Applicant guidelines - Awards for Excellence (Professional Employees)


The University will recognise professional employees' contributions to the University by granting awards for excellence on an annual basis. Refer to HR policy and procedure Employee Awards for Excellence for full details.


Any University professional employee may nominate or be nominated for an award.  Individuals or groups are eligible to nominate for an Award.  A group may consist of a work team or unit which has worked together to implement or achieve an outstanding contribution.  A group may also consist of individuals from various organisational units of the University whose liaison and cooperation has produced an outstanding contribution.


Nomination form

Nominations must be made on the correct nomination form. 

Selection criteria statement

A statement addressing the appropriate selection criteria must accompany the nomination form (maximum of five (5) pages), setting out the reasons for the nomination and clearly demonstrating the relevance and significance of the nomination by addressing the appropriate criteria.

Written referee statements

Nominations must be supported by at least two (2) referees who may be colleagues from amongst the University, students, other clients, or members of the wider external community.  Referees would normally include one person from inside and another outside the nominee's work area (where possible).  Referees must provide a written statement supporting specific and identifiable reasons for the nomination.  Statements should not exceed one (1) page. 

Supporting information/evidence

Examples of supporting information/evidence may accompany the Nomination Form.  This information should not exceed five (5) pages.

Selection criteria

Applicants must demonstrate excellence and outstanding achievement in one or more of the following criteria under each award category.

Award for Outstanding Service in Living the USQ Values: 

  1. Success for Students - Striving for success for our students by being open and approachable, creating a safe learning environment, developing skill, providing students with opportunities to succeed and by respecting individual differences, backgrounds and experiences)
  2. Respect for the Individual - Respecting and recognising the contribution made by individuals, ensuring participatory and inclusive decision making, appreciating the importance of open engagement and meaningful partnerships, and caring for the individual through approaches that are fair, inclusive and equitable).
  3. Social responsibility - Committed to ensuring our operations and learning experiences support sustainable development, social justice and multiculturalism and appreciating the value of difference and diversity, ensuring individual and institutional integrity and accountability).
  4. Free intellectual inquiry - Encouraging lifelong learning, scholarly excellence, intellectual integrity and academic freedom as well as appreciating the importance of open engagement and meaningful partnerships.
  5. Excellence, Innovation and Creativity - Supporting research and development that contributes to new knowledge and a better quality of life, with real innovation rather than change for change sake. Responding to changing needs without compromise to quality.

Applicants must complete the Nomination Form (DOC 191kb).

Award for Excellence in Continuous Improvement:

  1. Displaying initiative and innovation in significantly improving operating systems, technical procedures or administrative practices, using quality principles.
  2. Identifying, developing and implementing innovative changes that significantly improve the type, standard and delivery of services/products.
  3. Development and use of creative or innovative approaches to work practices.
  4. Significant innovation and/or demonstrated improvement in service provision, cost containment, seamless operations in University administration or work practices.
  5. Development and implementation of a project or program that has produced new concepts, products or services which have contributed to an improved student experience.
  6. Providing a significant contribution to building a culture that constantly seeks to improve itself.
  7. Increasing the international and national dimension of the University's market, operations and/or service programs.

 Applicants must complete the Nomination Form (DOC 194kb).


The call for applications will be made annually from the Office of the Executive Director (Human Resources).  Nominations must be submitted via email by the closing date to the Executive Director, Human Resources.


Nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee comprising five (5) members of the University, ie one professional employee, one academic employee, one Dean, one Head of a non-academic division/unit, and one professional employee representative of the University Council.  The Selection Committee will provide its recommendation/s to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.  The University is not obliged to present each Award every year. 


Awards are presented annually at the Staff Awards Ceremony.  Each Award for Excellence will consist of a Certificate and a Grant of Financial Support (available for professional development purposes).  Conditions surrounding the expenditure of the grant are outlined in the Employee Awards for Excellence policy and procedure. 

Commendation Awards may also be recommended in each category where there are nominees of sufficient quality.  Commendation Awards consist of a Certificate of Commendation.  No monetary grant is applicable.


Please check that you have:

  • Fully completed the appropriate Nomination Form
  • Attached your statement addressing the selection criteria (no more than five (5) pages)
  • Attached written Referee Statements from two (2) referees (maximum of one (1) page each).
  • Attached supporting information/evidence (no more than five (5) pages).
  • Addressed documentation to Executive Director, Human Resources and forwarded by the due date.

Further information

Further information is available by contacting Anita O'Neill.

Closing date

Nominations must be submitted by the closing date each year.  Late applications will not be accepted.