Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

Revised 6-18
Sponsored Programs Services


Completing the Effort Certification Report


Report the effort of salaried employees on Effort Certification Report forms. Before completing an Effort Certification Report for the first time review the system overview in BPPM 40.34.


Sponsored Programs Services sends an Effort Certification Report to the employee’s home department at the conclusion of each reporting period.

Each Effort Certification Report is to be reviewed, completed, certified, and returned to Sponsored Programs Services by the return date indicated at the top of the form.

The department may make a copy for informational purposes.

Form Completion

Enter the percent of total effort devoted to each effort classification and sponsored agreement (see Reporting Effort). See also Fig. 1. See Classification Glossary below for definitions of effort classifications.

Reporting Effort

Enter in sections A, B, and E the percent of total effort devoted to each classification and sponsored agreement. See the classification glossary link above for classification definitions.

Entering Effort

If actual effort shown in Section A or Section B differs from preprinted values, line out incorrect values and enter appropriate percentages.
NOTE: Do not white out or otherwise obliterate preprinted information.

In Section A, indicate significant changes in effort only. Changes in Section A that are not significant should not be reported. As a rule-of-thumb, changes of five percent or more are considered significant.

In Section B, indicate all changes in effort. (NOTE: Effort changes reported in Section B require a corresponding payroll adjustment.)

If values are not preprinted for any or all applicable classifications or sponsored agreements in sections A, B or E, write in appropriate percentages.

Sponsored Agreements

When reporting effort devoted to sponsored agreements, include only effort expended during the period covered by the report.

To certify effort devoted to a sponsored agreement not indicated in the Earned Distribution, write the account code and indicate effort percentages in sections B and C. Only accounts in programs 11-14 are listed in Section B. NOTE: Effort changes reported in Section B require a corresponding payroll adjustment.

Cost Sharing

Complete Cost Sharing (Section E) before entering cost sharing effort in Section A.

Indicate by sponsored agreement the percent of effort contributed from nonfederal funds or authorized federal funds. Write in the appropriate account if the account is not preprinted.

NOTE: Cost sharing from fund 143 accounts is not allowed.

Cost sharing or matching from federal funds is not allowed except when authorized by federal statute.

If the number (10) appears adjacent to the account code in Section E, identify the location of cost sharing (on- or off-campus). Enter the distribution under % Effort in Section E (see Figure 7).

When manually adding an agreement which has a possibility for reporting both on- and off-campus effort as stated in the proposal or sponsor’s agreement, identify the location of the cost-shared effort (on- or off-campus or split between locations). The location of cost sharing must be identified in order for Sponsored Programs Services to assess the correct facilities and administrative (F&A) rate. See BPPM 40.25 for more information about F&A costs.

Transfer the total from Section E to the Cost Sharing classification line in Section A. Refer to BPPM 40.36 for additional information about cost sharing.

Calculate Effort Certified Totals

Add all values in sections A and B. This figure must equal 100%.

Adjusting the Earned Distribution (C)

After reporting effort in sections A and B, make necessary adjustments to the Earned Distribution (Section C).

Effort adjustments which will be reflected on future Effort Certification Reports and which affect current and future Earned Distributions are to be documented as follows:

  • Temporary adjustments require the issuance of an Expense Assignment Action (see BPPM 58.03).
  • Permanent adjustments require the issuance of a Position Action (see BPPM 58.01, and 58.02).

The following changes require adjustments or additions to the Earned Distribution:

  • Any change in sponsor-funded effort devoted to a sponsored agreement.
  • Reported effort that is supported by an account not indicated in the Earned Distribution. In such cases, manually add the account to the Earned Distribution.

    NOTE: When manually adding an account that is active only during the reporting period, include the title code, position number, fund, and active dates in Remarks.

  • A significant change in effort supported by an account in federal fund 143. (This occurs only in programs 09 and 10.)
  • Reported effort not supported by an account in an allowable program. See the table on the back of the Effort Certification Report.

Unless a position is supported by multiple budgets, most changes in effort supported by state-appropriated funds generally do not require an adjustment to the Earned Distribution.

