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Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 28 January 1975

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the basic entry grade and the career grade for scientists joining the Civil Service with good honours degrees.

The entry grade for scientists joining the Civil Service with a good honours degree but with no additional experience is the Scientific Officer grade. There is no specified career grade. Most direct-entry scientific officers, which include those with honours degrees, reach the Senior Scientific Officer grade, the best reach Principal Scientific Officer and some may progress further.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the salary maximum for Government scientists in their career grade; and how this compares with veterinary staff in their career grade.

Scientific and veterinary staff enter the Civil Service in any of a number of grades depending upon each individual's qualifications and experience. There are no specified career grades. The following tables show the current salary maximum for each grade in the Science Group and the Veterinary Officer Class. The salary figures shown in respect of the Veterinary Officer Class are currently under review.

Gradecurrent salary maximum*
Chief Scientific Officer (Lower Band)10,950
Deputy Chief Scientific Officer9,440
Senior Principal Scientific Officer7,750
Principal Scientific Officer5,550
Senior Scientific Officer4,441
Higher Scientific Officer3,371
Scientific Officer2,675
Assistant Scientific Officer1,899
Gradecurrent salary maximum*
Assistant Chief Veterinary Officer8,850
Regional Veterinary Officer8,100
Deputy Regional Veterinary Officer (VI)/Senior Research Officer I7,750
Deputy Regional Veterinary Officer7,116
Divisional Veterinary Officer/Senior Research Officer II6,284
Veterinary Officer I/Research Officer I4,505
Veterinary OfficerII/Research Officer II3,843
* Excluding London Weighting where applicable and threshold payments.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what proportion of promotions in the scientific Civil Service are "merit" promotions.

All promotions in the Civil Service are on merit and are normally made to posts with fixed gradings. In some areas of work, such as research, where a system of fixed grading is not possible, there is provision to adjust gradings where both the needs of the work and the level of an individual's contribution warrant it. Promotions in these areas are sometimes called "merit" promotions, but it would not be possible to quantify them without disproportionate cost. At senior levels there is a formal scheme for "individual merit promotion" for staff working in science and technology and this accounts for about 20 per cent. of all promotions at those levels.