Section 1: Pay Structure (Scotland and Northern Ireland)

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Pay spines

1.1 The NHS pay system as a whole will have two pay spines or series of pay bands: pay spine one for staff within the remit of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body and pay spine two for staff within the extended remit of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB).

1.2 This Handbook sets out pay and conditions for staff within the remit of the NHSPRB. Section 40 explains the role of the NHS Staff Council, its Executive and the NHS pay review bodies. Annex 16 sets out the extended coverage of the NHSPRB. Pay and conditions for the most senior managers are outside the scope of this Handbook (see paragraph 1.7 in this Section).

1.3 The pay spine for staff covered by the NHSPRB will be divided into nine pay bands. All staff covered by this pay system, will be assigned to one of these paybands on the basis of job weight, as measured by the NHS Job Evaluation Scheme.

1.4 To assist this process, a set of NHS jobs have been evaluated and national job profiles drawn up where the job evaluation score is agreed. Staff whose jobsmatch these profiles will be assigned on the basis of the profile score. Other jobs will be evaluated locally on a partnership basis.

1.5 The NHS Job Evaluation Handbook (fourth edition)1 sets out the basis of job evaluation, which underpins this pay system and includes the factor plan, the weighting and scoring document and a guide for matching posts locally.

1.6 The nine pay bands and their corresponding job evaluation scores are set out in Table 12. Within this structure, pay band 8 is sub-divided into four ranges.

    Table 1

    Pay bands and job weight

    NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) spine
    Pay band Job weight
    1 0 – 160
    2 161 – 215
    3 216 – 270
    4 271 – 325
    5 326 – 395
    6 396 – 465
    7 466 – 539
    8a 540 – 584
    8b 585 – 629
    8c 630 – 674
    8d 675 – 720
    9 721 – 765

1.7 There are separate arrangements for Chief Executives and directors at board level3. These may also apply to other senior manager posts with a job weight over 720 points.

1.8 Within each pay band there will be a number of pay points to allow pay progression in post. Staff will progress from point to point on an annual basis to the top point in their pay band or pay range, provided their performance is satisfactory and they demonstrate the agreed knowledge and skills appropriate to that part of the pay band or range. Staff joining pay band 5 as new entrants will have accelerated progression through the first two points in six monthly steps (that is, they will move up one pay point after six months and a further point after 12 months) providing those responsible for the relevant standards in the organisation are satisfied with their standard of practice. This 12 month period will be referred to as “Preceptorship”.

1.9 Section 6 sets out in more detail how the system of career and pay progression will work and gives details of the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework which underpins it.

1.10 Annex 3 sets out the values of the pay points in the pay bands and the pay spine in England, in full, effective from 1 October 2004. The latest values are in Annex 2. Employers elsewhere will need to refer to the relevant documents in their countries.

Incremental Dates

1.11 For newly appointed or promoted staff the incremental date will be the date they take up their post.

1.12 All other staff will retain their current incremental date.

1 Available, together with the nationally evaluated job profiles, on the Agenda for Change website at:

2 See the question and answer guidance in Annex 28 (Scotland and Northern Ireland)

3 See the question and answer guidance in Annex 28 (Scotland and Northern Ireland)

Information note number 1: amendment number 34

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