2.A Job characteristics

The types of information needed to describe the main job characteristics and 'set the scene' are:

General Characterization: short description of the scene, catching the ‘Professional identity’ of the occupations concerned

Education level: provides information regarding:

  • the type of programme
  • its level
  • how it has been acquired, for instance by completed vocational training or other job-oriented training and experience at the same level

Aliases: Companies use their own job titles. The aliases offered anchor different titles to the mutual profile and most common name.

Level of working/thinking: often following the EQF level of the most relevant iVET programme for the job at hand.

Autonomy and complexity: These are added and combined to give 'body' to the level of work and thinking required. It is intended to get a grip on the combination of self-consciousness, responsibility and sociability needed to cope with daily dilemmas. In particular, “Autonomy” stands for the room for action and authority allowed in the role by the specific organization it belongs to. It is the degree of freedom an employee has to complete the work, the degree to which employees are free to choose how to accomplish and schedule specific tasks.

The level of autonomy describes the prescriptive/discretionary nature of operational delegation allowed to the role. Typically, the higher the position in the hierarchy, or the higher the level of competence of the role, the more operational discretion is allowed.

Mental and physical load: This is added to address personal capabilities that might be hard or impossible to influence and develop - but do need attention in career choices to be made by the learner.

Operational instructions

STEP 1 Describe the features of the occupations concerned and align them side by side, starting from the low level (left) to high level (right). Similarities and differences of the three jobs are evident at a glance.

Use the table below to fill in the description.

Job characteristics
of
SECTOR

Job
(EQF lev. )

Job
(EQF lev. )

Job
(EQF lev. )

Characterization

     

Educational level

     

Aliases

     

Autonomy and complexity

     

Mental/physical  load/circumstances

     

The following examples are referred to information of the occupations concerned in the QSE-VET project, as per sectors / Partners’ country.

Example 1 Electricians (Sweden)

Job characteristics
of electricians
(housing/utility building/service)

assistant electrician
(EQF 2)

electrician
(EQF 3)

leading/senior electrician
(EQF 4)

Characterization

The Assistant Electrician carries out supporting tasks and performs (simple/frequent) assembly work under supervision. He works in small teams or in pairs, together with an experienced medior or senior colleague. Supervision is fairly direct. Common technical problems are in accordance with the training level and (lack of) experience. Can discuss problems with experienced colleagues who are present on site.

The Electrician carries out installation work on all common electrical installations independently according to the specifications in the assignment. The electrician always strives for the highest possible level of quality and the work and any deviations are discussed with the management.

The Leading/senior electrician independently carries out installation work on all electrical installations according to the specifications in the assignment and is responsible for the execution of a project with an assembly team.

Educational level

Mid-level iVET, EQF 2

Mid level iVET, EQF 3

Mid-level iVET, EQF 4

Aliases

junior electrician, assistant mechanic

electrical fitter, medior electrician

foreman , team leader

Autonomy and complexity

The planning is given and binding. s/he receives concrete instructions and carries out his work entirely in accordance with the design, instructions and regulations. Supervision is fairly direct in nature. Common technical problems are in accordance with t(s)he training and lack of experience. Can coordinate problems with experienced colleagues who are present on site. Contacts with colleagues are focused on consultation.

Planning, methods/techniques are usually evident or described in the assignment. Has the appropriate authority to make decisions on assignments within the level of training/experience (at least one year). If problems needing resolution exceed this level, then s/he should consult with a senior or leading electrician. A smooth course of work is achieved through effective use of contacts and relationships with colleagues, management and clients

Planning is given. Goal and means are indicated. Is responsible for planning the flow of work and leading the implementation of schedules of work with the input of others, along with setting out tasks, responsibilities and deadlines, and supply of materials needed. S/he will work independently and on their own initiative and will consult with others, including senior managers requiring problem-solving solutions. S/he will be responsible for the functional management of teams between 2-8 technicians.

