The Basics of the
Effort Certification and Reporting Technology
(ECRT) System
The purpose of this course is to familiarize faculty and
their administrative support staff with the University’s
effort reporting system, in order to comply with Federal
regulations and UTPB policies and procedures that govern
effort on sponsored projects.
Completion of this course is recommended for:
• Principal Investigators with active sponsored projects
(manage “26” accounts)
administrative support staff who provide
support to PI’s on their 26 accounts (e.g., make grant
and other members of the campus
research community may also find it useful.
What is ECRT?
Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ECRT) is a
web based compliance technology to help research
institutions minimize their risk of financial penalties for
failing to meet federal regulation regarding effort
is implemented at each UT System component.
Goals of Presentation
Explain the requirements for effort reporting and
Provide guidance on effort reporting and certification
using UTPB’s effort reporting tool, ECRT
Walk through effort reporting scenarios
Why do we report Effort?
•OMB Circular A-21, Section J.10 (Compensation for Personal Services)
Effort reporting requirements
• After-the-fact confirmation of personnel cost charged to
sponsored agreements
• The system must be incorporated into the official records of the
• Certification which encompasses all employee activities on an
integrated basis (i.e. 100% effort)
• Certification by an individual with suitable means of verification
that the work was performed
• Independent internal evaluations to ensure the system’s
effectiveness and compliance
Effort Reporting at UTPB
Before: PER
After: ECRT
Method of distribution
Frequency of distribution
Review period
Six Months
Certification window
30 days
30 days
Who certifies effort?
• Every
Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI, Project Director and faculty
member certify their own effort. Some individuals may also have to
certify the effort of all persons working on their sponsored program
as they have the best firsthand knowledge.
• Note: Student worker and
consultant effort is automatically
processed, do not need to certify effort.
How is effort related to salaries?
• The
salaries paid by UTPB to its employees working on Federal
grants are generally charged or allocated to those grant on the
basis of effort expended
• For example, if
33.3% of an employee’s total effort is expended on
a Federal grant, then up to 33.3% of the employee’s salary is
chargeable to that grant
•A certified effort
report confirms that charges are reasonable in
relation to the work performed
ECRT login is located under ECRT Certification page listed at the following link:
ECRT-Navigation Login Screen
• Select UT
Permian Basin
from the drop
down list.
• Click on
ECRT-Navigation Login Screen
• Your username
will be the same
as your assigned
email account
• The password
will be the same
password you use
to access your
ECRT-Navigation Login Screen
Check this
area for
useful links to
guides and
external links
changes will
be found
‘Continue’ to
enter ECRT
Certification – Certifier Actions
• Certifiers have a limited number of links on the
Welcome screen when logged into ECRT. In
general, they can certify their effort and the
effort of research assistants that work for them.
They can also see reports related to their
• To start the effort certification process click on
the link that states ‘Certify/View My Effort’.
Certify My Effort
The certifier is brought
to the Effort Certification
screen. The screen must
be reviewed by the
certifier and then
approved to move to the
“certification statement”.
The Sponsored activity
appears in the top part
of the card and the Non
Sponsored activity
appears in the bottom
part of the card. There
are subtotals for each
award as well as the
Sponsored and Non
Sponsored areas.
Certify My Effort
This is the bottom of
the certification
The text box at the
bottom allows
certifiers to enter
comments and notes.
Certify My Effort
Note: Enter
whole numbers
• A certifier enters the
percentage of effort in
column and checks the
both sponsored and
non-sponsored accounts,
based on best
knowledge and suitable
means to verify effort.
Review and edit effort to
ensure accuracy.
• The certifier has the
options to ‘Save to
Complete Later’,
‘Certify’, or ‘Do Nothing’
to the effort card.
Total must equal 100%
•When the certifier is
ready to certify effort
and submit, click on the
‘Certify’ button below.
Certify My Effort
•T he certifier is then
presented with a
certification message
reminding them what
they are certifying to.
• After a final review of
the information on the
page and the
certification statement
at the top, the certifier
will click the “I Agree”
button under the
• After this, the user is
returned to the Home
• The effort card is sent
on to the Effort
Coordinator for
processing, along with
any entered notes.
Certify My Support Staff – Group View
• Some people also
have the responsibility
of certifying the effort
of non-certifier’s
working on their
• In this process, the
certifier should select
“Certify My Support
Staff – Group View,”
which will display one
continuous effort card
for all support staff
associated with their
sponsored projects.
Certify My Support Staff
• The effort card
displayed for the
certifier is formatted
to look exactly like the
effort card they saw
under “Certify My
• The procedure here
is the same, they must
enter certified
percentages, and click
the check boxes
before pressing the
submit button.
Certify My Support Staff
• To finish the
certification, the
certifier must press
the “I Agree” button.
• Once that is
completed, the effort
card is passed to the
Effort Coordinator for
Processing Certifications - Discrepancies
• If the PI or support
staff member certifies
to a percentage that is
different than the
computed effort, ECRT
will notify the Effort
Coordinator (Graduate
Studies & Research) of
the discrepancies.
• In this example, the PI
has certified different
amounts in each
Processing Certifications
• Once a member of support
staff has certified his effort,
it is the responsibility of the
Effort Coordinator (Graduate
Studies & Research) to
review what has been
• The review is necessary to
deal with any significant
discrepancies between the
computed payroll
distribution and the certified
• In ECRT, the Effort
Coordinator will review the
process by selecting the
Manage Effort Tasks link on
the home page.
Processing Certifications
This is a snapshot of
what the effort
coordinator will see
when effort certification
is routed for processing
Processing Certifications
If an individual certifies to a
percentage that is different than the
computed percentages, ECRT
calculates the dollars related to the
changes and shows them to the right
of the changed lines.
In this example, $20,052 has been
cost transferred between the two
sponsored projects the staff member
worked on. Typically, the individual
would include notes in the bottom
section if the effort lines were
It is the effort coordinator's (EC)
responsibility to review the
appropriateness of the cost transfers
and effort that has been certified.
After review, the EC clicks the
“Process” button at bottom of the
If necessary, the EC can add notes in
the box at the bottom of the screen
for future reference.
After processing, the item is removed
from the task list and the status is set
to “completed.”
Processing Certifications
If after reviewing the
certification the EC believes
there is an error, he/she
will indicate the reason
why there is a problem in
the notes box and click the
“Do Not Process” button at
the bottom of the screen.
This action causes an email
to automatically be sent
from the EC to the certifier
indicating that the
certification needs further
review and to contact the
EC. It also changes the
status of the certification
from “Certified” back to “In
The certifier would then
reopen the certification,
review the EC’s notes, and
take appropriate action as
needed and resubmit for
Effort Recertification
If a correction needs
to be made to a
certified and
processed card, the
effort coordinator
will select effort
recertification, and
enter the name of
the researcher to be
Effort Recertification
The EC would select
the period desired and
click the button at the
bottom right to “Open
for Recertification”.
This will cause an
email to be sent to the
researcher saying she
needs to recertify her
time for that period.
For more information....
• Check out our Research & Grants website at:
• For assistance relating to ECRT & Grants contact Roxie
Chavarria (Effort Coordinator) at (432)552-3533

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