Number: III.2
Date Issued: Nov. 15, 1990
Date Revised: July 11, 1994
September 26, 1994


To define the Classification methods and practices used by Santa Cruz County.


Civil Service Rules 130.III - Classification

County Code Chapter 4.10 Classification


Position Classification in the Public Service - Ismar Baruch

Civil Service Assembly (Chicago, 1942)

San Bernardino County Physical Abilities Job Analysis


    The Santa Cruz County basis for classification is contained in the Civil Service Rules Section 130.III.B. - Basis for Classification of Positions: "All positions having substantially the same duties and responsibilities, requiring substantially the same qualifications, to which the same descriptive title can be fairly be applied and which can properly be subject to the same salary schedule, shall be included in a single class."


    1. Purpose - A classification plan must satisfy certain objectives to be of significant value to management.
      1. To define the boundaries of the respective classes; to differentiate them so as to distinguish each class from each other class not only in terms of general character of the kind of work, but also in terms of difficulty and responsibility of work and qualifications.
      2. To serve as a guide for all concerned in the allocation of individual positions.
      3. To define and standardize the various class titles, which are to have the meaning, and only that meaning, given to them by the class specifications; to serve collectively as a dictionary of class titles.
      4. To serve as a accurate, currently maintained, written record identifying the basic characteristics of any class for purposes of compensation, selection and job performance.
      5. To relate classes in occupational groupings and logically progressive series which communicate the path of promotion.
      6. To make possible equal pay for equal work and the same pay for similar duties regardless of where performed. (Note: This review is conducted by the Employee Relations/Salary Administration Division of Personnel.)

    2. Elements of the Classification Plan
      1. Job analysis methodology for the collection of detailed facts with regard to:
        1. the duties of each position
        2. its place in the organization unit
        3. the functions, organization, and administrative procedure of organization units.
      2. Job analysis methodology for grouping of individual positions into classes of like positions so that they have the same qualifications, can use the same pre-employment testing components and have the same compensation schedule.
      3. A written description - "class specification" - for each class stating duties, responsibilities, degree of supervision, distinguishing characteristics, minimum qualifications, and employment standards.
      4. A title for each class suggestive of the duties.
      5. An indication of the lines of promotion through description of distinguishing characteristics and presentation of promotion paths through career ladders and lattices (Internal Relations Chart). 
      6. Compensation definitions through linkages to salary schedules and benefit groups.


    3. Classification Concepts:
      1. A class is a grouping of positions:


        1. that are sufficiently similar in respect to duties and responsibilities that the same descriptive title can be used.
        2. that demand substantially the same requirements as to knowledge and ability.
        3. where substantially the same tests of fitness can be used in choosing qualified appointees.
        4. where the same schedule of compensation can be equitably applied.


      2. A series is a grouping of classes:


        1. that are sufficiently similar in respect to the nature of duties performed
        2. where duties are performed at varying levels of responsibility
        3. under varying degrees of supervision 
        4. and where promotional patterns are addressed through identification of alternate staffing definitions.


      3. An occupation group is a grouping of classes and series of classes:


        1. that are sufficiently similar in respect to a broad definition of the same kind of work e.g. engineering, clerical; and 
        2. that require similar types of training; 
        3. that require similar types of experience; and 
        4. that can be compared for salary considerations.
        5. Classification Allocation Factors:

          Basic elements of duties and responsibilities are made up of an INTERRELATIONSHIP of the following:


          1. Job focus


            1. Subject matter
            2. Function
            3. Profession
            4. Occupation

          2. Difficulty and complexity of duties should be reviewed on the following:


            1. Status of work when presented to employee considering the operations in the flow of work:


              1. before it reaches the position
              2. at the position
              3. after it has left the position


            2. Selection of assignments for the employee


            1. Procedures followed, processes performed, plans or actions initiated or developed or decisions made by the employee 
            2. Control of employee's work by others
            3. Variety and scope of work


              1. The degree of difficulty represented in each task or problem considered individually and collectively.
              2. The frequency of occurrence of the several types of tasks or problems.
              3. The distinctiveness of each task or problem, and the consequent total scope of the duties and the qualifications required to perform them.


