Agenda for Change

In this section we want to provide some basic information on Agenda for Change
(A4C). Many members contact us on A4C related issues such as pay points,
overtime and B/H rates or seeking advice on how they can progress a review of their

There are so many aspects to Agenda for Change it is impossible to provide a
complete overview.  In that regard members wanting any additional information not
covered on this page should contact us through the relevant section on this website.
Agenda for Change (A4C) was introduced in October 2004 and sought to have most
staff working across Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland under a
defined pay scale relevant to their pay Band, and where terms and conditions would
come under the one handbook.  

Links To Additional Information on A4C
There is a lot of information on the internet about A4C.  Here are some links that
members will find useful:

How To Request a New Job Evaluation
For members whose job has changed over the years or for those members who feel
their post may not be at the right pay Band, we want to explain the process for
requesting a new job evaluation within the Belfast Health Trust.  This process should
also apply to those members in NIPSA Branch 730 who work in the Northern Ireland
Blood Transfusion Service.  Please read this information carefully before contacting
us and note the following points:

  • Your job has been evaluated – but his may be from a number of years ago. As we know, the work members do evolve and roles and responsibilities change.
  • Any new request for a job evaluation must be premised on that fact the job has changed since your AFC outcome
  • Whilst NIPSA Branch 730 will offer advice and support, there is no guarantee the Band will change – this decision will lie with the matching panel (for new job descriptions) or those trained in job evaluation who will look at your job (if the Matching Panel can’t agree or you are submitting a Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) (more on this later)

Under the changed job process individuals firstly have to provide evidence to their
line manager their current job has changed from what they, or their job, was
originally matched to under the job evaluation A4C scheme.  This needs to be put
down in writing and a copy of the original job description should also be provided. 
We know sometimes members have difficulty locating original JD’s – contact us if
you have difficulty and we will attempt to locate the JD that was used in the matching

If the manager is in agreement the job has changed it is their responsibility to
provide an updated job description which should reflect all of the current duties and
responsibiliites the individual postholder is currently undertaking.  The manager does
not do this in isolation – agreement should be sought with the postholder in relation to
this and NIPSA Branch 730 strongly recommend members contact us for assistance
at this point.  

When you have an agreed job description, the relevant Co-Director must approve
the permanent change/redesign of the post. The following should be sent to the Pay
and Workforce Modernisation Team at McKinney House, Musgrave Park Hospital
(we would advise you get an acknowledgement that the paperwork has been
submitted with the date it was received):

  • The new updated job description
  • The original job description
  • Details of the changes between the two job descriptions
  • Written confirmation that the relevant Co-Director has approved the changes

A few important reminders:

  • You need to provide clear evidence about how your job has changed with aparticular focus on how the knowledge and skills required for the job has changed.  
  • We would suggest, if possible, you look at the original matching sheet that was sent to you when you were notified of your AFC Banding to give you an idea of areas you may have fallen short on.  If you don’t have this contact the Pay and Workforce Modernisation Team in Human Resources at McKinney House, Musgrave Park Hospital to request it. 
  • Remember, whilst all the 16 factors contribute to an overall score and subsequent Band, the most important factor is Knowledge, Training and Experience (factor No2) – as there is significantly more points in this factor than others.

All members should note that the date all of the above is received by the Pay and
Workforce Modernisation Team will be the date used for any back-pay should you be
successful in your application and placed in a higher Band unless there is specific
agreement with Management you were undertaking these duties from a specific

What Happens At A Matching Panel
All of the above information then goes to an AFC Matching Panel.  Four people sit on
this panel – two represent management side and two represent trade union side. 
They will match the post i.e. determine a Banding, from national/local profiles. If the
Banding of your post goes up – great.  You will move to the next pay band and be
backpayed from when the Pay and Modernisation Dept received all of your changed
job info.  If it remains the same you can submit a review based on the factors which
you and your NIPSA Rep feel are not scored correctly. If after a review the post
remains in the same Band there are no other avenues for you i.e. this is the end of
the process.

If no profile match can be agreed/found by a matching panel and this is agreed by
the Job Evaluation Leads, then the only option for you is what is called a Job
Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ).  Completing a JAQ is your responsibility and there is
an enormous amount of work involved in putting it together, also it is likely to take a
very long time for a determination to be made.  However, you are not alone – both
HR and an identified NIPSA Rep can offer advice and guidance when you require it.
One word of warning should your post go to a JAQ – the Banding of a post can go
down as well as up.  It is NIPSA’s position that you should never go through this
part of the process unless you are confident and you have got specific advice
from NIPSA.  Remember – Agenda for Change is about what you do and what
responsibilities you have – it is not about the size of your workload – there is no
mechanism in this scheme to score workload.

NIPSA and Branch 730 will update members periodically on A4C issues through this
website or through our Branch email list.  
If you have a specific query in relation to Agenda for Change contact us through the
relevant section on this website.