Published: 05/12/2002, Volume112 No. 5834 Page 5

The overwhelming majority of NHS managers will be included in Agenda for Change and placed in one of the four 'ranges' of band 8 (see box below opposite).

They will also receive extra pay for unsocial hours and on-call duties for the first time. But a source said: 'There is an issue about whether we job-profile them.'

Nurse consultants are expected to be in ranges A and B, with the possibility of moves into C and - when the role develops - into D, bringing them into line with doctors.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said managers would assimilate into the ranges according to 'job weight'. The ranges 'recognise senior jobs often vary widely from one job to another, even when they have the same formal status, and that progression can as easily take place through an increase in job weight in post as through formal promotion'.

Most managers' jobs would probably require 'individual evaluation', she said.

Proposed pay ranges and a new contract for the few managers excluded from Agenda for Change - chief executives and top directors - are expected imminently.

HSJ understands they are 'ready', but had been held back until after the Agenda for Change announcement. The new senior managers' contract is set to include the code of conduct launched in October A DoH spokesperson said draft proposals would need to 'tie in appropriately with the rules for the most senior professional and managerial staff covered by Agenda for Change'.