Individual Contribution Award Process Grades 1-9

Criteria

Individual Contribution Award Criteria – Grades 1-9

All academic and professional staff that are employed on the University’s pay spine (grades 1-9) are eligible to apply for an individual contribution award. In making an application all applicants must be able to evidence, and will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Has made a sustained excellent contribution and consistently exceeded the principal requirements associated with the role, and/or has gone beyond their role.
  2. Exceptional demonstration of the University’s Values of: Transformational, Creative and Innovative, Inclusive, Ambitious and Collaborative
  3. Is proactive in developing knowledge/skills through appropriate channels; and applies these newly acquired skills and knowledge within the role

To be eligible for a contribution award, the employee must provide as much evidence as possible for each of the criteria outlined above. The best applications are not necessarily those who meet the most criteria but also the level of how exceptionally they have met them.

Additional criteria for grades 8 and 9

For grades 8-9, applicants will also need to provide:

  1. Evidence of exceptional positive Leadership together with a substantial contribution towards the key institutional goals as identified in the University’s Strategic Plan. (Leadership can include project leadership, academic leadership as well as direct line management).

Once the process has been concluded, all applications will be followed up by a meeting between the line manager and the employee to discuss the outcome of the application, together with any feedback and professional development needs in relation to the application.

Process

The Process

The process for the annual award will be as follows:

  • Applications should be made through the Individual Contribution Award portal which is located in MyAdmin.  However, if you don't have access to a computer, you can download the application form here in word, or PDF, and submit it to the Human Resources Project Team email address hrpstaff@aber.ac.uk
  • The maximum word count for each of the criteria to be evidenced on the application form is 500 words.The application will be referred to the line manager of at least the Head of Department level who will confirm whether they support the application and verify the evidence presented.  The application will then be submitted to the awards panel for consideration.
  • If a line manager is completing an application on behalf of an individual, the Head of Department (or Executive member if the application is for a Head of Department) is also required to include a supporting statement.  A supporting statement section has been embedded into the application form.
  • Applications will be submitted for consideration to the awards panel on the form provided which must be completed accurately.  If any information is missing the form will be returned to the originator.
  • In exceptional circumstances the panel may ask for additional information.
  • In subsequent years, further applications may be submitted by the employee or the line manager for a contribution award.

 

The Awards Panel

  • The panel will be chaired by the Director of Finance and Corporate Services.
  • Membership of the panel will consist of approximately 6 members, to include the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development and Trade Union representation (in a speaking observer capacity), and where possible will be composed in a way which balances the gender and job type of panel members to ensure fairness.
  • The Human Resources department will take responsibility for monitoring the numbers of individual/line-manager submissions from faculty/professional service departments.
  •  The outcome of the panel decisions will be confirmed in writing together with any feedback to unsuccessful applicants outlining the right of appeal.

 

All panel members are required to undertake a short training session on 'Unconscious Bias' prior to scoring applications. This can be found at Learn Upon or Equality & Diversity Course.

Panel Assessment

Applications will be assessed on the strength of evidence submitted on the application form with panel members assessing each application independently in accordance with the range of scores from:-

Grades 1-7 (scored against 3 criteria points with a maximum of 10 points awarded for each.  The highest score possible is 30 points).

Outstanding

10 points

No evidence

0 Points

 

Grades 8-9 (scored against 4 criteria points with a maximum of 10 points awarded for each.  The highest score possible is 40 points)

Outstanding

10 points

No evidence

0 Points

 

Following the independent assessments, panel members will meet to moderate the scores, and will also make comments in relation to the reason for their score.  These comments may be used as the primary feedback to applicants.

Once the assessment has been completed, the panel members will agree an overall average score for each application and place in a rank order (from highest to lowest).  The awards panel will then consider how many awards will be made based on the budget available and submit this proposal to the Executive for approval.

Note - for this year's applications we are awarding on excellence and within a financial envelope.  We acknowledge that many colleagues have been working exceptionally hard especially during the pandemic, however, this will be a competitive process and only the most exceptional will receive an award.

Appeals process

The appeals process outlines the procedure for those that wish to appeal the panel decision.  Appeals can only be made on the grounds of procedural deviation, not the decision itself:

  • The unsuccessful applicant can appeal, in writing, giving reasons for the appeal to the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development within 10 working days of the outcome letter.
  • Applicants must provide details relating to their appeal, and also any supporting/relevant evidence.
  • Following receipt of the appeal the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development will appoint an Appeal Officer who was not originally involved in the panel decision to consider the grounds of the appeal.
  • The Appeal Officer will consider the details and any supporting/relevant evidence before responding to the individual in writing outlining the appeal decision.
  • The appeal decision is final and concludes the application process.

A member of the Human Resources department will support the Appeals Officer.

Payment of an Individual Contribution Award

The contribution award will be in the form of a single non-pensionable lump sum payment.  Annual salary remains unchanged.  If you are employed on a pro-rata basis, the contribution award will be adjusted accordingly to your Full Time Equivalent (FTE) salary.

Note: the calculation of the lump sum to be awarded is based on the difference between the individual’s spinal column point (scp) as at 1 August 2021 and the next spinal column point on the scale.  It is very unusual for an award to be made for the value of two contribution points,  and this would be for consideration by the panel for genuinely exceptional performance evidenced against the criteria.                                     


 

Guidance

Guidance for applying for an individual contribution award - Grades 1-9

When considering an individual application for a contribution award, the awards panel will be looking for specific evidence of how the application meets the criteria.  The criteria are as follows:

 

  • Has made a sustained excellent contribution and consistently exceeded the principal requirements associated with the role, and/or has gone beyond their role.
  • Exceptional demonstration of the University's Values of: Transformational, Innovative and Creative, Inclusive, Ambitious and Collaborative.
  • Is proactive in developing knowledge/skills through appropriate channels; and applies these newly acquired skills and knowledge within the role.

 

Additional criteria for grades 8-9

For grades 8-9, applicants will also need to provide:

  • Evidence of exceptional positive Leadership together with a substantial contribution towards the key Institutional goals as identified in the University's Strategic Plan. (Leadership can include project leadership, academic leadership as well as direct line management).

 

Please note: the maximum word count for each of the required criteria to be evidenced is 500 words.

Try to ensure that you give good evidential examples for each of the required criteria which will help the panel make their decision.  Given that the previous awards application process has been paused for the last four years, applicants can submit evidence from the last two academic years to support their application.

Either you, as the employee, or your line manager, can apply on your behalf, but whoever fills in the form should ensure that the Head of Department (or Executive member if the application is for a Head of Department) submits a statement to supplement the application.

Managers to note: applications can only be submitted for individual members of staff, not teams.