It is quite common for some employees jobs to change over time. Change occurs for a variety of reasons and may ultimately affect the classification and level of a position. This section describes how and when to address changes in the classification of a position.

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If a supervisor or manager suspects that an employee's position has changed significantly enough to warrant a reclassification, they can choose to contact their Compensation Analyst to begin an informal discussion or simply go to job Builder and enter a formal reclass request. An informal discussion with a Compensation analyst is an opportunity to make an initial determination of the impact that changes have had on the position and the organization. If the Compensation analyst feels that the duties of the position have significantly changed, a formal review will be recommended. Once an employee has been performing the full scope of higher level duties for 30 days or more, the department may submit a request for review.

It is extremely important to request a formal reclassification review only when appropriate, and to make sure that the request is thoroughly prepared. Although about 90 to 95% of jobs that are formally submitted for reclassification review are upwardly reclassified, the ones that are denied can cause frustration for the employees involved.

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Freedom to Act

Authority, autonomy, independence of action, degree to which job tasks are dictated by policy, procedures, manuals, supervisor or department head.

  • Are your tasks routine and repetitive or are they performed under broad guidelines?
  • Do you independently determine work methods and tasks or is your work performed under established guidelines?
  • Are you closely supervised or are your tasks more general involving established guidelines and work is reviewed less frequently?
  • Do you take or recommend action under general supervision and established policies or take and recommend action under direction and generally defined objectives?


The difficulty of problems encountered in the course of work and the types of knowledge needed to solve them. Measures problem-solving skills along two scales; one, the types of problems encountered from routine to most difficult and two, the knowledge required to solve them from simple recognition and referral to the devising of solutions based on interpretation of policy and understanding of departmental objectives.

  • Does your job require special or unique skills?
  • What types of problems do you have to solve?
  • How difficult are the problems you have to solve?
  • Does your job require a certain depth of knowledge or expertise?

Consequences of Error

Measures the impact of errors made in the course of work and the consequence of error according to magnitude from those easily rectified to those that cause major unit disruption.

  • How do your errors impact those around you?
  • Are your errors easily rectifiable or do they require involvement from others?
  • What degree of impact is there if mistakes are made: Little or no impact from errors?
  • Who is impacted by mistakes? Is it your department, the campus, external agencies?
  • Are mistakes reversible?


The variety of work assigned, the degree of organizational skills required to complete the work, the knowledge of organizational units inside or outside the university and the diversity of deadlines and priorities governing the work.

  • What is the variety of functions assigned?
  • Is your scope limited and highly specific to the objectives of the department or is your scope broad requiring complete responsibility for a complex division?
  • Is the coordination of activities diverse in nature?
  • Do your functions have a significant affect on the department operations?

Supervisory Responsibilities

Number, types and level of positions supervised, functions supervised, degree of supervisory authority, e.g. work leader or full supervisor, complexity and diversity of work supervised.

  • Difficulty of supervision
  • Number and levels supervised
  • Variety of functions supervised
  • Full supervisor or a work leader
  • Diversity of work supervised

Responsibility for Resources

The extent of the resources for which the employee has responsibility including, but not limited to, human, financial, facilities, material, and information systems.

  • Number of employees supervised
  • Variety of functions supervised
  • Levels supervised (e.g. professional, technical, administrative, service)
  • Space managed (e.g. square footage)
  • Type of space managed (e.g. office, labs, classrooms)
  • Budget size
  • Budget sources and amounts (e.g. state, gifts, extramural, contracts & grants, reg fees, income, recharges, etc.)
  • Complexity of the budget - Amount, kind, discretion on spending, and complexity as determined by number and types of accounts, where and who money comes from.


Types of verbal and written communications, who you typically communicate with, what information you typically are responsible for communicating and method of delivery.

  • Who do you typically communicate with (e.g. administrative staff, major division heads, and department managers, the Chancellor or Regents)?
  • What are you communicating about (e.g. routine procedures, diversified procedures, operational policy, long term planning)?
  • How often do you communicate with the various constituencies (yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily)?

"Majority Rule"

Classification title and level are dependent primarily on where the majority (50% or more) of job duties lie.

