Whether you want to enrol in the process to obtain the HR award ,or your institution has already been awarded and you need to transfer your file to the HRS4R e-tool, the HRS4R e-learning module will help you understand the process, the timelines and the forms to fill in for each and every HRS4R phase.
This e-learning module is composed of 6 chapters and 70 videos, each of them containing detailed step-by-step instructions and information to help you along the way.
Each chapter consists of one or more videos. By selecting a specific video in one of the chapters, you will navigate to a playlist, from which the rest of the videos of the same chapter will play automatically. You can return to the table of contents anytime you want to watch a different chapter, based on your interest.
Enjoy the HRS4R e-learning experience!
HRS4R e-learning module
Select one of the chapters from the menu to begin.
Following completion of this section, you will be able to
- Have a clear overview of the Implementation phase
- Fill in and submit the internal review for interim assessment
- Understand the assessment process and the possible outcomes
Now that you have fully established your HR strategy, you are able to implement it. So, let’s have an overview on this implementation phase.
You now have 24 months to implement the actions outlined in the initial Action Plan and report on their progress in the HRS4R e-tool, based on a dedicated Internal Review form, with a view to an Interim Assessment.
The European Commission will first screen your organisation’s Internal Review for administrative eligibility. The administrative eligibility check makes sure your application has all the required elements necessary for assessment. If the administrative eligibility check is not passed, you may be required to make corrections and resubmit your application.
Once the Internal Review is considered eligible from an administrative point of view, the European Commission will send the file for the Interim Assessment. At this stage, the assessment will have in view the progress and quality of the actions and accompanying measures.
The outcome of the assessment process will be included in the consensus report, which is shared with your organisation as an official document containing relevant recommendations.
At this stage, your institution is not in jeopardy of losing the « HR Award ». But you will receive important recommendations on how to continue the implementation of the revised action plan for the next 36 months. Three options:
- Your organisation can receive an encouragement to continue along the path it has undertaken
- Your organisation is encouraged to undertake some ‘corrective actions’ to improve an already sufficient performance
- Your organisation is warned that, unless it takes strong corrective actions, it seriously risks not progressing through the subsequent assessment and losing the right to use the ‘HR Award’ in the next phases.
The HRS4R process will continue after the Implementation Phase in a cyclical way, with an assessment for award renewal every 36 months, alternating with site visits performed by experts.
The purpose of an internal review, during the Implementation Phase, is to allow the participating organisations to reflect and document progress, alter actions or timing of actions if necessary as well as to offer the opportunity to create new actions for the upcoming years.
Your organisation has to indicate, in its Internal Review form, how it has embedded into its policies and practices the actions set in the initial Action Plan/HR strategy, after the acknowledgement of the ‘HRAward’. You should also propose new actions for the next 3 years.
Your organisation must publish the reviewed version of the action plan/HR Strategy, including the OTM-R policy, on its website and also provide the corresponding URL in a dedicated field of the Internal Review form. If your organisation has not filled in the OTM-R checklist during the Initial Phase when the application to the ‘HRAward’was made, it is mandatory to complete this task for the Interim Assessment.
Your organisation has 24 months after the acknowledgement of the HR Award to implement the initial action plan and to submit to the European Commission the Internal Review for Interim Assessment using the HRS4R e-tool.
The European Commission checks the administrative eligibility of the Internal Review within 1 month and inform your organisation accordingly.
If it passes the administrative eligibility check, the European Commission will send the file to external assessment based on assessors’ availability. It may take up to two months.
The outcome of the assessment process will be included in the Interim Assessment Consensus Report,which is communicated by the European Commission to your organisation.
Again, your organisation is not jeopardy of losing the HR Award, but you will receive important recommendations on how to continue the implementation of the reviewed action plan.
If your organisation has used the HRS4R e-Tool to launch the application process for the HR Award and has already a case number assigned, the orgnasition’s HRS4R Admin will log in to the EURAXESS account and, through MY EURAXESS dashboard, will have access to the HRS4R e-tool in order to manage the reporting process. The click on the “Implementation Phase” green tab will illustrate the next task with the status “Pending” and the corresponding deadline.
But if your institution has not used the HRS4R e-tool to launch the application process for the HR Award, you must register the file in the HRS4R e-tool and follow several steps before filling in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool. The steps you need to follow are explained in the first chapter of this tutorial. They are mainly the following : create a EURAXESS account, get an HRS4R Administrator role, create a case in the HRS4R e-tool, send your endorsement letter, etc.
Of course, at some point, the European Commission will collect all the files already provided by your organisation (the Gap-Analysis, the OTM-R checklist, the initial Action Plan, the assessment consensus report) and will upload them as pdfs in the HRS4R e-tool. Your organisation will have access to all the HRS4R history of application, reporting and assessment in the online dashboard.
Note that you will receive assistance from the RTD CHARTER team at the European Commission in order to have a smooth and quick transition of your organisation’s application files from paper to digital, in the HRS4R e-tool. Whenever you encounter difficulties throughout the process, you can send an email for clarifications to RTD-CHARTER@ec.europa.eu.
