Process & requirements

PSC has engaged Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd, an internationally recognised company, to assess the classification of SES jobs. This is expected to lead to the following benefits for agencies –

  • Increasing the objectivity, transparency and consistency of classification assessments; and
  • Simplifying and streamlining the process.

The proposal to outsource executive classifications is also expected to reduce direct and indirect costs for agencies, as there will no longer be a need to independently engage consultants to prepare classification requests. Rather, classification requests received from agencies will be referred by PSC to Mercer, which will undertake the classification and work value assessments for executive positions within the WA public service. This may include the creation of new positions, reclassification requests for existing positions and temporary special allowances (TSA).

The cost of engaging Mercer will be recouped from agencies, however, it is expected that there will no longer be a need for agencies to independently engage consultants to prepare classification reports. Rather, classification requests received from agencies will be referred by PSC to Mercer who will undertake the classification and work value assessments for executive positions within the WA public sector.

The cost incurred by agencies is expected to be less than is currently incurred in the preparation of classification reports due to the economies of scale achieved under the DPC contract. It should also be noted that the information to be provided by agencies is less onerous.

The overall process and criteria for assessing positions will be the same for each proposal (TSA, classification or reclassification). The steps of the assessment process are as follows:

Step 1: Quality standards and processes

Responsibility for ensuring that the processes are clear, unambiguous and stream-lined rests with the PSC. In this respect the PSC will:

  • develop the framework and processes;
  • promulgate them across the Public Sector; and
  • consult with, and provide advice to, agencies.

Agencies have a responsibility to understand the framework and processes.

Step 2: Agency request

Agencies will be required to submit a request for classification review by following the checklist provided, which will ensure that the documentation is complete and the request expedited.

Agencies are encouraged to discuss proposals with the PSC before they are submitted to assist in ensuring that all relevant issues are covered. It is also suggested that all proposals be submitted through an agencies HR Division or Branch to ensure an appropriate level of quality control.

In preparing the proposal, agencies should provide the following information for each position:

  • a copy of the proposed JDF, and in the case of a request for reclassification, the existing JDF
  • a summary of the work value considerations; and in the case of a reclassification or TSA a summary of the significant changes to the work value
  • an indication of the proposed classification level of the position
  • comparison of the position with other positions of similar work value, including copies of JDF’s (both internal and similar external relativities should be considered and compared)
  • a copy of the agency organisation chart, including reporting structure (current and proposed) and details of the reporting relationship of the position
  • budget details for the agency and position under review (Operating and Capital Expenditure, including salaries)
  • FTE details of agency and position under review
  • the impact on other positions within the agency and potential for flow-ons
  • where a proposed restructure involves several positions, the impact on the SES classification profile of the agency
  • a copy of the agency Strategic Plan or Annual Report (or website links)
  • a completed Executive Classification Cover Sheet (attachment 1 of the Framework Attachments)
  • a completed Executive Classification Checklist (attachment 2 of the Framework Attachments).

In most cases, either the current position holder of the subject position and/or the position’s Manager will be interviewed by a Mercer consultant. A guide to the areas typically covered during the interview is included in attachment 3 of the Framework Attachments.

Agencies will not be required to apply a classification tool.

Step 3: PSC validation and referral to consultant

On receipt of the proposal the PSC will acknowledge receipt of the proposal.

However, if the documentation is not complete, the PSC will return the proposal to the agency,
indicating the areas where additional information is required.

Upon being satisfied that all necessary information has been received, the PSC will refer the proposal to Mercer for assessment. The PSC will also:

  • determine if there are any other relativities that should be considered for the position concerned; and
  • identify any issues of concern regarding the agency's recommendation.

Step 4: Mercer Assessment

Mercer will:

  • review submissions and any available historical and/or contextual information
  • obtain any additional relevant information from
    • agency CEO or nominated representative
    • current position holder and/or supervisor (if required).
  • consult with the PSC or SAT (as required) regarding:
    • comparisons
    • flow-ons and implications for public sector
    • any other factors
  • conduct a work value assessment using the Mercer CED evaluation tool
  • undertake peer review/moderation of each work value assessment
  • complete the assessment report and recommendations and refer to the PSC for consideration.

Step 5: PSC decision and advice

Whilst assessment advice will be sought, the PSC will continue to make the final decision regarding the determination and in this regard may take into account factors that are additional to the assessment report.

The PSC will consider the recommendation, taking into account:

  • the agency's submission; and
  • the assessment and recommendation of Mercer.

The PSC will notify the agency of the decision and provide reasons in the event that the requested level of classification is not supported.

If the changed classification requires the approval of the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal, the PSC will make their recommendation to the Tribunal and advise the agency of the outcome when known.

With the exception of positions covered by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal, the PSC will endeavour to respond to agencies proposals within six weeks of receipt of full and complete documentation.

At the time of advising the agency of the decision, the PSC will also invoice the agency for the external assessment. If an agency fails to pay the invoice amount, future requests for classification assessments will not be processed by the PSC.

Repeated Requests

Where a classification request was not supported by the PSC within six months of this document coming into effect, a subsequent request for the same position should not be made within 12 months after the date of the decision, unless the proposed request is sufficiently different from the request that was not supported.

Furthermore, given the clarification of the requirements in this Framework, requests for reclassification are not to be repeatedly presented if rejected. It is inappropriate, given the thoroughness of this process, that a request for the reclassification of the same position should be re-presented frequently unless significant and demonstrable change has occurred in the agency that directly impacts on the classification of the position.

Advertising and Filling Positions

Chief executive officers are required to have approval from the Commissioner prior to  advertising and filling any senior executive officer position. This includes all reappointments, and proposals to transfer or second senior executives within the public sector.

If you will be seeking to advertise and fill the position under review, please indicate your intention on the Executive Classification Cover Sheet.


Page last updated 28 September 2012