Role Profiles_ Job Descriptions and Person Specifications

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					                                     How to develop…

 Role Profiles, Job Descriptions and Person Specifications

Role Profiles
A Role Profile is a list of the units of National Occupational Standards relevant to a particular
A Role Profile may contain units both from the Drugs and Alcohol National Occupational
Standards and from other sets of National Occupational Standards (eg Youth Work and
Youth Justice for those working with children and young people, Community Justice for
those working with offenders in the community, Custodial Care for those working in prisons
and Sport and Recreation for those working on sports-related projects).

Standards-based Job Descriptions
A standards-based job description is a job description that incorporates the National
Occupational Standards relevant to the job. As well as DANOS (and other National
Occupational Standards), it may comprise things like
 job title
 organisation
 name of the job holder
 grade
 salary
 reporting relationship
 team members who report to the job holder
 key relationships
 purpose of job
 responsibilities, duties or tasks
 other information required by the organisation.

Person Specifications
Person specifications are concise descriptions of the qualities that post-holders need to
possess to carry out their duties competently. These qualities are often listed under the
following headings
 experience
 knowledge
 skills
 qualifications.
In recruitment or promotion procedures, it is important that person specifications are clearly
understood by all involved (both selectors and candidates) and that they do not discriminate
unfairly against any individual or group.

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How to develop a Role Profile
1. List the tasks, duties or responsibilities
Make a list of all the tasks, duties or responsibilities that the worker has to carry out. If the
worker has a job description, this information may already be available (but check that the
job description is up-to-date and accurately describes the individual’s work).
This step is best done as a brainstorm between a group of people who have similar jobs, or
as a joint activity between the individual and their line manager.

2. Identify relevant occupational standards
Look at the DANOS units and other sets of National Occupational Standards and identify the
unit, or units, that are specifically relevant to each task or responsibility on the list.
Often you will find you need to choose between two or more units, which describe a similar
activity but with different levels of responsibility, authority, autonomy or complexity. It is vital
to select the unit at the right level.
As you do this activity, you will probably find
 that some units are relevant to more than one task or responsibility
 for some tasks or responsibilities, that there is a single unit which matches very well
 for some tasks or responsibilities, that there are a number of units which are relevant
 for some tasks or responsibilities, that there is no appropriate DANOS unit (if so, look for
  the unit in other sets of standards or contact

3. Produce the Role Profile
When you have identified all the units from DANOS and other National Occupational
Standards, which are relevant to each task, duty or responsibility, you can eliminate any
duplicates and produce a Role Profile. Use the template in Annex 1, if you wish.
Each worker needs a copy of their Role Profile and the units of the National Occupational
Standards that are in it. Role Profiles help workers understand exactly what is expected of
them, and what they need to know and understand if they are to do their jobs effectively.
In an organisation, many Role Profiles will be very similar, or at least share a number of
common units. This is helpful for understanding what are the core occupational standards
required by the organisation, what are the subtle differences between roles, and what
workers may need to learn if they are to move successfully from one role to another.
There are numerous examples of Role Profiles for common job roles in the drugs and
alcohol sector appearing in the Resources sector of

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How to develop a Standards-based Job Description
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse has requested that all job
descriptions for service delivery, management of services and commissioning are written in
terms of DANOS standards by 31 December 2004.
There are two main approaches that you can use to producing a standards-based job

A. Linking a conventional job description to the relevant standards
If your organisation requires job descriptions to be presented in a particular format, use the
format provided and
 either add the Role Profile as an appendix to the job description
 or insert a right-hand column in the section where the job holder’s responsibilities, duties
  or tasks are listed and put the number of the relevant unit of the standards against each
  responsibility, duty or task in the right-hand column.

B. Incorporating the Role Profile into the job description
If you have the authority to decide the format in which job descriptions should be presented,
you can incorporate the Role Profile into the job description in place of the conventional
section covering responsibilities, duties or tasks.
The units within the Role Profile clearly describe not only the worker’s responsibilities, duties
and tasks; they also describe the standard of performance expected of the worker and the
knowledge and skills they require. Use the template in Annex 2 if you wish.

Note for NHS organisations
Agenda for Change requires all non-medical post in the NHS to be regraded within new pay
bands. An up-to-date job description is an essential prerequisite for job evaluation. This
should be linked to both the appropriate DANOS standards and the Knowledge and Skills
Framework (KSF). DANOS units have all been mapped to the KSF, so by linking your job
description to DANOS you are automatically also linking it to the KSF. The document
Mapping DANOS against KSF is available at

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How to develop a Person Specification
1. Identify the required experience, knowledge and skills
Look at the Role Profile - the list of units of National Occupational Standards relevant to the
These units describe what the post-holder needs to do, the standard to which work must be
carried out, and the knowledge and skills required.
The unit and element titles describe the type of experience which would be appropriate. The
section in each unit on knowledge and understanding lists the knowledge and skills required.
Use this information to make a list of the experience, knowledge and skills required. Use the
template in Annex 3 if you wish.

2. Identify the required qualifications
For some jobs it is a legal or organisational requirement that the post-holder possesses a
particular qualification. Be clear what qualifications are acceptable.
If the candidate has a relevant NVQ or SVQ, you can be sure that they have had the
appropriate experience and possess the necessary knowledge and skills

3. Determine the essential and desirable qualities
Some qualities will be essential, for example a specific qualification may be required by law,
or the job may require the ability to use certain equipment. Decide which qualities are
essential. If candidates cannot demonstrate these they should not be considered for the
Other qualities may be desirable, for example that candidates have previous experience of
working with a similar client group, or that they are familiar with specific legislation. These
requirements are not essential, as carefully planned induction and supervision can ensure
that the post-holder gains the relevant knowledge, skills and experience.

4. Select candidates for the job
Design your selection process to allow candidates to show the degree to which they possess
the required experience, knowledge, skills and qualifications. Using National Occupational
Standards and appropriate assessment techniques can ensure you appoint the most
suitable person and do not unfairly disadvantage certain groups.

This document was prepared in April 2004 by
Trevor Boutall
The Management Standards Consultancy

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Annex 1 Role Profile Template

Units of national occupational standards
Number                Title

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Annex 2 Standards-based Job Description Template
Job Title
Job Holder
Line Manager
Team Members

Other Key
Purpose of Job

Role Profile
Number                Title

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Annex 3 Person Specification Template
Job Title

Essential                                  Possessed    Desirable      Possessed
                                              by                          by
                                           Candidate?                  Candidate?




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