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NHS Job Evaluation

The process for deciding the pay band for jobs in the NHS

RCN members working or applying for jobs in the NHS can use this page to find out more about how the pay band for jobs in the NHS is decided. 

The information here also tells you more about asking for the band for your job to be reconsidered.

What is Job Evaluation? 

Job evaluation is the system by which jobs in the NHS are compared with each other to decide at what band they should be paid. It underpins the NHS Agenda for Change pay structure and is overseen by the NHS Staff Council. The scheme was designed and is maintained by employers and trade unions, including the RCN, in partnership.

Ensuring equal pay for work of equal value was one of the primary reasons for the introduction of Agenda for Change, and this is delivered by effective use of the bespoke NHS job evaluation scheme. The scheme is transparent – all the information about how it should operate is online for all NHS staff to read. You can find this on the NHS Employers website

It’s important to know that jobs are banded based on the requirements of the role rather than the personal attributes you bring to it.  Roles are either matched with a national job profile, or evaluated against 16 weighted factors to determine a job “weight” score which then dictates the pay band.  Bands cover a range of scores, e.g. band 5 has a score of 326 to 395, so sometimes changes to a role can increase the score but not necessarily the band.


How does it work?

1. Matching

Nationally, employers and trade unions have agreed a large number of job ‘profiles’ for commonly occurring jobs. The profiles have been scored and bands determined. Nearly all NHS jobs match a profile. This is called ‘job matching’ and is the process for deciding the banding of most jobs.

At local employer level a panel of trained employer and trade union Job Evaluators look at the agreed job description and person specification and match it to one of the national profiles. This determines the band for the job.

Over 480 number of national job profiles

2. Evaluating 

A small number of unique, specialist jobs will not match a national profile. To decide the band for these, local job evaluation panels receive detailed job information. Role holders complete a job analysis questionnaire and are interviewed by trained job evaluators before a panel considers scoring under each of 16 job factors. The scoring determines the right band.

3. Consistency checking

Decisions from both job matching and job evaluating must go through consistency checking. This is a process undertaken in partnership between trained employee and staff representatives. Consistency checkers can agree with the matching or evaluation decision or, if they have any concerns, ask the panel to review the decision. Once consistency checking is complete the outcome can be released to the role holder.

4. Review panels

If a role holder is dissatisfied with the outcome of matching or evaluating they can request a review with 3 months of the decision. This means a new job evaluation panel will follow the matching or evaluating process above with supplementary information to support the review request. The review panel’s decision is final and this is the last stage of appeal.  Issues with the way in which the process has been undertaken are dealt with by the local grievance procedure and are separate to this review process.


When are jobs put through job evaluation?

All new jobs must go through the scheme for their band to be decided.

Additionally, jobs which are affected by service redesign or organisational change must have the correct banding applied to ensure pay equality. There should be a local policy on how this is undertaken and job evaluation should be a key part of this.

The band of existing jobs should be re-considered if the job has changed significantly.

This means you can ask for your job to be reviewed if you think your current banding is wrong. Doing so could include amending your job description to ensure it is up to date. 


What to do if you think your pay banding
is wrong

The RCN has developed a guide for members wanting to request a review of their pay banding. Download the guide here and contact us for more support.  


The job evaluation process is designed to ensure that everyone working in the NHS has the demands of their job evaluated and rewarded fairly. If you think your banding or job description is wrong, follow the advice in our what to do if you think your pay banding is wrong guide.

RCN rep?

Read the guide supporting members with job evaluation. 

As set out in the Equality Act 2010, men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay, unless any difference in pay can be justified. A good job evaluation system is one of the most important tools in ensuring that people of all genders are paid equally. The bespoke NHS JE scheme was designed to include factors to ensure that specific features of NHS jobs, with its predominantly female workforce, are fairly measured.

Ensuring equal pay for work of equal value was one of the primary reasons for the introduction of Agenda for Change. It is important that NHS employers continue to consistently implement the scheme to make sure they are meeting their duties under the Equality Act 2010.

Find out more in Chapter 1 of the NHS Job Evaluation handbook.


If you have new responsibilities you should discuss with your line manager whether these are reflected in your job description. Most job descriptions include a flexibility clause – that you may be asked to carry out ‘any other reasonable duties’ – but this shouldn’t be used to make very significant or negative changes to your job. If your job description has changed or you want to ask for it to change, follow the advice [above/in the guide]. Remember to prepare evidence of what has changed. You should note that if your job description does change to include new elements this may not result in your band changing. 

If your job has changed it should have been re-matched or re-evaluated as part of the restructure. You should ask whether it was and are entitled to see evidence that it went through the process described above. If it did not, you can ask for job evaluation to be carried out. Follow the advice in the RCN what to do if you think your pay banding is wrong guide.

The NHS Job Evaluation process is designed to be consistent and ensure fair outcomes and equal pay for equal work for all NHS staff. If you are in this situation you may want to review your job description with your manager to ensure it is up to date and covers all your duties. Once you have agreed an accurate job description, if you think you should be in a higher band you can follow the advice in the what to do if you think your pay banding is wrong guide. 

NHS employers must follow the agreed job evaluation scheme to decide at what band jobs are paid. This includes working in partnership with trade unions. If you have been through a job evaluation process as described on this page and you don’t think it was done properly, review the resources linked above and then contact us for more support.

Find out more

Read more including the full Job Evaluation handbook at the NHS Employers website.