Content

Employee Awards for Excellence Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To acknowledge, recognise and award Employees' contributions to the University.

2 Scope

This policy and procedure applies to University professional and academic Employees who meet the eligibility criteria for the particular award category.

3 Policy Statement

The University will recognise Employees' contributions to the University by granting University awards for excellence on an annual basis.

4 Principles

The University is committed to formally recognising and awarding outstanding and exceptional work performance, service and contributions to the achievement of the University's goals and priorities by employees. University Awards are available in the following categories.

4.1 Professional staff awards for excellence

Annual awards may be made annually to professional Employees in the following categories:

  • Award for Outstanding Service in Living the USQ Values
  • Award for Excellence in Continuous Improvement

These awards are administered by Human Resources, in conjunction with the Vice-Chancellor's Office.

4.2 Learning and teaching awards and recognition

These awards and recognition initiatives aim to advance learning and teaching at the University and are designed to encouraging excellence in teaching, and provide opportunities for enhancement and leadership in teaching. Awards may be made annually to professional and academic Employees in the following categories:

  • up to two University Senior Learning and Teaching Fellowships and up to five University Associate Learning and Teaching Fellowships which aim to advance learning and teaching within the University by supporting leading staff to undertake high profile projects and activities that are of direct strategic benefit to the University
  • up to three Awards for Teaching Excellence to members of the University staff who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, one of which may be for an Early Career Teacher
  • up to three Awards for Programs and Services that Enhance Learning, to members of the University staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of student learning and the student experience in the University
  • up to five University Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning to members of the University staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of student learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period.

These awards are administered by Learning and Teaching Support.

4.3 Community engagement and service awards

The primary purpose of these awards is to recognize and encourage outstanding service to the community by Employees and to foster best practice in university-community engagement. Awards may be made annually to professional and academic Employees in the following categories:

  • The Vice-Chancellor's Award for Community Engagement in recognition of outstanding achievement and best practice in the development of mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships between the University and its communities.
  • The Vice-Chancellor's Award for Community Service in recognition of outstanding achievement for service to the community by individuals or groups of Employees.

Specifically, the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Community Engagement intends to:

  • foster and recognize the development of new partnerships between the University and the community
  • recognize outstanding partnership relationships that have considerable impact (either economic, social, cultural or educational) on the community
  • increase the University's contribution to its region's well-being, sustainability, social capital and economic vitality
  • encourage best practice in university-community engagement - that is, encourage the development of partnerships that are mutually beneficial, long-term, sustainable, and based on mutual respect, strong communication, community-identified priorities, sound planning and effective implementation.

These awards are administered by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities), in conjunction with the Vice-Chancellor's Office.

4.4 Equal opportunity for women achievement awards

The equal opportunity awards are designed to recognize the contributions of individuals and groups who have sponsored or developed initiatives supportive of a University culture that values the contributions of women, both Employees and students. Awards may be made annually to professional and academic Employees in the following categories:

  • Equal Opportunity for Women Achievement Award
  • Equal Opportunity for Women Achievement Citation/s.

These awards are administered by Staff Equity and Diversity within Human Resources.

5 Procedures

5.1 Professional staff awards for excellence

5.1.1 Nominations

The Executive Director, Human Resources will advertise annually for nominations for the professional Employee Awards for Excellence.

Nominations of individuals or groups may be made by:

  • self-nomination
  • managers/supervisors or other appropriate delegate
  • co-workers.

Individuals or groups are eligible to nominate for an Award. A group may consist of a work team or unit which has worked together to implement or achieve an outstanding contribution. A group may also consist of individuals from various organisational units of the University whose liaison and cooperation has produced an outstanding contribution.

Nominations will be made on the Nomination Form setting out the reasons for the nomination and clearly demonstrating the relevance and significance of the nomination by addressing the appropriate criteria.

A nomination must be supported by at least two referees, who may be colleagues from amongst the University, students, other clients, or members of the wider external community. Referees would normally include one person located inside and another located outside the nominee's work area where this is possible.

Referees must provide a written statement supporting specific and identifiable reasons for the nomination. Referee statements should not exceed one page.

