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Contribution pay scheme

Find out about eligibility criteria and how to nominate a member of your team or yourself for a Recognising Excellence or Outstanding Contribution Award.

Recognising Excellence Award

The Recognising Excellence (RE) Scheme deals with one-off payments only and covers the current qualifying year 1st August 2020 to 31st September 2021 and is managed at Department/Faculty/School level.

New features this year include:

  • NEW award amounts of £100 and £1500, can be given to individuals or split across teams. Awards at £250, £500 and £750 remain as part of the scheme

  • Eligibility now includes senior staff (ALC6) and Professors

  • Recognise a colleague – we encourage you to nominate a colleague or team and recognise their hard work

  • RE will be recognising the period 1st August 2020 – 30th September 2021

  • A second round of RE will happen later in the academic year

What to consider when nominating for an award

Has the individual or team:

  • consistently demonstrated hard work, rewarding the effort contributed from an individual / team
  • delivered or achieved an excellent piece of work
  • continuously exhibited excellent behaviours or attitudes
  • completed a successful project or piece of work
  • contributed to process improvement
  • enhanced the student experience
  • provided excellent customer service


How to nominate yourself, a colleague or a member of your team

Your Head of Department/Director of Administration will notify you of the process and the timescales for applying for an award.

Complete a nomination form and read the guidance for staff for advice on writing a nomination here

Submit your nomination/s to your Head of Department in a timely manner (see timetable here).

Locally the Departments facilitate decision-making with regards to who will be awarded with Recognising Excellence but your nomination/s will support this process. It is at the discretion of the HoD to approve and award the amount they believe is most suited to the nomination.

Head of Department

Each Department’s list of eligible employees can be found on an excel spreadsheet (ending in RE), within the Department’s own folder on the SharePoint site.

Review all nominations provided to you and save to your SharePoint folder.

The amount will not be pro-rated. Heads of Department will be able to allocate one of five award amounts for excellent performance:

  • £100
  • £250
  • £500
  • £750
  • £1,500

Chose one of the five options in column K (entitled “Award Amount”) as the award amount to be processed through payroll. Please leave blank if no award is to be given.

The ‘budget calculator' on the excel spreadsheet gives the total Departmental budget, and will show the total of how much has been used, and what remaining budget is available.

Once you have decided on your final recipients and award amounts, please email the Reward Team and state your data is final and complete. The reward team will lock the spreadsheet to ensure no editing can take place post the deadline. If you need to make any changes please contact the Reward Team directly as soon as possible.

Please note that Recognising Excellence award information can only be submitted once, all information is required in one go. Please refer to the timescales to make sure submissions are in time for the payroll cut-off date.

Only the Head of Department has access to the Department’s folder on SharePoint. If the Head of Department instructs the reward team, they will be able to grant, read or edit access to other individuals within the Department who are involved in the Department’s Recognising Excellence process.

Locally, Departments should facilitate decision-making with regards to who will be awarded with Recognising Excellence, in the usual way.

Whilst there is no minimum length of service required, you should bear in mind that the individual will need to have been in their role for a period of time long enough for their performance to be sufficiently assessed.

Outstanding Contribution Award

The Outstanding Contribution (OC) scheme reviews allocation of an additional spine point for employees who have reached the grade maximum or who are already within the exceptional contribution points. You can nominate yourself to be considered for an award, or your line manager can nominate you. You can also nominate a colleague for an award. If successful, your salary will increase by one spine point.

The OC Scheme period remains 1st August 2020 - 31st July 2021


You will need to:

  • be in Grade 2 to 9, and

  • have taken part in an SDPR or SDPR+ to cover the current qualifying year (August to July), and

  • have been paid at or above the non-discretionary maximum point of the grade (excluding the top contribution point) for a minimum of six months, and

  • not have your salary protected under the University's pay protection arrangements, and

  • not be subject to any form of performance monitoring under the Capability Procedure or Sickness Absence policy, nor have received a disciplinary warning, and

  • have not been awarded an Outstanding Contribution award in the previous year.

Your Head of Department/Director of Administration will notify eligible staff of the nomination process.


Please complete a nomination form and send to your HoD in a timely manner, you can find the timescales here.

Departments will find a list of any employees eligible for Outstanding Contribution in their respective SharePoint folders. Only Departments with eligible employees will have a spreadsheet for Outstanding Contribution.

Within the Outstanding Contribution spreadsheet (OC), indicate whether each individual has been nominated for Outstanding Contribution by populating either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in column M.

Please ensure nominated employees have an up to date SDPR and indicate this by updating the ‘SDPR in last 12 months’ column to ‘Yes’ where necessary.

Upload all Outstanding Contribution nomination forms to the Department’s SharePoint folder.

Please refer to the timescales for this process to ensure nominations are submitted in accordance with this.

Only the Head of Department has access to the Department’s folder on SharePoint. If the Head of Department instructs the reward team, they will be able to grant, read or edit access to other individuals within the department who are involved in the Department’s Outstanding Contribution process.

All queries should be directed to a member of the reward team via


If you have any questions, please contact us.