Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

ECRT Procedure

PROCEDURE for Effort Certification Reporting Technology (ECRT)
                                 
ECRT is a web based effort certification program consisting of online reporting and certification of actual effort expended towards a sponsored project.

Responsible Parties:

1.    The Office of Information Technology will:
      a.    Oversees the transfer of DEFINE data into ECRT on a weekly basis; 
      b.    Run reports prior to the opening of a certification period to ensure data accuracy.

2.    The Faculty Member will:
      a.    Complete training to understand and be aware of the responsibilities and impacts of budgeting, committing, and certifying effort;
      b.    Upon notification of the opening of the certification period, the primary individual will review the effort card to verify that the payroll
             and cost share information is correct and then click "Certify" to certify the effort card;
             If primary individuals are unable to certify their effort card, the principal investigator or approved alternate with a suitable means of
             verification can certify for the primary individual.

3.    The Office of Research Administration will:
      a.    Ensure compliance with effort reporting requirements in accordance with University policies, UTS 163 and the OMB Circulars;
      b.    Ensure training and notification processes are in place for compliance with applicable policies and regulations;
      c.    Verify that effort requested or committed is included in project proposals, that such effort is properly budgeted and that the effort
            charged to the  grant is properly disclosed and approved by the Chairmen and Dean of the PI/PD’s home department/college (multiple
            chairs and deans must approve effort if grant budgeted effort is across departmental/college lines);
      d.   Ensure that notifications are sent every six months at the close of the certification period to Departmental Administrative Assistants (AA)
            when the effort cards are ready to be reviewed. ECRT sends an email to all AA’s designated as alternate effort coordinators alerting them
            that the effort   cards are available. The AA can review each pre-filled effort card and compare to previously reviewed DEFINE statements
            of account for any incorrect  information.
      e.   Ensure that notifications are sent every six (6) months that the certification period within ECRT has opened and that certification should
            be accomplished by the PI and all support staff (excluding students, and key personnel which is PI on his/her own project) within 30 days.
      f.    Track and process each certified effort card, follow up with a minimum of two (2) reminder notices and 1 delinquent notice for
            outstanding certifications.
      g.   Notify all appropriate offices and administrators when certifying official indicates changes of committed effort within ECRT, to ensure proper
            allocation of effort to the appropriate grant.

Administrative Procedure:

1.    ECRT pre-fills effort certification statement
On a weekly basis OIT Staff oversee the transfer of payroll information from DEFINE into the Effort Certification and Reporting Tool (ECRT). This data is used in ECRT to pre-fill effort cards for each non-hourly employee with effort on a sponsored project.

2.    ECRT notifies effort coordinators
When the effort cards are ready to be reviewed, ECRT sends an email to all employees assigned the effort coordinator role alerting them that the effort cards are available.

Effort coordinators are asked to use the four weeks from the date of the ECRT email to the opening of the certification period to review all effort cards in their area of responsibility and make any appointment changes necessary that may be identified by the PI/Researcher or GCS. The effort coordinator should review each pre-filled effort card and revise any incorrect information.

3.    Researchers review effort statements and certify their effort
At the opening of each certification period in April and October, ECRT sends a notice to the Primary Individual that the effort card is ready to be reviewed and certified.

Upon notification of the opening of the certification period, the primary individual will review the effort card to verify that the payroll and cost share information is correct and then click "Certify" to certify the effort card.

If primary individuals are unable to certify their effort card, the principal investigator or approved alternate with a suitable means of verification can certify for the primary individual.

4.    Oversight
The Office of Research Administration will work closely with Effort Coordinators to ensure that all effort cards are certified within 90 days of the opening of the certification period. Faculty that have not certified effort cards within this period (who are not experiencing technical difficulties with the system) will receive a memo from the Office of Research Administration advising of the non-compliance.

Continued non-compliance with UT Arlington’s policy on effort certification can result in any or all of the following actions:

  • Transfer of personnel costs not certified from the sponsored project account to a department account;
  • Freezing or closing the sponsored project account(s) to certain types of expenses or all expenses.