Nomination Forms should be accompanied by supporting information/evidence including publications, testimonials, reports and other materials. This information/evidence should not exceed 10 pages.

Please refer to the Guidelines for Applicants before submitting nominations for these awards.

An award may be made to either an individual Employee or group.

5.1.2 Selection criteria - Award for outstanding service in living the USQ values

The selection criteria for the Award for Outstanding Service in Living the USQ Values include demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following:

  • Success for Students - striving for success for our students by being open and approachable, creating a safe learning environment, developing skill, providing students with opportunities to succeed and by respecting individual differences, backgrounds and experiences.
  • Respect for the Individual - respecting and recognising the contribution made by individuals, ensuring participatory and inclusive decision making, appreciating the importance of open engagement and meaningful partnerships, and caring for the individual through approaches that are fair, inclusive and equitable.
  • Social Responsibility - committed to ensuring our operations and learning experiences support sustainable development, social justice and multiculturalism and appreciating the value of difference and diversity, ensuring individual and institutional integrity and accountability.
  • Free Intellectual Inquiry - encouraging lifelong learning, scholarly excellence, intellectual integrity and academic freedom as well as appreciating the importance of open engagement and meaningful partnerships.
  • Excellence, Innovation and Creativity - supporting research and development that contributes to new knowledge and a better quality of life, with real innovation rather than change for change sake. Responding to changing needs without compromise to quality.

5.1.3 Selection criteria - Award for excellence in continuous improvement

The selection criteria for the Award for Excellence in Continuous Improvement include one or more of the following, and must contain a clear linkage with the University's strategic directions:

  • displaying initiative and innovation in significantly improving operating systems, technical procedures or administrative practices
  • identifying, developing and implementing innovative changes that significantly improve the type, standard and delivery of services/products
  • development and use of creative or innovative approaches to work practices, which facilitate the achievement of the goals and objectives of the University
  • significant innovation and/or demonstrated improvement in service provision, cost containment, seamless operations in University administration or work practices
  • development and implementation of a project or program that has produced new concepts, products or services which have contributed to an improved student experience
  • providing a significant contribution to building a culture that constantly seeks to improve itself by supporting and rewarding initiatives that enhance the University's performance
  • increasing the international and national dimension of the University's market, operations and/or service programs.

5.1.4 Selection committee and process

Nominations for both the Award for Outstanding Service in Living the USQ Values and the Award for Excellence in Continuous Improvement will be reviewed by an appropriately constituted selection committee. The selection committee will:

  • consist of a minimum of five members (comprising one professional Employee, one academic Employee, one Executive Dean, one head of a non-academic division/unit, and one professional Employee representative of University Council)
  • contain a gender mix
  • include the Executive Director, Human Resources as Chair, and the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Human Resources as Secretary.

Prior to the selection committee meeting, committee members will be provided with copies of each nomination and individually assess those nominations in relation to the selection criteria.

Committee members will then meet collectively to evaluate the merits of all the nominations against the selection criteria for the relevant Award and provide a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

Any committee member who supervises, has nominated or provided a reference for a candidate for the Award must declare his/her interest and not participate in debate or voting in relation to that nominee.

The University is not obliged to present each Award every year. The selection committee may decline to recommend an award if, in its assessment, there is no nomination of sufficient merit.

Copies of applications provided to committee members are to be returned to Human Resources for destroying. Original copies of applications are retained on the relevant file in Human Resources.

5.1.5 Form of awards

The selection committee will recommend to the Vice-Chancellor:

  • one nominee (either individual or group) for the Award for Outstanding Service in Living the USQ Values
  • one nominee (either individual or group) for the Award for Excellence in Continuous Improvement.

The selection committee may also recommend to the Vice-Chancellor one or more nominees (either individual or group) for Commendation Awards in each category if there are nominees of sufficient quality.

Each Award for Excellence will consist of:

  • a Certificate of Commendation, to be presented at the annual Staff Awards Ceremony
  • a grant of financial support determined by the Vice-Chancellor (currently $5000), available to the recipient(s) for professional development purposes. The grant will be divided equally between members of a group award.

Commendation Awards, where recommended and approved, consist of a Certification of Commendation only, also to be presented at the same annual Staff Awards Ceremony as the award winners.

