University of Minnesota  Procedure

Effort Certification for Certifiers


Expand all


Table of Contents

TOC placeholder

Governing Policy


Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

There are three phases associated with the duties of a certifier with regard to reviewing and certifying effort: period of performance, pre-review period, and the actual effort certification period.

Period of Performance and Pre-Review Period

  • The University divides the fiscal year into two effort cycles. The period of performance of each effort cycle begins on the first day of the first payroll period and ends on the last day of the last payroll period included in the effort cycle. An effort statement is generated in ECRT when the first payroll period of a cycle hits the General Ledger.
  • The pre-review period begins when the last payroll period hits the General Ledger and lasts for approximately six weeks before the effort period opens and statements are made available for certification.
  • Notes may be added to an effort statement at any time.
  • The values appearing on an effort statement may be reviewed during the period of performance and/or the pre-review period, but they cannot be manually altered in ECRT. Any adjustments that are needed must be made in the payroll system.

Effort Certification Period

When the effort certification period opens, the Principal Investigator (PI) and every researcher paid from a sponsored project will receive an email notification that the effort statement is ready to certify. Follow these steps to complete certification within the appropriate deadline:

  1. Access the system at the Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ECRT) web site.
  2. Enter internet id and password along with DUO authentication. Select “Continue.”
  3. On the ECRT home page, select a statement to certify.
  4. The PI or researcher will access the statement before the effort coordinator, unless the statement must be manually completed or the effort coordinator has placed the statement on hold.
  5. Once the statement appears, review the list of sponsored and non-sponsored activities appearing under the Accounts column.
    • If a project is missing, notify the department effort coordinator immediately so the proper changes can be made.
  6. Determine if the percentage in the Computed Effort column is consistent with the time spent working on sponsored and non-sponsored activities during the specific period of performance for which effort is being certified.
  7. If changes are needed, the PI or researcher can update the percentages in the Certified Effort column according to how the individual’s time was actually spent.
  8. If changes are made, an effort note should be added to justify the reason for the change. This note is viewable by the effort coordinator, who will review the changes and process a Retro Distribution if necessary. After entering a note, click <Save Effort Note>.
  9. If the percentages in the Certified Effort column are correct, click each checkbox in the Certify checkboxes column. The statement is not officially certified and will not route to the effort coordinator unless all of the checkboxes are checked.
  10. Confirm certification on the attestation statement by clicking <I Agree>, then click <OK> in the submission confirmation box.
  11. The statement will be routed to the effort coordinator who will review the statement. If a change was made to the statement, the effort coordinator may be required to complete a Retro Distribution in the payroll system to align the salary charged to the sponsored project(s) with the effort that was certified.
  12. If the effort coordinator does not agree with the statement or its changes, the effort coordinator may ask for more information or return the statement for re-certification. If this occurs, an email notification will be sent to the PI and researcher and the statement will need to be re-certified.
  13. Principal investigators (PIs) may need to certify the effort of their researchers. On the ECRT home page, the PI can select their researcher’s name or statement to process their effort statement. Alternatively, the PI’s researchers appear in the upper left “Work List” when the PI is viewing their own statement. Selecting any name in the “Work List” will present that statement for processing.
  14. All effort must be certified within the published deadline. Please reference the posted dates for Effort Certification found at the Effort Reporting website.