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Managing position items

Once you have set up your position framework you are ready to add the different job roles in your organisation. These are the position items. You can set your position items up individually, or you can use bulk actions.

Create position items

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Select the name of the position framework to which you will add position items.
  4. Click Add new Position.
  5. Set the ‘Parent’ position.

    The ‘Parent’ position allows you to build parent/child relationships between the individual positional items in your hierarchy framework. You must have at least one position item set up in your framework for this option to be available. The default value is ‘Top’.
  6. Give your position item a name.
  7. You can give the position items an ID number and description if required.
  8. Set the position type.

    Types are containers for custom fields. When you assign a position to a type, the position inherits the custom fields associate with it. This is an optional field; this can be left blank or set later, see Position types to learn more.
  9. Click Save changes.

Your new position item now appears in the position framework.

You can also add a shortname for your position if you enable Display hierarchy shortnames in Configure features

Editing a positional item

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Click the name of the position framework you want to work in.
  4. Click Edit in the Actions column for the position Item.
  5. Make the required changes.
  6. Click Save changes.

Delete a position item

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Click the name of the position framework you want to work in.
  4. Click Delete in the Actions column for the position Item.
  5. A warning message is displayed. Click Yes to confirm.

Bulk actions

Bulk actions allow you to add, delete, and move many position items in one action.

Create position items using bulk actions

Add under bulk actions allows you to add multiple position items to the same parent and type in one action.

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Select the name of the position framework to which you want to add the position items.
  4. Select Add from the Bulk actions dropdown menu.
  5. Select the ‘Parent’ position.

    The ‘Parent’ position allows you to build parent/child relationships between the individual positions in your hierarchy framework. You must have at least one position set up in your framework for this option to be available. The default value is ‘Top’.
  6. Set the position ‘Type’.

    Types are containers for custom fields. When you assign a position to a type, the position inherits the custom fields associated with it. This is an optional field and can be left blank or set later, see Position types to learn more.
  7. Enter each position item you wish to add on a new line.
  8. Click Save changes.

Your new position items now appear in the position framework.

Bulk delete position items

Delete under Bulk actions allows you to delete many position items from a framework in one step.

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Click the name of the position framework from which you wish to delete positional items.
  4. Select Delete from the Bulk actions dropdown menu.
  5. Select the positions you wish to delete from the left hand column and click Add to add them to the right hand column (select multiple items by holding down Ctrl or shift on the keyboard).
  6. Click Delete selected Positions.
  7. A warning message is displayed, click Yes to confirm.

The selected position items are now deleted.

Bulk move position items

Move under Bulk actions allows you to move many position items from one parent to another in one step.

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Click the name of the position framework where you wish to move position items in bulk.
  4. Select Move from the Bulk actions dropdown menu.
  5. Select the positions from the left hand column you wish to move and click Add to add them to the right hand column (select multiple items by holding down ctrl or shift on the keyboard).
  6. From the Move selected positions to: drop down menu, select the Parent position where you wish to move the selected position items.
  7. Click Move.
  8. A warning message is displayed, click Yes to confirm.

The selected position items are now moved.

Bulk re-classify position items

See Managing position types to learn about bulk reclassification.

Assigning competencies to position items

Once you have set up position items you can assign competencies to them.

Competencies assigned to a position item can have two states:

  • Mandatory: Mandatory courses must be completed by the Learner. When mandatory competencies (and any linked courses) are automatically pulled into a learning plan the Learner is not able to delete them.
  • Optional: Optional courses are suggested competencies to help the Learner in their role. When optional competencies (and any linked courses) are automatically pulled into a learning plan the Learner is able to delete them.

When the learning plan template is set to automatically assign competencies from position, competencies assigned to a Learner’s position automatically appear in their learning plan when they create one. See Learning plan templates to learn more.

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Positions.
  2. Click Manage Positions.
  3. Click the name of the position framework you wish to work in.
  4. Click the name of the position item you want to assign competencies to.
  5. Click Assign competencies.
  6. If you have more than one competency framework, select the framework from the drop down menu and click the name of the competency to select.

    If there are more than 100 competencies in the selected framework you can only use the search function to select competencies.
  7. The selected competencies appear in the Current selection list on the right, repeat step 4 until you have selected all the required competencies. Use the Delete button to remove a selected competency from the list.
  8. Click Save to save the selected competencies.
  9. Set the Link type this affects whether the competency is mandatory or optional. The default state is Optional.
  10. You can remove a selected competency by clicking Delete.
  11. Click Return to position framework when finished.

Assigning positions to users

Positions can be assigned to users in bulk through HR Import position source or individually by editing their profile and Choosing position. Positions can be assigned to each job assignment the user has.

To assign a position to a user:

  1. Click the user by clicking the link to the user name.
  2. Click Profile.
  3. Click Add job assignment.
  4. Click Choose position button.
  5. Navigate to the position hierarchy location or select Search to find position.
  6. Click OK to assign the position.

If you attempt to assign a manager that results in a circular management loop then an error message will be displayed and you won't be able to add the circular reference.

For example If User A has User B as their manager, User B has User C as their manager - you will not be able to add User A as the manager of user C as this would create a create unexpected behaviour for manager approvals and management reporting.

Assigning position start and end dates

It is possible to assign a user's position a start and/or an end date. The following are suggestions for how this can be used in different scenarios: 

  • User joins company:

account created, assigned a posstartdate, posenddate left blank

posidnumber set to new posidnumber, posstartdate = new position start date, posenddate = blank, upload.

  • User is promoted, user account updated to new position, two actions required:

posidnumber set to old posidnumber, posstartdate = blank, posenddate = last date in position, upload.
posidnumber set to new posidnumber, posstartdate = new position start date, posenddate = blank, upload.

  • User leaves company:

posidnumber = unchanged, posstartdate = blank, posenddate = date of exit, upload. (or does deleting the account mark posenddate automatically)

Totara Academy

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Hierarchies and job assignments in Totara. Here you can learn more on how to use hierarchies and job assignments, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.




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