Effort certification
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Effort Certification. Don’t Ignore It… Take credit for your efforts!. Revised 7/11. Objectives. Operational Definitions: Effort Institutional Base Salary Workload Why certify? (or what if we don’t?) Who is required to certify? What are we really certifying? Workload example

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Effort Certification

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Effort certification

Effort Certification

Don’t Ignore It…

Take credit for your efforts!

Revised 7/11



  • Operational Definitions:

    • Effort

    • Institutional Base Salary

    • Workload

  • Why certify? (or what if we don’t?)

  • Who is required to certify?

  • What are we really certifying?

  • Workload example

  • Effort certification preview

What is effort

What is Effort?

Effort certification defined

Effort Certification Defined

  • The reporting and confirmation of one’s time spent conducting any university activity that typically is expressed as a percentage of the total institutional compensated based time (Institutional Based Salary (IBS))

Effort is proposed

Salary is charged

Effort is Certified

Effort certification defined1


Work or the proportion of time spent on any activity and expressed as a percentage of University time. It does not equate to a 40 hour week or a fixed number of hours.


Assert in writing the correctness of employee effort.

Effort Certification Defined

Institutional base salary

Institutional Base Salary


Institutional base salary1

Institutional Base Salary

  • Definition of Institutional Base Salary (IBS) at UD:

    • 9,10,11,12 month faculty, professionals, etc.

    • all pay associated with the contractual agreement

    • full base pay amount

    • administrative supplement

    • any summer months paid out as either summer research or as part of annual pay

  • What is NOT included?

    • winter teaching overload

    • Overtime/reg semester overload

  • Effort certification is based on IBS

Faculty workload

Faculty Workload

The Building Blocks of Faculty Effort

Faculty workload policies

Faculty workload policies

  • Per the AAUP and the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, all academic departments must have a workload policy on file.

  • Every faculty has a specific workload assigned to them. It varies from unit to unit and faculty member to faculty member.

  • UD Workload policies can be found at www.udel.edu/provost/documents.html

  • This workload assignment is re-evaluated annually at the time of faculty appraisals and should be adjusted according to research activity. Workload policies exist for all academic departments and your faculty should be familiar with their workload assignment.

Cba 11 9

CBA 11.9

12 credit contact hours or 18 teaching contact hours per week per semester constitutes a 100% workload for the semester for the academic year. Assignment of a workload of other credit-contact hours per week or teaching contact hours per week per semester will be prorated as a percentage of workload for the semester, e.g. 9 credit-contact hours per week per semester constitutes a 75% workload for the semester for the academic year; 6 credit-contact hours per week per semester constitutes a 50% workload for the semester for the academic year; 3 credit-contact hours per week per semester constitutes a 25% workload for the semester for the academic year.

Why certify

Why Certify?

And what if we don’t?

Why do we have effort certification

Why do we have effort certification?

  • Effort reporting is a requirement of the Federal Government. In order to receive Federal funding (sponsored grants and contracts), UD must maintain an effort reporting system.

  • OMB A-21, J10 Compensation for personal services:

    • “a statement will be signed by the employee, principal investigator, or responsible official(s) using suitable means of verification that the work was performed.”

Risk of non compliance

Risk of Non-compliance

Severe penalties and funding disallowances could result from inaccurate (False Claims), incomplete, or untimely effort reporting.

Who must certify

Who must certify?

Certifying signature

Certifying Signature

  • Signer must understand what they are signing

  • Business managers cannot sign for entire departments.

  • Secretarial and accounting personnel should not sign for faculty.

  • The signer should be as close as possible to the work performed.

Certifying signature1

Certifying Signature

  • Principal investigators must review and certify their total effort on all federal projects for each effort reporting period.

  • The federal regulations allow for a variance of effort up to 25% of what was proposed without prior approval.

  • The federal regulations allow for a variance of only 5% in the salary allocated as compared to that which the employee is certifying.

  • Effort promised or proposed to a sponsored activity (even if not budgeted) must be accounted for.

What are we really certifying

What are we really certifying?

