each position description also requires:

Key Elements of a Position Description

Timelines for Providing Employees a Position Description

  • Within one week: Managers/Supervisors or Leads print two (2) copies of the Position Description and Physical Requirement and Work Environment forms, presenting them to the employee for signature.  One signed original is routed to Classification & Compensation for placement in the employee’s personnel file, the second original stays with employee.
  • When a position changes, CSUEU requires the employee to receive an altered position description, 7 days prior to the change [17.9].  APC requires the same [17.4].

How does a Position Description get to an employee's official personnel file?

Human Resources can only place a position description into an official personnel file if we have received a signed original copy.  In the following situations:

  • After hire, the manager or lead submits a signed original to HRSC/CLCO
  • Anytime a position description is altered, the manager or lead submits a signed original to HRSC/CLCO
  • If a position description is attached to a performance evaluation

NOTE:  All documents, including position descriptions, that are submitted as part of an In-Range Progression or Classification Review request packet are working documents and will not be placed in the employee’s official personnel file.

Levels of Supervision

Immediate/Direct Supervision Close and regular supervision. The incumbent is assigned work which is regularly reviewed. The methods of performing tasks are well established and outlined. Assistance and guidance is readily available.
General Supervision Some delegation of responsibility, some independence of routine matters. Incumbents exercise some control over both the technical and administrative aspects of work. Objectives may be set for the position, but the incumbent often works independently.
General Direction Operates independently under broad guidelines. Incumbents have broad responsibility for planning, organizing and prioritizing work. Active control by the supervisor is only exercised on longer term goals and policy issues. This is the typical supervision level for middle managers and high level professionals.
Administrative Direction Management decisions are comprehensive and the work function is broad.  This is the typical supervision for high level or an executive management position.

Levels of Knowledge/Qualification Terms

Basic Indicates foundational background and understanding of the specialty or field.  Often implies the ability to apply basic practices and an understanding of specialty terminology.
General Indicates general familiarity with information contained in key source documents or the subject field or specialty.  Implies the ability to use a source to find information based on a broad understanding of principles and practices applicable to the specialty.
Working Fluency. Working knowledge is more tangible than a general knowledge in that it’s not only the ability to recall information, but also the ability to readily apply commonly used information. Typically requires demonstrated competence in applying general principles and practices applicable to the specialty.
Assumes a complete and detailed background and understanding of all aspects of the specialty area.  Often, implies involved knowledge or advanced principles, theories and practices.
In-Depth Implies a deeper and more detailed knowledge of the specialty area down to the salient details which allows for problem solving at a deep level.  Usually involves knowledge of advanced principles, theories and practices.
Comprehensive Used when a complete and extensive mastery, understanding and expertise in the specialty, and often associated specialties, is required. Implies knowledge of advanced principles and theories of specialty or subject area.

Position Description Library

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