The grant will not be paid directly to the recipient. A proportion of the grant (currently $1000) will be made available to the appropriate Cost Centre/s in acknowledgment of the role of teamwork in achieving excellence. This sum will be used for professional development purposes for Employees other than the recipient of the main award.

The appropriate delegate will consult with the recipient regarding proposed expenditure, which will be in accordance with University financial delegations and policies.

The acceptable categories of expenditure include:

  • travel, accommodation and related costs for professional development purposes, e.g. to attend conferences or to confer with persons working in related fields
  • journal or membership subscriptions (in work-related fields) for a period of no more than three years
  • purchase of books, materials, software or hardware, and payment for the installation of such items. All such purchases remain the property of the University, but it is expected that priority use of them will be afforded to the recipient.

If the recipient leaves the service of the University before the grant is fully expended, the unexpended portion will be forfeited.

If the grant is not expended or committed within one year of receipt, the unexpended portion will normally be forfeited, however in exceptional circumstances approval may be sought from the Executive Director, Human Resources to carry funds over into the following year.

5.2 Learning and teaching awards and recognition

The procedures and guidelines relating to the learning and teaching awards and recognition initiatives are outlined in the University's Learning and Teaching Awards Policy.

5.3 Community engagement and service awards

5.3.1 Nominations

These awards are open to academic and professional Employees who are employed on a continuing basis or fixed term basis for more than 12 months.

Nominations of individuals or groups may be made by:

  • self nomination
  • managers/supervisors or other appropriate delegate
  • co-workers.

Individuals or groups are eligible to nominate for an Award. A group may consist of a work team or unit which has worked together to implement or achieve an outstanding contribution. A group may also consist of individuals from various organisational units of the University whose liaison and cooperation has produced an outstanding contribution.

Nominations must be made on the Nomination Form provided for this purpose and submitted by the due date. Nominations must clearly set out the significance and relevance of the nomination by addressing the appropriate selection criteria.

Nominations must be supported by at least two referee statements, including at least one referee from within the University and one referee from the community. The referee statements should be no more than one page in length and support specific and identifiable reasons for the nomination.

Please refer to the Guidelines for Applicants before submitting nominations for these awards.

5.3.2 Selection criteria - Award for community engagement

Effective community engagement is an integral part of the work of the University across all areas; and has a particular significance for a regional university. The University engages with its communities in a range of ways and the annual Awards for Community Engagement aim to recognise and encourage best practice in university-community engagement activities. The award is intended to recognise achievements in developing links, partnerships and/or programs between the University and outside organisations.

The selection criteria concern partnerships that meet the University's engagement strategy and include one or more of the following criteria:

  • a focus on specific community-identified need or opportunity
  • an exchange of knowledge and expertise amongst partners
  • activities that are of demonstrable mutual benefit
  • impact on the region's development, sustained prosperity and/or social capital
  • shared planning and decision-making practices in partnership governance
  • enhanced opportunities for students and staff to participate in community-based learning and/or research activities
  • activities that contribute to the enhancement of the University's reputation as a university actively and meaningfully engaged with its community and region.

5.3.3 Selection criteria - Award for community service

The University is embedded in and enjoys close ties with its communities, and as such University Employees are an integral part of these communities and serve their community in a wide range of ways. The annual Awards for Community Service seek to recognize Employees who have made outstanding contributions to the community.

The selection criteria include one or more of the following:

  • extending the University's core values through service to the community
  • demonstrated community service or contribution over a sustained period of time that has had a significant community benefit
  • an outstanding response in time of crisis or need within the community
  • leadership in a particular area of community activity
  • community service that has enhanced the reputation and standing of the University in the community.

5.3.4 Selection committee and process

The Vice-Chancellor will advertise annually for nominations for the community engagement and service awards, in conjunction with the annual nomination for the professional employee Awards for Excellence.

Nominations will be reviewed by an appropriately constituted panel convened by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities). The panel will include on its membership the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities), an academic staff representative and a prominent member of the community nominated by the Vice-Chancellor.

The Selection Committee will present its recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

The University is not obliged to present each award every year.

5.3.5 Form of awards

The Awards for Community Engagement consist of up to two individual awards of $2,000 each and one team award of $5,000 (in total) available annually. Each Award will consist of:

  • a Certificate of Commendation, to be presented at the annual Staff Awards Ceremony
  • a grant of financial support available to the recipient(s) for professional development or appropriate project support purposes. The grant will be divided equally between members of a group award.

Commendation Awards for Community Engagement may also be recommended at the discretion of the Selection Committee and consist of a Certification of Commendation only (no monetary award is applicable), also to be presented at the same annual Staff Awards Ceremony as the award winners.

Awards for Community Service consist of a Certification of Commendation only (no monetary award is applicable) and may be made to individuals or groups. Notionally, there is no limit to the number of awards in this category that can be awarded each year, at the discretion of the Selection Committee.

Monetary awards may only be used for professional development or approved project support purposes. The appropriate delegate will consult with the recipient/s regarding proposed expenditure, which will be in accordance with University financial delegations and policies.

If the recipient leaves the service of the University before the award is fully expended, the unexpended portion will be forfeited. If the award is not expended or committed within one year of receipt, the unexpended portion will normally be forfeited.

5.4 Equal opportunity for women achievement awards

5.4.1 Nominations

The Staff Equity and Diversity team within Human Resources will advertise annually for nominations.

Nominations may be of individuals or groups and can be made by:

  • self nomination
  • managers/supervisors or other appropriate delegate
  • co-workers or students.

Nominees are requested to prepare a brief application and statement in the EO Achievement Award Nomination Form, detailing how the initiative has contributed to positive cultural change or to improvement in working and/or study conditions for women at the University. The statement should be accompanied by specific examples and documentation of outcomes.

Nominations will require the names of two nominators; self nominations must be accompanied by the names and contact details of at least two other staff who are willing to support the nominee.

5.4.2 Selection criteria

Award selection is based on:

  • the extent to which an initiative/project/achievement has fostered the career enhancement or education of women at the University
  • the contribution it has made to the development of a culture which values the achievements of women.

The initiative should have been implemented or established within the preceding five year timeframe.

5.4.3 Selection committee and process

Nominations will be reviewed by an appropriately constituted selection panel. The panel will evaluate the merit of nominations and make a recommendation which will identify the most worthy recipients together with the reasons for the decision.

Nominations will be assessed on the basis of the submission and accompanying documentation. Referees will be invited to provide a written statement regarding the initiative and the efforts of the nominated person/team.

The Selection Committee will present its recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

5.4.4 Form of awards

Awards consist of a Certificate of Achievement for outstanding contribution (Award) and a Certification of Citation for excellent contribution (Commendation), to be presented at the annual Staff Awards Ceremony.

5.5 External awards for excellence

In addition to the internal Awards for Excellence sponsored by the University, Employees are encouraged to consider nominating for an excellence award provided by an external body.

The achievements of Employees who receive such external awards should be recognised across the wider University community through various communication channels and publications such as USQNews (refer to the human resources policy and procedure Employee Recognition Program Policy and Procedure).

5.6 Faculty and section awards

In addition, many Faculties and sections operate individual work area awards. Faculties and sections manage the decision making processes for selection including timelines, monetary and non-monetary rewards, criteria and panel processes.

5.7 Employee recognition program

The University also operates an employee recognition program to enable ad hoc recognition of high standards of performance in the workplace. Refer to the human resources policy and procedure Employee Recognition Program Policy and Procedure for more information.

6 Delegated responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Vice-Chancellor

Determination of financial support and approval of awards

Executive Director, Human Resources

Administrative arrangements

7 Policy Information

Accountable Officer

Executive Director, Human Resources

Policy Type

Regulated Policy and Procedure

Approved Date

4/11/2013

Effective Date

4/11/2013

Review Date

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Employee Recognition Policy and Procedure

Learning and Teaching Awards Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites

Guidelines for Applicants - Professional Staff Awards for Excellence

Guidelines for Applicants - Awards for Community Engagement and Service

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Keywords

Excellence, awards, recognition

TRIM Record No

13/309PL

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Failure to adhere to this policy may be a breach of the USQ Code of Conduct.