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Nominating someone for the Outstanding Contribution scheme

Learn more about our Outstanding Contribution scheme and how to nominate yourself or someone else.

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

Outstanding Contribution (OC) is awarded to employees who are adding value through contributions and behaviours, using initiative and supporting others to improve the service delivered over a sustained period of time.

The scheme period for work and contributions to be recognised is the previous academic year (as the scheme is launched in Semester 1); 1 August to 31 July.


To qualify for the scheme, you will need to meet all of the the following criteria:

  • you will be in Grade 2 to 9
  • you will 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
  • you will have appropriately engaged with development and performance processes within the department (such as taking part in an Staff Development Performance Review (SDPR) or SDPR+)
  • you will not have your salary protected under the University's pay protection arrangements
  • you will not be subject to any form of performance monitoring under the capability procedure or sickness absence policy, nor have received a disciplinary warning
  • you must be employed as member of staff at time of payment
  • you have not been awarded an Outstanding Contribution award in the previous year

How to make a nomination

To make a nomination, please complete our online nomination form.

Please refer to the timescales further down this page for the nomination deadline.

Guidance notes

  • You can nominate yourself, a colleague, manager, or member of staff from another department, providing the person you nominate is eligible
  • Nomination forms must be completed before the application deadline. Please refer to the Timescales section for further details
    • Some Faculties and Departments may set different deadlines. Please refer to your Faculty or Department's deadlines for when they require the forms to be completed by
  • You may seek assistance from an appropriate colleague, union representative or manager when completing the nomination form. If you are self-nominating, the contents of the nomination form must be authorised as factually correct by the Head of Department, Director of Administration or equivalent manager

What to include in the nomination

Nominations must be no more than 250 words.

If you are making a nomination, or if you are a HOD reviewing nominations, please consider the following elements.


Explain the contribution, achievement and behaviours demonstrated within the 12 month scheme period only. For some grades and roles (especially those with an operational focus) a longer period can be referenced if applicable.


Detail how have you or the nominee has supported the team successfully, and clearly describe the contribution that is being made. Or explain how you or the nominee have achieved better results, and explain what the results are (in context), and how they have impacted on the team, department, or the University.

Sustained performance

OC is looking for sustained contributions or achievements. Consider if the work being delivered is due to continue (and explain why). If sustained performance cannot be evidenced, you may want to consider nominations for a Recognising Excellence Award.


These are example timescales based on last year. Timescales will be updated at the start of the academic year.

Deadline Action
27 September Spreadsheets with all eligible employees in the departments to be shared with Heads of Department. HODs to communicate the scheme to all eligible staff
28 September OC awards launched
27 October OC Awards close (however, please adhere to any timings set by your department)
30 Oct to 3 November HODs to review nominations
Week commencing 13 November Contribution Pay Review Group meets to consider OC nominations
20 November Faculties/Schools/Departments notified of successful and unsuccessful cases. Unsuccessful cases may be referred back to Faculties/Schools/Departments for consideration under their local Recognising Excellence scheme
1 December HODs to update their Recognising Excellence (RE) spreadsheet in SharePoint to reflect final recipients of RE awards, accounting for any unsuccessful OC if applicable. HOD's to send confirmation email to
From 8 December Heads of Department to notify employees of outcomes
1 January 2024 Contribution points actioned for successful nominees in January 2024 payroll, effective 1 January 2024

Process for those managing the scheme

Each department will be given a list of any employees eligible for OC. Only departments with eligible employees will receive a spreadsheet for OC.

The HOD (this includes Directors of Administration or Technical Services where applicable) will notify eligible staff of the nomination process.

Only the HOD has access to the department’s nominations list and 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 OC process.

Guidance notes

Supervisors and managers must confirm that the nominated member of staff has appropriately engaged with development and performance processes within their department − for example, Staff Development Performance Review (SDPR).

Please direct any queries to a member of the Reward Team via

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