Mental/physical load/circumstances

Works (mostly) inside and (sometimes) outside. Works in different positions (including lying down, kneeling or bending) and above shoulder height. Sometimes lifts heavy objects. There is a risk of injury to the hands, risk of falling objects and the risk of falling (working at height). The wearing/use of protective clothing/equipment is required.

Works (mostly) inside and (sometimes) outside. Works in different positions (including lying down, kneeling or bending) and above shoulder height. Sometimes lifts heavy objects. There is a risk of injury to the hands, risk of falling objects and the risk of falling (working at height). The wearing/use of protective clothing/equipment is required.

Works (mostly) inside and (sometimes) outside. Works in different positions (including lying down, kneeling or bending) and with hands and arms above shoulder height. Sometimes lifts heavy objects. There is a risk of injury to the hands, risk of falling objects and the risk of falling (working at height). The wearing/use of protective clothing/equipment is required.

Example 2 Regional banking staff (Italy)

Job characteristics
in Finance and Banking Sector

Branch Vice-Manager
(EQF 3)

Branch Manager
(EQF 4)

Area Branch Coordinator Manager
(EQF 5)

Characterization

The Branch Vice-Manager carries out supporting tasks and takes care and performs work in substitution of the Branch Manager for the assigned bank. He carries out all the activities normally pertaining to the Branch manager. 

The Branch Manager takes care of representing the bank in the assigned territory, to the extent of the mandate granted, and of contributing to the achievement of the established economic, social and commercial objectives in compliance with the policies and guidelines communicated.

The Area Branch Coordinator Manager, coordinates the assigned branches in order to achieve budget objectives, monitoring the development of business in line with the instruction objectives specified by senior management, and managing and making best use of the assigned resources

Educational level

Mid-level iVET, EQF 4

Mid level iVET, EQF 4

Mid-level iVET, EQF 4

Aliases

Consultant/Substitute acting as vice-manager/Branch Assistant

Branch Officer, Branch/Agency Director, Retail bank manager

Area Manager, Market manager

Autonomy* and complexity

Autonomy level: 2 Planning is usually evident or described in the assignment. Collaborate with the Area Branch Manager for the proper distribution of the objectives of the reference branch and in the implementation of the commercial action plan of the branch. Take care of the management of the assigned customer, guaranteeing the provision of a high level of service in compliance with the company guidelines, carrying out the necessary operational and administrative activities and the appropriate customer loyalty activities. Ensure the development of new customers. Guarantee, on behalf of the Area Branch Manager, the representation of the Bank in the territory of reference, taking care of relations with the reference customers. Take care on behalf of the Area Branch Manager, to carry out all the activities legally required by the Branch Manager.

Autonomy level: 2 Planning is usually evident or described in the assignment. Has the appropriate authority to monitor the assigned territory, assessing the local commercial potential, identifying scope for growth, developing proactively new commercial relations and ensuring an appropriate level of customer satisfaction. Manage the commercial actions of the branch, checking that the activities are planned properly. Arrange to update all staff constantly about the bank's policies and priorities, drawing on the support and collaboration of the area/network organization. Support the professional growth of assigned personnel, identifying and building on their capabilities and competences, as well as facilitating their participation in training and development programmes.

Autonomy level: 2 Planning is given. Goal and means are indicated. Is responsible for coordinating scrupulous application of the bank's instructions regarding business conduct and the functioning of each branch, limiting operational and reputational risks. Ensure the efficient and rational use of personnel in the assigned territory, paying particular attention to critical issues and potential opportunities. Ensure the proper conduct of accounting and administrative activities at the assigned branches, checking that rules and procedures are applied. S/he will work independently and on their own initiative and will consult with others, including senior managers requiring problem-solving solutions.

Mental/physical load/circumstances

The Branch Vice-Manager supports the branch manager by overseeing the efficient operation of the branch to ensure all operational functions are completely and properly performed by the staff while conveying a feeling of trust, service, security and satisfaction to customers and staff. The duties of the Branch Vice-Manager are contingent on the scope of the services that are offered at the facility.

