A Position Description provides information on the added value of a
position to the University of Alberta. A well-written Position
Description is an excellent tool of communication between supervisors
and employees, and provides a means for a fair and equitable job
Position Descriptions create a logical relationship between the
University’s mission, goals and objectives, and the Departments’
business plans and the position. The focus should be on the core
contribution of the work, resulting in a shorter and more focused
Position Description. It is not the length of the Position Description,
but the quality of its information that determines its usefulness for
job evaluation purposes.
Elements of a Position Description
Provides insight as to what the position is responsible for and
within what context (why does this position exist?). This element tries
to give a brief summary of the position, covering the main
responsibilities, the framework within which the position has to operate
and the main contribution to the organization.
Responsibilities and Activities
This is the most important part of the position description from a
job evaluation perspective. The purpose of the position can be broken
down into different responsibilities/end results. Normally a position
has 4-8 core end results, each of which shows what the position is
accountable for, within what framework, and what the added value is. For each end result approximately three major activities or examples should be described.
While purpose and end results provide information on position
content, scope addresses the need for some specific data illustrating
what area(s) the position impacts and defining the complexity and
diversity of the position.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
After focusing on the output of the position (responsibilities/end
results), the final element of a position description requires a focus
on the input needed for the position: knowledge about theories or
principles, practical procedures, specialized techniques, etc.,
analytical and conceptual skills and abilities, and skills needed for
direct interaction with others. Organization Chart: A current
organizational chart including supervisor, peers and staff (as
applicable) should be attached.
For more information, please contact: Job and Organizational Design.