Establish or review a role’s classification level (JEMS)

Establish or review a role's classification level using the Queensland Shared Services (QSS) Job Evaluation Management System (JEMS).

JEMS is a methodology that facilitates unbiased, consistent, and systematic classification of roles across a wide range of occupational groups (e.g. administration, technical, professional) within the Queensland Government.

Trained evaluators use this methodology to determine a role's work value score. This score is then used to give an appropriate classification level for the role within its occupational group.

Who can do this

If you're unsure whether your agency uses this service or if JEMS is appropriate for your situation, refer to your agency’s policies and guidelines. Find this information on your intranet or check with your HR team. Your HR team may need to approve your request before you submit it to QSS.

When you should do this

You should request an evaluation if it's:

  • a new permanent or long-term temporary role
  • an existing role that has changed significantly in focus or responsibilities
  • an existing role with duties and responsibilities added or removed
  • an existing role combined with another role to form a new role
  • a role affected by a restructure within an organisational unit.

What you need

To establish or review a role's classification level, you must provide an approved, current role description (also referred to as a position or job description).

This description must be attached to the Job evaluation request; your form will not be processed without a role description.

In addition to the role description, you may also need:

  • a supervisor evaluation ID number or evaluation profile (if known)
  • a QSS JEMS ID number (if benchmarking)
  • your cost centre number
  • the financial responsibilities of the position (including budget amounts)
  • approval from your agency's authorised delegate
  • a VADER reference number (Queensland Health positions only).

Using the right terminology

It can be difficult to select the right language to define objectives and accountabilities. For example, does the position assist, lead, supervise, manage, or oversee others?

  • Assist: to lend aid; to help; to give support to.
  • Lead: to guide or direct on a course in the direction of; to channel; to direct the operations of.
  • Manage: to handle; control; to be in charge; to succeed in accomplishing.
  • Oversee: to take charge of.
  • Supervise: to oversee for direction; to inspect with authority; to guide an instruct with immediate responsibility for purpose of performance; to superintend; lead.

Use our glossary of terms and definitions for help.

Proposing a classification

You do not have to propose a classification. You can leave this for the QSS JEMS team to determine.

If you do want to propose a classification level, consider the classification generic level statements, and ensure they align with your role and the classification you intend to propose.

If you do propose a classification, and our initial evaluation is not meeting your proposal, we’ll contact you and give you an opportunity to revise the proposal or amend the information provided.

Generic level statements

Generic level statements provide guidance on the work level description, characteristics of the work, duties and skills for each classification level in the administration and operational stream, as well as employees engaged in the Aircrew stream, Agriculture and Fisheries in the Forestry stream and in the Hospitality stream.

Refer to these statements for help determining your role’s proposed classification level.

Find these under Schedule 1 - Generic Level Statements in the General Employees (Queensland Government Departments) and other Employees Award - State 2015.

Example: Administrative office, level 3 (AO3)

Work at this level usually requires relevant experience combined with a broad knowledge of the agency's functions and activities, and a sound knowledge of the major activities performed within the work area. The work may include preparing preliminary reports, papers and correspondence which usually relate to a specific organisational function or discipline, providing or interpreting information for clients or other interested parties and general administrative support to senior officers.

Supervisory responsibilities may involve some complex operational work and may involve assisting with, or reviewing the work undertaken by, subordinates or team members.

Scope exists for exercising initiative in the application of established work practices and procedures although this level may require expertise to resolve issues within a day-to-day environment for which there may not be clearly established procedures.

Effective judgement and work organisation skills are required which have been acquired through previous experience, demonstrated capacity or post-secondary education or partial completion of same.

The online form will allow you to save your progress as you go, however, if you’re completing a desktop evaluation, there are some long form questions it’s best to prepare your answers for in advance.

What is the position’s primary purpose in your organisation?

Describe the purpose of the position. What the position does and why. Begin each statement with an action verb (for example, advise, coordinate, deliver). Use what is written in the position description as a starting point.

What work is performed by this position and how often?

How often is the work performed? For example, always, often, sometimes, rarely, never.

What are the financial responsibilities of the position (including budget amounts if applicable)?

