About P&S Classification System

Classification System - Professional & Scientific Staff


Iowa State University's classification system is a process for systematically analyzing, evaluating and cataloging jobs within the organization.  The P&S classification system, through the job evaluation process, compares jobs  in terms of their relative contributions to the organization.

Job Evaluation

The P&S classification system is based on a point method evaluation system.  The point method has three characteristics; (1) compensable factors, with (2) factor degrees numerically scaled, and (3) weights reflecting the relative importance of each factor.  In point methods, each job’s relative value and consequently its location in the pay structure, is determined by the total points assigned to it.  A job’s total point value is the sum of the numerical values for each degree of compensable factor that the job possesses.  The evaluation process for P&S positions is based on seven compensable factors.

Jobs within the P&S classification system have been evaluated against the evaluation instrument.  Based on the total evaluation points each job has been assigned to one of twelve pay grades.  When a new job emerges, a job evaluation is required for placement within the pay structure.

P&S positions at Iowa State University are described in detail in a position description called the Position Description (PD).  Either the supervisor, in the case of a new position or the incumbent, in the case of a position review request completes the PD in the online Classification and Hiring System.

Information is gathered on a position from various sources including the PD, and/or through a desk audit, which is an interview of the incumbent in the position at their work site.  Other sources of information include review of the organization structure and comparisons to similar positions, and interviews with the supervisor and others knowledgeable about the position under review.

Classification Determination

After examination of the information gathered about the position, University Human Resources (UHR) makes a recommendation as to the classification level to the College/Division Human Resources Liaison (HRL).  If there is disagreement with the determination between the HRL and UHR, additional information may be requested to resolve the issue.

At-Will Designations

All employees holding positions with professional and scientific classification titles are covered by P&S policies except those whose administrative policy-making or other responsibilities make it inappropriate for them to be granted regular appointments under the professional and scientific policies.