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Administration study

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  • Technical


The type of log we have worked on in this section may only be useful in large organisations where staff are located in a variety of sections across a number of sites. It is in these circumstances where an organisation may not have an overview of who is actually doing what.

It is important to note that the amount of time spent on an area of work is only an indicator of ability. Just regularly spending time on something does not necessarily make anyone a specialist, it all really comes down to a person being so capable at an area of work that they are recognised by those around them as a reliable source of skill, technique or information.

From working through this section you will have seen how even something as straight forward as administration can be broken down into many different areas across an organisation. If you have worked through the previous sections then you should now have enough basic knowledge to talk confidently about HR systems and hopefully settle into an office environment a bit faster.

Well done for getting this far and best wishes with your next steps.


The log on this site is based on administration work. In theory it can be used for any area of work. If every person doing a particular type of work completes a log it is then possible to make a rough, but logically derived, estimate of what percentage of an organisation undertakes certain tasks.

This type of overview can then indicate the amount the organisation spends on areas of work.

Knowing where others are who do similar work allows staff to set about forming networks and being able to share experiences.

Knowing the proportion of time that staff spend on certain areas of work gives the organisations training providers the opportunity to reach out in a focused way to specific groups of people.

Organisations are essentially trying to get to a position where the people with the appropriate skills are engaged in the right places at the right time.

Something else that an administration log can indicate is areas where there might be skills shortages.

This helps answer the question set out at the begining of this section.


The entries that users make are stored in a database. This could throw up the challenge of anyone searching for other administrators having to sift through lots of entries that people will have put in the database. Some will be ones that may not be relevant. In a production system this would be overcome by including a submit button which identifies the final version that the person wishes to post into the database. In this demonstration we have merely used some programming that selects the most recent entry up to the date on which the search is done.

The web page searches for results using the following process:

  1. go to the database table holding everyone's admin logs
  2. identify today's date
  3. identify the threshold percentage
  4. from every person's log entries identify the most recent one before or on today's date
  5. for each person determine if they spend any of their time working in the areas that have been selected by the user
  6. from the details identified above select those where the person has identified that they spend a percentage of their time that is the same as or greater than the threshold percentage
  7. collate the final results, group them by administrative areas of work and order each grouping on the percentage of time spent

Key Legislation Underpinning Employment Contracts

The Employment Rights Act 1996 underpins contracts of employment in the United Kingdom.

The terminolgy to use is a written statement of particulars of employment. This summarises the main particulars of the employment relationship and must according to the legislation be given within two months of the person's first day of service.

Whilst the law states two months it would actually be poor form to encourage a person to give up an existing job or prior state of affairs without actually presenting them with the contractual terms of their new role until two months after it has started. The law is quite flexible but if we are truly focused on the quality of the engagement with the prospective member of staff the written statement of particulars really should be issued as soon as possible after the decision to appoint has been made.

Issuing the written statement of particulars at the earliest point means the person is aware of what they being contracted to and can clarify any uncertainties before accepting. Starting a relationship in this manner where possible helps ensure a more harmonious contract.

The key aspects of a written statement of particulars are as follows:

  1. The names of the employer and employee.
  2. The title of the job which the employee is employed to do or a brief description of the work for which they are employed.
  3. Where the employment is not intended to be permanent, the period for which it is expected to continue.
  4. Either the place of work or, where the employee is required or permitted to work at various places, an indication of that and of the address of the employer.
  5. The date when the employment began.
  6. The date on which the employee’s period of continuous employment began (taking into account any employment with a previous employer which counts towards that period). The continuous employment date is often the same as the start date. Where it is earlier this may give the new starter certain employment rights that come with longer service.
  7. The scale or rate of remuneration/pay or the method of calculating this.
  8. The intervals at which remuneration is paid (that is, weekly, monthly or other specified intervals).
  9. Any terms and conditions relating to hours of work.
  10. Entitlement to holidays, including public holidays, and holiday pay.
  11. How incapacity for work due to sickness or injury will be handled, including any provision for sick pay.
  12. Pensions and pension schemes.
  13. The length of notice which the employee is obliged to give and entitled to receive to terminate his contract of employment.
  14. Any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the employment. In large organisations trade unions negotiate with the employer on behalf of staff, the agreements they reach with the employer are called collective agreements.

Key to the Organisation Chart

An explanation of the symbols used

collapsed icon This icon represents a unit that has child units. Click it to see the child units.
expanded icon This icon means that a unit has its child units visible. Click to close the child units.
Unit name Click on a unit to get more information on it. If the unit has child units it will open a page showing them too.

Organisation structure details Clicking this icon takes you to some basic theory on organisation charts and structure.
collapse all button This button is Collapse All and when clicked closes all units that have been opened up.
expand all button This button is Expand All and when clicked opens all units so you will see every aspect of the tree.

Welcome to Learning in Small Bites

YouTube page

Welcome to the free website for people who want to learn about the technology used for keeping staffing details in offices. Using this site you can learn as much from the comfort of your arm chair as you could in two years at work. Here is your chance to practice with systems that you may only have heard about. Get a behind the scenes view of what happens with your information and how it is stored.

This site is aimed at people from school leaving age and above who may be interested in working with what are known as Human Resources (HR) information systems.

If we can help even one person to secure a job in HR or specialise in HR systems as a result of using our free development site then the creators of HRMISolutions and Learning in Small Bites will have achieved what we set out to do.


You will get the best out of this site if you have:

  • A little experience of using a computer, a tablet or a smart phone.
  • A desire to help people to use less effort to achieve more.
  • An interest in office systems (don't worry if you are not sure at the start).


Complete a log of how your work is organised.

Why? That is a very good question.

A log is a planning tool, it can be useful because administration contains so many different areas. The variety can range from administration with money and finances, to administration around people's information or their training and development. Alternatively it could be administration of meetings, record keeping, information technology or even health and safety.

Please do not worry about definitions of areas of administration. Look beneath the surface and try to understand the variety of areas that an administrator might actually engage in. The nature of these things is that three people in a room are hardly ever likely to agree on a definition of anything. With this in mind this site has adopted some general terms that could easily be changed but really just serve to show that administration can be broken into many headings. We have chosen 25 headings that came from a project working with administrators in a large university. We chose a university because universities have many departments that relate to several specialisms each of which will have quite a number of administrators responsible for different areas.

At the time of writing in 2012 in some large less automated/modernised organisations it is easily possible for administrators to number as much as 30% of the workforce. So, in an organisation of 10,000 staff that could lead to there being 3000 administration professionals. Now imagine if the average annual salary is £20,000 per person. That adds up to a spend of around £20,000 x 3000 staff = £60 million per annum on administrative work. Interestingly organisations often cannot put their finger on what proportion of effort is spent on various areas but the money continues to be sepnt. Equally administrators across organisations may only focus on their own area and not know who else specialises in various other aspects of administration.

All that completing a log achieves is getting those who do a particular job to estimate how much of their time, if any, is spent on different areas of work. This then allows the organisation to understand how much effort goes into various areas. Understanding this means that training can be targetted at particular groups and also areas of low support can be identified.

A log is a blunt tool but it is a simple and quick way of getting to understand how resources are distributed and whether the best use is being made of a wealth of talent. The next page simply defines some areas of work and allows individuals to take a moment to give a rough estimate of how much time they spend on any area in a typical year.

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