Contribution salary points: guidance notes on applications

What is a contribution salary point?

  1. The University operates a 12-grade salary structure with a further five grades beyond this for senior staff and professors (SS0 to SS04). Each grade has provision for automatic annual increments up to the normal maximum of the grade. Above the normal service maximum, each grade has a small number of contribution salary points. These are awarded following a successful application to the Contribution Related Salary Point Panel (CRSP Panel), which meets annually, normally in March.
  2. A move to the first Contribution Salary Point in each grade requires the submission of an application form which demonstrating evidence of the candidate’s ‘sustained exceptional’ contribution. The deadline for applications is 31 January.
  3. Progression within the contribution salary range may take place every two years and requires a short ‘further award’ application, setting out how the ‘sustained exceptional’ contribution has been maintained in the intervening period.
  4. In all cases, the application form must by endorsed and the contribution confirmed by the PVC/Dean or Director.
  5. One-off instances of exceptional contribution are not rewarded as part of this process.

Accelerated incremental progression

  1. Accelerated incremental progression by one increment through the normal incremental range of the grade can also be recommended by the Dean/Director through this process. Accelerated incremental progression will only be considered if supported by the PVC/Dean or Director.
  2. Application should be made in the same way – ticking the relevant box on the application form. The timetable and process is the same as for Contribution-related Salary Points.


  1. Sustained exceptional contribution is defined as a continuous exceptional contribution over and above that normally required of the post, spanning a period of not less, and usually considerably more, than 12 months.
  2. The broad criteria against which applications will be judged are:
    • Achievement
    • Motivation and Teamwork
    • Service to customers/colleagues/students
    • Continuous improvement
    • Personal/professional development
    • Leadership/encouraging others*
      [* For senior staff, academics and research staff only]

What should my application contain?

  1. The application should provide examples and relevant information focusing on the criteria detailed on the application form. It should indicate clearly why the contribution is considered to be exceptional and how it links to the objectives within the Department, Faculty, Directorate or University in terms of:
    • Outputs and results: this might include operational or financial goals, impact on service delivery, customer/client satisfaction, quality assessment and service feedback received as part of a formal review process.
    • Behaviours, skills and knowledge: this might include team-working skills, interpersonal relationships, flexibility in adapting and accepting change, impact on first-line delivery of customer services, being seen as role model for others.
    • Job-related knowledge and skills: this might include how acquiring additional skills and competencies has impacted on the contribution of the role, the ability to support and guide other less experienced members so that overall team/faculty/directorate performance has improved.
  1. Examples of some of the core academic activities in teaching and learning, research and administration which could be used by individuals or teams as evidence under the appropriate criteria may be found here. Evidence should be given by the individual or team as to why their contribution in any particular areas is sustained and exceptional.

Who is eligible to apply?

  1. Applications are invited from:
    • Staff who have been at the top of the normal incremental range for 12 months or more when the contribution points take effect in April. Staff who have been at the top of the automatic incremental range for 12 months or more and have changed post in the last year, without a change of spine point, are eligible to apply. In these circumstances the line manager should comment on the extent to which the new post is similar to the old. The Panel will take view on whether the employee has maintained exceptional performance.
    • Staff who have been on a contribution point for two years or more.
    • Staff who have been assimilated into the contribution range of their grade.
  1. Applications may be made by a team. In such cases, all team members must be included in the application and the same criteria will apply.
  2. Contribution points will only be awarded in single increments every two years. If an employee is successful in his/her application they will not be eligible to apply for a further increment for two years after the award of the first.
  3. The following are not eligible to apply:
    • Staff whose salary is currently protected or who have been assimilated to the top contribution point of the grade of their post.
    • Those who will not have been at the top of the automatic incremental range for their grade for 12 months when contribution points take effect in April.
    • Staff whose post has been re-graded (or who have a request for regarding pending) during the last 12 months.
  1. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply please contact your HR Business Partnership Manager, who will advise.

How to apply

  1. Applications should be made on the appropriate application form
  1. Please note: your application should focus on your key areas of contribution. It is not necessary to provide evidence under every section of the form.
  2. Your line manager should complete the section of the form to confirm that the applicant has achieved all their objectives; to indicate (with specific evidence) whether they consider that the applicant’s contribution has been exceptional and sustained; and to indicate whether or not they support the award of a contribution point.
  3. Similarly, the PVC/Dean or Director should explain whether they consider that the applicant has made an exceptional and sustained contribution and whether or not they support the award of a contribution point.
  4. All (fully completed) application forms should be received by HR ( by the deadline of 31 January. Confirmation of receipt of applications will be by email to the employee and copied to the line manager. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.
  5. Staff who do not have regular access to email may submit a hard copy for the application form to the HR Business Partnership Manager (Reward), HR Directorate, Wheatley Campus, Wheatley, OX33 1HX. Please check that your application has been received.

How is my application processed?

  1. Applications from professional services staff are considered by a panel chaired by the Registrar with members of senior management from across the University.
  2. Applications from academic staff will be considered by the Senior Academic Promotions Committee, which is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their applications.
  4. Incremental progression for successful applicants will take effect from 1 April.
  5. Unsuccessful applicants will receive written feedback from the panel.


Updated October 2016