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The employee on the line was cordial, clear and direct: “I just got my degree, so when do I get reclassified?”  This call represents one of the common misconceptions about the University’s classification system.  Classification is based solely upon the duties assigned to a position, not the qualifications of the incumbent. Put simply, we classify the JOB, not the person. We receive daily inquiries about classification, with the most common misconception revolving around this person-position distinction.  Besides educational attainment, other person-related factors that we do not take into consideration when classifying a position include:

Longevity — The length of time a person has worked at the University may positively affect a persons performance on the job, however, it is not a factor we use in determining the level of a position.

Speed — How fast a person can work or how much they can produce compared to others is a factor of performance.  Reclassifications do not take into account an employee's performance.

Retention — “She’s been offered a promotion”, more than one supervisor has complained. “If I can’t match it, I’ll lose my best employee.” While we understand your dilemma, the fear of losing an employee cannot be considered in classification decisions. The Equity Guidelines may be of interest to you and can be discussed with your Compensation Analyst.

Financial Need — “I just bought a new home, my daughter’s a sophomore at Vassar, I need a new car and my dog has ringworm.” Most of us could find a way to spend more money, and some occasionally have dire need, but classification cannot take personal financial conditions into consideration.

Dedication — We often hear about employees who, “Always arrive early, leave late, never take breaks, work weekends, etc.” Again this is a performance issue and should be addressed during annual merits.

Personality — An employee's unique personality to work in unusual conditions and with difficult co-workers is not a factor that can be considered when classifying a position. Unique skill and/or ability required for a position, however, can be considered and should be spelled out in the job description.

Future Projects — We only classify duties being currently performed, not those that might be added to a job down the line. As such, we suggest that reclassification request be delayed until new projects or assignments have begun.

What, then, are some of the factors taken into consideration when making classification decisions? In brief, classification is based upon several factors:  the nature, variety and difficulty of the duties; the responsibility for staff and resources; the knowledge and originality required; and the authority and relative autonomy of the position (see previous section "Determinant Factors")

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To initiate the formal reclassification process, the Department Head or Business Manager submits an online request by going into Job Builder, completing a reclass action, and submitting it to Compensation for review. The online request must include all of the required pieces of information (see below) or it will be returned to the department with a request for additional information. The receipt date of the submission will reflect the day the complete set of information is received by the Compensation unit. Delays in submitting all the required forms may delay the effective date of the reclass.

Information Required for an Online Submission:

  1. Current Job Description (will automatically display within online action).
  2. Proposed Job Description (enter changes to current JD as prompted by the system).
  3. Proposed Organizational Chart (Attach a revised organizational chart on the "Action Justification" tab, in the "Attachments" section.  
  4. Questionnaire (If applicable. Consult with your Compensation Analyst.)  Within the "Forms" section of the HR web site, click on the link to download the applicable form to your computer.  Complete and upload the questionnaire to the “Attachments" section of the Action Justification tab.  
  5. Complete Justification for the requested action. (Enter answers to the questions on the “Action Justification” tab as prompted by the system.)
  6. Department Head and Control Point Approvals (as set by each department and division).

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Prior to submitting an on-line reclass, please consider the following:

  1. Have you contacted Compensation for an informal review of the proposed changes to the job description?
  2. Have there been significant changes in the assignment of duties? Do these changes shift the balance of the classification to a higher level? Note: positions are classified based on where the majority of duties lie – in other words, if 50-80% or more of the duties are now classifiable at a higher level, then a classification review is necessary.
  3. Have you reviewed the impact to other positions in your department should this position be reclassified upwards?
  4. Have you examined whether there is overlap in duties with other department staff? If so, have you clearly distinguished the differences in levels of responsibility?
  5. Does the position meet the criteria for a Supervisory designation? Is this documented on the front of the job description as well as in the body?
  6. Have you listed the duties on the job description in order of importance?
  7. Have you listed duties currently being performed? Note: Future or anticipated duties cannot be taken into account.
  8. Have you completed a questionnaire? (There are questionnaires for the following positions: Business Officer, Student Affairs Officer, Computer & Network Technologist, Analyst, Academic Advisors, and Contracts & Grants Analysts.)
  9. Have you communicated to your staff that there are no guarantees of upward reclassification even though a department head has approved it for submission?

Note: The preliminary reclass consultation and analysis should be handled by the supervisor or manager and should not be delegated to an administrative assistant or the employee in the position being evaluated.

