Suggestion Award Program

Approved Administrative Committee 983.5



1. The University wishes to set up a means of recognition that would promote among support staff a feeling of belonging and enhance participation in sound management of the human, financial and physical resources of the University.


2. In view of the above rationale, the University submits the following objectives:

  • a) recruit, retain and motivate a qualified support staff;
  • b) recognize the individual contribution of some members of the support staff;
  • c) provide official and tangible recognition for those members of the support staff whose initiatives, outside their normal jurisdiction, have led to practical suggestions for improving operational performance and/or the quality of life or the environment on campus.


3. A sum of money and a certificate will be awarded for any original suggestion submitted in writing and used as a project, plan or concept leading to potential improvements in the general operation of the University or the activities of a particular area. The implementation of the suggestion must produce financial savings, greater efficiency or productivity, increased security for University property, better working conditions, or simply a better quality of life for the University community as a whole or for some of its members.


4. a) Any member of the support staff paid through operating funds may submit a suggestion. A group of employees may also submit a suggestion, in which case the incentive is distributed equally among the members of the group.

b) Employees who submit a suggestion before their termination or retirement are also eligible.

c) Senior management, deans, service directors and staff directly involved in the suggestion award program are not allowed to submit suggestions.


5. To be deemed eligible, a suggestion must meet all the following criteria:

  • a) Provide a clear and feasible solution to a real, well-defined problem.
  • b) Be submitted according to established procedures and on an official form.
  • c) Must not come under its author's normal duties.
  • d) Must not contravene the Employment Standards Act of Ontario or any other provincial or federal legislation.
  • e) Must not have been submitted already, unless it adapts or improves a suggestion that has already been implemented.
  • f) Must not promote its author's personal interests.


6. Eligible suggestions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • a) Improving work methods or procedures
  • b) Improving the quality of services provided
  • c) Reducing manpower, equipment and supply needs
  • d) Reducing expenses
  • e) Increasing productivity
  • f) Preventing or reducing waste
  • g) Improving machinery, tooling equipment or facilities
  • h) Eliminating forms, files, data, equipment, or materials that are useless or redundant
  • i) Adapting and/or improving a suggestion that has already been implemented.

7. Suggestions concerning health and safety come under everyone's normal duties and therefore are not eligible (Policy No. 77).


8. The Suggestion Award Program is financed from two sources:

  • a) For suggestions that concern procedures or work methods and whose impact can be measured in monetary terms, the administrative sector(s) where the savings or improvements were made pays the award.
  • b) For environment-oriented suggestions whose impact cannot be measured or assessed financially, the award is paid from the annual fund that is approved by the Administrative Committee; the award shall not exceed the maximum specified for the annual fund.
  • c) The administrative costs needed for the sound operation of the program will also be paid from the annual fund approved by the Administrative Committee.


9. For suggestions whose financial impact can be measured, the award paid will be 10% of the minimum estimated net savings during the first year, with a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $5,000.

10. Whenever implementation costs are roughly equal to the savings produced in the first year, such costs are absorbed over a set period that the Suggestion Award Committee determines after consultation with the sector involved. This period is normally five years.

11. For suggestions whose financial impact cannot be measured, the awards go from $200 to $800 depending on scope, application and ingenuity.

12. The award paid for a suggestion whose financial impact cannot be measured is based on the following scale.


Scope or nature of the advantage

  • i) Minimal improvement: $200
  • ii) Average improvement: $400
  • iii) Superior improvement: $600
  • iv) Exceptional improvement: $800


13. A concept is recognized when it is initially submitted, and belongs to the University of Ottawa once it has been accepted and has been granted an award.

14. A suggestion which the Suggestion Award Committee does not retain belongs to the employee, and is protected for thirty-six months. If the suggestion is implemented during that time, its author will be granted the corresponding award.


15. The Committee's main tasks are to judge whether suggestions are eligible and to determine their monetary value according to the criteria described above. The two-year mandates are renewable.

The Committee is made up of the following voting members:

  • a) A chairperson appointed by the Administrative Committee;
  • b) A service director;
  • c) A representative of the administrative support occupational group;
  • d) A representative of the management and professionals occupational group;
  • e) A representative of the technicians and technologists occupational group.


16. The suggestion is submitted on an official form which contains all the information and data needed for the assessment. The author may choose to remain anonymous until the incentive bonus is awarded.

17. The completed form is sent to the program co-ordinator.

18. The co-ordinator acknowledges receipt, and makes sure that all the necessary information is clear and complete. He or she determines whether the basic eligibility requirements are met.

19. The Committee reviews any suggestion that is retained, determines whether it meets all the eligibility criteria, and identifies the appropriate evaluator. The Committee then forwards the suggestion to the heads of the faculty or service concerned for a detailed assessment.

20. The heads of the faculty or service concerned assess the suggestion promptly, honestly, and with an open mind.

21. No employee shall be harassed nor reprimanded for having suggested a measure against waste or inefficiency in the operations of the University.

22. Within six weeks, the heads of the faculty or service concerned submit a report to the Committee, along with suitable recommendations.

23. The Committee reviews the report and, if it agrees with it, determines the amount of the award. If the Committee does not agree, it may request a more thorough assessment from the heads of the faculty or service concerned.

24. The co-ordinator officially informs the employee of the results of the assessment.

25. The employee receives his or her award once the heads of the faculty or service concerned agree to implement the suggestion, not after its implementation.

26. The decision of the Committee is final, and cannot be grieved nor otherwise appealed.


27. The Director of the Human Resources Service is responsible for the interpretation of this policy. Its application is the joint responsibility of faculty and service administrators and of the Director of the Human Resources Service.


28. No exception to this policy may be made without the written consent of the Vice-rector, Resources.

Revised December 10, 1997

(Human Resources)