State of Alaska, Department of Administration, Division of Personnel and Labor Relations

Classification: Regulation Changes

This page focuses on assisting you with situations that you might encounter and questions or concerns that you might have about changes in statutes and regulations as they pertain to the work of your department, division, unit, and staff. Within the following you will find information and guidance on the role of Classification in personnel administration and dealing with various issues related to changes in statutes and regulations. Some of your own questions or concerns may lead you elsewhere within our site. However, we may also be able to address them here. We encourage you to investigate all of the prospective questions and concerns, even if at first glance they don't initially appear to cover yours.

How are changes to the statutes and regulations governing the mission of my department relevant to Classification?

State and federal statutes and regulations drive almost all of the internal and external services provided by the State of Alaska and changes in these statutes and regulations may have profound effects on the nature, variety, and complexity of the work of State employees.

Not all regulatory changes are created equal when it comes to their effect on position management. Legislation might have a profound effect on a department's business model, but may not have a Classification-related impact at all. Other seemingly small regulatory shifts might precipitate a flurry of action from Classification while having minimal impact on the overall departmental business processes.

As a couple of brief examples:

  • The federal government passes legislation that transfers primacy of a particular resource or environmental management to a given State department. That State department would experience a phenomenal expansion of authority and responsibility that may result in unprecedented growth; however, this expansion would NOT affect the work of many of the department's job classes from a position management perspective. The basic work performed, the competencies required to perform the work, and the education and experience that develops those competencies would be the same for these job classes because the work would ultimately be the same. The department would just require more personnel to cover the increased territory. Similarly, the subsequent increase in administrative work would require additional administrative staff to support departmental activities, but not necessarily require a different type of administrator.

    You may also reference the Work Changes page for further assistance on this topic.

  • More specifically, AS 08.95.110 requires that anyone working under the title of Social Worker hold a license issued by the State Board of Social Work Examiners or meet the requirements of exemption set forth in AS 08.95.911. This piece of legislation created new minimum qualifications (MQs) for Social Workers in that they must have a State issued license to carry the title. Classification responded to this newly legislated requirement by changing the minimum qualifications for the Social Worker family of job classes to include licensure or the ability to meet the exemption requirements.

    You may also reference the Licensing Changes page for further assistance on this topic including, requests to amend the MQs of a job class impacted by a change in professional licensure or certification.

New regulations have increased the complexity of my staff's work by requiring additional levels of review for each product before it is released. Do I need to reclassify my staff?

Increasing the amount of work, or the number of steps required to complete the work, is not normally associated with changing the core nature of the work performed in such a way that it substantially affects the nature, variety, and complexity of the duties. But, that is not always the case. One reliable measure of changes to work is to evaluate the work demands for the presence of:
  • New skills;
  • More relevant education than is set out in the current minimum qualifications; and/or,
  • New abilities that aren't currently recruited for.

You should reference the Work Changes page for further information on this topic.

What can I do to decrease the amount of time it takes for my staff to learn all the requisite regulations just for me to be able to have them start their simpler assignments.

Have you considered utilizing flexible staffing in order to bring new staff in at a lower level and give them an enhanced opportunity to train into their jobs? If there is a lower level body of work within the class series, a flexible staffing plan may be considered and developed to facilitate development of the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform duties at the higher level(s). Flexible staffing plans are established individually for single positions and must be directly related to achieving the ability to perform the duties required at the next higher level job class.

You may also reference the specific question regarding flexible staffing in the Training Changes page for further assistance on this topic.

What do I do when the regulations have become so cumbersome that my most senior and experienced employee spends most of his/her time serving as our "expert" and coaching all of the other staff.

If this employee (or group of employees, for that matter) is performing duties that none of his/her coworkers in the same job class are performing then this indicates that the PD(s) should be updated and reviewed by Classification. The type of review conducted will depend upon your objective assessment of the following:
  • Is this work appropriate to a State job class that already exists? If yes, then the impacted PDs should be updated and reviewed by Individual Allocations.

    For additional information on this process, please contact your appropriate Allocations Supervisor.

  • Does this work indicate the need to:
    • Alter the defining characteristics of an existing job class?
    • Change the boundaries between existing job classes?
    • Amend the competencies of the impacted employees such that the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) and minimum qualifications of their current job classes are not adequate to perform the required duties?
    • Create a new job class for a previously unrecognized body of work?
  • Answering yes to any (or all) of these questions indicates that a more in-depth consultation with Classification Studies may be warranted. To request such a consultation, the first person to ask is your supervisor to assure you have departmental approval to pursue this option. You should also contact the appropriate HR staff serving your department.

