Human Resources

Discretionary Pay Review

The Discretionary Pay Review (DPR) process normally runs from October to November each year subject to approval from the Remuneration Committee of Council.  In 2023 it will run from 9th October to 24th November.

Each School/Division will hold its own moderation session before submitting their nominations to the Reward Team by 24th November 2023, so please speak to your line manager about the submission deadlines in your area and submit to your Head of School/Division accordingly.

The DPR process is designed to encourage and reward exceptional performance which help to drive the University’s mission and strategic goals.

This is the only route to award bonuses or accelerated increments each year for Academic, Technical & Professional Services staff and to award bonuses or salary increases for Professorial staff. 

The DPR is open to all Grade 1-9 staff, and Professors, employed by the University, who have been in post for more than 6 months as of 1st Oct 2023 and are not subject to a capability process or a performance improvement plan. The scheme does not apply to Non-Professorial Grade 10 staff.

For 2023 DPR only, The University is keen to acknowledge additional work by Professional Services teams to support our students and other impacted activities as a result of the Marking and Assessment Boycott. In recognition of this, the University has introduced an additional Team Bonus Discretionary Pay Review category for this year in order to recognise the work of staff during this period. Please refer to 6:10 in the guidance document and the FAQs below for further information.

All other elements of the DPR are unchanged, as such:

  • Staff in grades 1- 9 will be split into 2 different cohorts and 10% of staff from each cohort will be eligible for recognition: 
    • Cohort 1 - Grades 1 – 6
    • Cohort 2 - Grades 7 – 9 
  • Team Bonuses will be awarded in addition to the 10% threshold assigned to the above cohorts.         
  • 33% of Professorial staff will be eligible for recognition under the terms of the DPR scheme. Please see guidance documents for further information and guidance.

The DPR is not to be used where a manager considers the requirements of the job have grown or changed significantly such that the job itself has changed; nor should the DPR be used for individuals who are covering duties attached to a vacant role, an absent colleague or are temporarily acting-up in to a higher post. Both of these situations should be discussed with the relevant HR Business Partner or Associate in the first instance.

Successful outcome letters will be distributed in the January. Payroll will aim to process the awards for payment in the January pay date each year with an effective date of October 1st in the previous year for any salary increase awards.

Full guidance and forms are available below:

DPR 2023 - Process Guidance Grades 1 - 9 [DOCX 55.04KB]

DPR 2023 - Process Guidance Professoriate [DOCX 41.57KB]

DPR 2023 - Award Form Grades 1-9 [DOCX 29.25KB]

DPR 2023 - Award Form Professoriate [DOCX 23.39KB]


Why are there different eligibility rates?

The difference in eligibility rates (i.e. 10% vs 33%) is because while most staff are on an grade that includes Spinal Points, which therefore allows for annual incrementation, the Professoriate are on a fixed pay point, in order that they may also benefit from salary progression the University will recognise 33% via the DPR in order that they too may be recognised for their achievements within the role, i.e. the reason spinal points exist.


FAQ’s - Additional Team Bonus Category 

Q1: Why have we introduced the new category?

A1: The University recognises the additional work and resources undertaken by Professional Services colleagues as a result of the Marking and Assessment Boycott, and we are keen to acknowledge and reward this.

Q2: What is the new category intended to recognise?

A2: Professional Services teams who have gone above and beyond to maintain the services of the school or Professional Services division by supporting students impacted by the Marking & Assessment Boycott.

Q3: What is a team?

A3: For the purpose of this award, a team is a group of individuals, all working together for the common purpose of supporting students throughout the Marking and Assessment Boycott (for example, they can be part of a formal permanent team structure or a network/project group either permanent within a governance structure or an ad-hoc team). When submitting a team nomination for this DPR category it should be clear that the nominees were all working above and beyond to maintain the services of the school or PS division in support of students impacted by the Marking & Assessment Boycott, managers should be able to justify within the nomination form, why the colleagues are being nominated.

Q4: How much is the award?

A4: £750 bonus award per person (pro rata).

Q5: Why just PS colleagues?

A5: University recognises that the Marking and Assessment Boycott was difficult for many colleagues across PS and Academic functions and services, the additional category is intended to recognise the additional activities undertaken by PS colleagues to support our students and reorganise panels and boards (and other impacted activities) as a result of the Marking and Assessment Boycott.

Q6: Will it be at the expense of normal funds for DPR?

A6:  No. additional funding has been secured for DPR, exceptionally for this year for this extra category.


All queries should be sent to, and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible.