These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will address inquiries that you may have about the introduction of the Career Path Program. Additional FAQs may be added in the future based on feedback received.
- What are the key outcomes of this structure?
- When will I be notified of my classification?
- Who created this new structure?
- Where can I learn more about the classification structure?
- How will I find out my staff's classification assignments?
- What action is required of me right now?
- Where can I go for more information?
- My employee has approached me because they think there may an error in their classification. What should I do next?
- How are job classifications be determined?
- Are faculty and student positions included in the classification structure?
- Will my pay be affected by the implementation of this structure in 2016?
- Will my job grade change as a result of this new structure?
- How can I obtain a copy of my position description?
- Will this project involve changes to job titles?
- What is the difference between classification title and job title?
- I supervise one person. Why isn’t my position in the management stream?
- I think there might be an error with my job classification. What should I do?
- How can I learn more about the new framework?
- What is a career stream?
- Am I able to change career streams?
- Will I have to become a manager to get to the top of my career stream?
- What is a job family?
- What are the job families?
- What is a subfamily?
- Can I change job families or subfamilies?
- What if my job responsibilities cross more than one family or subfamily?
- What is a level?
- What if I have another question that hasn't been answered?
- Employees will have a clearer understanding of how to develop a career path at GW.
- A framework will be established for managers to coach and guide employees through various career opportunities at GW.
- The classification administration processes at the university will be simplified.
The Career Path program is being implemented in spring of 2016, with employees receiving notifications of their new classifications beginning in February. Employees and supervisors can contact their HR representative for additional information on classifications.
After researching best practices at other institutions of higher education, the new structure was developed by a leadership advisory council, the Classification Advisory Committee and Human Resources, with input from key stakeholders throughout the university. This new structure is in line with best practices in the industry related to job classifications.
Please be sure to read all of the frequently asked questions on this page, as many potential questions from your employees can be answered using the information provided here.
You are encouraged to meet with your HR representative as soon as possible (or your division/school's HR liaison, if there is not a dedicated HR representative). Your HR representative will provide the job classification data for each position that has a formal reporting relationship to you.
- Familiarize yourself with the structure and resources available.
- Meet with your HR representative to review the classifications for each position that reports to you.
- Proactively reach out to your HR representative if you have questions about any of your staff's classifications.
Where can I go for more information?
For additional support, information or questions, please contact your HR representative for assistance or send an email to the Career Path Program at [email protected].
If an employee identifies a potential error in their job classification, they are encouraged to meet with their supervisor first. Listen closely to their concerns. It will be up to you to make a determination as to whether or not the job classification concern is valid. If you do not think there is an error, relay your justification to the employee (if you need help, please contact your HR representative for guidance). If you think there could be an error, schedule a meeting with your HR representative to discuss your concern. The HR representative will guide the discussion and determine appropriate next steps.
Classifications are assigned by the Human Resources department, in close collaboration with the division/school's HR representative, managers and leadership, based on the duties and responsibilities of the job performed. You can view a video that gives an overview of how jobs are determined.
No. The classification review focuses on staff and research staff positions.
Employee base pay will neither increase or decrease at the time the revised classification system is implemented. Going forward, the refined framework provides managers market-based pay information and tools to make well-informed future pay decisions in accordance with our new structure.
All employees will receive a new classification, and the previous 24-grade system has been retired. The new structure is unrelated to the old structure. New classifications are based on duties, responsibilities, qualifications and other job factors.
Descriptions can be requested through your supervisor or HR representative.
HR will not require titling changes at the time the revised classification system is implemented. Titling guidelines are available to managers and were created to provide guidance as to what titles are appropriate for a position's level and career stream. These guidelines provide divisions and schools titling options that are appropriate for their area(s). These titling guidelines will be enforced by HR when a position is posted, or when an employee moves into a different position.
Your classification title is the title attributed to all jobs that share the same job family, subfamily, career stream and level. Essentially, it is the group title for all jobs that are substantially similar, for example, "Customer Service Associate III" or "Senior Advisor."
A job title is the public title most often used in email, on business cards, etc, for example, "Executive Aide" or "Senior Programming Analyst."
In order for a position to be classified into the management stream, the primary function of the job must be managing others. We have defined this more specifically to mean that those in the management stream must supervise two or more individuals and manage a distinct department.
We encourage all employees to become familiar with this new structure, and make sure all of the new concepts of the structure are understood before initiating a request for a re-review of a job classification. For example, a classification title is not the same as a job title in some cases. Another example could be that, even though an employee may supervise one employee, they may not be in the management stream.
