Getting the basics right is important, if for no other reason than to ensure that all parties are on the same page. This weeks HR Highlight will explore an often undervalued part of this process, the Position Description, and why it is worth the time and effort to draft, communicate and review them.

What is a Position Description?

Sometimes called a Job Description, a Position Description is a document that outlines the operation of a role.

Position Descriptions are not a required employment document, but they can play a very important role in setting clear expectations as to tasks, performance indicators and responsibility flows that can have great benefits to the business and the staff.

A clear Position Description allows staff to see what is expected of them from day one, and provides a formal framework for discussions around staff performance during initial probation and beyond. With a clear and detailed Position Description the business has a document to point to that outlines what the staff member should be able to do, what they were expected to do and what they were allowed to do. This is extremely helpful in performance management situations.

What should be included in a Position Description?

A Position Description should describe the actual position, not the person who is in the role…this is a common trap.

Ideally it should start with a short section on the description of the role, then include Job Tasks (actual tasks of the role), Training (Learning and Development Requirements), Reporting Lines (supervising and reporting to), Financial Accountability (Budget allocations and expense allowances) and Physical Requriements (eg. stand for almost all of work time, lift and carry stock up to 25kg etc).

The inclusion of the Physical Requirements into a Position Description is an important element that is often overlooked. What an employees body is required to do is just as important to be clear and transparent about as their mind, and in an industry where the majority of retail workers are required to stand for almost all of their work time, it is vital that the business has communicated this clearly to allow for management of this element if required.

ACAPMA Position Description Guide – Retail

ACAPMA Members can access the Position Description Guide for Retail that includes draft Position Descriptions for Site Managers, Console Operators, Roadhouse Attendants and Driveway Attendants. Members should email to request their copy of the Guide.

Back to Basics Part 3

In Part 3 of the Series we will dive into Engagement Documents and how to document the offer to a casual or permanent staff member.

Here to Help

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.

They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation. Members can do this by emailing

ACAPMA Membership is affordable at only $800 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts.  Click here to learn more about ACAPMA Membership.