Human Resources

Outstanding Contribution Scheme

1. What is the scheme?

1.1 Outstanding Contribution awards are intended to recognise and reward staff who have shown sustained exceptional performance which exceeds that normally expected of their role over a period of at least 2 years.
1.2 1.2 A contribution award takes the form of a consolidated award of a contribution point which is a spinal point above the grade maximum of the relevant grade.
1.3 The University also recognises staff whose exceptional contribution on a one-off or short-term basis has been outstanding, or who have demonstrated sustained exceptional performance but are not eligible for the Outstanding Contribution Scheme through the Recognising Excellence Award Scheme.

2. Reasons for the scheme

2.1 To provide staff with a tangible reward for an outstanding contribution over a sustained period.
2.2 To assist progress towards achieving the objectives of the University by motivating staff to achieve excellence.
2.3 To reinforce the values of the University by publicly acknowledging achievements which embody those values.
2.4 This scheme is not intended to replace the process of promotion (for academic, research and teaching staff) or of job evaluation and grading review (for staff in Grades 1 to 9). In considering the role and/or the contribution of a member of staff, individuals or their managers should consider promotion or grading review in the light of the guidance given for those processes.
2.5 This scheme is distinct and separate from the University’s practice of allowing employees in Grade 1 to 9 to progress annually through the spinal points to the non-discretionary maximum of a grade.  This incremental progression is subject to a minimum of 6 months service and satisfactory performance, and can be withheld on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance where there is evidence to support this decision.

3. Principles of the scheme

3.1 The scheme is intended to reward those who can demonstrate outstanding achievement or excellence of a sustained and long- term nature which is of such a high standard that it has made a difference to students, customers, colleagues, the department or the University as a whole.
3.2 The review period for the purposes of this scheme is 1 August to 31 July.
3.3 The scheme will be administered centrally.  Nominations will be considered and decisions made by the Contribution Pay Review Group.  This group will comprise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Director of Finance and Commercial Services, the University Secretary and Director of Human Resources.
3.4 Staff must have participated in a Staff Development and Performance Review (SDPR) meeting for the review period in order to be considered for an Outstanding Contribution award.
3.5. The Outstanding Contribution Award Scheme is not a contractual benefit, and the University reserves the right to modify or withdraw the scheme.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Staff are eligible if they:

  • are paid in Grades 1 to 9, and
  • have been at or above the non-discretionary maximum point of the grade (excluding the top contribution point) for a minimum of 6 months, and
  • have taken part in an SDPR or SDPR+ for the previous year (August to July), and
  • do not have their salary protected under the University’s pay protection arrangements, and
  • have received a Recognising Excellence award in the previous year.

4.2 Staff who are subject to any form of performance monitoring under the Capability Procedure or Sickness Absence policy, or who have received a disciplinary warning during or subsequent to the review period will not be eligible for an award.
4.3 Contribution points are permanent and pensionable and will be paid from 1 January.
4.4 Where an individual is eligible for a contribution award but the case put forward does not demonstrate the level of sustained exceptional performance required to award a contribution point, the Contribution Pay Review Group can refer the case back to the relevant department for consideration of a Recognising Excellence award.
4.5 Staff can only be considered for an Outstanding Contribution award every 2 years.

5. Nomination process

5.1 Nominations can be made by employees themselves or their manager, subject to the eligibility criteria detailed above. All nominations must be made using the Outstanding Contribution Award Nomination Form and returned to the relevant Head of Department by the stated deadline.
5.2 Heads of Department will receive all nominations for their department, and consider each case against the criteria for exceptional performance.  Heads of Department are required to comment on each nominee and indicate whether they support the award of a contribution point.
5.3 All members of staff should have an agreed, up-to-date job description that clarifies the expectations of their role. Many will have, in addition, specific objectives agreed at Staff Development and Performance Review and/or a person specification that identifies the competencies required for their job. These documents are useful reference points for the identification of outstanding contribution and managers should ensure that these documents are updated ideally on an annual basis.
5.4 All nomination forms must be completed and returned to the HR Department by the stated deadline.

6. Decision making

6.1 The Contribution Pay Review Group meet in November to consider all nominations submitted to the Department of Human Resources by the stated deadline.

7. Monitoring process

7.1 The operation of the scheme will be reviewed every 3 years to ensure it continues to meet its stated purpose in the most appropriate way.

Human Resources
September 2013