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Job Descriptions, Job Codes, & Job Classifications (OPS)

Contents

Introduction

Your job description

Your job code

Job modules and functional groups

Your job classification

The job classification system

How your job classification was determined

The eight compensable factors

The complexity of each compensable factor

Reference jobs

If you have concerns about your job description or classification

If you believe your job description is inaccurate

If you believe your job description is accurate but your classification level is incorrect

If your job description is inaccurate but your duties and responsibilities are the same (or are very similar) as another job at a higher classification level

Talking to your manager informally

Filing a formal classification dispute

How to file a formal classification dispute

Step 1

Proceeding to Step 2

If you are reclassified

Frequently asked questions

If you have questions or need assistance

Resources


Introduction

Your Collective Agreement helps ensure that you are compensated fairly for the work that you do, relative to your responsibilities, their level of complexity, and the role you play within the Ontario Public Service (OPS).

AMAPCEO has worked with your Employer to develop a systematic way of classifying each AMAPCEO-represented position in the OPS into one of eight classification levels. This system provides a consistent, fair approach to how positions are measured that recognizes the similarities and differences between them. It is an important advantage of being a unionized professional.


Your job description

Every job description for AMAPCEO-represented positions in the OPS describes the work that you do. It includes your job purpose and your key responsibilities and describes eight compensable factors in light of these responsibilities. These compensable factors are used to help determine your job classification. More information on these eight compensable factors is below.

When writing a job description, a manager should:

  • be brief and clear, and aim to include sufficient information so people not familiar with the job can understand what work is being performed;
  • explain the job responsibilities and factors when performed by a fully qualified and experienced incumbent;
  • not include atypical or incidental responsibilities, skills, effort, or conditions;
  • use common, generic language whenever possible—no buzzwords, jargon, or slang;
  • avoid subjective words (e.g., appropriate, excellent); and
  • ensure there are linkages between the purpose and key responsibilities when describing each of the compensable factors.

If you don’t have a copy of your job description, ask your manager for one. They must provide it to you within 20 working days.


Your job code

First digit - classification level; second digit - bargaining unit; last digits - functional group

Classification level: The classification level for your position, from 1 to 8.

Bargaining unit: ‘A’ indicates that your position is represented by AMAPCEO.

Functional group: The functional group into which your position is organized.

Salary note: ‘N’ indicates if your position is affected by a special note about the position’s salary. This may include premiums for certain certifications.

Job modules and functional groups

Each AMAPCEO-represented job in the OPS is organized into one of three job modules.

Each job module is organized into functional groups based on the type of work and the main duties and responsibilities within a job description.

See the job modules and functional groups

  • Program Support Services Module
    • 001: Finance Functional Group
    • 002: Human Resources Functional Group
    • 003: Information Technology Functional Group
    • 004: Administrative Services Functional Group
    • 005: Communications Functional Group
    • 006: Information Services Functional Group
  • Program Development Module
    • 007: Policy and Analysis Functional Group
    • 008: Program Planning and Evaluation Functional Group
  • Program Delivery Module
    • 009: Legal / Regulatory Services Functional Group
    • 010: Scientific Services Functional Group
    • 011: Technical Services Functional Group
    • 012: Social Services and Program Administration Functional Group

You can find a more detailed description of each of these functional groups in Schedule 3 (pages 139–149) of your Collective Agreement.


Your job classification

Each AMAPCEO-represented position in the OPS is classified into one of eight classification levels, ranging from 1 (lowest) to 8 (highest).

Each level has a corresponding salary range. See our fact sheet on your salary or check Salary Schedule B of your Collective Agreement for details.

The job classification system

Classification levels are outlined by a job classification system that was jointly developed by the union and your Employer. This system is designed to encourage fair compensation and pay equity by looking at each position holistically, rather than in isolation.

There are three main tools of the system:

  • the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan, which defines the eight compensable factors  nd plots the varying degrees of complexity for each in a matrix (from least complex to most complex);
  • the Job Description Writing Guide for Job Evaluation, which describes how job descriptions should be written under the job classification system; and
  • a list of reference jobs, which is used to help verify the proposed classification for a position.

The AMAPCEO job classification system is different from those of other bargaining units (e.g., OPSEU) and for management/excluded jobs.

How the job classification system works

After a manager or another Employer representative writes a job description, it goes to your Employer’s Enterprise Classification Unit (ECU). The ECU is a team of employees that assesses each job description and uses the AMAPCEO job classification system to determine the final classification for the position.

This system is not a “point factor” or a “benchmark comparison” type of system. It is unique in that it attempts to rate or classify jobs into one of eight classification levels by looking at each job in a holistic fashion.

The system has the ECU use a step-by-step process known as “rate, rank, review, and rationalize.”

1. Rate: the ECU first takes a job description, measures the job’s eight compensable factors (as defined in the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan, described below), and assigns an overall rating to the job.

2. Rank: the ECU then ranks the job against one or more reference jobs that are similar.

3. Review: the ECU then compares the job against a larger body of jobs to see if there are any anomalies of inconsistencies in how the job was rated. This step is called “sore thumbing”—when the job is reviewed, the ECU looks to see if it sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to a larger body of jobs.

4. Rationalize: finally, the ECU writes a rationale documenting why the job has been classified at a specific level. Each rationale refers to the language in the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan and provides a description of how some of the compensable factors were rated.

The eight compensable factors

Compensable factors are the attributes of a position (e.g., knowledge, skills, effort) that are used to ascertain the relative worth of a position, and in turn, its compensation.

AMAPCEO and your Employer have defined eight compensable factors that are present in all AMAPCEO-represented positions, to varying degrees.

See the eight compensable factors

These are the eight compensable factors in the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan.

  • Knowledge/Skill: the depth and breadth of knowledge and skill required to do your job. This knowledge is often gained through time spent in schools, colleges, universities, or other formal development programs, but may also be obtained through on-the-job or volunteer experience, informal development, and specialized training.
  • Interpersonal/Influencing: the typical skills your job requires to interact with individuals or groups within and outside the organization.
  • Analyzing/Problem Solving: the degree of analysis, evaluation, synthesis, and reasoning required to solve problems and the requirement to identify process changes, adaptations, options, alterations, etc., on the job. It accounts for the variety, complexity, and nature of problems and the requirement for information gathering, organizing, analyzing, and/or synthetizing to formulate options and solutions.
  • Decision Making/Responsibility: the impact and extent of decisions or recommendations and the degree of freedom your job has in making them. It also factors in the degree of accountability for physical, financial, and information resources.
  • Contacts/Stakeholders: the range and significance of internal and/or external contacts/stakeholders typically connected with your job, and what their general needs are. It also describes the accountability for results, rather than the skill necessary to achieve contact/stakeholder results.
  • Guidance/Supervision: the level of responsibility for the leadership or oversight of staff in a supervisory or project environment. This can include the degree to which your position is expected to provide guidance and leadership relating to work processes and procedures and provide technical expertise and leadership within a team or project. It also includes providing guidance/leadership to staff managed by other positions to ensure compliance with procedures or policies.
  • Demands/Pressures: the mental or sensory demands or pressures on your position. It considers the context of your job, and the extent to which these demands or pressures can cause fatigue or stress at work.
  • Conditions/Environment: the context of your job, the physical effort in performing it, and the physical surroundings you will encounter. Physical activities including lifting, bending, standing, walking, and working in awkward positions.

Your job description should explain the needs and responsibilities of the job as they relate to each of these eight compensable factors.

The complexity of each compensable factor

The AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan also defines the degree of complexity for each compensable factor on a scale of levels from 1 (least complex) to 8 (most complex).

Most compensable factors have eight levels of complexity. These levels are defined under a matrix in the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan:

  • Levels 1, 3, 5, and 7 have detailed descriptions
  • Levels 2, 4, and 6 do not have descriptions—they can be described as “stronger than the level below it, but not as strong as the level above it.”
  • Level 8 also does not have a description—it can be described as “stronger than the level below it, while still staying an AMAPCEO-represented position.”

Two compensable factors—Demands/Pressures and Conditions/Environment—are described with two levels in the matrix. When testing the job classification system, AMAPCEO and your Employer found that there are only two levels of work for AMAPCEO-represented positions in the OPS under these two factors.

You can ask an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative for a copy of the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan.

The ECU reviewed the details of your job description and used the level of complexity for each compensating factor to assign an overall rating for your job.

It may be tempting to review your job description against the matrix, rate each of the eight compensable factors, add them up, and divide by eight to get your final classification level. However, the job classification system isn’t designed that way. The rating is just the first step in the process. See above for details.

Reference jobs

The ECU uses reference jobs in the “rank” and “review” stages of the job classification system. These reference jobs are job descriptions of real OPS jobs that AMAPCEO and your Employer have agreed represent the type of AMAPCEO-represented jobs at each classification level.

A list of reference jobs is included below. You can ask for copies of these job descriptions from an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative.

See a list of reference jobs

Please note that these reference jobs were first drafted in 2005 when the job classification system was still new. As a result, many of them may not be good comparator jobs to use if you are reviewing the classification of your own position. We highly recommend you work with an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative to seek out more up-to-date job descriptions that may be more relevant for your situation.

Reference Job Description Number Job Title Evaluated Level
1 Correspondence Coordinator 4
2 Administrative Assistant 2
4 Policy Analyst (Junior) 3
6 Information Architect 6
8 Risk & Assurance Consultant 6
9 Contract Control Officer 5
10 Senior Coordinator, Strategic Communications 6
11 Team Leader 6
12 Patient Advocate 5
13 Education Officer 6
14 Senior Program Analyst 7
15 Program Advisor 6
16 Senior Financial Advisor 6
17 Financial Analyst 4
18 Tax Advisory Specialist 6
19 Assistant Operations Manager 5
20 Food Scientist 6
23 Nurse Epidemiologist 6
25 Senior Scientific Advisor 8
26 Senior Pharmacist 6
28 Senior Actuarial Analyst 5
29 Senior IT Audit Specialist 6
30 Mediator 6
33 Business and Fiscal Planning Consultant 5
34 Senior Business Analyst 5
35 Chief Psychologist 7
36 Cluster IT Security Officer 6
38 Lead Veterinarian 8
39 WIN Coordinator 5
41 Senior Project Manager 6
44 Senior Policy Advisor 7
45 Project Coordinator 6
46 Policy Analyst 6
48 Briefings and Issues Coordinator 5
50 Hearings Officer 6
51 Head Technologist 5
52 Hospital Consultant 7
53 IT Procurement & Asset Management Coordinator 5
54 Facilities Management Coordinator 5
55 French Language Services Coordinator 5
56 Maintenance Coordinator 4
57 Program Supervisor 7
59 Administrative Coordinator 3
60 Business Analyst 6
61 Senior Client Representative 5
62 I&IT Business Consultant 6
63 Business Planning Consultant 6
64 Team Lead, Issues Management 6
65 Program Consultant 5
66 Team Lead, I&IT 6
67 Program & Policy Analyst 4
68 Client Representative 4
69 Network Access Services Administrator 4
72 Manager, Development & Maintenance 7
73 Executive Assistant 4

If you have concerns about your job description or classification

If you feel that your job description is outdated or doesn’t accurately reflect the work you do, or that your classification is incorrect, you have rights under your Collective Agreement to:

While it is not required, we highly recommend that you talk to your manager informally about your concerns before you file a formal classification dispute. It is always better to try and get your manager to understand your position first. They may agree with you, which would likely improve the outcome of your situation. It may also be better for your ongoing relationship with them.

We also recommend you ask an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative for help.

Three potential scenarios are provided below, along with instructions on what to do.

If you believe your job description is inaccurate

1. Review your most recent job description and identify inaccuracies between it and what you do at work. If you don’t have a copy of your most recent job description, request one from your manager. They must provide it to you within 20 working days.

2. Download the AMAPCEO Classification Review Form and complete it to help explain why you believe your job description is inaccurate. This form was created by AMAPCEO to help prepare you for a discussion with your manager about your job description or classification level.

3. Consider asking a Workplace Representative to help you with your matter.

4. Request a copy of the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan and the Job Description Writing Guide for Job Evaluation from a Workplace Representative.

5. Draft a revised job description.

  • Avoid simply revising your job description using the language on compensating factors straight out of the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan. Instead, attempt to describe your duties and responsibilities in your own words.
  • Changing the adjectives describing your work in your job description will likely not be sufficient to demonstrate substantive changes to your job. For example, if you describe your work as being more “complex,” you will need to provide concrete examples of what that means.

6. Once these steps are complete, you may either:

If you believe your job description is accurate but your classification level is incorrect

1. Request a copy of the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan from a Workplace Representative and review it against the language in your current job description. If you don’t have a copy of your most recent job description, request one from your manager. They must provide it to you within 20 working days.

2. Carefully review the ECU’s rationale statement for your position.

3. Review the job descriptions and rationale statements from other, similar, jobs that may be rated at a higher classification level. A Workplace Representative can help you find this information.

4. Review the job descriptions and rationale statements from reference jobs that are at higher classification levels to see if you have use one or more as a comparator. A Workplace Representative can help you find this information.

5. Download the AMAPCEO Classification Review Form and complete it using your current job description, the rationale statement, and the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan. Describe how your job’s compensable factors apply to a higher level based on the matrix in the AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan.

  • You will need to demonstrate in writing how your work more closely reflects a higher level of work. For example, if you are currently working in a level 3 position, you will need to demonstrate to the ECU that the level of work you actually do is a level 4 overall.

6. Once these steps are complete, you may either:

If your job description is inaccurate but your duties and responsibilities are the same (or are very similar) as another job at a higher classification level

1. Review your current job description and rationale statement. If you don’t have a copy of your most recent job description, request one from your manager. They must provide it to you within 20 working days.

2. Review the job description and rationale statement for the similar job that is at a higher classification level.

3. Download the AMAPCEO Classification Review Form and complete it using the job descriptions and rationale statements for your job and the similar job. Describe how your job has been incorrectly classified in comparison to the similar job.

  • You will need to demonstrate in writing how your work more closely reflects a higher level of work. For example, if you are currently working in a level 3 position, you will need to demonstrate to the ECU that the level of work you actually do is a level 4 overall.

4. Once these steps are complete, you may either:


Talking to your manager informally

1. Ensure you have completed the steps described in “if you have concerns about your job description or classification,” above.

2. Submit your revised job description and/or your completed AMAPCEO Classification Review Form to your manager and ask to discuss it with them as soon as possible. You have the right to have a Workplace Representative join you for this meeting.

3. If your manager is supportive:

  • of revising your job description:
    • work with them to revise it; and
    • ask them to submit your final revisions to the ECU for re-evaluation.
  • of your job classification being re-evaluated:
    • ask them for their support in writing; and
    • that they request the ECU re-evaluate your job.

4. If your manager will not meet with you informally, or is not supportive:


Filing a formal classification dispute

You have the right to file a formal classification dispute under Article 15.10.5 of your Collective Agreement. You may want to do so if:

How to file a formal classification dispute

1. Ensure you have completed the steps described in “if you have concerns about your job description or classification,” above.

2. Ask an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative for help.

3. Your Workplace Representative may ask you to use the union’s secure web-based system, to provide details about your situation. RADAR will help you and your Workplace Representative keep track of things without the privacy concerns that could come from using the Employer’s email system.

4. Ask your Workplace Representative for a Step 1 Classification Dispute Form and complete it with their assistance.

5. Submit your completed Step 1 Classification Dispute Form to your manager. This begins Step 1 of the classification dispute process. Under this process, if your issue remains unresolved after 30 working days, it will proceed to Step 2.

