Linked classification program


As an outcome of enterprise bargaining negotiations in 2005, the University agreed to trial a linked classification program for professional employees in identified work areas.  Following a successful 18 month trial across a number of positions in the Library, a comprehensive report reviewing the effectiveness of the trial and recommending the program be implemented fully across the University was presented to the University's Senior Leadership Committee.  Following endorsement of the recommendation by the Committee, the Vice-Chancellor granted formal approval for implementation in late 2008.

Human Resources policy and procedure Linked Classification Program for Professional Employees provides full details of the purpose and processes associated with the program.

Process and Documentation

Establishing a Linked Position

business case proposal (DOC 85kb) to establish a linked classification position must be prepared by the employing section, based on the needs of the individual work area and the strategic and operational plans within the identified work area, including budgetary and workforce planning considerations. 

The completed proposal, signed by the authorised Category 3 Delegate, is to be forwarded to the Director, Human Resources for consideration.  The Director, Human Resources will consider the following and make a decision on acceptance or otherwise.

  • Appropriate support for participation at all levels (eg supervisor/manager, Category 4 Delegate, Category 3 Delegate);
  • Availability of adequate funding within the organisational area to support the full range of the proposed linked classification levels;
  • The needs of the organisational area and consistency with long term strategic and operational plans (eg how the position/s meet the USQ strategic and operational needs, identified niche areas, workforce planning considerations, attraction and/or retention of staff in certain markets etc);
  • Sufficient need for work at a higher, more complex level which requires advanced skills, knowledge and experience to justify the establishment of linked classifications;
  • Clearly demonstrated career path opportunities where duties and responsibilities increase in complexity and depth in line with the needs of the organisational area and are consistent with the classification standards of the higher level; and
  • Relativity issues with other positions in the work area and across the University as appropriate.

Following approval of the business case proposal, the Work Unit will be notified and a Linked Classification Job Description Questionnaire (DOC 95kb) must be completed for each position proposed to be linked to determine an appropriate linked classification level.  The linked classification job description questionnaire will be used as the basis for both the evaluation of the position and the development of the position description.

Following confirmation of the levels through the evaluation process, a linked classified position description (DOC 76kb) will be prepared by the employing Work Unit (in consultation with Human Resources) for each linked classified position containing both base and higher level criteria.

Progressing an employee to the higher level

Full information is available within the policy, however the key points to note are:

  • Movement from the base linked classification level to the next is not automatic and can only occur if all of the following criteria for advancement to the higher linked classification position are met:
    • Employees have been at the top incremental step of the base classification level for a period of 12 months;
    • Competent performance at the base level is established as determined by the Enrich process;
    • The duties and responsibilities required at the higher level are available; and
    • The supervisor, using the Enrich performance management system, has assessed that the employee meets the knowledge, skills and experience outlined in the selection criteria for base level and has demonstrated increased knowledge, skills and experience to meet the requirements outlined in the selection criteria for the higher level.
    • Prior to the employee's annual increment date, the supervisor will complete the appropriate Enrich Performance Review to assess whether employees meet set criteria for advancement to the higher linked classification level and to review progress in achieving goals set for the forthcoming year at the higher classification level.
    • Completed Enrich documentation should be completed within two months of the incumbent's increment date for processing.
    • Human Resources will provide the employee with written advice regarding their advancement to the higher linked classification level, effective from the employee's annual increment date.  The employee will then be eligible to move through the incremental structure of the higher classification level as normal, subject to confirmation of a competent level of performance by the supervisor and appropriate Delegate. 


    HR Client Services Team