Recognition for professional and educational achievements

Human Resources Policy 40320

1.  Purpose

Germanna Community College (GCC) encourages and supports the pursuit of educational and professional development opportunities to develop and enhance faculty and staffs’ knowledge, skills and abilities and to improve their opportunities for advancement in the College. This recognizes employees monetarily for professional development and achievement of approved certification, licensure, and/or degree attainment.

2. Policy

2.1. Eligibility

All full-time Classified Staff, Administrative and Professional Faculty, and Teaching Faculty with 12 months of continuous employment with GCC are eligible for achievement recognition.

2.2 . Requirements

To receive recognition, the achievement must:

a. Be earned while employed at GCC.

b. Be applicable to the employee’s current position, as determined by the employee’s immediate supervisor.

c. Increase the effectiveness in the performance of the employee’s duties.

d. Add value to agency operations.

e. Receive advance approval from an immediate supervisor regarding the employee’s planned professional development and/or educational goal.

2.3  Exclusions

a. Not retroactive for achievements earned prior to employment.

b. Not applicable if certification, licensure, and/or degree attainment is a requirement of the position as a condition of employment.

c. Not applicable for recertification of previously earned achievement.

2.4  Allowances

If an employee changes employment within the College, they are still eligible to receive a pre-approved recognition achievement whether or not the achievement is applicable to the employee’s new position.

2.5   Certifications and licensure criteria

Certification and licensure must be awarded by a national or state accrediting board or a regionally accredited higher education institution.

2.6   Degree criteria

Degrees must be awarded by an institution which is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies recognized in the United States.

2.7  Monetary awards

a. Bonus recognition is subject to funding availability.

b. The amount of each award is determined by employee group and type of achievement.

c.  Monetary awards are considered income for the employee and are taxable in accordance with the IRS and DHRM guidelines.

Recognition by employee group and type of achievement

Certification / degree type Classified staff Administrative & professional faculty Teaching faculty
Certification $300 increase to base pay; one per fiscal year n/a n/a
Licensure $300 increase to base pay; one per fiscal year n/a n/a
Associate’s degree $500 increase to base pay; one time only n/a n/a
Bachelor’s degree $500 increase to base pay; one time only n/a n/a
Master’s degree 2,000 lump-sum payout; one time only for either or both degrees $2,000 lump-sum payout; degree must be in career field $2,000 lump-sum payout; degree must be in teaching field
Doctorate 2,000 lump-sum payout; one time only for either or both degrees $2,000 lump-sum payout; degree must be in career field $2,000 lump-sum payout; degree must be in teaching field

3.  Procedures

3.1   Pre-approval request

a. The achievement recognition pre-approval request form may be initiated by the employee or supervisor.

b. The employee’s immediate supervisor initially determines whether a certification, licensure, and/or degree is eligible for achievement recognition based on a checklist on the form.

c. The final review to approve or deny the request is executed by a member of the President’s Cabinet.

d. The Pre-Approval Request form must be submitted to Human Resources in advance of commencing any approved recognition achievement.

3.2  Payment

The achievement recognition payment authorization form is submitted by a supervisor requesting payment of a pre-approved achievement recognition for an employee.

3.3  Award processing

a. To be processed for payment, Human Resources must receive both achievement recognition forms, the pre-approval request and payment authorization, complete with all required signatures and required documentation providing proof of the achievement.

b.  The award payment will be issued within 30 calendar days.

4.  Definitions

4.1 Certification

A certification is an earned credential or professional designation indicating specific skills or knowledge typically tied to an occupation, technology, or industry.  Achievement recognition is not given for a “certificate of completion” of a course, class, workshop or professional development.

4.2  Types of certifications.

a. Professional

Examples of Professional Certifications include CPP for payroll; CPA for accounting; PHR/SPHR for human resources; and A+, CISSP, MCSE for information technology.

b. Specialized trades

Examples of Specialized Trades Certification includes Electrician, Plumbing, and Graphic Designer.

c.  Workforce

Examples of other types of certification include Career Studies Certificates and Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate.

4.3  Licensure

Licenses are legally required by governmental agencies to work in some career fields.  Licensure is intended to ensure that only competent and ethical individuals practice in an occupation. Examples of occupations requiring licensure include certified public accountant, building contractors, and electricians.

4.4  Degrees

An academic degree is a qualification awarded upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education.  Faculty are only eligible to receive achievement recognition if the degree is within their career or teaching field.

a. Associate’s degree

b. Bachelor’s degree

c. Master’s degree

d. Doctorate

5. References

a.  DHRM policy 3.05: compensation

b.  IRS Publications 15: employers tax guide and 15-A: employers supplemental tax guide

6. Point of contact

Associate Vice President of Human Resources

7. Forms

a. Achievement recognition pre-approval request

b. Achievement recognition payment authorization

8. Approval and revision dates

President’s Cabinet:  Approved on July 25, 2018

Leadership Council:  Approved on August 31, 2018

9. Effective date

January 1, 2019

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