Dual Appointments

When an individual on dual appointment is paid at two rates, the Earned Distribution may not agree with the actual FTE percentages as noted on the current Position Action. Do not adjust the Earned Distribution to make “% Earned” correspond with FTE percentages in such cases. Indicate in Remarks that two (or more) pay bases were used.

Important Notice (D)

One or more brief messages may appear in Section D. The message(s) provide or refer to additional instructions.

Cost Share From (G)

Indicate the source accounts for cost shared effort.

Sponsored Programs Services is responsible for collecting data in regards to F&A proposals. To accomplish this, the account which cost sharing is taken from must appear on the Effort Certification Report.

Enter the program, budget, and project account codes under Cost Share From and the corresponding percentage of effort under % Effort in Section G.

The total of the percentages of effort entered in Section G must equal the percentage of effort indicated under Total Cost Sharing in Section E. The department may use more than one allowable source account. Allowable accounts include only nonfederal funds.

Continuing Effort Reports (H)

Continuing Effort Certification Reports for the employee are listed in this section by effort period.


Each signature must be the individual’s actual signature. One individual may not sign for another. A signature stamp may not be used.

Effort Certification (I)

If the employee signs her or his own Effort Certification Report, an administrator’s signature is not required in Section I, but is required in Section J. If the person signing the report is not the employee, he or she must have suitable means of verifying 100 percent of the employee’s effort for the specified effort period.

Administrative Review (J)

Someone holding expenditure authority for each budget shown in Section C and Section E must sign the Effort Certification Report. If the individual who signed Section I does not have expenditure authority for the indicated budgets, an individual with expenditure authority for each budget must sign Section J. (See BPPM 70.02 for a description of expenditure authority.)

If the individual who signed as employee in Section I is also the administrator with expenditure authority, another responsible person with expenditure authority must sign in Section J.

Retroactive Changes

If the retroactive adjustment affects a salary and/or budgets that support a salary, initiate an Expense Assignment Action in accordance with BPPM 58.03. This process will automatically generate a revised Effort Certification Report.

If the retroactive adjustment only affects cost shared effort, document and recertify the effort as follows:

  • Telephone or send an e-mail message to Sponsored Programs Services to request a reprinted Effort Certification Report. The reprint will be distributed with the next mailing of Effort Certification Reports.

    If effort for the period has already been certified or if no report was printed, request a reprint of the Effort Certification Report.

  • Submit all such recertifications to Sponsored Programs Services within ninety days of the date of the original Effort Certification Report.

    The revised report must reflect 100 percent of the employee’s effort and earnings for the report period.

  • Provide a detailed justification for a cost sharing adjustment in Remarks (Section F). Conclude the justification on an attachment if more space is required.
  • Return the newly recertified form to Sponsored Programs Services. Also attach a copy of the report as originally certified.
Effort Certification Report example
Figure 1

Continuing Effort Reports

Each quarter Sponsored Programs Services sends a list of continuing effort reports to the responsible department chair or administrator. If continuing effort reports are not completed and returned within ten days of the notification, Sponsored Programs Services initiates follow-up procedures with the responsible department chair, dean, and vice president.

Notice of continuing effort reports is entered on subsequent Effort Certification Reports in the Continuing Effort Reports (Section H).

Classification Glossary

The following classification definitions refer to effort reported in sections A, B, and E of the Effort Certification Report.

Departmental Administration

Includes the management and support duties of specified personnel that benefit common activities of the administrative unit. Departmental administration effort is subject to the following limitations and provisions:

  • Administrative duties of academic deans as well as their professional and nonprofessional staffs are reported as departmental administration.
  • Administrative and support duties of academic department chairs and directors of organized research units as well as their respective nonprofessional staffs are reported as departmental administration.
  • Other professional staff members (including faculty) may only report administrative effort which somehow benefits federally sponsored projects. Examples of allowable activities include:
    • Filling-in as acting chair.
    • Occupying a regular position of assistant director or assistant chair.
    • Performing departmental or college committee work that benefits federally-sponsored projects.

Effort Certification Reports are not printed for those employees who devote 100 percent of their effort to this category, are supported by accounts in programs 01 through 08, and do not cost share effort.

