Certified Approver Program Description
What is the Certified
The Certified Approver
Program is a key component of the University's model for the management
of sponsored funds. Under this program, many post-award financial
transactions that formerly required approval by grant administrators
in the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) are now
handled by Certified Approvers in units across campus. As a result,
the program offers departments, colleges, and other academic units
greater control, responsibility, and authority for their sponsored
What is a Certified
A Certified Approver (CA)
is someone who, based on their proven understanding of the complexity
of sponsored funding regulations and University policies and procedures,
has the expertise and authority to review and approve a wide variety
of financial transactions on sponsored accounts. Most CAs are Civil
Service or Professional and Administrative staff members who in
the normal course of their duties handle financial planning, accounting
transactions, and record keeping. CAs are an important part of the
grants management team and work with faculty, staff, department
heads, collegiate deans, and SPA to effectively manage sponsored
funds (follow this link for specific information about the roles
and responsibilities of CAs.)
How are Certified
After having passed the
two-part Certified Approver Exam, CAs are appointed by the Associate
Dean for Research or equivalent of their college, upon the recommendation
of the unit head or director.
Approvers have a limited term of appointment?
No. CAs maintain their
eligibilty status on an ongoing basis provided they meet the continuing
education requirement, the organizational need continues to exist,
and they demonstrate satisfactory performance.
the Certified Approver Program?
The Office of Oversight,
Analysis, and Reporting, in conjunction with the Collegiate Research
Associate Deans, coordinates the program.
|What resources are available for Certified Approvers?
Research Associate Deans
Each college or school has an academic administrator (most often an Associate or Assistant Dean) who is responsible for implementing the Certified Approver Program in the college or school. This person plays a role in the conflict resolution process and participates in the CA's performance review. The Collegiate Research Associate Deans (CRAD) meet regularly to discuss this and other programs related to the University's research mission. They are convened by the Assistant Vice President for Research.
The collegiate CA has
the same authority and responsibility as CAs at the unit level,
but is available to review difficult decisions and suggest solutions.
The collegiate CA is available to act in the absence of a local
CA and provide assistance in any other way. This person also plays
a role in the conflict resolution process.
of Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA)
Grant administrators assist
CAs by providing advice and by interpreting sponsoring agency terms
and conditions for complex circumstances. They also assist by interpreting
University policies that relate to the management of sponsored projects,
and by processing related financial transactions. SPA maintains
an online reference
manual for those who manage sponsored funds at the University
of Oversight, Analysis, and Reporting (OAR)
612-625-9057 or firstname.lastname@example.org
OAR assists in resolving problems, maintaining currency of knowledge of federal, state, and University policies, and providing advice to colleges and to the Vice President for Research on systems and continuous improvement in the quality of grants management.
Policy and Process Development Office (PPDO)
612-624-8081 or email@example.com
The PPDO develops and maintains the process used by the University to create, revise and distribute University-wide processes, policies, procedures, instructions and forms.
612-626-1373 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Training Services offers a variety of courses pertaining to University policy and procedures. Attendance at these courses is not required for CAs.