Proposed and committed effort

Proposed and Committed Effort

  • Proposed

    • Is either sponsorbudgeted or otherwise

    • Is committed in the justification, budget, C&P or other documents

  • Committed

    • expected to be tracked, fulfilled and documented

  • Avoid over commitments

    • do not exceed one’s full workload.

Effort reporting is complicated by cost sharing

Effort Reporting Is Complicated By Cost Sharing

  • Cost sharing is the difference between the effort expended on a project and the effort that is paid for by the sponsor.

  • Cost sharing can be either mandatory or voluntary.

  • Effort committed but NOT funded by a sponsor is automatically Cost Share!!

Cost sharing cont

Cost Sharing (cont.)

  • The same cost sharing dollars can be used only once

  • The source of cost share fund cannot be other federal funds

  • Commitments should be realistic and money should be available to fund it

Three types of cost sharing

Three Types of Cost Sharing

  • Committed CostSharing—documented in the notice of grant award from the sponsor

  • Uncommitted Cost Sharing—additional effort not required by the sponsor

  • Cost Sharing due to Salary Limitation—restrictions enforced by the granting agency (NIH Salary Cap)

Workload example

Workload Example

Workload example1

Workload Example

  • Dr. Dots has a workload that combines teaching and research

  • Dr. Dots has a 9 month academic year faculty appointment with a $72K 9 month salary

  • Dr. Dots teaches 3 courses in the first semester and 2 in the second semester

  • Each course is 3 credits

Workload example2

Workload Example

  • Dr. Dots has agreed to spend

    • 60% of his time (effort) performing research related activities,

    • 30% of his time providing instruction through teaching or advisement of students and

    • 10% of his time providing service to the public or the institution.

  • The total workload needs to total 100%.

Faculty workload monthly distribution

Faculty Workloadmonthly distribution

How much is a month

How much is a month?

Workload calculation

Workload Calculation

Dr dot s research commitments

Dr. Dot’s research commitments

  • So this is good news. We only have 14% committed for Dr. Dots. We still have 46% left to commit or leave uncommitted as university funded research effort.

How much effort

How much effort?

  • Minimum effort required

    • Committed percent proposed in original submission

    • Only changes authorized by the sponsor can reduce this commitment

    • 1% is a reasonable minimum by OMB standards

  • Maximum

    • Depends on workload negotiated with Department Chair

Case study

Case Study

Anecdotal examples

Anecdotal examples

  • Budget justification may say 30% of the academic year and 1.5 summer months. How much effort is that for this faculty member?

  • 30% of 9 months is 3 months

  • 3 months is 24%

  • 1.5 summer months is 12%

  • Total effort for this project for one year is 36%

The web process

The Web Process

The ud web process

The UD Web Process

  • Web-enabled process effective March 1, 2005

  • All certification and adjustments will be handled electronically

The ud web process1

The UD Web Process

  • 3 effort periods for academic faculty

    • Period 1: Fall semester (September – January 15)

    • Period 2: Spring semester (January 16 – May)

    • Period 3: Summer research (June – August)

  • 2 effort periods for everyone else

    • Period 1: September - February

    • Period 2: March - August

Effort certification web process

Effort Certification Web Process

  • ‘Delivered’ to the effort administrator 10 days after end of reporting period

  • Effort administrator will review and make necessary changes

  • Once reviewed, administrator will route to the employee for action

  • Employee reviews and certifies or returns to administrator for more changes

Employee view percent

Employee View (percent)

Employee certification view

Employee Certification View

Employee view

Employee view

Fall semester, AY2005

Award Long Title

Direct Funding

09/01/2007 to 01/15/2008


Cost Share Funding



  • TWO (2) “review and certify” are necessary to complete the process

    • Effort admin reviews and certifies accuracy and forwards to employee

    • Employee reviews and certifies

  • IF employee is no longer at UD, then effort admin can select “certify for former employee”

Employee annual ytd view

Employee Annual YTD View



  • We must certify effort for UD to Feds

  • Responsible employee closest to the effort must certify

  • Over committed effort can be reduced by talk with Program Officer (variance of 25% is allowed)

  • Workload is king—refer to this first

More information

More information

UD Effort Policy (6-5)


Effort training


Effort FAQs


Manager of Effort Certification

[email protected] x4956




[email protected]


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