In Information Technology it’s always about discovering new way of doing thing better.

I have been using Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) now round about four years. This is an excellent framework for creating Job Description for IT and a lot of work has been done on aligning SFIA with international Job Evaluation Systems. The challenge that i’m now facing is aligning this with the Peromnes Evaluating system.

Background Peromnes

The Peromnes system has its roots in the Castellion Job evaluation Method that was developed by Professor Simon Biesheuwel. The Peromnes system is essentially a simplification of the Castellion method which uses eleven factors and sub factors. Since the late 1960’s when the Peromnes system was developed, it has been adopted by over 600 organisations and it is currently solely marketed and supported by FSA-Contact Pty (Ltd) who is the copyright holders. (Swanepoel 2000: 542).

According to Gerber, et al. (1998: 197) the Peromnes is a point system that evaluates job according to eight identified compensation factors. The first six are job content factors and the remaining two job requirement factors (Swanepoel, 2000: 542). The eight factors are:

  1. Problem solving: The nature and complexity of decision processes (including those required in formulating recommendations).
  2. Consequences of judgement (limits of discretion): The consequences of firm decisions on the organisation or any of its parts, taking account of controls and checks that may exist to prevent the implementation of judgements, especially those which are adverse.
  3. Pressure of work (division of attention): The pressure inherent in a job, as reflected in the variety and type of work to be achieved in the available time, the need to set effective priorities and the interruptions and distractions due to the interaction with other jobs.
  4. Knowledge: The level of knowledge required, in operational (not formal) qualification terms, to perform the job competently.
  5. Job impact: The extent of influence that the job has on other activities, both within and outside the organisation.
  6. Comprehension: The level of understanding of written and spoken communications expected continuously in the regular course of the job.
  7. Educational qualifications required in the post: The minimum essential requirements are considered, not the merely desirable ones.
  8. Subsequent training/experience required: The period necessary to achieve competence in the job by the shortest possible reasonable route.

During the evaluation process, each factor is evaluated according to comprehensive definitions on a progressive scale of complexity. The evaluation committee examines these definitions to arrive at one that most satisfactory describes the highest requirements of the job on the given factor. Each definition has certain point values which are added up for each factor to provide a total point value for the job. By means of a conversion table, the job is then graded into one of 21 grades, varying from 1 (the highest possible) to 19 (the lowest possible). The grades correspond approximately to the job levels listed in Figure 2.2 (Swanepoel, et al. 2000: 542).

The system has also been criticised because of it’s choice of factors and it’s assignment of the same weight to all factors;  and same element may be evaluated more than once under different headings; and because it’s assigns the same point range (35) to all factors, it does not allow for differences in their relevant importance as determinations of job performance.

Grades Descriptions
1++,1+ ,1–3 Top executive management, most senior professional people and specialists
4 – 6 Senior management, high-level professional people and specialists
7 – 9 Middle management, superintendents and low-level professional people and specialists
10 – 12 Supervisors, high-level skilled workers and clerical personnel
13 -16 Low-level workers and clerical personnel
17 – 19 Semi-skilled and unskilled workers

Evaluation process

One of the strong points of the Peromnes method is that jobs are evaluated by committees. FSA Contact strongly recommends that organisations using the Peromnes method apply the principle of evaluating jobs using the committee system.

In the evaluation process, each job content factor is examined on a progressive scale (with identical points ranges) of complexity according to prescribed definitions. Each definition is numbered (1 to 9) at the top, and below it has a points range from 0 to 36 over the whole scale (see Figure A). The objective in each case is to arrive at that definition which most satisfactorily describes the highest level of activity or the highest requirements of the jobs on the particular factor (Biesheuvel 1985:54-55, Fact sheet 172 1988:3; Mbatha 1984:22).

There is an appropriate range of points within each box which provides for differentiating degree to which the behaviour designated by the box applies. Each box has three points within it and two ‘borderline’ points, one at either end of the box. For example, box 2 has the points value 5, 6 and 7 within it, and 4 on its left border and 8 on its right border (see Figure A). When evaluating, the committee must decide whether a definition within the box applies ‘barely’ (B), ‘moderately’ (M) or ‘wholly’ (W). This is referred to as the BMW principle. Where there is more than one sentence in a definition, the first sentence must apply before subsequent statements can be considered (FSA Contact 1990:9).

When using the BMW principle, ‘barely applicable’ refers to between 5% and 20% of the key tasks in the job at the definition level indicated. With regard to ‘moderately applicable’, the incumbent must perform more than 20% but less than 40% of the key tasks in the job at the definition level indicated. If the incumbent performs more than 40% of the key tasks involved in the job, it must be considered as ‘wholly applicable’. However, if a definition applies ‘wholly’, the evaluation committee must examine the next definition to the right, that is, the next box. If the evaluation committee feels that the definitions in the next box does not apply to any considerable degree, but that there is a slight suggestion of its applicability, then a borderline score is used (FSA Contact 1990:9-10).

It is recommended by FSA Contact that any job which supervises or manages other jobs must always be credited with the scores of subordinate jobs in Problem solving, Consequences of error of judgement, and total Job impact. A subordinate job should never score the same as or higher than its immediate supervisor job in factors 1, 2, 5 internal, 5 overall, and 7 and 8 combined. If the two jobs are in the same discipline, this rule would also apply to factors 4 and 6. The examination of the factors in this way leads to a score on each of the first six factors. The total of the first six factors are added to the next two factors to give the total points value for the job (FSA Contact 1990:9-10: Wolfaardt 1985:8).

When evaluating a job, there is a method of checks and balances which the evaluating committee should use. For the great majority of jobs, the score on each of factors I to 6 should not deviate by more than four points on either side of the average score for those factors. Where this does happen, either the evaluation is suspect or the .job is an unusual one. Another check is that the average of the score on factors 7 and 8 should not deviate by more than three points from the average of the scores on factors 1 to 6 (FSA Contact 1990:[ 2]).

The fact that the Peromnes system of job evaluation is such a popular system in South Africa is testimony to the advantages that it carries as an evaluation system. The evaluation method is being used extensively, as mentioned above, in tertiary institutions.

Mapping point to scale

Related points Grade Example levels
271 – 288 1++ Most senior executives and specialists, Nationally
259 – 270 1+
249 – 258 1
231 – 248 2 Other top management and very senior specialists
216 – 230 3
201 – 215 4 Senior management, high-level specialists
187 – 200 5
173 – 186 6
158 -172 7   Middle management, superintendants and low level specialists
143 -157 8
128 -142 9
113 -127 10   Supervisors, high-level skilled and clerical
99 -112 11
85 -98 12
73 -84 13   Lower level skilled and clerical
61 -72 14
49 -60 15
37 -48 16
27 -36 17   Low-skilled and unskilled
17 -26 18
0 -16 19

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