Pay Structuring Virtual Classroom
Course Information

Three-day virtual classroom instructed by leading compensation expert – Dianne Auld

Live Zoom seminar: three morning sessions over three days

Date: 11-13 May 2021.
Location: Live stream via zoom.
Duration: Three days, 9am to 1pm (UK).
Fees: £695 + VAT per delegate.

Many courses teach reward theory, but few provide practical, useable instructions on implementation. This course provides both. It outlines the theory and principles around pay structuring combined with a practical, step-by-step template on how to implement pay structures in your organisation. Every module of the course is accompanied by a detailed, realistic case study, where the principles just taught are put into practice.

By the end of the course delegates will have the skills and know-how to be able to implement, adjust or review their own organisation’s pay structures, and align those pay structures to your business model.

The course covers every aspect of pay structure design, including:

  • job evaluation
  • creating base pay scatter charts and trend lines
  • surveying the market
  • determining and calculating pay ranges
  • pay slopes and pay overlap
  • positioning staff in the pay scales
  • dealing with pay anomalies and exceptions
  • pay increase options
  • the annual review of the pay structure.

Each aspect is viewed in terms of alignment to the organisation’s business strategy and culture.

Here’s what Dianne says about the course:

I first provide an overview of pay structuring, explaining all the issues we will consider over the next two days.
Then I delve into each issue, discussing the principles, rationale, pros and cons, methods, possible alternative approaches etc., always drawing on both my experience and the class’s experience.
Then we apply the learnings to an in-depth case study. In the case study the delegates, in small teams, build a pay structure for a small organisation, starting off with evaluating all the jobs, then developing a pay line based on internal employee pay, then overlaying that with market data and revising the pay line to accommodate the market, then developing pay ranges and calculating a number of different pay scale formulas, then deciding how to deal with anomalies, where to put in premium pay etc. and finally putting together a presentation on reviewing the pay structure given a very detailed practical real life scenario.
So the course is intensely hands on. I teach delegates the same methodology that I apply in all my pay structuring work, and share with them learnings from my work with different companies. The methodology works across industries and different size organisations. One of my key focus areas as a consultant is pay structuring, and I have developed pay structures for dozens of different organisations across industries and countries. In fact I have just finished updating the pay structures for one of my clients for the UK, US, China, Australia and South Africa.
My aim by the end of the class is that delegates will know exactly how to implement a new or revised pay structure/s in their organisations.

Level of knowledge required

For maximum benefit from the course, delegates should have an HR background and an understanding of the internal organisation structures and business need of their own organisation. Delegates from a financial or payroll background would also benefit in terms of enhancing their understanding of remuneration principles and pay structures. Some calculation work is included in the course, so delegates should have basic numeracy skills.

Who should attend?

Any person in reward/HR requiring an improved understanding of pay structures, and how to implement, adjust or review them to best suit the organisation’s business needs, including:

  • Reward Managers
  • Reward specialists
  • HR Managers
  • HR specialists

What delegates said about the July 2020 virtual class . . .

Overall thoughts (median rating was 10/10)
‘A really excellent course, one of the best I have been on. I’m self-employed so for me the cost of the course is in addition to the cost of not working so it’s really important for me that the course is worth it and this definitely was.’
‘The course was fantastic! Dianne is an expert in reward and a great teacher. She covered everything that I expected and more – it was comprehensive and I came away with a strong idea of how I can adapt and put the learning into practice.’
‘Excellent course that enables you to apply what has been learned immediately and Dianne is a fantastic trainer and clearly an expert in her field. For me the course was a great starting point on the topic and enables me to support my colleagues on our upcoming project.’
‘It exceeded my expectations – the structured approach made it understandable for someone like me who is new to this side of reward and has given me the confidence to go forth and try my newly acquired skills and knowledge. I really did enjoy the course very much; I was a bit nervous to start with as this side of reward is new to me, but the course was fantastic. I hope to be able to attend more of Dianne’s E-reward courses in future.’
‘I think given the time available quite a lot was covered. Sometimes I find that a lot of time is spent in breakouts talking about theoretical issues which means that there is less teaching but this course was extremely content rich as well as having useful practical group exercises.’
Thoughts on the virtual format
'The virtual experience worked well. I did miss to a degree, the in-person interaction and rapport you would build up with the group or the “buddy” next to you, but it was not a major cause for concern. I would certainly attend this format in future.’
‘The 3 x 4-hour blocks worked very well.’
‘I liked the virtual class – it still enabled you to have breakout sessions. I felt it worked really well.’
‘It was engaging with shared screens for the presentation and the opportunity to ask questions. Regular breaks were built in.’
‘I thought it worked really well and it meant that I can still work half a day each day as I don’t have the travel normally associated with training courses.’