The Internal Review template to be used for the reporting in the HRS4R E-Tool is similar in structure to the one filled in for the planning of the initial action plan. It comprises four separate parts:
- Organisational information
- Strengths and weaknesses of the current practice
- Implementation/Embedding the HRS4R process
The first part of your Internal review is dedicated to the organisational information
It is intended to illustrate the larger context in which the institution performs, its structure, its impact upon the communities it serves, as well as the resources managed.
There are two categories of data required:
- Staff indicators to be presented as full-time positions
- Budget and funding, if applicable, to be expressed as amounts in euro.
The dedicated table for filling in the data will already contain the organisational information provided at the Initial Phase, with the possibility to update it for the current situation. The same approach is applicable also for the “Organisational Profile” text block. The information will be retrieved automatically from the Initial Phase if your organisation has filled in the initial action plan in the HRS4R E-Tool.
In the second part of your Internal review, you must provide an overview of your current state and practice under the four thematic headings of the Charter & Code (Ethical and Professional aspects, Recruitment and Selection, Working Conditions and Social Security, Training and Development). Information on current practices related to OTM-R should be also included here.
We strongly recommend elaborating on both strengths and weaknesses, although there is only one text block provided for both, as they will highlight the institution's rationale for setting and implementing actions. Click on the name of each of the four thematic headings of the Charter & Code to open the editor and provide your answers. There will be two blocks for each heading:
- Strengths and weaknesses (expressed in the Initial Phase for the application to the award)
- Strengths and weaknesses at Internal Review for the Interim Assessment.
Note that the information regarding the “Strengths and weaknesses” expressed at the Initial Phase will be retrieved automatically from the system if your organisation has filled in the initial action plan in the HRS4R e-tool. Otherwise, this text block will be empty.
The organisation enrolled in the HRS4R e-tool at the Implementation Phase will have to fill in only the text block regarding the “Strengths and weaknesses at Internal Review for the Interim Assessment”.
If your organisation is willing to provide more information about the way the strengths and weaknesses context evolved or changed from the Initial to the Implementation phase, there is a “Remarks” section within each of the tabs corresponding to the four headings of the Charter & Code that can be used for this purpose.
Your organisation is also required to provide answers to specific questions regarding the way it has operated after the acknowledgement of the ‘HR Award’. A text block is offered for the following questions, with the indication to elaborate the reply in maximum 500 words for each of them:
- Have any of the priorities for the short- and medium term changed?
- Have any of the circumstances in which your organisation operates, changed and as such have had an impact on your HR strategy?
- Are any strategic decisions under way that may influence the action plan?
In the third part of your Internal review, you have to report on the status of achievement for each of the actions planned in the Initial Phase, alter actions or timing of actions if necessary. You should also add new actions to be implemented in the next 36 months, after the Interim Assessment.
The actions, as well as the remarks on the status of achievement should be concise, but detailed enough for the assessors to evaluate the level of ambition, engagement and implementation. Your organisation should strive to provide a detailed plan, not only an enumeration of actions.
At this stage, several things are mandatory :
Your organisation has to publish on your website the extended version of the reviewed action plan and HR Strategy, including the OTM-R policy, and provide the URL to the corresponding webpages in a dedicated field of the Internal Review.
If your organisation has not made its self-assessment against the OTM-R checklist at the Initial Phase, it will have an additional task to perform for the Interim Assessment. See the chapter (…).
The Actions section also includes a dedicated section to OTM-R policy and practices. Although there may be some overlap with a range of the actions already planned as emerged from the Gap Analysis, your organisation must provide a short commentary demonstrating the implementation of the OTM-R policies and practices, since the acknowledgement of the ‘HR Award’ to the moment of the Internal Review. You will have to make the link between the OTM-R checklist and the overall action plan in a free text section.
Be careful, a different procedure to fill in the Internal Review Actions may apply based on two situations:
Situation A: your organisation used the HRS4R e-tool for the application to the ‘HR Award’
Situation B: your organisation is using the HRS4R e-tool after having received the ‘HR Award’
In this case, there are 2 tasks to perform at this stage:
- Establish the status of achievement of the actions already planned in the Initial Phase
- Add new actions to the action plan for the next 36 months.
Key elements to consider for these tasks are
First, your organisation, that filled in the action plan in HRS4R E-Tool at the Initial Phase, will find in the Internal Review form automatically retrieved from the Initial Phase, the list of planned actions, the gaps and the principles they address, the timing, the indicators and the responsible unit. For each of the actions already set, your organisation will have to establish the status of achievement in the column called “Current State”, selecting from the options below proposed by the e-tool. If the status is “In progress” or “Extended”, your organisation has to update also the timing of achievement. Details can be included for each action and corresponding status of achievement in the column for “Remarks”.
Secondly, your organisation can customise planning based on its own priorities and creativity. There is the possibility to add as many new actions as needed. The click on “Add another row” will create a new field in the form for the addition of a new action.
