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Role Grading in Trinity

What is Role Grading?

The Role Grading process provides a structured approach to the grading of roles in Professional, Administrative, Library and Technical job categories. The process assists the University in ensuring a clear and consistent hierarchy of jobs and internal relativity within the University’s grading structure

Why does the University need Role Grading?

Most roles within Trinity are at the correct grade. Roles do not always remain static and changes to the range, complexity and level of duties, accountabilities and responsibilities may necessitate a review of the grade of the post.  The growth of roles should be management-led and may occur as a result of planned job development or organisational structural change.

Key points about Role Grading

  • Role Grading reviews the post and not the person.

  • Role Grading is not about personal performance in a role. That is performance management. Performance management is separate to the Role Grading process.

  • Role Grading reviews the job as it exists now, not in the past and not what it might be in the future. It is based on the needs of the organisation and what is required to be delivered by that role at this time.

  • Role Grading is not a personal promotion. The outcome of Role Grading is not a reflection of the performance of the person, their manager, their unit/department.

  • Role Grading is a mechanism whereby the university can review the size of an existing job to ensure that it is graded appropriately within the University's organisation structure.

Potential effects of Role Grading

Lower: If the post is graded at a lower grade than the staff member is currently at, then there is no change for the post-holder. If the post is vacated by the post-holder at a future date, the post may be filled at the lower grade.

Same: If the post is graded at the same grade as the post-holder, there is no change.

Higher: If the post is graded at a higher grade, the post and post-holder are re-graded.

When is this happening and how will I find out about it?

Before the University can implement Role Grading, we need to complete preparatory work through a Role Grading Project.

The Project will run from June until the end of December 2021 (envisaged completion date).

Once the Project has delivered a benchmarking framework, the Role Grading Commmittee will begin implementation from early 2022 (envisaged start date) on a pilot basis.

When the pilot process is ready to go live, information sessions will be held with staff and managers as well as communication via email, through our website and supporting documents.

Role Grading infographic

Role Grading Project

Currently, Trinity is working on a Role Grading Project with the overall objective of developing a Role Grading framework to ensure all posts in the University are correctly graded – i.e. posts are on the right grade based on the nature of the role.

The Role Grading Project will concentrate on preparing a framework of core roles against which other roles may be benchmarked.

The Project will run from June 2021 to the end of December 2021.

Membership of the Project Working Group includes external consultant expertise from Korn Ferry as well as input from HR and the wider University community.

It is important to note that there will be no change to any grade for any person as a result of the project phase. All information gathered is purely for the purposes of establishing a Role Grading framework.

Who is involved in the Project?

Role Grading Project Steering Group (for duration of project):

The Steering Group will oversee the project, ensuring it meets its objectives. The Steering Group comprises the Director of HR (Sponsor), Chief Operating Officer (Chair), with colleagues from HR, ASD and Schools.

Role Grading Project Working Group (for duration of project):

The Working Group report into the Steering Group. The Working Group comprises staff from HR, union representatives, and two administrative officers from Faculties. The Working Group are involved in selecting the sample roles to be graded (approx. 100 roles). Members trained in role grading methodology are involved in the grading exercise.


Updates on progress from the Project Working Group will be made available to the Project Steering Group as the work progresses.

The website will be updated when the Role Grading Policy and pilot implementation process go live in the University.

Role Grading Implementation

When the project phase has finished, the Role Grading Committee will accept submissions from managers to review roles in their area, from early 2022 (envisaged start date). This will run on a pilot basis.

Role Grading Committee (established on completion of project, for duration of one year)

Seven-person committee comprising a chairperson, three members of professional and support staff nominated by SIPTU, UNITE and IFUT, and three HR staff.

Role Grading Policy

The process and principles for implementation are set out in the Role Grading Policy which was approved by Board in March 2020.

There will be a review of the policy and process twelve months after implementation.