Employees can learn more about their job classification and how it relates to other jobs by exploring the classification structure. If you've taken time to become familiar with the new structure, and still feel that there may be an error, please reach out to your supervisor and be prepared to describe the classification error with relevant supporting facts or information. Your supervisor will then meet with Human Resources to discuss next steps.
You can view a video that gives an overview of the new framework.
The university's new classification structure is centered around four career streams:
- Service and Support: Staff whose primary duties are (1) routine, or (2) service-focused or (3) a craft or skilled trade.
- Individual Contributor: Non-supervisory staff with learned knowledge where discretion and independent judgment are critical job functions.
- Management: Typically includes managers and supervisors in charge of tactical and operational teams. Must manage two or more individuals and be responsible for managing a department/function.
- Executive: Typically includes top university executives and heads of key job and subfamilies, and has enterprise-wide scope.
It is possible to move from one stream to another, if appropriate, based on job responsibilities. Career streams, in conjunction with identified job families, will allow employees to identify ways they can move through the structure in the future.
Yes. The structure will identify the competencies and requirements for each stream and level so that employees can explore new positions should opportunities arise.
Not always. In many streams, there are individual contributor levels that parallel management to the top of the track.
A job family is a grouping of roles that have a similar nature of work and utilize a similar skill set, but that require differing levels and specializations of skill, effort or responsibility (e.g. Accountant vs. Payroll Specialist, both in the Finance and Business family). There are 21 families in the new structure.
- Academic Affairs
- Academic Technology
- Communications, Marketing and Media
- Development & Alumni Relations
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Enrollment Management
- Facilities & Campus Operations
- Finance & Business
- Museum & Performing Arts
- Health Services
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Research Administration
- Lab & Field Research
- Safety & Security
- Student Affairs
A subfamily is a more specific specialty within the job family (e.g. Accounting and Payroll are both subfamilies of the Finance & Business job family). You can explore the entire job family and subfamily structure by viewing the Classification Structure.
Yes. The structure will identify families and subfamilies, as well as the competencies and requirements of each level, so that employees can explore new positions should opportunities arise.
If 50% or more of a position's responsibilities are in one functional area, then the position is assigned to the corresponding subfamily. If no functional area represents 50% of the position duties, then a subfamily is selected based on which functional duties would be emphasized most when recruiting for the position.
Levels indicate the general mastery required to fill positions at that level. Multiple jobs in the same career stream can inhabit the same level. There may not be an actual position at every level within the career stream.
There are lots of resources if you have additional questions. Your manager is a good place to start. You can also reach out to your HR representative or email the Career Path Program at [email protected].
Each job at the university occupies a specific level in one of the career streams. Levels indicate the general mastery required to fill positions at that level.
Multiple jobs in the same career stream can occupy the same level. These level descriptions are the general guidelines used for each position and should be considered as an informational resource to help you understand current positions and the requirements for future career steps.
|Executive||This career stream typically includes top university executives and heads of key job families who are responsible for providing strategic vision and direction to department(s), school or division. An executive is defined as a senior administrator responsible for a major division or department and who has responsibility for a discrete function or sub-function involving a high degree of complexity, enterprise-wide risk, and financial responsibility. Typically designated as a “Head of Function,” “Chief Function Officer,” or its equivalent. Executives typically report to a higher-level executive within the career stream. The most important factor is that the scope of the job must be enterprise-wide, i.e., the reach of the position must span across the university. Executive titles include Vice President, Dean or Provost and jobs carrying a bona fide variation of an executive title (for example, Assistant Vice President, Associate Dean or Associate Provost). The entry job title used for this stream is Executive Director, which is typically responsible for managing an entire subfamily. Generally, executives are responsible for establishing short- and long-term strategies and budget approval and accountability for assigned areas. Executives frequently encounter complex, multi-dimensional problems and issues where information or precedents are typically difficult to obtain and frequently must draw from professional experience or knowledge of best practices in order to solve problems. Executives typically have broad control over hiring, firing, promotion and reward authority for assigned staff or work teams.|
|Management||This career stream typically includes supervisory and management staff responsible for focusing on tactical or operational activities within a specified area. A manager is defined as an administrator responsible for accomplishing the department objectives and operations of at least one work unit, which includes managing staff and short- and mid-term planning of department activities. Employees in this career stream take corrective action as necessary to ensure departmental goals are accomplished by established deadlines. The most important factors are (1) clear responsibility for managing a department / function and (2) formal supervision of at least two full-time staff (or equivalent). Managing performance of staff requires writing and delivering performance evaluations and monitoring production and overall work quality. The entry job title used for this stream is Supervisor. Generally, managers are responsible for the daily operations and work quality for assigned areas, and may have control or input over hiring, firing, promotion and reward authority for assigned staff or work teams.|