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We often get questions about what steps are involved in the process of a reclassification, and why it may take a long time. The process flows as follows:

  1. Department re-organizes/assigns duties to positions that may result in significant changes.
  2. Department contacts Compensation Analyst to discuss impact on an informal basis.
  3. Department Submitter logs into Job Builder and begins a new action called “Reclass (Title Change)”. The "Current Job Description" will automatically display within the action. This action requires them to:
    • Enter the details and duties of the proposed job description;
    • Enter a detailed justification for requesting a reclassification;
    • Attach a proposed organizational chart;
    • Attach a questionnaire (If applicable. Questionnaires are posted in the "Forms" section of the HR website, and once completed should be uploaded in the "Attachments" section of the "Action Justification" tab. 
  4. The department Submitter, after obtaining the appropriate approvals, submits the reclass action electronically to HR.
  5. The department Submitter, and Compensation Analyst each receives an auto generated email confirming that the action has been submitted.
  6. The Compensation Analyst conducts a formal review of the position and makes a recommendation for classification level.
  7. A 30-60 day notice to the collective bargaining unit may be required if the recommendation results in removing the position from the collective bargaining unit.
  8. The Compensation Analyst forwards the recommendation to the control point for final approval via email notification.
  9. The Control Point (or their delegate) replies-to-all with their final decision.
  10. The department sends employee to Human Resources for a background check if needed.
  11. Entry can then be completed within UCPath.

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Once an employee has been performing the full scope of higher level duties for 30 days or more, the department may submit a request for review. Upon electronic receipt of a reclassification request, the compensation analyst has 30 - 90 days* to render a decision for all Tier 1 (non-MSP) positions, therefore departments should be prepared to provide any additional information the analyst may require within that time frame. If needed documentation cannot be made available or the employee being reviewed is not available for consultation, then the reclassification request will be denied and the department will be asked to re-submit when all supporting information can be provided.

For non-represented positions, the effective date of a reclassification is the first full day of the first full pay period following electronic receipt of a completed request.

For represented positions, the effective date of a reclassification varies depending on the type of reclassification (within-unit or out-of-unit) and the collective bargaining unit. Please refer to the applicable collective bargaining unit agreement and/or consult with your Compensation Analyst.

Retroactive effective dates are not normally granted. It is the department’s responsibility to submit revised job descriptions reflecting changes of duties in a timely manner. Retroactive actions can seriously affect exemption status (FLSA), bargaining unit membership and pay issues.

Non-Exempt to Exempt Reclasses:
Upon reclassification from a non-exempt to an exempt position, all compensatory time balances must be cleared out within 30 days of the effective date of the action.

* This time frame may either be shortened or lengthened depending on variables such as workload, staffing, and special projects.

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All salary changes tied to reclassification actions are governed by the general rule that resultant pay upon reclassification must be within the range of the classification level to which the employee has been newly assigned. In recommending the reclassification amount, managers should consider various criteria including, but not limited to:

  1. internal equity
  2. external market equity
  3. position in range (relationship to range minimum and midpoint)
  4. complexity and scope of new duties
  5. strength of classification
  6. time since last increase

Additionally, individual increases or decreases may vary among employees depending on the personnel policies or collective bargaining unit agreements that cover their appointment. Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements must refer to the agreement to determine appropriate salary changes. Overall, the compensation analyst works closely with managers and supervisors to assist them in determining the most appropriate salary increase per individual.

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When submitting a reclassification request through Job Builder, UCSB’s job description management system, at times it is helpful for the employee to complete a reclassification questionnaire as part of the reclassification documentation. Please consult with your Compensation Analyst so see if a questionnaire should be submitted.  Links to the various questionnaires can be found, below, as well as in the "Forms" section of the HR website. The Supervisor would download the questionnaire, give to the employee being considered for reclassification to complete and later upload to the "Attachments" section of the "Action Justification" tab of the online request.

Questionnaires in the Analyst job series:
Business Officer (MSO) Questionnaire
Contract and Grant Officer Questionnaire
Analyst Questionnaire

Questionnaires in the Student Affairs Officer (SAO) job series:

Student Affairs Officer Questionnaire

Undergraduate Advisor Supplemental Questionnaire
Graduate Advisor Supplemental Questionnaire

Questionnaires in the Computer and Network Technologist (CNT) job series:

CNT Software Professionals Questionnaire
CNT Systems and Network Administrators Questionnaire

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