Information about Effort Certification

South Dakota Board of Regents' Effort Certification Policy:

Effort Certification PI Manual -- Each topic on the Table of Contents is linked to the page pertaining to that topic.

Effort Certification Employee Training Guide-- A Step-by-Step guide to use while training employees on the Effort Certification module.

Handy-Dandy Cheat Sheet-- Basic information regarding certifying records within the Effort Certification module.

Effort Reporting is a critical compliance issue. Signed Effort Reports are considered legal documents in which an individual attests to the accuracy of the effort spent on sponsored projects. Effort reporting is a federally-mandated process by which the salary charged to a sponsored project is certified as being reasonable in relation to the effort expended on that project. Sponsors use these reports to confirm that effort expended by an individual working on the project supported what the sponsor paid. 

One of the most common audit findings is that effort reports are certified by individuals with insufficient knowledge of the work performed.  Both the Pre-Reviewers (with mandatory review authority) and Certifiers must have direct knowledge and a suitable means of verifying the work performed on the sponsored project.

The responsible employee closest to the effort should certify their own effort reports. However, employees may not always be aware of what project they are working on and from what fund source they are being paid. Therefore, the PI, or someone authorized by the PI, will have the option to act as an alternate certifier in place of the employee.

Effort Certification has three stages known as Periods –- the Pre-Review Period, the Certify Period, and the Post-Review Period. Most of the actions taken on effort reports will be during the first two Periods. The PI will need to “approve” the effort reports by completing a mandatory action called “review” for employees paid on sponsored projects for which they are responsible. Also, they may act as an Alternate Certifier with the optional action of certifying effort reports in place of the employees. Finally, they will need to certify their own effort reports if they were paid on sponsored projects.

It is not recommended that a PI, or anyone else, act as an Alternate Certifier for other faculty members working on their projects. Faculty members should always make every effort to certify their own effort reports.

If you, or any of your employees need training on performing roles in the effort certification process, please feel free to contact Karen Williamson either by phone (642-6319) or e-mail


Click on one of the topics below for more information pertaining to Effort Certification "Helpful Tips", "Issues", and "Reminders".  Once one of those topics is chosen, a list will appear of associated subject matter.  Or, you can choose one of the subject items directly from the entire list below.  After you review a subject, you have the option to post a rating and/or enter a comment at the bottom of the text. Your input would be appreciated and helpful to us in presenting meaningful information regarding the time and effort module.

Request Changes / PHAREDS: Sends Effort Report Back to Beginning

The processing of payroll corrections causes the effort report to "begin over"; erasing all previously completed actions without giving notice to the Routing Queue members.  It also creates a new Routing Queue, which might be changed from the original, depending on the circumstances.  The report does not contain a record of who requested the correction, or what information the report contained prior to the report being updated.  Changes are posted to the report immediately after the Update Report button is clicked.  The report status will be "Awaiting Refresh" if a correction has been processed, and before the Update button is clicked.

Categories: Reminders
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