Job Profiles and “Organising Framework for Occupations” (OFO’s)


Job profiles which are also called job descriptions set out details of the functions, duties and responsibilities for a particular job.

One of the main objectives of a good job profile is to assist in the recruiting process. The profile if properly set out can be of great assistance to the manager conducting the interview and will assist in determining if the applicant is a good fit for the position.

In addition if the job profile outlines specific and key competencies required in order to perform the duties as set out in the profile then the recruiting and selection process can be far more effective and accurate.

The profile or description should outline a very general description of the work to be done and should include functions, duties and responsibilities. In addition other information such as educational requirements and related experience should be outlined and highlighted.

With the introduction of the Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO’s) the setting out of job profiles has become far more structured and scientific. So what is the OFO?

The OFO groups occupations into successively broader categories and hierarchical levels based on similarity of tasks, skills and knowledge.

In essence, the Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO) is a coded occupational classification system.

The OFO is constructed from the bottom-up by

Analysing jobs and identifying similarities in terms of a tasks and skills
Categorising similar jobs into occupations
Classifying occupations into occupational groups at increasing levels of generality

It is worth bearing in mind, in terms of the OFO

A job is a seen as a set of tasks and work related responsibilities designed to be performed by an individual in return for payment / remuneration

An occupation is a set of jobs whose main tasks and associated responsibilities are of such similarity that they can be grouped together

It is for this reason that it is now important to identify the skills or competencies required and/or the skills and competency levels of current employees when setting out a job profile

It must be remembered that the skill or competency refers to the skills and competency of the employee required to do the job. This can be establishe by a combination of information such as

The level or amount of formal education and/or training associated with the job or occupation competencies
The amount of work experience required for competently performing the tasks associated with the job or occupation
The amount of on-the job training associated with achieving competent performance of the job.

Making use of a job profile aligned to the OFO has many benefits for employers and employees.
It will assist in presenting a clear picture of the position.
After reading a job profile, job seekers can make an informed decision as to whether the job is right for them.
It makes it easier to check on current employee and aspiring employee competency and skills levels.
The OFO application will set out a set of standardized job and occupational classifications common to all companies.
The existence of such competencies can be established in the interview process or when conduction job profiles
For applicants, a well-written job profile serves as a valuable interview preparation tool.
For current employees the job profile and related competencies can assist in the establishment of current skills and skills shortfalls
Training requirements are more easily identified.

It has always been essential for applicants for position to have achieved certain educational and training requirements before they are considered for a position.

The situation can now be taken to the next level where we can say the applicant must also be able to demonstrate or show that certain competencies or skills exist. Square pegs in round holes may well cease to exist when it comes to appointment of employees and when we offer training to current employees.

Des Squire (Managing member)
AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc
des@amsiandassociates.co.za

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