What is job evaluation?

The NHS Job Evaluation Scheme (JES) underpins the Agenda for Change pay structure, it ensures equal pay for work of equal value. It is a way of ranking jobs by knowledge and skills, responsibility and effort. Every job description that is created for Agenda for Change staff must go through a process of either job matching or job evaluation. 

The majority of jobs will be matched to a nationally evaluated job profile, the job matching process assigns a pay band to a job. Where a job cannot be matched to a profile local evaluation will need to be carried out.  

Both job matching and job evaluation should be done in partnership by a panel of employer and staff side representatives employed in the NHS Trust/Health Board. Panel members must have been trained in the NHS Job Evaluation Scheme (JES). 

The RCM is a member of the NHS Staff Council's national Job Evaluation Group (JEG). This group is responsible for keeping the JES up to date. It includes the development of new job profiles, updating existing job profiles, ensuring that trainers and the nationally approved training courses are up to date and maintaining advice and information on the implementation of the scheme. The group has produced lots of resources that you can access here 

Why is job evaluation important and who benefits?

Good job evaluation practice means: 

  • Staff are treated fairly and equitably
  • Pay discrimination is removed
  • Positive partnership working between trade unions and employers

Which leads to

  • Better staff engagement and ultimately better patient care

In 2019 the RCM conducted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to NHS trusts and health boards across the UK after we were made aware over a number of years by our maternity support worker (MSW) members that they felt they were inappropriately pay banded and performing inappropriate tasks.

We asked trusts and health boards to send us job descriptions and the accompanying job matching information for MSWs in order to establish whether each job description had been through the job matching process and to examine what roles and responsibilities feature on MSW job descriptions.

We also reviewed a random sample of the band 2 job descriptions, they included tasks like feeding new-borns through their nose, observations on women such as temperature, blood pressure and pulse and observations on new-born babies. These tasks require a level three qualification or equivalent in order to be carried out safely by MSWs but this is often not a requirement in the job descriptions or person specifications.

The evidence we received showed just why job evaluation is so important.

The RCM Job Evaluation toolkit

The RCM Job Evaluation toolkit is a resource for RCM members, activists and branches. It contains the information you need to help you understand the Job evaluation process and identify and challenge inappropriate banding.

Download the RCM Job Evaluation toolkit 
Read the MSW pay banding and job evaluation blog