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Policies and Procedures
Unclassified Employees
Position Descriptions
(updated 8/28/12)

Position Description Form

Position Descriptions - Generally

Every unclassified benefits-eligible position at Pittsburg State University must have a formal, written position description. Supervisors are responsible for preparing a position description for each position under his or her supervision. 

The position description describes the duties and responsibilities of the position. It also includes the competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities), education and experience, license or certification requirements, if applicable, and any other position characteristics needed to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position in a satisfactory manner.  The document provides the information and foundation for many important processes.

  • Hiring & Interviews:  Information in the position description is used to write a job opening notice/advertisement when a search is conducted.  The duties, responsibilities, knowledge, skills abilities and other information in the position description form the basis for interview questions and the ultimate selection of a candidate for hire.

  • New Employee Orientation:  The supervisor uses the position description to give the new employee a clear guide of the duties and responsibilities of their position.

  • Performance Management:  The position description provides the basis for setting goals and objectives, assessing the employee's performance during the review period, and recommending future personnel actions.

  • Return to Work/ Fit for Duty/Disability/ADA:  The position description provides important information when needed to assess the ability of the employee to return to work and/or a request for accommodations.  It is also used to determine eligibility for disability.

  • Payroll:  The position description is used to determine if a position is eligible for overtime, to determine salary levels and to respond to requests for salary surveys.

Instructions for Completing the Position Description Form

  • Position Data
    This section has basic information about the position.  Use the GUS Position Inventory to find data for an existing position.  To access the GUS Position Inventory data, log in to GUS, then access the "Position Inventory" menu.  Select "Unclassified Positions."  Click on the Position Number link and you will see data for that position.  Complete the "Requested Change" column on the PD form if changes in position data are requested.

  • Primary Purpose of This Position
    Describe the purpose of the position (why it exists and how it relates to the unit's mission).

  • Summarize the reason for the update if there are significant changes in duties or a chnge in supervisor or other organizational change:
    For an existing position, provide a brief explanation of the updates if there is a significant change in duties or a change in supervisor or other organization change.  Leave the section blank if there are no significant changes.    For new positions, explain what changes in the department have necessitated the need for a new position.

  • Description of Work
    This section comprises the main body of the position description in which you write duty statements to describe the responsibilities and duties of the position.  The amount of information needed varies among positions.  Use narrative statements to describe the responsibilities and duties.

    You may select one of the following arrangements:
    • Order of importance:  categorize, arrange, and number the work by major responsibility in rank order of importance and describe the duties and tasks of each.

    • Sequential order:  describe the position in terms of the sequence of the work.  If this method is used, indicate with a number the relative rank order of importance of each responsibility, (i.e., 1, 2, 3, etc., in the number column in the left margin)

Indicate the approximate percentage of time (%) spent on each responsibility as shown in the left margin.  Each duty statement should be at least 5% and not be greater than 60%. Duty statements should have sufficient details to support the percentage time. The total percentage for all duty statements must equal 100%.

You should include "other duties as assigned" either as a separate duty statement or included in another duty statement.  If it is in a separate duty statement, it cannot account for more than 5% of the position's time.

Indicate whether the duties and responsibilities are essential.  Essential duties are those without which the position could not exist. 

O*Net Online ( is a good resource for help with #4 - Description of Work, #5 - Competencies, and #8 - Other Position Characteristics.  The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is a database administered by the United States Department of Labor and includes occupational requirements and worker attributes.  It describes occupations in terms of the tasks performed, competencies required, and other characteristics common to the occupation.  Use the "Occupation Search" function to find positions that match or are similar to the job you are describing.

  • Competencies
    Competencies are the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for this position.  They directly and positively impact the success of the employee.  Competencies can be objectively measured, enhanced and improved through the performance review process.  You can use the "Examples of Competencies and Other Position Characteristics" word document to cut and paste competencies into this section.  If you use the Examples, you will need to determine which are applicable for the position.  You may edit the examples, and you may also need to add knowledge specific competencies appropriate for the position.   You may use O*Net Online ( to find standard competencies for the position.  Be sure to identify competencies required at time of hire with a "check." (Word has a "check" as a bullet option.)

  • Education and Experience Required:
    This section identifies the education and experience needed to perform these duties and responsibilities.  Identify the education and experience that is required at time of hire with a "check". 

  • License or Certification Required by Statute or Regulation: 

    Indicate the type of license(s) required by position, if applicable.  Identify the licenses or certificates that are required at time or hire with a "check".

  • Other Position Characteristics or Essential Posting Requirements: 

    Indicate any other position characteristics which describe the work activities, work context, or work styles that are unique or critical to the position.  You can use the "Examples of Competencies and Other Position Characteristics" word document to cut and paste position characteristics into this section.  If you use the Examples, you will need to determine which are applicable for the position.  You may edit the examples, and you may also need to add other characteristics appropriate for the position.  You may use O*Net Online ( to find other characteristics for the position.


Signatures, GUS Position Inventory & Routing:

See Managing Position Descriptions in GUS for more information.

  • The supervisor or designee attaches the Word file to the position in the GUS Position Inventory.  Access the GUS Position Inventory.  Click on the Position Number link, then the "View Attachments" link.  Select the "Job Description" document in the "Upload Documents' box and browse to the file with the Position Description.  Select that file, then click "Upload."

  • Upload a  current organizational chart to the Position Inventory in the same manner.

  • The supervisor prints the word document, signs the position description and routes for signatures as required by the division.  The signed position description is sent to HRS, 204 Russ Hall.

  • The position description will be reviewed by HRS then sent to Equal Opportunity for review. See the "Evaluation Rubric" for the items to be reviewed. A pdf file of the description with all signatures will be uploaded to the Position Inventory.  The employee will have access to the Official Position Description with signatures.

  • The supervisor should discuss the position description with the employee when it is updated and on an annual basis during the Performance Review process.

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