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Job evaluation & equal pay

24 October 2006

UCU recognises that in order to address the widespread pay inequality present in UK higher education an analytical form of role analysis is necessary.

However, we are concerned about the local application of job evaluation schemes without any reference to a national grading structure for academic and related staff.

We believe grading definitions, or role profiles, should be recognised throughout UK institutions, be robust and uncomplicated, and should, above all, underpin transparent career structures with equality of opportunity for promotion and development.

The current national picture

The introduction of role analysis and job evaluation arrangements is one of the key features of the pay deal accepted by members in higher education in April 2004. Under the new framework agreement, and, for pre-92 institutions, the associated Memorandum of Understanding, institutions will implement the new single national pay spine, and negotiate and agree new grading structures with UCU and other trade unions.

Allocation of staff to the new grading structure will be based on the outcomes of role analysis arrangements which should enable equitable, consistent and transparent judgments to be made about the relative value of size of roles.

UCU's position is that role analysis arrangements for academic and academic-related staff should be based on the use of the national academic role profiles, and the use of the library of academic-related role profiles. For more information about how the new grading and role analysis arrangements will work in practice, and how these should be used alongside institution-wide job evaluation schemes, please go to either:

Job evaluation schemes

UCU will work with institutions to implement job evaluation as long as this is consistent with the use of the national academic role profiles, and in pre-92 institutions the use of the library of academic-related role profiles.


Education Competencies Consortium Ltd (ECC) is the consortium of universities that has developed the HERA job evaluation scheme. Early in 2003 UCU (AUT) and ECC agreed terms of reference for joint working with the objective of devising a means of operating the union's job grading approach for academic and academic-related staff alongside HERA as the institution-wide job evaluation scheme. Two joint projects were undertaken in Leeds and in Wales. ECC also advised on the development of the academic role profiles. UCU maintains good contacts with ECC, and we are continuing to work with a number of institutions using HERA to develop academic-related job grading materials, and to implement the use of the national academic role profiles.


A number of universities have decided to use the Hay job evaluation scheme. UCU works with Hay nationally, and a number of institutions, on the implementation of role analysis arrangements for academic and academic-related staff.

Last updated: 29 November 2016