            4. Specialized training or certification required to perform the duties.


          3. Non-supervisory responsibilities


            1. Reviewing work of others
            2. Independence of action or decision
            3. Recommendations affecting plans or policies
            4. Responsibility for safety of others
            5. Custody of money
            6. Responsibility for accuracy
            7. Responsibility for public contact


          4. Supervisory and administrative responsibilities considering the structure of the responsibility as it relates to:

            Flow of work
            "Housekeeping" management
            Work methods


            1. Number and types of supervisory actions
            2. Extent to which the initiative and judgment of  those supervised are limited and the results of  their work passed on 
            3. Size of the organization supervised
            4. Importance and variety of functions and the complexity of the organization supervised 


          5. Qualification standards of the position considering the difficulty of the separate tasks and the wideness of the field covered by the separate tasks. 


            1. Knowledges required to perform the tasks and the type of experience and formal or other training necessary to attain reasonable efficiency or to directly acquire a particular ability.
            2. Abilities required to perform the tasks and the type of experience and formal or other training necessary to attain reasonable efficiency.
            3. Relative scarcity of basic traits and aptitudes necessary for acquiring a particular skill
            4. Possibilities of errors and the seriousness of the consequences of errors
            5. Additional factors


              1. Mixed positions
              2. Temporary work assignments
              3. Cyclic and non-cyclic mixed positions


    1. Santa Cruz County uses three forms of job analysis for the purposes of classification. Each has a separate function that al-lows for specific results.


      1. Position Classification Method


        1. Defined:

          This is a comparative analysis method where a position to be classified is compared with positions already classified for the purpose of determining differences as well as similarities.


        1. Purposes:


          1. To insure for the position the same classification as that of like positions, previously classified, whether in the same or in other departments.
          2. To determine the interpretation of general terms employed in class specifications, such as "relatively small" or "relatively large"; "moderately difficult," or "unusually difficult"; etc.
          3. To get the benefit of appropriate illustrations, when class specifications do not include specific descriptions or illustrations of the line or level of work of the position to be classified.
          4. To ascertain gradations in difficulty and responsibility among existing positions and thus check the boundaries between classes and establish lines of measurement for the position to be classified.
          5. To ascertain relationships when positions of different duties and responsibilities are interrelated because of flow of work or organization structure.
          6. To determine, in the position concerned, the supervision exercised over others and the supervision received from above.
          7. To determine from a study of other positions within the organization unit, the independence of action with which the employee works, when such independence of action is presented as an important factor.
          8. To evaluate the effect of any elements additional to the main duties of the position, or to evaluate the duties of a position when they are so varied as to require the evaluation of tasks in several different lines of work.
        2. Methods of data collection


          1. Review of existing class specifications
          2. Desk audit
          3. Group interview
          4. Direct observation
          5. Position description forms
          6. Questionnaires
          7. Supervisor interview
          8. Review of other like positions
          9. Review of classes in like organizations


        3. Results:


          1. Allocation of position to existing classification
          2. Development of new classification and class specification


      2. Task Based Job Analysis Method


        1. Defined:

          This is a comparative analysis method where a task listing is analyzed to determine the linkages between tasks and the corresponding knowledges and abilities required to perform the tasks.
        2. Purposes:


          1. To identify relevant knowledges and abilities that are required to perform the duties and responsibility of the job.
          2. To document those knowledges and abilities for the purpose of test development.


        3. Methods of data collection


          1. Task inventory completed by Subject Matter Experts including incumbents, supervisors and analysts.


        4. Results:


          1. Listings of  knowledges and abilities along with ratings on relative importance and frequencies.


      3. Medical Standards Job Analysis Method


        1. Defined:  

          This is a job analysis method where a task listing is developed, rated and analyzed to determine the physical job demands of the position/class.
        2. Purposes:


          1. To identify relevant physical demands of a position/class to determine the physical ability requirements to perform the duties and responsibilities.

          2. To document those physical demands for the purpose of the pre-employment medical exam.


        3. Methods of data collection Anchored scale task inventory completed by Subject Matter Experts including incumbents, supervisors and analysts.
        4. Results:
          Profile of physical demands for 21 body systems.

See Personnel Procedure "Classification Procedures"