Instructions for Completing Position Description Form MS-22


Note: Items 1 - 6 are to be completed by the Agency Personnel Office.

  1. PIN - Enter the 6 digit Position Identification Number for the position.
  2. CLASS CODE/GRADE - Enter the four digit code for the job classification and the pay grade of the position.
  3. SERVICE - Indicate the assigned service of the job classification i.e., Skilled Service, Professional Service or Management Service.
    • Skilled Service - Except as provided in the State Personnel and Pensions Article or otherwise by law, includes all positions in the Executive Branch of State government not included in the Professional Service, Management Service or Executive Service; also includes clerical and administrative positions and full-time constables in the District Court of Maryland.
    • Professional Service - Includes positions which require knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a course of specialized intellectual instruction and study and normally requiring a professional license, advanced degree or both.
    • Management Service - Includes positions which primarily involve direct responsibility for the oversight and management of personnel and financial resources, require the exercise of discretion and independent judgement and are not in the Executive Service.
  4. SPECIAL APPOINTMENT - Is the position designated as a special appointment as determined by the State Personnel and Pensions Article 6-405?
  5. OVERTIME STATUS - In this section indicate whether the class is exempt or non-exempt from cash overtime compensation as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  6. AGENCY APPROPRIATION CODE - Enter the agency appropriation code.

    Note: Items 7-13 are to be completed by the supervisor.
  7. CURRENT EMPLOYEE'S NAME - Enter the first, middle and last name of the incumbent. Enter "vacant" if there is no one in the position.
  8. CLASS TITLE - Use the official title of the position as shown in the salary plan, e.g., Administrative Officer III or Office Secretary I.
    • WORKING TITLE - If different, use the internal title that is used for the position, e.g., Director of Administration.
  9. DEPARTMENT/AGENCY NAME - Give the name of the department or agency where the position is located, e.g., Department of Human Resources or Office of Planning.
    • DIVISION, UNIT OR SECTION - Enter the name of the division, subdivision, unit or section within the department or agency where the position is located, e.g., Division of Administration or Environmental Assessment Program.
  10. WORK LOCATION/ADDRESS - Enter the complete address of the work site, e.g., 233 Main Street, Annapolis, Maryland.
  11. NAME, TITLE & GRADE OF IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR - Enter the name, class or working title and pay grade of the designated supervisor of the position.
  12. WORK SCHEDULE - Indicate the normal work hours for the position, and if the position is full or part time. A check list is provided and all that apply should be checked.
  13. HOW LONG PERFORMING DUTIES? - If applicable, enter the date that the current incumbent began performing the assigned duties and responsibilities.


  1. MAIN PURPOSE OF THE POSITION - This section requires a brief (one or two sentence) statement describing the primary function of the position. It may include the internal title of the position or any statement descriptive of the overall purpose of the position. A statement of the organization may be helpful (e.g., supervises the Flood Management Division of the Watershed Protection Program within the Water Resources Administration). Describe the main purpose of the job and how it relates to the mission of the agency.
  2. ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS AND OTHER ASSIGNED DUTIES - This section is composed of duty/responsibility statements which identify essential job functions and other assigned duties. Essential job functions are the fundamental job duties of a position that if not performed will alter the job. Essential job functions do not include the marginal functions of a position. Essential job functions are those functions that the individual who holds or desires a position must be able to perform, unaided or with a reasonable accommodation. Essential job functions may be listed separately, highlighted or underlined.

    Duty/responsibility statements should begin with an action verb (e.g., types, inspects, supervises, composes, screens, orders, records). The verb used should be descriptive of the action, as precise as possible, and written in the present singular. A few examples of some commonly used (actually misused) verbs that should be avoided because of ambiguity are:

    • helps
    • participates
    • assists
    • processes
    • keeps
    • assesses

    Ideally verbs should have objects (i.e., not just "types" or "files" but "types legal documents" or "files completed purchase orders").