Effort Certification forms are required to report departmental administration in any of the following cases:

  • Reporting cost sharing, or
  • The supporting account is in programs other than 01 through 08, or
  • The percent of reported effort devoted to departmental administration is less than 100 percent.

NOTE: Departmental administration is not reflected in the Earned Administration Distribution (Section C) because effort in this category is supported by accounts from other classifications, e.g., instruction, organized research.

Instruction and Departmental Research

This includes teaching, advising, and other curriculum-oriented activities. State-supported research that is NOT separately budgeted and accounted for is also included in this classification, i.e., departmental research.

Organized Research

This classification includes state and federally-funded research that is separately budgeted and has a discrete WSU account coding (program 10).

Cost Sharing

Effort contributed to sponsored agreements (programs 11-14) supported by nonfederal or authorized federal funding.

Extension/Public Service

Those University activities which relate to services and educational programs provided to individuals other than WSU faculty, staff or students.

Other Activities

Includes activities supported by state appropriations that are not included in other classifications.

Sponsored Agreements

Effort devoted to and supported by extramurally-sponsored projects, e.g., state, private, and federal (programs 11-14).

  • Changing the “Earned Distribution” (Figure 2)
  • New Account and Cost Sharing (Figure 3)
  • Clerical Departmental Administration (Figure 4)
  • Departmental Administration (Figure 5)
  • Cost Sharing (On- and Off-Campus) (Figure 6)
  • Fund 143 (Figure 7)
  • Cost Sharing—Added Account (Figure 8)

Effort certification report example showing change of "earned distribution"
Figure 2 Changing the “Earned Distribution”

Changing the Earned Distribution — Since the employee spent 40 percent of his time on the sponsored agreement 12Z-2710-0204, a corresponding decrease of 15 percent must have occurred elsewhere. In this case, the employee reduced the time spent on instruction to 35 percent. The Earned Distribution must be adjusted to reflect the changes in effort. Initiate an Expense Assignment Action, or a Position Action If the change continues after the reporting period ends.


Clerical departmental administration example
Figure 3

New Account and Cost Sharing — This faculty member cost-shared to two sponsored agreements. During the semester she earned 30 percent from a new sponsored agreement, which was not preprinted in the Earned Distribution. The certifier made the appropriate changes in sections B and C. Since the new account will be active beyond the current reporting period, an Expense Assignment Action or Position Action must be initiated.


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Figure 4

Clerical Departmental Administration — This clerical employee spent 80 percent of her time on departmental activities. She spent another 20 percent working exclusively on activities related to the sponsored agreement 11N-2426-0023, and such clerical activities were specifically approved by the sponsor as an exception to normal policy.


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Figure 5

Departmental Administration — This department chair spent 60 percent of her time conducting departmental administration. Thirty percent was devoted to the sponsored agreement 11Z-2432-0008, as Principal Investigator. Another 10 percent of her time, supported by the instruction account 06D-2432-0001, was cost-shared to the sponsored agreement 12Z-2432-0009. Since an employee may not certify his or her own effort and also provide administrative review, another person with signature authority on all of the accounts must sign in Section J.

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Figure 6

Cost Sharing (On- and Off-Campus) — This faculty member devoted 80 percent of his total time to the sponsored agreement 11D-3028-1328. Fifty percent was supported by the sponsor, and 30 percent was cost-shared, supported by the WSU account 10A-3028-0001. When the number (10) appears adjacent to the account number in Section E, indicate the cost-sharing effort percentages which occurred in each location (on- or off-campus).

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Figure 7

Fund 143 — This faculty member received substantial support from federal agencies through WSU fund 143. Support from fund 143 is channeled through programs 09 and 10. Thus the effort is reported in Section A with the state-supported effort. Fund 143 accounts are designated as such in Earned Distribution. The classification listed directly above the “Fund 143” designation applies to the fund 143 account. Fund 143 support is an exception; most federal support is channeled through programs 11 and 12 and reported in Section B. Cost sharing from fund 143 accounts is not allowed.

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Figure 8

Adding a Cost Sharing Account — This faculty member cost-shared a substantial amount of effort to a sponsored agreement not preprinted in Section E. This effort was supported by the instruction account 06W-2950-0001. Handwrite account number in Section E. Indicate whether cost sharing (C/S) is on, off, or both.