Works inside the office. Oversees daily operations of the team in that location. He/She is responsible for ensuring staff maintains a high level of productivity and meets defined goals, while creating a strong and engaging work environment that ensures customers’ needs are met and operations are in line with company objectives.

The Area Branch Coordinator Manager, manages all day-to-day branch operations. He/She is involved in process improvements and deal with obstacles and barriers. He/she sets targets for team, with the purpose of achieving organizational targets.

Example 3 Kitchen staff

Job characteristics
of kitchen personnel

Kitchen Porter
(EQF 2)

Cook / Chef de partie
(EQF 3)

Head Chef
(EQF 4/5)

Characterization

A Kitchen Porter maintains the cleanliness, hygienic work environment and assists the chefs and cooks of a commercial kitchen.
S/he performs supporting and preparation activities in the kitchen (cleaning, washing up, replenishing supplies as well as cutting / portioning of products for mise en place)

Cooks are the backbone of every kitchen and place where food is prepared. As a cook, your job is to prepare, cook and season dishes and meals people. Whether in a large restaurant chain or in a smaller setting, cooks will work with other kitchen staff to follow recipes, use ovens, grills, microwaves, and other industrial cooking apparatus, measure and weigh ingredients, monitor food for freshness and safety, maintain a clean kitchen and store ingredients properly.


The emphasis of the function is on coordinating a process that is as efficient and effective as possible. Recipes and menus are handed down / established by the chef both on the basis of his substantive knowledge and insight into the market and margins / pricing. The head chef generally controls the whole kitchen, from managing kitchen staff and controlling kitchen costs to liaising with suppliers and creating the menus.

Educational level

Mid-level iVET, EQF 2

Mid-level iVET, EQF 3

Mid-level iVET, EQF 4/5

Aliases

Kitchen assistant, Kitchen attendant, Kitchen hand, Kitchen helper

Station Chef, Line Chef, Line Cook

chef de cuisine, executive chef

Autonomy and complexity

The kitchen porter works within fixed procedures, methods and techniques. Supervision is fairly direct. Problems can be discussed with colleagues/superiors present on sight.

Planning, methods/techniques are usually evident and determined by the orders out of the menu. Has the appropriate authority to make decisions within the level of training/experience (at least one year). A smooth course of work is achieved through effective use of contacts and relationships with suppliers, colleagues and clients. S/he will be responsible for the functional management of small teams up to 5 people.

Is responsible for planning the flow of work and leading the work with the input of others, along with setting out tasks, responsibilities and deadlines, and supply of materials needed. S/he will work independently and on their own initiative. S/he will be responsible for the functional management of kitchen staffs between 5-15 people.

Mental/physical load/circumstances

Strength of effort when lifting (boxes of) products. Walking and standing, and mostly site-bound work. Heat (heat radiation) of stoves, ovens and other hot appliances. Sometimes there is work pressure at peaks in the work supply. Risk of injury by handling knives, operating kitchen appliances, burning to hot parts and slipping over (wet / greasy) floors. Often works in the evening and on weekends.

Strength of effort when lifting (boxes of) products. Walking and standing, and mostly site-bound work. Heat (heat radiation) of stoves, ovens and other hot appliances. Sometimes there is work pressure at peaks in the work supply. Risk of injury by handling knives, operating kitchen appliances, burning to hot parts and slipping over (wet / greasy) floors. Often works in the evening and on weekends.

Strength of effort when lifting (boxes of) products. Walking and standing, and mostly site-bound work. Heat (heat radiation) of stoves, ovens and other hot appliances. Sometimes there is work pressure at peaks in the work supply. Risk of injury by handling knives, operating kitchen appliances, burning to hot parts and slipping over (wet / greasy) floors. Often works in the evening and on weekends.