Position Descriptions: MAPS + Academic Staff

Positions that are not based on a job card are considered “unique positions” and will take longer to evaluate. Please ensure you have reviewed the job card catalogue prior to creating a unique position description. New cards are being added on an ongoing basis.

write a position description

1. Start with a template
2. Title the role

Choose a “working title” that clearly and accurately describes the responsibilities and scope of an individual job assignment, and thereby provides a more immediate understanding of the position. The working title should use terms that are most easily recognized and understood both internally and externally.

3. Define the purpose

Provide a brief summary of the purpose of the position, including the type and level of work performed. The aim is to describe why the position exists in one or two sentences.

4. Identify responsibilities

Group the work into four to eight key areas of responsibility; identify three to five activities that fall within each.

5. Describe the scope

Provide information about the impact the position has on the effectiveness of the university. 

  • Detail the challenges, problem-solving requirements and decision-making capacity of the position. 
  • Describe the extent to which the position can have a positive effect on students, other employees, the function of the university or a specific department.

Scope is factual, descriptive information that illustrates what internal or external areas the position impacts, and the diversity and complexity of the position. 


  • What are the major issues the position must confront in achieving the specified work output (e.g. need to prioritize, changing client demands, limited resources, need to devise new procedures or implement change)?
  • What are the complexities of the problems the position will typically face and the level of analytical capacity to address the situation(s)?
  • What is the variety of problems and what level of solutions exist or is creative thinking required to undertake responsibilities (e.g. Does the position have readily available assistance in the form of documented procedures/guidelines or precedents)?
  • From where does change originate in the position (e.g. legislation, technology, strategic/business plans, and client expectations)?
  • Is there a need to continually keep up-to-date with knowledge and/or skills?
6. Describe knowledge, skills and abilities

This section describes the skills, knowledge and abilities required for an individual to competently perform the position.


  • What specific training or particular information needs to be known to perform the position?
  • Does the position require formal qualifications? If so, what are they? Could this knowledge be acquired through experience rather than formal education? If it requires a qualification, how is it applied to the position?
  • What sort of experience would be needed to competently perform in the position?
  • What sources of information are needed for the position (e.g. legislation, regulations, policies, practices, local knowledge, higher education experience, trade certification and experience)?

Be specific about the type of skill and/or knowledge required. The List of Qualifications offers a number of examples to choose from.

Ensure that the essential or required qualifications are listed clearly and separately from the preferred (but not necessary) qualifications.

Provisions for Specific Employee Types

Management + Professional Staff

Management and Professional Staff (MAPS) positions must meet the criteria for managerial and confidential labour relations within the university context. Current APO positions can only be moved to MAPS via de-designation, not reevaluation.

Trust + Research Academic Staff

Trust and Research Academic Staff (TRAS) have sample position descriptions that may assist Principal Investigators in designing and developing positions for their areas:

Trust Professionals

Trust professionals typically have a Master's or professional level degree in a required discipline. Please contact the Job Design and Evaluation team for assistance with developing position descriptions.