The principle of planning new actions at the Internal Review is similar to the Initial Phase. The proposed actions can address either individual or multiple principles. In order to ensure all the gap principles addressed by your organisation based on own priorities, the list of Gap principles not selected in any action will be provided for reference. The selected gap will be automatically accompanied by the rating already set in the Gap Analysis.
The timeline should cover at least 36 months up to the internal review for award renewal. Timing should be indicated by quarters of a year. The actions should reflect a balance between short-term interventions and long-term systemic actions that bring about culture change.
In this case, there are 2 tasks to perform at this stage:
- First, you need to establish the status of achievement of the actions already planned in the Initial Phase,
- Secondly, you need to add new actions to the action plan for the next 36 months.
The Actions section of the Internal Review form will be empty, in the sense that your organisation will not find automatically imported the list of actions set in the initial phase (as it is the case of organisations which have used the e-tool for the application to the ‘HR Award’).
In order to report on the status of achievement, your organisation will have to fill in first the actions set in the initial action plan, with the details provided at that time (the gap it addresses, timing, responsible unit, KPIs, etc.) If the status is “In progress” or “Extended”, you have to update the timing of achievement.
An action can address multiple gap principles. The “Select principle” menu will provide the opportunity to quickly select from the 40 principles of the Charter & Code the one(s) the action addresses. The status of achievement will be set using the 4 options of the “Current Status”. Details on the implementation process, difficulties or challenges encountered can be added in the “Remarks” column. A list of Gap principles not selected in any action, is provided in order to facilitate planning and keeping an easier track of the principles which has to be addressed throughout the implementation and award renewal process.
Once you have finalised the self-assessment regarding the status of achievement of the actions already planned in the Initial Phase, you can proceed with adding new actions to be further implemented in the next 36 months. Your organisation can customise planning based on its own priorities and creativity. There is the possibility to add as many new actions as needed. The click on “Add another row” will create a new field in the form for the addition of a new action, the Gap principle it addresses, the timing of implementation, the responsible unit and the KPI(s). For the new actions the “Current Status” will be “New”.
There must always exist a match between the gaps identified in the Gap Analysis at Initial Phase and the actions planned in such a way. Make sure all gaps are addressed throughout the HRS4R process, based on your organisation’s own priorities and tactics.
In this fourth and last part of your Internal review, you must include information on how the HRS4R was implemented and embedded inside your organisation through working groups, alignment with HR policies/internal mechanisms, etc.
Besides describing the overall implementation process in a free text field, there is also a mandatory checklist with questions to answer.
Should the same answer be applicable to more than one question, please state clearly if this is the case instead of duplicating replies.
If needed, you can also add details on the implementation process in an additional text block created specifically on this purpose.
After the successful submission of your Internal Review using the HRS4R e-tool, you proceed to the next level of the process, which consists of two separate steps:
First, the administrative eligibility check of your application, performed by the European Commission
And secondly, the assessment of the application, performed by a group of external experts
The administrative eligibility check is intended to validate an application in terms of its compliance with the application procedure.
- All formal requirements are met
- Templates are completed in the HRS4R E-tool
- The OTM-R Checklist was also filled in by your organisation
- Templates contain sufficient information for the application to be further assessed
The check has nothing to do with the quality of the data provided, but with the quality of the application as a whole, as suitable or not for the interim assessment. Your organisation will be informed if the application is compliant and has passed the administrative eligibility check within four weeks after submission.
If the application is considered non-compliant, you will be required to update it, based on the feedback provided by the European Commission. In this case, your organisation’s task is moved backwards on the process flow and the templates of the initial application can be further edited.
If required to make changes in the application templates, you will have to resubmit the updated version of the application within two months, after it receives the outcome of the administrative eligibility check.
The assessment of the application is the second step of the Interim Assessment phase and can only be initiated if an application has passed the administrative eligibility check. At this stage, progress and quality of the actions and accompanying measures are being assessed.
The outcome of the Interim Assessment is included in the consensus report, which is the official feedback that you will receive in terms of the Internal Review. It is also based on a standard template, and it includes customised recommendations in terms of the implementation of the HRS4R procedure.
Your organisation will have access to the consensus report in your HRS4R dashboard on EURAXESS, following an email notification.
Once again, your organisation is not in jeopardy of losing the "HR Award" but receives important recommendations on how to continue the implementation of the revised action plan for the next 36 months.
At this stage you may also receive a warning in case your organisation is not deemed to sufficiently progress or if there is a lack of evidence.
You just achieved your first Interim assessment. The HRS4R process will then further run in a cyclical way, with new Internal Reviews, similar to the one for the Interim Assessment, every 36 months for Award Renewal, and alternating the organisation of site visits.
- General overview of the Implementation Phase - 1 / 2
- General overview of the Implementation Phase - 2 / 2
- Internal Review for Interim Assessment - 1 / 2
- Internal Review for Interim Assessment - 1 / 2
- How to access the Internal Review form (overview)
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 1 / 7
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 2 / 7
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 3 / 7
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 4 / 7
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 5 / 7
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 6 / 7
- How to fill in the Internal Review form - 7 / 7
- Interim assessment & Outcomes - 1 / 2
- Interim assessment & Outcomes - 2 / 2