|Individual Contributor||This career stream typically includes non-supervisory staff responsible for utilizing learned knowledge to provide impactful work output to the organization. An Individual Contributor is defined as an individual responsible for tasks, duties, assignments and projects ranging in complexity and often requiring analysis. Experience and knowledge is brought to the position, with lower-level staff learning additional skills on the job. Individual Contributor staff typically report to employees in the Management career stream, with higher-level incumbent contributors reporting to Executives in an advisory or expert capacity. Individual Contributors are not typically responsible for the formal supervision of staff as their primary duty, but they may lead project teams or provide coaching and delegation of work to other employees. While not common, there are circumstances where Individual Contributors will manage staff.|
|Service & Support||This career stream typically includes staff whose primary duties are (1) administrative, or (2) routine, or (3) a craft or skilled trade. Support staff are responsible for providing support and continuity of service to an assigned work unit by providing daily maintenance or assistance to an assigned area, performing specific organizational tasks that are generally routine or where information and precedents are easy to obtain or interpret. Experience and knowledge is usually gained on the job. Support staff typically report to employees in the Management career stream, and do not have supervisory responsibility, but may serve in a lead capacity. The distinguishing factors of this stream are that (1) tasks and problems are usually routine and (2) complex issues are referred to the immediate manager for guidance and resolution.|
This glossary will provide information and definitions behind the technical terminology related to the university’s job classification structure. If you have any additional questions about a term used on this website, please contact [email protected].
The system that organizes and groups together all jobs at the university based on the type of work and level of work performed. All jobs within the structure have four defined elements; job family, subfamily, career stream, and level. Jobs are grouped based on the type of work performed (job family and subfamily), and then further organized by level of work performed (career stream and level).
This is the formal group title for all jobs in a job classification based on their substantially similar type and level of work.
A series of defined levels within a job family where the nature of the work is traditionally similar (e.g., accounting, facilities management) and the levels represent the organization’s requirements for increased skill, knowledge and responsibility as the employee moves through a career.
Career Path Program
The university’s classification structure, which helps employees to identify potential job opportunities that are within an their interests and skillsets.
Career Path Project
The multi-year engagement of university leadership and key stakeholders to identify and map out job classifications. The goal of the project was to create a more meaningful and transparent job classification structure to help all employees better understand their current job classification and provide the ability identify potential career path(s).
The four broad roles within the organization, Executive, Manager, Individual Contributor, or Service & Support that are based on the level within the organization, the focus of the role, and type of tasks typical to those jobs.
Basic units of knowledge, skills and abilities employees must acquire or demonstrate in order to successfully perform work.
A job that encompasses multi-functional responsibility for a combination of different areas that are all important and necessary for the role (i.e., incumbent wears multiple hats) and typically represents two or more separate jobs (e.g., financial analyst and trainer).
The total collection of tasks, duties and responsibilities assigned to one or more individuals whose work has the same nature and level of work.
Process of identifying the roles, responsibilities, competencies and requirements to successfully perform a job.
A formal grouping of jobs based on a substantially similar type and level of work.
This is the public title most often used in email, on business cards, etc.
Process for assigning a job classification, which then assigns job family, sub-family, career stream and level for a job.
A grouping of jobs based on similarity of responsibilities.
A more distinct grouping of jobs based on similarity of responsibilities and specialties.
The market in which workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers.
A process conducted by University Compensation Staff to analyze job trends and salary levels/rates paid in the market. Market data reflects the geographic regions and the types of industries from which we recruit. These may include for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, local and national organizations, government and higher education institutions as well as general industry firms. Results of the market analysis process are used to make recommendations for pay ranges for job classifications.
Rate of pay for each job based on the aggregate, representative market data from salary surveys.
A group of specific duties, tasks and responsibilities assigned to one employee.
A detailed summary of the duties attributed to a job classification.
Reflects the context within which the job operates and the nature of the work performed.
A specific component in a salary structure that groups jobs for pay policy application. All jobs in a salary grade have the same salary range: minimum, midpoint and maximum.
The range of salaries, from minimum to maximum, that is assigned to a group of jobs that have similar pay rates in the market.
The array and hierarchy of salary grades and the associated pay ranges established for different jobs within an organization.
Rice Hall, Suite 101
2121 Eye Street NW
Washington, DC 20052