These are:

  • direct—accountable for a measurable monetary impact
  • indirect—enables others who are accountable for a measurable monetary impact
  • none.

If the position is either directly or indirectly responsible for financial resources within the current financial year, be prepared to provide details of what resources the position will be responsible for (e.g. operating costs, employee salaries, capital, assets, projects). This includes the dollar amounts (exact or to the best of your estimation based on current budget) for each financial resource impacted by the position.

What decisions will this position need to make?

The position may make decisions or recommendations on tasks, processes, procedures, advice. For example, the manager will set timeframes or negotiate extension of timeframes. Statutory timeframes cannot be shifted. The manager will be responsible for determining how timeframes can be met and then directing the position accordingly. 

What will the position need to influence or contribute to?

Think about what it may influence (i.e. the nature or scope of its own work, the work or decisions of others or the direction of the unit or agency).

What decisions will the position need to escalate to a higher manager?

For example, the position is expected to inform its supervisor if timeframes are unable to be met.

What type of activities is the position required to interpret, analyse and provide advice on?

To what degree and frequency is this position expected to analyse and interpret trends or circumstances (e.g. legislation, trends, data analysis)?

How much is the position influenced or constrained by frameworks, policies, guidelines, structures, and the extent of direction provided?

For example, will they be required to read papers or reports, transcripts of hearings, interpret and provide advice on matters relating to the program and broader reform agenda, or interpret if an issue is likely to be a matter of priority?

What problem solving activities are required for the position?

Is the position expected to manage complexities? Describe these complexities and their degree of difficulty. Is this position expected to resolve issues or solve problems (e.g. is it required to interpret information and analyse situations, and provide recommendations to best achieve outcomes)? Provide examples.

Describe the challenging aspects of the position and why it is challenging.

What makes this position challenging in the organisational context, not what is challenging for the incumbent, and how does it manage these challenges?

These may be short or long term and must be related to the position (not the person).

Challenges may involve client demands, changes to legislation, new procedures, technology, developing new approaches, variations in workload etc. For example, needing to maintain technical expertise; geographical spread of program or service delivery or staff.

What knowledge is required for the position?

List as many knowledge types as required. For each one, you must provide 3 parts to your answer:

  • Knowledge required (e.g. 'Understand complex contract management’).
  • Level needed for this knowledge (e.g. very  high, high, or basic understanding).
  • Reason this knowledge is required (e.g. 'To provide accurate and contemporary contract advice to a business area or senior management').

What skills are required for this position?

List as many skills as required. For each one, you must provide 3 parts to your answer:

  • Skill required (e.g. 'The ability to work independently within a team environment')
  • Level needed for this skill (e.g. Extensive or Qualification)
  • Reason this skill is required (e.g. to be entrusted to complete tasks independently and report back to their team).

What experience is required for this position?

List as much experience as required. For each one, you must provide 3 parts to your answer:

  • Experience required (e.g. 'Experience managing staff in a call centre environment')
  • Level needed for this experience (e.g. Extensive or Proven)
  • Reason   this experience is required (e.g. 'To effectively manage a team, meet KPIs and service level expectations').

What interpersonal and communication skills are required for this position?

What communication, influence, support, persuasion, care, counselling, motivation, negotiation, coaching, mentoring, managing and problem-solving skills are required?

What internal and external skills are required when interacting with clients, suppliers, customers, general public, non-English speaking people or culturally diverse groups? For example, superior written skills to prepare a range of ministerial and other correspondence which communicates technical and complex issues effectively.

Determine which type of evaluation you need

When you submit a job evaluation request, you’ll be asked to select one of four options:

  • Desktop evaluation—Provide the required   position information.
  • Interview evaluation—Provide interviewee contact details   for us to use to obtain the required position information.
  • Benchmark evaluation—Provide the JEMS ID or   position details of a similar role in your organisation that we previously   evaluated.

Once you’ve determined the option that suits your situation, visit the QSS Self Service Centre to complete the form.

Refer to the Submit a job evaluation request work instruction (government log-in required) for guidance on how to use the online form and its functions.

QSS Self Service Centre

Use the online form to submit your request.

Log in to complete the form

How we evaluate a position

How we evaluate a position is determined by what evaluation type you selected.

