Frequently Asked Questions - Recognition & Achievement Awards

Is there a recommended pay cycle to process the one-time payment for the Achievement or Spot Award?

In order for the Achievement or Spot Award to have optimal visibility for the employee, it is recommended that the Achievement or Spot Award be paid to employees via a check or pay advice that is separate from their normal paycheck even though the tax rate is higher. Providing employees with a separate check or pay advice along with a Thank You Letter and an Award Certificate will reinforce the campus’ appreciation for the special achievement.

Are student employees (Casual Restricted staff) eligible for this recognition program and, if so, what student populations are eligible to receive an Achievement or Spot Award?

Students are NOT eligible to receive Achievement Awards, which are limited to Career, Partial Year Career, and Contract employees. Student employees ARE eligible to receive Spot Awards. Both Work Study and non-Work Study student employees in non-academic positions are eligible to receive Spot Awards.

How are Spot and Achievement Award fund allocations determined for the eligible populations?

Award funds are allocated based on the number of eligible staff employees in the following appointment types: Career, Partial-Year Career, Contract, Limited, and Per Diem. The population is based on figures as of the end the fiscal year.

Can staff that will soon be departing UC Berkeley be nominated (i.e. retirees)?

Any employee who is eligible (based on the published criteria) may be nominated for an Achievement or Spot Award. However, the employee must be on active pay status or on an approved unpaid leave at the time the award payment is processed.

How are the Berkeley Campus Achievement and Spot Awards funded?

The program is funded by a payroll assessment of eligible populations. Funds are distributed to the Vice Chancellors or Dean on the basis of the eligible population. The funds are a portion of campus payroll and not a deduction from individual salaries.

Can Achievement or Spot Awards be provided to teams?

Employees who are part of a team may be considered for the Berkeley Campus Achievement and Spot Award program. Teams that are recognized via Spot Awards will receive $500 per team member. Teams recognized via Achievement Awards will receive $1,000 per team member (not the $2,000 minimum individual Achievement Award amount due to the higher total costs for team Achievement Awards).

What happens if a Control Unit does not spend all of its Achievement and Spot Award funds in a given fiscal year?

Control Units will receive an allocation for Achievement and Spot Awards at the beginning of each fiscal year. In the new fiscal year, Deans and VCs will receive a supplemental annual allocation to “top off” last year’s remaining funds (if any) in order to provide a total allocation appropriate for their employee headcount as of the end of the previous fiscal year.

How will the Berkeley Campus Achievement and Spot Award program be monitored?

The campus will seek feedback from supervisors, staff, and administrators to ensure the program is achieving outcomes that benefit the campus, departmental operations and individual employees. Control Unit Administrators will also review usage of Achievement and Spot Awards to ensure colleges, divisions, and departments are encouraged to utilize the program funds. Central HR will evaluate and monitor usage of funds on a regular basis.

Can a department develop an alternative form of nomination?

Although a nomination form may work for many areas of campus, for some areas, it may not be the most effective means to determine who may deserve an Achievement or Spot Award. If a campus department feels another method of nomination may be more appropriate, an alternative approach may be used, provided it is reviewed with the Control Unit Administrator and the Compensation Unit to ensure the method meets the guidelines of the Achievement and Spot Award program.