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Effort Certification: A Brief Introduction

What is "Effort Certification"?

The Federal Government requires that each employee whose salary (or portion of salary) is charged to a Federal grant certify that the amount that the Government is billed for his/her work is reasonable in relation to the work that the employee actually performed. The procedures involved in doing so typically are called "effort certification."

The labor provided by an employee often is called his/her "effort." The method by which an employee certifies his/her effort depends on whether the employee is "non-exempt" (also called "hourly," i.e., that he/she is paid by the hour and fills in bi-weekly time sheets), or the employee is "exempt," (also called "monthly," i.e., that his/her salary is stated by the month, semester, or year, he/she does not fill in bi-weekly time sheets, and he/she is paid monthly).

non-exempt employees and students :

"Effort Certification by non-exempt (hourly) employees and students"

exempt employees
and students
:

"Effort Certification by exempt (monthly) employees and students whose salary (or portions of salary) are charged to a Federal grant"

 

 

Effort Certification by non-exempt (hourly) employees and Students

Each non-exempt employee certifies effort each time he/she signs the biweekly time sheet.

When signing your time sheet, you attest to two things:

(i) the hours recorded on the time sheet accurately reflect the hours worked for Vanderbilt

"I certify to the accuracy of the hours worked and authorized time off as recorded above. I understand that intentional or willful falsification of time records is a serious violation of University policy that will result in disciplinary action, including the possibility of immediate discharge, and may also subject me to civil and criminal prosecution."

(ii) the distribution of those hours recorded to each financial center that pays for your salary accurately reflects the distribution of your work among projects for which those centers are responsible.

"I certify that I have first hand knowledge of (or have used suitable means of verifying) work performed by this individual and that the salary distribution for the period covered is reasonable in relation to the work performed."

Your signature is your written word!  If you do not recognize a center number or are not sure which center number should be charged for work, obtain clarification from your department administrator and/or your supervisor before signing your time sheet and thereby attesting to its accuracy.

» Acknowledgment to be signed by new non-exempt employees and students

» Return to Effort Reporting and Effort Certification

 

 

Effort Certification by exempt (monthly) employees AND STUDENTS whose salary (or portions of salary) are charged to a Federal grant

Each exempt employee or student whose salary (or portion of salary) is charged to a Federal grant certifies effort online via the ePac application each time that his/her distribution changes, or at least once a year if there have been no changes. Each time a pay or distribution change is submitted to the payroll system ePac sends an e-mail message to the employee/student stating:

** Attention Electronic Personnel Action Change (ePAC)
Application User**

This message is a reminder that you have federally-funded effort that requires certification in the effort certification web application. In order to comply with federal effort reporting regulations, please login to the application by clicking https://webapp.mis.vanderbilt.edu/epac/

After logging in to ePac, you will be presented with a report of the centers to which your salary was charged, and the percentages of your salary that were charged to each, since the date of your last certification.  You should verify that the centers and percentage distributions are correct. If not correct, click "Disagree" and contact your departmental administrator to initiate a correction. If correct, click "Agree". You then will be presented with a screen that says:

"I certify that I have first hand knowledge of (or have used suitable means of verifying) work performed by this individual and that the salary distribution for the period covered is reasonable in relation to the work performed."

Attest to this statement by clicking the "Certify" button.

Your clicking the "Certify" button is equivalent to your signing the attestation. If you do not recognize a center number, quit the application and obtain clarification from your department administrator before returning. If you believe that the distribution of effort charged to grants does not accurately reflect your effort, click the "Disagree" button and contact your departmental administrator right away.

[Please see Understanding Effort Reporting for a further discussion of what to include in the denominator when calculating "percentage of effort" of an exempt employee.]

» Acknowledgment to be signed by new exempt employees and students

» Return to Effort Reporting and Effort Certification

 

Exempt (monthly) employees AND STUDENTS who have no portion of salary charged to a Federal grant

Exempt (non-hourly) employees who have no portion of salary charged to a Federal grant do not need to certify their effort.

» Return to Effort Reporting and Effort Certification