Position Description Updates: Quick Facts


A Position Description (PD) should be written by the appropriate administrator to whom the position reports.

  • A PD is written for the position not the person.
  • Draft PDs should be sent to Human Resources for review prior to signature - an emailed Word doc is the preferred format for review.
  • A PD should be updated in the following situations:
    · When there has been a significant evolution in the duties assigned to a position;
    · When a position will be posted for recruitment;
    · When a change in assignment is being considered, such as a lateral reassignment, a temporary reassignment, or a reclassification.
  • PDs should be reviewed approximately every three years for continued accuracy.
  • An updated Position Description must be presented to the position incumbent at least 7 days prior to the effective date of the change(s) in assignment.

Purpose of a Position Description:

  • To describe the purpose of a job so that it is easily understood by the reader.
  • To establish the minimum and preferred qualifications required to successfully fulfill the requirements of a position.
  • To identify the main functions of a position and the average time spent on each function - this is used to determine the best-fit classification.
  • To describe how the position fits within the larger organization.

A Position Description is not:

  • A resume for the accomplishments of one particular incumbent of a position.
  • An exhaustive list of assigned tasks.