    Your Division Director (or appropriate delegate) should submit an email to:

    1. The Classification Section; and, carbon copies to,
    2. Your department's Administrative Services Director (if submitted by a delegate, please also cc your Division Director); and,
    3. The appropriate HR staff serving your department.

    This email should include:

    1. A description of the specific aspects of the work that appear to be no longer appropriate to the existing class structures and why.
    2. The job class(es) impacted by the change or concern.
    3. The PCNs of all impacted positions.
    4. Details regarding pertinent prior recruitment efforts (e.g., scope and duration, number of applicants, disposition of applicants, and hires made), ongoing training efforts, turnover, and non-retention, etc.
    5. Any solutions proposed by your department.
    6. Any additional agencies who utilize the impacted job class(es).
    7. Your department's designated contact for this request.

You may also reference the Work Changes page for further assistance on this topic.

The federal government just passed legislation that means every professional in my section needs a certification they don't have. What do I do now?

In this scenario, a change in federal and/or State mandate has determined that a specific licensure/certification is required of all employees performing a certain body or level of work. It should be noted that this scenario holds true whether a change in statute or regulation adds or removes a requisite licensure/certification for a given body of work.

When assessing the impacts of this change, you should determine if:

  • Your current staff will require additional experience and/or education in order to meet the requirements of the new license or certification;
  • Earning and possession of this licensure or certification changes the established knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of the positions in the job class or series;
  • Earning and possession of this licensure or certification alters the defining characteristics of the current job class or series;
  • Earning and possession of this licensure or certification indicate the need to define a class for a previously unrecognized body of work; and/or,
  • The changes create a mandatory new level of hierarchical authority that does not fit within any of the existing class structures.

If your assessment leads to "No" answers to these questions, the changes are probably only moderate and the most probable impact will be that the minimum qualifications (MQs) for the affected job class(es) will need to be amended to reflect this change in required license or certification so that they require the certification for entry into the job class This is a key step to assure that appropriately licensed or certified personnel are recruited in the future. Such amendments are conducted by Classification Studies, which is tasked with creating, maintaining, and revising job class specifications. This type of change impacts the MQs and MQ Questions but not any other part of the class concept(s).

To request a review to amend MQs, the first person to ask is your supervisor to ensure that you have departmental approval to pursue this option. You should also contact the appropriate HR staff serving your department.

Your Division Director (or appropriate delegate) should submit an email to:

  1. The Classification Section; and, carbon copies to,
  2. Your department's Administrative Services Director (if submitted by a delegate, please also cc your Division Director); and,
  3. The appropriate HR staff serving your department.

This email should include:

  1. A description of the change or concern.
  2. The job class(es) impacted by the change or concern.
  3. Any solutions proposed by your department.
  4. Any additional agencies who utilize the impacted job class(es).
  5. Your department's designated contact for this request.

Amendments to MQs typically take from one to ten business days to complete and, like other actions completed by Classification, are interactive and collaborative processes.

If your assessment leads to "Yes" answers, further consultation with Class Studies is necessary and a request for consultation should be made per the same procedures for requesting an MQ change.

You may also reference the Work Changes page for further assistance on this topic.

In addition, you should consider contacting your appropriate Recruitment staff to discuss strategies for developing effective recruitment bulletins that appropriately reflect these changes in qualifications. You may also reference the Recruitment Concerns page for further assistance on this topic.

New licensure requirements require my staff to take on additional responsibilities for their work and that they maintain new expensive licensure. What can I do to get my staff more money for this additional expense and responsibility?

A change in financial need, in and of itself, is not a factor for consideration of changes to classification and compensation. If there are other significant changes to the overall work, you may also reference the Work Changes page for further assistance on this topic.

Individual departments may have established policies regarding the reimbursement of employees for earning and maintaining professional licenses or certifications and such questions should be directed through your appropriate chain of command.

I wasn't able to find my particular questions and concerns here. What other options do I have?

We encourage you to continue reviewing our other pages. However, if you are either certain that your questions and concerns are not covered elsewhere, or have looked and still not found an answer, please do not hesitate to email us directly at the Classification Section.