    Often, the duties and responsibilities of a job can best be illustrated by describing not only what action is taken but also to whom or what the action is directed, why the action is being done and how the action is done. Consider the following examples:

    Bad Examples:
    • Assists with the inspection of construction projects.
    • Trains subordinate employees.
    Good Examples:
    • Inspects/construction operations (erosion control, portland cement, concrete paving, asphaltic concrete paving, painting, fencing, placement ) in order to insure compliance with construction specifications/by comparing observations and construction specifications and plans, and instructions; with daily review by the supervisor.
    • Instructs/employees in Department of Human Resources policies and office procedures, applicable State and federal laws, ethical and professional conduct, report preparation, and treatment plan development and implementation/in order to facilitate adequate or improved job performance. This is done by providing appropriate reading materials, making work assignments, conducting staff meetings and orientation sessions and coordinating or conducting on-the-job training activities.
    • Every essential job function composing the position's main purpose should be listed along with the percentage of the overall time commitment spent on the activity (total percentage of all activities should total 100%) and/or weight of importance.
  3. LEVEL, FREQUENCY AND PURPOSE OF WORK CONTACTS - List the contacts that the position has with individuals within the division, agency and department as well as other State agencies, other government agencies, private companies, clients, customers, vendors and the general public. These contacts may be in person, in writing or by telephone. The level of the contact should be listed, e.g., not just Department of Agriculture but agricultural inspectors in the Division of Weights and Measures. The purpose of the matters discussed and frequency of each contact should be stated, e.g., contact vendors weekly to obtain estimates for supplies.

    Bad Examples:
    • Contact with district office staff and local government staff.
    • General public
    • Private businesses
    • Department of Transportation
    Good Examples:
    • Contacts district office managers weekly to advise them of and explain new policies and directives. (Telephone and in-person)
    • District office managers contact me on a daily basis with questions on operation of data processing system. (phone)
    • Contact members of Governor's Task Force on Creative Prisons in writing and on the telephone to schedule and change meeting dates (monthly).
    • Has daily, weekly and monthly contact with private industry employees, managers, executives and owners; union, media and special interest group representatives; Assistant Attorneys General and District State Attorneys; elected officials and staff and administrators from State, local and federal government agencies. The purpose of the contacts is to promote the program and explain program objectives; and to justify, defend or settle matters involving significant occupational safety and health issues. For example, explains, defends and justifies the issuance of citations and penalty actions; and settles matters scheduled for review before the Attorney General's Office.
    • Has contact with public defender clients, their families, friends and employers; and witnesses to criminal activities. The purpose of contacts is to persuade, motivate and interrogate fearful, hostile and skeptical people who can provide information pertinent to criminal investigations. (Daily contact).
    • Has daily contact with discrimination complainants and their employers for the purpose of obtaining information relevant to the complaint and to negotiate mutually agreeable settlement terms.
  4. DECISIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS - List decisions and recommendations that the position makes which are necessary to carry out essential job functions and which have the greatest consequences in relation to the job. Specific examples rather than general statements should be given. State to whom recommendations are made.

