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Position description

Consider the following points when developing a new or reviewing an existing position description:

  • Develop clear, concise position descriptions.
  • Concentrate on what is to be achieved in the job. This will allow applicants to demonstrate how they can complete the inherent requirements of the job.
  • Consider whether education qualifications or specific work experience are essential to the position.
  • Include reporting relationships, possible career progression, work location and any travel requirements.

Questions to consider when developing key selection criteria:

  • Do they relate to the skills and abilities needed to do the job?
  • Are they described in inclusive and non-discriminatory language?
  • Do they relate to the inherent requirements of the job? If not, could they constitute indirect discrimination?
  • For example, a requirement that the position holder must have a driver’s licence, when taxis or public transport could be used as an alternative, may discriminate against a person with a disability.

The inherent or essential requirements of the job are tasks that must be carried out in order to get the job done.

A position lists minute-taking as a duty. The essential criteria for that position might then incorrectly state that the successful applicant must be able to take shorthand. A potential applicant’s disability may prevent them from taking shorthand; however they could record the information on a dictaphone and then transcribe the information later. Taking shorthand is therefore not an inherent requirement of the job because the task can be done another way.