What delegates said about the 2019 London course

'It’s absolutely invaluable and this is hands down the best training I’ve ever had! Thank you.'
'The course covered everything I had wanted in just the right amount of detail.'
'Dianne was brilliant, very engaging. Just what was needed. The time went so quickly and wasn’t boring at all!'
'Dianne was worldly and informative.'
'Dianne was really engaging, positive and interesting.'
'Really interesting and useful course with a great instructor.'
'Dianne was very good, informative and engaging.'
'Very high level of knowledge.'
'A great course, would highly recommend. Really great to understand the end to end process.'
'The course gave me an awful lot to think about.'
'Excellent instructor.'
'Very good with loads of useful examples. Dianne has an excellent skill in getting information across.'
'The practical examples and the way Dianne built up the content was very good.'
'Very good – I haven’t been on one of Dianne’s courses before but I will certainly do some more.'
Dianne Auld, GRP, CCP, CSCP
Dianne Auld, GRP, CCP, CSCP
Senior Consultant

Dianne is the founding member of Auld Compensation Consulting, operating out of Cape Town, South Africa. Her consulting work around the world covers all areas of total rewards, including reward strategy, base pay management, job evaluation, pay structuring, incentive design and sales compensation. She has developed and taught Excel and rewards courses in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

As a WorldatWork faculty member, Dianne teaches the GRP reward qualification courses in Southern Africa. She is the author of Dianne Auld’s Excel Tips, 3rd edition. Dianne has developed and recorded several e-learning products for WorldatWork, including Excel Skills, Advanced Excel Skills and Pay Structures. She is an honorary life member of the South African Reward Association (SARA) and an accredited Master Reward Specialist.

Virtual classroom, live streamed via Zoom




  • Introductions
  • Presentation: Overview of pay structuring
  • Practical pay structure examples
  • Introduction to pay structuring case study
  • Presentation: Grade basis for pay structure
  • 15-minute break
  • Alternatives to formal job evaluation
  • Market pricing approach
  • Formal job evaluation approach
  • Definition, pros and cons
  • Point factor systems
  • Classification systems
  • Paterson Decision Making classification system
  • Assignment A: Grading case study jobs on Paterson broad grades
  • Feedback on assignment
  • Presentation: Pay base for pay structure
  • Grouping of different pay items in the pay package
  • Advantages of a flexible package approach


  • Presentation: Drawing up a scatter chart on Excel
  • Using different trend lines to obtain a pay scale midpoint line
  • Assignment B: Drawing a manual pay scale midpoint line for case study data
  • Plotting pay midpoint line in the pay scales table
  • Presentation: Market positioning for pay structure
  • Choosing appropriate market sectors (industry, region, function, organisational size)
  • Choosing date of market comparison (lead/lag principles)
  • Positioning within market data (mean, median, quartiles, percentiles)
  • Choosing appropriate salary surveys (quality and representativeness of data)
  • 15-minute break
  • Assignment C: Plotting market data in pay structuring case study scatter chart
  • Revising pay scale midpoint line to accommodate market data
  • Plotting revised pay midpoint line in the pay scales table
  • Presentation: Pay structure mechanics: Number of pay structures, pay ranges, pay slope, pay overlap, smoothing the pay line
  • Advantages/disadvantages of using narrow grades, broad grades, career bands for pay structure
  • Calculation of pay structure formulas
  • Guidelines around number of pay structures, pay ranges, slopes and overlap
  • Assignment D: Calculating pay slopes and checking the smoothness of the pay lines for the two lines of best fit / pay scale midpoints already drawn up


  • Team Assignment E: Drawing up pay scales for case study data taking into account pay range, slope and overlap guidelines
  • Plotting data in scatter chart
  • Calculating pay slope, range and overlap in pay scales table
  • Presentation: Positioning staff in the pay scale
  • Adjusting employees below minimum
  • Options for employees above maximum
  • Market premiums for specific categories/functions
  • Sales positions
  • Different approaches to positioning staff within the pay scale
  • 15-minute break
  • Assignment F: Costing of employees below minimum in pay structuring case study
  • Rationale/options for employees above maximum
  • Introducing appropriate market premiums
  • Positioning employees within the pay scale
  • Presentation: Reviewing the pay structure
  • Timing and frequency of pay review
  • External factors: pay movements, inflation, benefit trends, economy, tax changes, socio-political issues
  • Internal factors: organisational profitability, cost constraints, employee compa ratios to pay scale and to market, labour turnover, areas of concern, bargaining unit negotiations
Virtual classroom 11/05/2021 - 13/05/2021