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Contribution pay scheme

Details the eligibility criteria and how to nominate a colleague or yourself for a Recognising Excellence (RE) or Outstanding Contribution (OC) Award.

Recognising Excellence Award

The Recognising Excellence (RE) scheme deals with one-off payments only and is managed at Department/Faculty/School level.

RE awards are to recognise where employees have demonstrated valued contributions or achievements throughout a 12 month period. The scheme will now run twice a year and be launched at six monthly intervals, with payments normally being made in December and June. The scheme will continue to review a 12 month scheme period which will now enable managers to have more opportunities to reward employees and be better able to recognise their contributions or achievements, closer to the achievement itself.

The current scheme will review the period 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2022.


  • Grades 2-9, senior staff (ALC6) and Professors
  • Must be employed by the University at time of payment

What to consider when nominating for an award

RE is to recognise excellence delivered by an individual or team, who have made positive contributions to their department or colleagues. Please consider if the individual/s have:

  • continuously exhibited excellent behaviours or attitudes
  • contributed to process improvement
  • enhanced the student experience
  • provided excellent customer service
  • demonstrated the university's values in their work and behaviours
  • consistently demonstrated hard work, please consider the effort contributed towards a piece of work or project as well as completed pieces of work
  • delivered or achieved an excellent piece of work or project

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

Your Head of Department (HOD) (this includes Directors of Administration where applicable) will notify you of the process and the timescales for applying for an award.

Complete a nomination form and download the guidance for staff and advice on writing a nomination.

Submit your nomination/s to your HOD in a timely manner please visit the timescales webpage.

Locally the Departments facilitate decision-making with regards to who will be awarded with an RE award 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.

Team Awards

A team submission would need for each individual within the team to demonstrate the significant and sustained excellence through their own role, within the team

Team awards are paid in line with the award amounts detailed below, per person. Award amounts cannot be split across a team, and therefore please consider each persons role when nominating a Team.

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. HOD's will be able to allocate one of five award amounts for excellent performance:

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

Please note these amounts are given in gross pay and are subject to the usual tax and national insurance deductions and will not be paid pro-rated.

Chose one of the five options in column entitled “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 via 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 webpage 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 for 2020-2021 has now concluded. We will communicate future OC schemes when dates have been confirmed. Below is an overview of the OC process only.

The 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 is (to be confirmed).


You will need to:

  • be in Grade 2 to 9, and
  • have appropriately engaged with development and performance processes within the department e.g. taken part in an Staff Development Performance Review (SDPR) or SDPR+, 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
  • must be employed as member of staff at time of payment, and
  • have not been awarded an Outstanding Contribution award in the previous year


Departments will be given a list of any employees eligible for OC. Only Departments with eligible employees will have a spreadsheet for OC.

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

Please complete a nomination form (for yourself or a colleague, manager, or member of staff from another department) and send to your HOD in a timely manner. Refer to the timescales webpage for this process to ensure nominations are submitted by the deadline dates.

Only the Head of Department has access to the Department’s folder on SharePoint. If the HOD 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 OC process.

All queries should be directed to a member of the Reward Team via


If you have any questions, please contact us.