Desktop evaluation

We’ll evaluate the position based on the documents you have provided. We may need to liaise with the nominated contact person to clarify information or request additional information to accurately evaluate the position.

Interview evaluation

We'll contact the nominated interviewees to arrange a time to speak. We’ll advise them how to prepare and usually allocate 1 hour for each interview.

We'll ask questions about the knowledge, judgement and accountability required of the position.

The supervisor of the role is usually the best person to complete the interview. This ensures accountabilities and responsibilities within the hierarchal structure are appropriate.

Benchmark evaluation

We’ll compare the role against a similar position we’ve previously evaluated. If you’re using a position from another agency, get their permission first.

If we conclude that benchmarking is suitable, we’ll assign the role the same classification level. You won’t need to request a formal evaluation. We’ll confirm the classification based on the benchmarking comparison.

What we use to evaluate a position

JEMS use a points-factor system that examines eight sub-factors shown by empirical research to be common across all roles. The sub-factors used to evaluate a position are grouped together into three broad factors: expertise, judgement and accountability.

The combination of the work value points aligns to a classification level within the Queensland Public Sector classification framework.


The required inputs—the knowledge, skills and experience needed to perform the role:

  • Knowledge
  • Diversity
  • Interpersonal skills.


The complexity of the role's requirements—the organisation's environment and the application of expertise in planning, managing and solving problems:

  • Judgement
  • Reasoning.


The outputs of the role—the scope and impact, influence, responsibility and authority of the position:

  • Independence and influence
  • Scope
  • Authority/responsibility.

Supervisor work value

We also use the supervisors work value profile to evaluate the position and consider the impacts on subordinate positions. If we are not able to obtain the supervisors profile for the proposed role, we use a similar profile as a guide. The supervisor profile can limit the level that the subordinate position can be evaluated at when determining its work value score.

Consideration of a supervisor’s profile ensures the relevant accountabilities and responsibilities within the hierarchy are appropriate to each level.

Provided we have all the information required, we'll send the work value assessment report with a classification level and our reasoning within the following timeframes:

  • Desktop evaluation—10 working days after submission.
  • Interview evaluation—10 working days after the last interview.
  • Benchmark evaluation—10 working days, however we aim to complete benchmark requests prior to the SLA due date.

What to do when you receive the report

Once you receive the report, contact your agency's HR team. They'll advise the appropriate action you need to take. You may need to:

For help and more information,  contact us.

Frequently asked questions

Can you evaluate a position using just a position description?

No. The position description provides a high-level overview of the requirements of a position. Using only the position description would not be enough to fully understand what the role actually does, as well as how, why, where, when the role is needed to meet your unit’s or agency’s objectives. Only a completed Job evaluation request or an interview can give us the comprehensive information on all the methodology factors we need to recommend an appropriate work value.

Is the incumbent’s performance taken into consideration when determining work value?

No. Our evaluation focuses on the position itself and its relationship with other positions. It does not measure, evaluate or consider the performance of the incumbent.

When completing your Job evaluation request form or preparing for an interview, keep in mind the full scope of the position’s duties and responsibilities, its required inputs and expected outputs or outcomes. For example, what the position does, as well as how, why, when and where the position is needed to meet your unit’s and agency’s objectives. Consider the position as it really is, not as it may have been in the past or could be in the distant future, and not as the incumbent’s capabilities.

Can a position have a qualification as essential or mandatory?

Only positions in the professional or technical streams include qualifications as an essential requirement in a position description. For administrative positions, qualifications should be referred to as being ‘highly desirable’ for the role.

What is the difference between a mandatory qualification and a mandatory condition?

In accordance with the Directive 07/23: Recruitment and selection (the directive):

  • Mandatory conditions are inherent requirements of the role and can include certain classes of drivers’ license, statutory restrictions, any requirement for the appointee to undertake regular travel etc.
  • Mandatory qualification means a qualification that is essential for the occupant of a role to hold in order to comply with an industrial instrument or to satisfy legal, accreditation or registration requirements, or, where a chief executive determination has been made.

It’s important to be precise if you include a condition or qualification to ensure positions are appropriately evaluated in the correct stream.