Discretionary Point Scheme

The Discretionary Point Scheme provides a mechanism for rewarding and recognising the exceptional personal contributions of a minority of professional services staff employed on Grades K/L. This is in response to the fact that there exists a small group of staff who whilst not necessarily meeting the criteria for further promotion, nevertheless merit reward. It is not intended as a reward mechanism for the majority of staff on Grades K and L.

The scheme aims to recognise an individual's outstanding and sustained personal performance/contribution to the School/Faculty/Division/University and to aid the retention of these members of staff.

For details of the discretionary points above grades K and L refer to the current salary scale


  • A  discretionary range of 1 salary point above Grade K, and 3 salary points above Grade L are available for professional services staff;
  • This discretionary range is non-incremental (i.e. an individual may be awarded 1 to 3 additional discretionary point(s) but will not automatically progress along the scale);
  • Assimilation to the discretionary range will normally only be available for staff who are already at the existing maximum point on the relevant Grade;
  • Salary will be fully consolidated and pensionable;
  • Discretionary increments may be awarded at any point in the year;
  • Discretionary increments will be funded through the budget from which the role-holder’s salary is normally funded.
  • HR will record all discretionary points awarded and will conduct an annual review of the awards, by School/Division.  The analysis will include a review of awards by gender, ethnicity etc. 


  • The award of discretionary points will be at the discretion of the Registrar/Chief Operating Officer (as applicable) and will be on the basis of a Discretionary Point Scheme (Office document, 57kB) from the relevant Dean/Faculty Manager/Head of Division in consultation with the Head of HR Business Partnering (there will be no formal right for an individual to request such an award);
  • When considering an individual for a discretionary award, full account will be taken of any existing allowance, R&R supplement, or other merit payment that may have been made (and vice versa);
  • Where an individual is performing significantly above the normal high expectations of their role, consideration of the following criteria should be used when considering the award of a discretionary point:

    -    the impact the jobholder has made on the performance of their team, unit or  institution;   

    -    outstanding excellence within the given field/work area;

    -    outstanding innovation and problem solving;

    -    professional standing;

    -    contribution to the wider mission of the University.

(It is not expected that all of these criteria need to be satisfied in relation to a particular case).


HR will record all Discretionary Points awarded, and will conduct an annual review of the volume and amount of payments, by School/Division. The analysis will include a review of payments received/proposed by gender, ethnicity etc.