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Preparing for a Desk Audit

Desk audits will occur between the employee, the classification specialist, and the responsible division/department manager. The desk audit is an opportunity for the employee to describe the responsibilities of his/her position and provide illustrative examples. The classification specialist will also have a meeting with the employee’s supervisor to discuss the employee’s job duties. The following are tips for employees and supervisors to prepare for the meeting with the classification specialist.

Employee

  • Schedule the desk audit at a location where you will not be interrupted.
  • Be able to address reporting relationships, the level of independence with which you work, the decision-making authority you are assigned, and the extent of supervision you exercise over others, if applicable.
  • Be able to talk about the background that prompted the reclassification request and prepare to focus on the significant changes in responsibilities between the old and the new job descriptions.
  • Be able to discuss all the functional areas within your job including specific examples that best illustrate each area of responsibility. Provide samples of your work, if appropriate.
  • Provide examples of the types of problems for which you have authority to make decisions or recommendations, including what the result and/or impact of these decisions are. In describing the scope of your authority, reflect on both the positive and negative impacts that can result.
  • Discuss facets of your position that require originality, innovation or creativity.
  • Discuss resources you use or must be well informed about in order to do your job (e.g., policy manuals, procedural manuals, regulations, etc.).
  • After outlining the examples you plan to use during your desk audit, step back and try to look at them objectively or as an outsider would (just as the classification specialist will be doing). Have you represented and emphasized your job fairly, appropriately, realistically, and adequately?
  • Keep in mind, the classification specialist will be assessing: 1) the nature of the work (kind of work); 2) the variety (scope and range); and, 3) the difficulty of the work (judgment, skill, and knowledge).

Supervisor

  • The classification specialist will meet with you or contact you by phone to discuss and confirm the duties and responsibilities that were discussed with the employee. You will be asked to clarify and confirm points made in the employee's desk audit.
  • The responsible division/department administrator is directly accountable for the appropriate assignment of job duties to various classifications on staff.
  • Be prepared to discuss the circumstances that has led to the classification review, especially changes in the organizational structure of the unit and/or new responsibilities that you have assigned to the employee, and why. Be prepared to provide an updated org chart that would represent the look of the department if the reclassification is approved.
  • An important area to discuss will be the amount of supervision exercised over the position being reviewed: what is the level of review over the employee's work? What issues does the employee make decisions on versus what are they expected to bring to their supervisor? Be prepared to discuss the supervisor's role in relation to particular examples the employee has provided in the desk audit.
  • The classification specialist may ask about comparable positions, both within your area of responsibility as well as any you may be familiar with that are outside of your unit/department. The classification specialist will want to know how you compare the level of responsibility between those positions and the position under review.
  • Remember: The classification specialist classifies the position, not the person. The duties, level of responsibility, and skills and knowledge required of the position to render a classification decision will be analyzed. Personal attributes (e.g., the employee's value, performance, longevity, reliability) are not part of the classification review process and decision.

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