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Recognition Awards for Employees and Non-Employees

Purchasing and Payment Processing

View policy pdf: Recognition Awards for Employees and Non-Employees Policy

For the purposes of this policy, an employee is any person paid through UGA payroll.  Recognition awards must be given under an established written recognition program which has been authorized by the dean or vice president. The recognition awards template should be used to document the required minimum elements of an awards/recognition program; units may add other pertinent elements to the document as long as they do not conflict with the minimum requirements.  Awards must have a business purpose and be consistent across the unit/department. Examples of recognition awards could be “employee of the year” or “outstanding customer service awards.” 

When using institutional fund sources (defined below) for employee achievement or recognition awards, the following guidelines must be followed:

Non-employee/Volunteer Awards

Institutional fund sources cannot be used to purchase award items for non-employees or volunteers.  For example, appreciation awards given to a speaker should be purchased directly through the UGA Foundation. 

Student Awards

Academic awards, other than those specifically designated by the UGA Foundation trust agreement or UGA Endowment trust agreement, may be given to UGA students related to academic achievement.  Award items must be purchased with tuition funds (fund 10500) or student activity fees (fund 13000) where allowed.  Award items for student workers, who are receiving an award as an employee that is part of a documented employee recognition program, should follow the policy section on Employee Awards (above).

Award Recognition Event Expenses

Any institutional fund source that does not have restrictions can be used to pay for award recognition event expenses such as room and audio/visual equipment rental, speaker fees, printing costs, and decorations.   Institutional fund sources cannot be used to purchase food or beverages for the event.  These items may be eligible for reimbursement through the UGA Foundation.

Generally, institutional funds cannot be used to pay an individual’s registration fee for an awards recognition event if the event is solely for employee appreciation or in connection with volunteer appreciation or recognition. However, private fund sources (fund 20200, 20300, 20400, 20500) may be used to pay these registration fees unless the underlying fund agreement restricts it.


Responsible University Senior Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Administration

Responsible University Administrator: Associate Vice President – Finance Division

Policy Owner:  Accounts Payable

Policy Contact:  Jennifer Dunlap

Phone Number: 706-542-0202

Date Issued: 01/01/2016

Last Reviewed/Updated: