Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA)


HERA is the  job evaluation scheme chosen by the University Personnel Committee to underpin its pay and grading structure. HERA was specifically designed for the higher education sector. The scheme was extensively tested at Oxford. In 2003 a joint working group of management and staff representatives carried out a pilot study of the scheme and recommended that HERA be used to support the development of the new pay and grading structure.

HERA is an analytical job evaluation scheme. A trained HERA analyst will gather evidence about the job through the job description so that the job can be evaluated under 14 different headings, such as communication skills, problem solving, analysis and research, team-work, etc. This information is then analysed to produce a total points score for the job. The total score determines the grade of the job on the pay scale

Summary of HERA elements

1 Communication:

Covers communication through written, electronic or visual means and oral communication, in both informal and formal situations. This may include the need to convey basic factual information clearly and accurately; conveying information in the most appropriate format; and explaining complex or detailed specialist information.

2 Teamwork and Motivation:

Covers team work and team leadership when working in both internal and external teams. This may include the need to contribute as an active member of the team; motivating others in the team; and providing leadership and direction for the team.

3 Liaison and Networking:

Covers liaising with others both within and outside the institution and creating networks of useful contacts. This may include passing on information promptly to colleagues; ensuring mutual exchange of information; influencing developments through one’s contacts; and building an external reputation.

4 Service Delivery:

Covers the provision of help and assistance to a high standard of service to students, visitors, members of staff and other users of the institution. This may include reacting to requests for information or advice; actively offering or promoting the services of the institution to others; and setting the overall standards of service offered.

5 Decision Making Processes and Outcomes:

Covers the impact of decisions within the institution and externally. This may include decisions which impact on one’s own work or team; decisions which impact across the institution; and decisions which could have significant impact in the longer term within or outside the institution.

6 Planning and Organising Resources:

Covers organising, prioritising and planning time and resources, be they human, physical or financial. This may include planning and organising one’s own work; planning work for others on day to day tasks or on projects; carrying out operational planning; and planning for coming years.

7 Initiative and Problem Solving:

Covers identifying or developing options and selecting solutions to problems which occur in the role. This may include using initiative to select from available options; resolving problems where an immediate solution may not be apparent; dealing with complex problems; and anticipating problems which could have major repercussions.

8 Analysis and Research:

Covers investigating issues, analysing information and carrying out research. This may include following standard procedures to gather and analyse data; identifying and designing appropriate methods of research; collating and analysing a range of data from different sources; and establishing new methods or models for research, setting the context for research.

9 Sensory and Physical Demands:

Covers the sensory and physical aspects of the role required to complete tasks. This may include physical effort, co-ordination and dexterity, using aural evidence to assess next actions; applying skilled techniques and co-ordinating sensory information; and high levels of dexterity where precision or accuracy is essential.

10 Work Environment:

Covers the impact the working environment has on the individual and their ability to respond to and control that environment safely. This may include such things as the temperature, noise or fumes, the work position and working in an outdoor environment.

11 Pastoral Care and Welfare:

Covers the welfare and well being of students and staff within the institution, in both informal and formal situations. This may include the need to be aware of the support services available; giving supportive advice and guidance; and counselling others on specific issues.

12 Team Development:

Covers the development of the skills and knowledge of others in the work team. This may include the induction of new colleagues; coaching and appraising any individuals who are supervised, mentored or managed by the role holder; and giving guidance or advice to one’s peers or supervisor on specific aspects of work.

13 Teaching and Learning Support:

Covers the development of the skills and knowledge of students and others who are not part of the work team. This may include providing instruction to students or others when they are first using a particular service or working in a particular area; carrying out standard training; and the assessment and teaching of students.

14 Knowledge and Experience

Covers the relevant knowledge needed to carry out the role, however acquired, whether this is technical, professional or specialist. This may include the need for sufficient experience to carry out basic, day to day responsibilities; the need for a breadth or depth of experience to act as a point of reference for others; and the need to act as a leading authority in one’s field or discipline.