    Bad Examples:
    • Making decisions on policies.
    • Understanding procurement regulations and making decisions accordingly.
    • Resolve problems concerning licensing.
    • Methods to ameliorate problems that arise.
    Good Examples:
    • Determine when to prepare press releases or Forest Pest Management Report Articles and what information to include.
    • Recommend timeliness for the completion of office procedures and documents, i.e., training contracts, registrations at off-campus sites to supervisor.
    • Decide if requests for supplies from the storeroom are appropriate. For example: Maintenance personnel should not request supplies and materials purchased for the vocational training department.
    • Set up procedures and formats to be followed throughout the agency for fleet management.
  5. EQUIPMENT USED - List the equipment, machinery and tools used to complete the job, e.g., computer, calculator, hand tools, measuring devices and lab equipment.
  6. NATURE OF SUPERVISION RECEIVED - This section identifies the type of supervision received by the employee, i.e., close, moderate, general or managerial.
    • Close: The supervisor makes specific assignments that are accompanied by clear, detailed and specific instructions. The employee works as instructed and consults with the supervisor, as needed, on all matters not specifically covered in the original instructions or guidelines. For all positions the work is closely controlled. The control may be through the structured nature of the work itself; or it may be controlled by the circumstances in which it is performed. In some situations, the supervisor maintains control through review of the work which may include checking progress or reviewing completed work for accuracy, adequacy and adherence to instructions and established procedures.
    • Moderate: The supervisor provides continuing or individual assignments by indicating generally what is to be done, limitation, quality and quantity expected, deadlines and priority of assignments. The supervisor provides additional, specific instructions for new, difficult or unusual assignments including suggested work methods or advice on source materials available. The employee uses initiative in carrying out recurring assignments independently without specific instruction, but refers deviations, problems and unfamiliar situations not covered by instructions to the supervisor for decision or help. The supervisor assures that finished work and methods used are technically accurate and in compliance with instructions or established procedures. Review of the work increases with more difficult assignments if the employee has not previously performed similar assignments.
    • General: The supervisor makes assignments by defining objectives, priorities and deadlines; and assists employee with unusual situations which do not have clear precedents. The employee plans and carries out the successive steps and handles problems and deviations in the work assignment in accordance with instructions, policies, previous training or accepted practices in the occupation. Completed work is usually evaluated for technical soundness, appropriateness and conformity to policy and requirements. The methods used in arriving at the end results are not usually reviewed in detail.
    • Managerial: The supervisor sets the overall objectives and resources available. The employee and supervisor, in consultation, develop the deadlines, projects and work to be done. At this level, the employee has developed expertise in the work and is responsible for planning and carrying out the assignment; resolving most of the conflicts which arise; coordinating the work with others as necessary; and interpreting policy on own initiative in terms of established objectives. In some assignments, the employee also determines the approach to be taken and the methodology to be used. The employee keeps the supervisor informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, or far-reaching implications. Completed work is reviewed only from an overall standpoint in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other work, or effectiveness in meeting requirements or expected results.
  7. WORKING CONDITIONS - Check and explain all items that apply.


Note: To be completed by the supervisor. This section should be completed if the position is responsible for the work of others.

NATURE AND LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORK OF OTHERS - A supervisor assigns and reviews the work of others, trains employees, recommends the selection, promotion and termination, approves leave and signs time cards, signs annual performance evaluations , determines and resolves procedural problems within the unit, serves as a spokesperson for subordinates, explains policies and directives from management and issues formal disciplinary reminders, warnings and reprimands. A lead worker assigns and reviews the work of others, instructs and motivates workers, is available for immediate assistance or review and performs the work of the classification.

  • a and b - Check whether or not the position supervises or leads other employees. If yes to a or b, list the names and classifications of the employees.
  • c - Check the ways that the employees are supervised or led. (Check all that apply). If the position does not supervise or lead employees in the same way, indicate how they are supervised.
    For example: "Has full supervisory responsibility for John Jones, Administrative Officer I and Susan Smith, Office Secretary III"; "Also assigns work to Anne Johnson, Typist Clerk IV, during budget preparation cycle (May-June)."
  • d - If the position supervises positions that have supervisory responsibility, list those employees and the names and classifications of those that they supervise.


The appointing authority of an agency shall ensure that each employee in the Skilled Service, Professional Service and Management Service receives an annual written performance appraisal and a mid-year performance assessment. The Position Description provides an employee with information on the standards for satisfactory performance of essential job functions. For each essential job function described in Part II, list the standard(s) necessary for satisfactory performance.


This section should be signed and dated by the employee, when applicable, and by the supervisor and appointing authority. The signatures indicate acknowledgement of the information on the form by the employee and approval by the supervisor and appointing authority.


Form MS-21
Revised 10/96