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SUPPORT GRADE 1 - GRADE DESCRIPTION BACKGROUND 1.

The Support Grade Band 1 is the second operational grade in the Support Grades Structure. It undertakes a variety of operations which, in qualitative terms, lie between the basic level and the first level of management. It is also the grade which will provide the first level of supervision for staff in the Support Grade Band 2 and such duties will form a part of many posts. This description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of tasks performed by the grade nor does it seek to impose any formal limits on the design of individual posts, the purpose is to give a picture of the quality of the Support Grade Band 1 role within the structure. The grading of individual posts will be determined by the overall balance of the duties. As with grades in any hierarchy the Support Grade Band 1 should only be included in organisational chains where there is a defined role at that level. There is no requirement for members of the grade to report through a Support Manager 3. In some units they may report direct to a Support Manager 1 or 2 or to a member of another group or class. ROLE OF THE GRADE 1. Members of the grade work in a variety of environments across the full range of government offices in both large departmental HQ and regional offices and in the smaller outstations and, on occasions, local offices. They may work alone, as members of teams, often as a team leader. The duties of each post will be determined by the needs of the work and might be directly affected by the location. Some staff will have a clearly defined task to perform in just one of the many areas in which the grade may be employed. Others will fill posts containing a number of different activities of varying quality which when added together satisfy the standard for the grade. In the course of their duties staff will be required to employ a range of skills and to operate electrical or mechanical equipment. For example, these might include driving motor vehicles, electric vans or fork lift trucks, using VDUs, light pens, keyboards or other computerised equipment. Where post holders are supervising Support Grade Band 2 staff they will be responsible for the day to day operations, ensuring they are carried out to the required standard and within the allocated timescale.

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EXAMPLES OF DUTIES OF THE GRADE 1. The duties of the grade cover a wide range, the main examples of which are listed below:(a) Collection and Delivery of Post:- Post holders will supervise groups of staff involved in the delivery and collection of post to and from collection points within buildings and amongst groups of buildings. They will identify collection rounds and organise staff to provide necessary cover, liaising with other areas as appropriate. Personal attendance on Ministers and Senior Officials. Postroom:- Supervising the operation of a postroom, ensuring staff are available to cover the necessary opening periods, advising users on postal types, times and costs, the identification of most economic means of transit, manual calculation of postal charges.

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(c)

Security:- Supervision of teams of security staff, allocating staff to control positions/doors, checking work standards; investigating security breaches reported by Support Grade Land 2 staff to ascertain facts and completing reports to a more senior officer; carrying out nontechnical searches; attendance in security control room, supervising the implementation of alert procedures; assisting in the evacuation of buildings in the event of emergency alert. Reprographic:- The more complex reprographic duties including the operation of A4 single cylinder offset litho machines, A3 single cylinder machines producing line colour and half tone work, sophisticated programmable high speed copiers with or without collators, programmable guillotines, micro film quality control, reel fed film processing and printing equipment, copy preparation, phototypsetting. Post holders will as necessary liaise with customers and engineers, maintain work records, undertake routine machine cleaning and maintenance. Driving:- Car and van driving service duties including the loading and unloading, driving, completing log records of mileage and fuel, routine maintenance checks of oil water battery etc. Switchboard Duties:- Switchboard operation including:Supervision - Supervision of Support Grade Band 2 posts employed on switchboard duties. Call Connecting - Routine call connecting is appropriate to the Support Grade Band 2 and should not form a major part of the duties of the grade. Enquiry Duties - Answering enquiries with the aid of directories, records etc, providing telephone service information and providing other operators with information to enable them to connect calls. Non-Operating Work - This would include undertaking routine clerical duties for example, distributing stationery to other switchboard positions, updating directories etc. Preparing and processing switchboard returns for example, statistical returns, call characteristics where appropriate. Pricing and dispatching personal call charges, other miscellaneous duties. Other Operator Duties - Changing member interception subscribers transfer service, screening incoming calls where appropriate. Acting as a reception point for faults, explaining and discussing faults and maintenance with engineers and/or supervisor as appropriate. Testing GTN lines, private wires and switchboard equipment. Where appropriate assisting in the training of untrained operators.

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(h)

Laboratory Duties:- Supervising and training staff in laboratory areas at SGB2 level, arranging their work and undertaking quality control and health and safety procedures. Undertaking laboratory tasks above the quality of SGB2 level, for example; taking responsibility for laboratory stock ; for recording, labelling and storage of toxic and other dangerous substances. Filing:- In file stores, registries, libraries and archives, members of the grade will supervise the various filing, file tidying etc operations. They will organise the storage of documents and files, the destruction of unwanted and time expired papers and supervise the operation of shredders.

(i)

Cleaning:- Random checking of standards, deploying teams of cleaners, issuing special instructions on requirements and maintaining daily logs, informing supervisors of complaints, advising subordinates how to deal with minor repairs. Post holders will undertake the overall supervisory role, including staff allocations, minor disciplinary actions, annual leave approval and resolving pay queries. Miscellaneous Housekeeping Duties:- General support duties, including ordering items of equipment and supplying and maintaining uniforms and protective clothing, keeping accident logs, booking pool cars for staff, booking conference rooms and arranging for them to be set up, arranging for the collection and disposal of confidential waste.

(j)

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GRADE 1. The problems encountered will generally require the choice of a solution from a limited range of options. Guidance will usually be readily available from procedural instructions and established practice. Staff will usually have ready access to more senior officers for guidance. Post holders will operate within established practice and general instructions and be able to base their decisions on standardised procedures. Variations will occasionally arise which may require the exercise of judgment and initiative mainly within standard practice and precedent. Supervision is a common aspect of many posts in the grade and the staff charge will vary, it may be only 1 but will usually be several. Post holders will be responsible for the day to day organisation of the work ensuring it is performed within the timescales laid down and to acceptable standards. Staff will usually work with limited supervision from a more senior officer who, if not immediately available, will nevertheless be easily contactable. Contact with members of the public and people from other departments will be a feature of a number of posts; the purpose will be to give advice and directions in clearly defined areas. KNOWLEDGE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE No formal qualifications are required for entry to the grade. However most posts require good basic numeric, literary and communication skills. Post holders will need to apply common sense in their interpretation of the procedural instructions. For many of the skills required training will be provided on the job. Training for supervisory duties would be minimal and would normally consist of a short period of adjustment on promotion. TRAINING Civil Service "in-house" training courses i.e. Induction, Serving the Public, Put it in Writing and applied computing training courses would be of benefit to most post holders. In addition external training may be required for the systems/equipment under the post holders control.

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