Promotions occur because of upward movement to a job with greater responsibility at a higher level or grade. Significant changes in responsibilities must have occurred for a promotion to be considered.

The Process

  • Ensure there is an accurate and up-to-date job description when an employee is being considered for a promotion.
  • Where required, obtain approval from the designated senior administrator to ensure that established procedures within a department or school are followed.
  • Consult with Compensation and/or your Human Resources Officer for guidance in making an informed decision before discussing any salary change with an employee.
  • Review the guidelines and “key considerations” (below) in determining whether an increase is appropriate.
  • Compare the employee's current salary to salaries of those in his/her new peer group. An increase may or may not be appropriate, based on internal equity.


  • Promotional increases are typically between 5%-15%, depending on the increased level of responsibility and other factors as outlined below.
  • A promotional increase must bring the employee to at least the minimum of his/her new pay level or range.
  • The effective date of a promotion should coincide with employee’s taking on increased responsibilities.
  • Employees who are experiencing performance and/or conduct problems are ineligible for promotion until the problem is resolved.

Key Considerations

  • How proficient is the employee in meeting the requirements of the new job?
  • Where is the employee's current pay in relation to the targeted pay level or range?
  • How does the employee's recommended salary compare with that of others in the same or similar job?
  • How does the employee's recommended salary compare with that of his or her supervisor and, where appropriate, direct reports?

If an employee has acquired new skills or their responsibilities have increased within their current job, however not significantly enough to warrant a grade or level change, options other than promotion exist. Please refer to Increase in Position Responsibility and/or Acquiring New Skills guidelines.

When an employee is changing jobs within the same grade, please refer to the Lateral Transfer guideline.

Sponsored Research Staff (SRS) and Promotions

Because there are no grade levels or salary structures within the Sponsored Research Staff payroll category, an SRS employee who moves to a new position within the SRS payroll category with greater responsibility in the same department would be considered an "In Level Promotion." The position title may change, but the job title remains the same.