administrative-assistant

Administrative, Library and Computing

The Six Grade Structure

In 1986 the grading structure for professional academic related staff employed in pre 1992 universities in the United Kingdom was reviewed to create 6 grades (of which only 4 can be described as discrete). Grades 1-5 were on nationally negotiated spines (ranging in 2005 from £20k to £45k) constructed to equate to academic salaries with equivalent professional responsibilities, whilst grade 6 provided for spot salaries above the national spines for the most senior staff. Grade 1 was the entry grade to grade 2 for most staff and progression was normally automatic from grade 1 to grade 2. Grade 4 was not a discrete grade, as it overlapped grades 3 and 5: it merely started 3 increments into grade 3 but allowed automatic progression through the discretionary increments of grade 3 beyond the non discretionary maximum, where as grade 3 staff hit the normal bar. Grade 4 was only used for staff who did not meet the criteria to be promoted from discrete grade 3 to 5 and in effect allowed grade 3 staff the automatic right of progression through the discretionary incremental range of the grade. In many institutions, grade 2 was the substantive grade for academic related staff but in others grade 3 was the main professional grade.

There were 2 grading families under which professional non-academic staff could be employed, 'ALC' (Admin, Library and Computer) or 'OR' (Other related staff, covering staff which did not fit into the former category).

In certain institutions, titles were afforded to staff employed on each grade and the titles generally followed a pattern according to responsibility or seniority. Titles afforded to staff employed to undertake administrative, library or computing duties are exampled below. Role titles for other related staff were generally less well defined.

Generic Grade Titles

Administrative Titles

Administrative Assistant (ALC1), Senior Administrative Assistant (ALC2), Assistant Registrar (ALC3), Senior Assistant Registrar (ALC4),* Principal Assistant Registrar (ALC5),* Director (ALC6), Academic Registrar, University Secretary and ultimately, Registrar (the chief administrative officer).

(*note that some institutions did not distinguish between staff employed on grade 3 or 4 and in such cases staff on ALC4 remained Assistant Registrars whilst staff employed on ALC5 were Senior Assistant Registrars).

Computer Staff Titles

Computer Officer (ALC1), Senior Computer Officer (ALC2), Principal Computer Officer (ALC3), Senior Principal Computer Officer (ALC4), Chief Computer Officer (ALC5), Director (ALC6)

Library Staff Titles

Library Assistant (ALC1), Senior Library Assistant (ALC2), Assistant Librarian (ALC3), Senior Assistant Librarian (ALC4), Sub Librarian (ALC5), Librarian (ALC6)

(*note that some institutions did not distinguish between staff employed on grade 3 or 4 and in such cases staff on ALC4 remained Principal Assistant Librarians, or were denoted as Sub Librarians, whilst staff employed on ALC5 were respectively Senior Principal Assistant Librarians, or Sub Librarians).

The new grading structure

Between 2003 and 2006, Universities implemented a new 51 point pay spine under the framework agreement and many institutions now have either 9 or 10 grade structures, the upper 4/5 grades of which are broadly equivalent to the previous ALC/OR grades. The lower 4/5 grades broadly replace the previous 6 grade clerical related structure for clerical and secretarial staff employed in pre 1992 institutions (graded CR1-CR6).

It should be noted that in some institutions, clerical staff were also afforded interesting and oft sounding archaic titles. At the University of Leicester, staff employed on clerical grades were titled according to their grade and the titles were as follows; Clerk (CR1), Senior Clerk (CR2), Principal Clerk (CR3), Chief Clerk (CR4), Executive Clerk (CR5), Senior Executive Clerk (CR6). This contradicts the pattern of the clerical titles used at Bradford, where Principal Clerks (CR4 or CR5) were deemed superior to Chief Clerks (CR3) The future of such hierarchy remains unclear under the new pay and grading structure adopted by many institutions, especially as staff formerly known as clerical staff undertake an increasing number of administrative tasks.

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