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Responsibility Review Guidelines


The Responsibility Review Form is for the purpose of examining the primary duties and responsibilities of each position and identifying progress in accomplishing those duties. The review should be completed cooperatively between employee and supervisor in a private setting that allows enough time for thorough discussion. A current position description is needed before the review can take place.

Getting Started


The review starts with the organization's mission statement. There is value in having every employee read this and understand what the institution as a whole is charged to do. As a next step, include your department's mission statement. If you don't have one, consider writing one with your whole department's input. This identifies the department's role in contributing to the institutional mission.

Examining Duties and Responsibilities



The examination of the employee's duties and responsibilities highlights how s/he fits into larger picture presented in the mission statements. You will note that there is only room to examine up to four duties and responsibilities from an employee's job description. A review of the employee's safety performance is strongly encouraged to comply with NDSU's eligibility for the North Dakota Workers Compensation Risk Management Program. You may copy this form if you wish to examine more duties for an individual, but you are encouraged to think about rewriting the job description. Many job descriptions are written expansively and in minute detail. Some are written by project, with repetition of tasks within each project. If an employee can concentrate on a smaller number of goals, and truly accomplish them each year, the University will be making solid progress.

The examination of the duties and responsibilities takes into account:

  • Feedback from a variety of sources (including, but not limited to, people from whom the work flows, other people involved in the work, people who are the recipient of the work, observations of the supervisor and statistical data), from whatever sources the supervisor (with input from the employee) feels best answer the question "How do we know if this is being done well?";
  • Progress on previous goals;
  • Details of that feedback (may be positive, neutral, negative, anecdotal, statistical)
  • Identify a needed improvement/set a goal (in today's changing environment, there is always something that needs attention). The feedback taken into account should make this a natural next step. If not, go back and re-evaluate your feedback sources.
  • Identify resources needed to meet the improvement or goal. This could take the shape of time, money, equipment, space, training, cooperation, etc.

Considering Behaviors and Relationships


It is appropriate to consider not only the results of the duties as they are performed, but the behaviors used as they are performed. In executing daily responsibilities, does the employee perform in a legal and ethical manner? Does s/he adhere to institutional policies? Does the employee work well with others as a team member, enabling others to get work accomplished? Positive working relationships are essential to the performance of virtually every position and should be considered in reviewing every duty.

Finalizing for Submittal


Space is given at the end for general comments by both the employee and the supervisor. Signature lines are provided for the employee and the person your department head has designated as authorized. If addendums are attached to the review, the employee and the supervisor must sign those as well.

Return the original of the signed Responsibility Review to the Office of Human Resources/Payroll.

Duty and Responsibility Examples


For a receptionist working in an office:


Duty and Responsibility #1:  Answer phone and receive walk-in visitors.

Review of previous goal:  (Ensure that staffing prevents phone from going unanswered or ringing many times before answering.) Have hired work-study help on a schedule which allows for coverage at all times.

Current feedback sources:  Co-workers in office; supervisor; regular visitors/callers to office; average number of visitors/callers per day.

Current feedback details:  Phone answered by second ring, cordial voice, messages taken, 42 calls/24 visitors per day (3.1% increase in traffic over last year). Reports of calls being transferred to wrong person, resulting in multiple transfers.

Identified Goal:  Transfer a call only once to appropriate person.

Resource needed:  Training course on telephone screening skills. Time and information to develop list of who performs services for which calls are often received.

For a research specialist working in a laboratory:


Duty and Responsibility #1:  Design, perform and document experiments.

Review of previous goal:  (Improve timeliness of report writing.) Revised schedule to build in time for write-ups. Materials during the last year in on time, but not all are legible.

Current feedback sources:  Project co-workers; principle investigator; scheduled documentation of data collected; laboratory materials usage.

Current feedback details:  Project drawing to completion. Has worked cooperatively with co-workers. Laboratory materials used within planned amounts.

Identified Goal:  Need legible documentation as noted above. Not knowledgeable in plant growth models to be used in next project.

Resource needed:  Computer for lab. Developmental leave for education in plant growth models.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8961 / Fax: (701) 231-9686
Campus address: SGC 102
Physical/delivery address: 1919 University Dr N, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 3140 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Human Resources/Payroll

Last Updated: Thursday, May 09, 2013 1:59:03 PM