Policies and Procedures
Position Descriptions
Writing a Duty Statement
(Updated 2.17.12) 

Duty statements are the most important element of a position description. They tell what work is performed in the position. They are the primary source of information used to assign the position to a classification. They also define the work so that job expectations and training needs may be identified.

Duty statements must be informative and should be made as concise as possible. Before attempting to write a duty statement, be sure that you have a thorough understanding of the work performed. Review any available information about the job, such as established guidelines and procedures.

A well written duty statement will answer the following questions:

  • What is happening?
  • To whom/what is the action being directed?
  • Why is the action being done?
  • How is the Action completed?

Examples of Well Written Duty Statements

  • Proofreads, corrects, and edits rough draft, final copy, and updated/corrected material to ensure grammatical, spelling, typographical, and punctuation errors are identified and corrected.
  • Creates, organizes and maintains various data information systems so that information is current, accurate and accessible.
  • Gather data for and prepare state and federal reports so that the Regents reporting requirements and deadlines are met.
  • Patrols, by car or on foot, an assigned area by observing buildings, offices and street to determine whether conditions appear to be safe and in order.
  • Trains and supervises student employees in the handling, transfer, and inventory control of audio-visual equipment and materials to ensure that needs of the University are met.
  • Reviews account statements from Business Office, prepares monthly expenditure report for each departmental accounts and monitors purchases so that spending is kept within the budgeted amounts.
  • Types correspondence, answers telephones, opens and distribute mail, directs the work of student employees, and assists individuals visiting the office so that office operates efficiently.
  • Transports dirt, sand, gravel, road repair material or equipment and supplies in order to deliver needed materials or equipment to the work site by operating various dump and flatbed trucks.

Indicate the approximate percentage of time (%) spent on each responsibility as shown in the left margin.  Each duty statement should be at least 5% and not be greater than 60%. Duty statements should have sufficient details to support the percentage time. The total percentage for all duty statements must equal 100%.