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Aiken Plan factors

Every job is evaluated on the same nine factors. The Aiken manual identifies grades within each factor and provides guidelines and explanations for their proper use. The nine factors include:

1. Complexity-Judgement--evaluates the decision-making aspects of the position. Complexity refers to the variety and relative difficulty of the material or information upon which decisions are based. Judgement refers to the use of knowledge and experience in making the decisions.

2. Education--is the level of formalized knowledge required to satisfactorily fill the position. Such knowledge is most commonly acquired as a result of time spent in schools, colleges and universities. It does not consider the education level of the present incumbent.

3. Work experience--measures the length of time required to learn under instruction or guidance, the essential techniques and skills the job calls for. It considers both the prior experience and the learning time required upon appointment to the position.

The recruitment standard, for education and experience, is determined in consultation with the employing department.

4. Independence of action--reflects the amount of direction and control received from either personal supervision or standard practices and precedents. It also considers ingenuity, creativity and original thought required in the job.

5. Results of errors--considers the extent of losses to the organization. Such losses may result from mistakes occasioned by insufficiently considered decision or judgements. Only in lower level positions is consideration given to carelessness. Result of errors is also used to evaluate responsibility for the safety of others.

6. Contacts--refers to the relative importance to the enterprise of necessary personal relationships of the position holder to others. The contacts can be internal to the organization and external. The nature and frequency of the contact is considered.

7. Supervision:

  • Character--considers the degree, kind and intricacies of supervisory responsibility. Such responsibilities may involve direct functional direction as in "line" positions or advisory responsibilities as in "staff" relationships.
  • Scope--appraises the size of the direct line responsibilities measured in total number of persons supervised.


8. Physical/Mental demands--considers the degree and severity of exertion associated with the position. It covers physical effort, visual attention or concentration required by the jobs.

9. Working conditions--evaluates the disagreeableness of the job environment from the employee's standpoint. It includes the degree of health hazard and any aspects of necessary travel occasioned by the job.

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