Step 1

1. Once you have submitted your complete Step 1 Classification Dispute Form to your manager, meet with them to discuss your concerns. You have the right to have a Workplace Representative join you for this meeting.

  • There is no deadline to hold this meeting once your Form is submitted, but remember that if your issue is not resolved after 30 working days, it will automatically proceed to Step 2.

2. If your manager is receptive to some or all of your concerns:

  • work with them to develop a revised job description that works for you both and ask them to submit it to the ECU for re-evaluation; or
  • ask for their support in writing and that they request the ECU re-evaluate your job; and
  • you may want to ask your manager to agree in writing that your Step 1 classification dispute be put “on hold” so it does not automatically go into Step 2 after 30 working days.

3. If your manager is not receptive or denies your dispute at Step 1, or if your dispute is unresolved after 30 working days, it will go into Step 2 of the formal classification dispute process.

Proceeding to Step 2

1. Update the details of your dispute in RADAR and ensure you have uploaded all documents related to your dispute.

2. Your dispute will be reviewed by an AMAPCEO Workplace Advisor. Workplace Advisors are AMAPCEO staff members who provide assistance to members through the later parts of dispute matters. They will likely contact you directly to talk about your dispute and to get more information.

3. AMAPCEO will determine if your dispute should continue at Step 2. As with other disputes, the union takes responsibility for a classification dispute at Step 2 of the process, so the union will determine whether it will continue to support your dispute or not.

  • If the union carries your dispute to Step 2, an AMAPCEO Dispute Resolution Officer will be assigned to help you with your dispute. They will contact you.
  • If the union does not carry your dispute to Step 2, you have the right to appeal this decision to the AMAPCEO Executive.

If you are reclassified

If you were reclassified following a Step 1 Classification Dispute, your salary will be retroactively adjusted to the date you submitted your completed form to your manager.

Otherwise, your salary will be adjusted, most likely to the date when the ECU reclassified your position.


Frequently asked questions

Are there any deadlines or time limits to seek a review of my classification?

No.

You can seek a review of your classification at any time. See above for details on how to seek a review.

Can my manager change my classification?

No.

Only the ECU has the authority to change your classification. While your manager’s support of your request my strengthen your position, it does not guarantee that ECU will agree.

If the ECU does a classification review of my job, could my classification be lowered?

Yes, although it’s unlikely.

If the ECU lowers the classification for your job, you can file a classification dispute on their decision. This is defined in article 15.10.5 of your Collective Agreement.

If there is a change to my classification, will I be required to reapply for my position?

No.

If the classification for your job changes, you will not lose your job or be forced to reapply for it. This is defined in Article 18.8.1(g) of your Collective Agreement.

What if I’ve held the same job and classification since October 1, 2013 (or before)?

The current job classification system was implemented on October 1, 2013.

If you have held the same job and classification since then, you will have to demonstrate that your job duties and/or responsibilities have changed substantially since then.

If you filed an appeal of your classification level through the Job Evaluation Appeal Process between mid-2013 and mid-2015, and lost that appeal, Article 15.10 of your Collective Agreement prohibits you from filing a classification dispute arguing the same facts as your appeal.


If you have questions or need assistance

Please contact an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative in your District. They do not have to be in your Ministry.

Workplace Representatives are trained union members who have volunteered to confidentially assist members like you in the workplace. They should be your first point of contact in seeking information and representation with an issue at work.

Your Workplace Representative may ask you to use the union’s secure web-based system, RADAR, to provide details about your situation. RADAR will help you and your Workplace Representative keep track of things without the privacy concerns that could come from using the Employer’s email system.


Resources

Available from an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative:

  • AMAPCEO Job Evaluation Plan
  • Job Description Writing Guide for Job Evaluation
  • Step 1 Classification Dispute Form

Fact Sheet

Bargaining Unit: Ontario Public Service (OPS)

Collective Agreement Articles: 5, 15, 18, & 19

First Published: August 18, 2020

Last Updated: December 3, 2020

Contact a Workplace Representative

See more Ontario Public Service Fact Sheets