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 chaptersand 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:
- Have a clear overview of the award renewal phase
- Be able to fill in and submit the internal review for award renewal
- Understand the assessment process and the possible outcomes
- Learn about the award renewal cycles
Congratulations! Your institution has proved a long-term commitment to implement the HRS4R procedure. You have now reached the Award Renewal phase.
This is the third phase of the HRS4R procedure. It takes place 5 years after the ‘HR Award’ was initially granted and 3 years after the Interim Assessment. The renewal phase runs in a cyclical way, with new Internal Reviews every 36 months, alternating the organisation of site visits.
In order to renew your HR Award, you will need first to perform a self-assessment based on the Internal Review template (see last chapter of this tutorial).
According to the practice that you already know, your Internal Review will be first screened for administrative eligibility. The administrative eligibility check makes sure the application has all the required elements necessary for assessment. If the administrative eligibility check is not passed, your organisation may be required to make corrections and resubmit the application.
Once the Internal Review is considered eligible from an administrative point of view, the file will be sent for the Award Renewal Assessment to a panel of experts. They use standard assessment forms to ensure equal treatment for all applicant organisations.
The general assessment they provide in their consensus report indicates whether your organisation award renewal is accepted. Three outcomes are possible : accepted, accepted pending minor modifications or declined- pending major modifications. Whenever modifications are required, the institution will have to resubmit a reviewed application including the experts’ recommandations. If your organisation is at its first or third cycle of Award Renewal, a one-day site-visit must be organised as part of the assessment process. Have a look at the HRS4R Site Visit Guidelines published on EURAXESS for more details.
The purpose of an internal review at this stage is to allow the participating organisations to reflect and document progress, alter actions or timing of actions, as well as to offer the opportunity to create new actions for the upcoming years.
As a first step of the Award Renewal Phase, your organisation indicates in the Internal Review form how it has embedded into its policies and practices the actions previously set. The next step is to propose new actions for the upcoming 3 years.
At this phase your organisation must publish the reviewed version of the action plan, including the Open, Transparent and Merit-Based (OTM-R) policy, on your 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 for the Initial or for the Interim Assessment phase, it is mandatory to also complete this task for the Award Renewal.
Your organisation has 36 months after the interim assessment consensus report to implement the recommandations and to submit the Internal Review for the Award Renewal in the HRS4R e-tool.
After the submission of your Award Renewal request, the application is checked for administrative eligibility.
If it passes the administrative eligibility check, the file will be sent to external assessment.
Your organisation will be also informed whether a site visit is planned as part of the assessment process.
In case of a simple desk-based assessment, a panel of international experts will proceed only with the assessment of the Internal Review provided.
If a site visit will be organized, the experts will perform a one-day visit in your organisation’s premises for the second part of the assessment process.
Please consult the Site Visit guidelines for Institutions published on EURAXESS in order to prepare this phase of the assessment process.
The experts will produce, in consensus, the Award Renewal report, which is communicated by the European Commission to your organisation as the outcome of the assessment process.
If your organisation has used the HRS4R e-tool during the Initial or Interim Assessment, the HRS4R Admin will log into the EURAXESS account and, through MY EURAXESS dashboard, will have access to the HRS4R e-tool in order to manage the reporting process. A click on the “Renewal Phase” blue tab will illustrate the next task with the status “Pending” and the corresponding deadline.
If your institution enrols for the first time in the HRS4R e-tool at Award Renewal, you must register the file in the HRS4R e-tool. There are several steps to accomplish before filling in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool.
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 institution’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 enrollment process is explained in the first chapter of this tutorial.
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 or for the reviewed action plan at Interim Assessment.
It comprises four parts : 1. Organisational information 2. Strengths and weaknesses of the current practice 3. Actions 4. Implementation and embedding the HRS4R process.
The first part is about organisational information.
This section is intended to illustrate the larger context in which your organisation 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, and • 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 or Interim Assessment, with the possibility to update it for the current situation.
The same approach is also applicable for the “Organisational Profile” text block. The information will be retrieved automatically from the previous stages if your organisation has filled in the initial or reviewed action plan in the HRS4R e-tool.
The second part of the Internal Review focuses on strengths and weaknesses of the current practice.
In this section, your organisation must provide an overview of its 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 also be included here.
It is strongly recommended to elaborate on both strengths and weaknesses, although there is only one text block provided for both, as they will highlight your organisational 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 three 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,
- Strengths and weaknesses at Award Renewal Phase.
Note that the information regarding the “Strengths and weaknesses” expressed at the Initial Phase and Interim Assessment will be retrieved automatically from the system if your organisation has filled in the previous applications in the HRS4R e-tool. Otherwise, these text blocks will be empty. Organisations enrolled in the HRS4R e-tool at the Award Renewal Phase will have to fill in only the text block regarding the “Strengths and weaknesses at Internal Review for Award Renewal”.
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 and Award Renewal 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’ and the Interim Assessment stage. A text block is offered for the following questions:
- 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?
The mention to limit the answer to the above questions to 500 words maximum is only indicative. There is no technical limit if you want to write more than indicated.
For the third section of the Internal Review, Actions, your organisation has to report on the status of achievement for each of the actions planned in the Initial or Interim Assessment phases, alter actions or timing of actions if necessary, also to add new actions to be implemented in the next 36 months, for the second Award Renewal.
Note that the actions, as well as the remarks on the status of achievement should be concise, but detailed enough for the experts 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, there are several mandatory requirements :
First, your organisation has to publish on the website the extended version of the reviewed or improved 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 or Interim Assessment phases, it will have an additional task to perform for the Award Renewal.
The Actions file 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. Your organisation will have to make the link between the OTM-R checklist and the overall action plan in a free text section.
A different procedure to fill in the Internal Review Actions may apply wether your organisation has used or not the HRS4R e-tool for the Initial Phase or Interim Assessment.
If your organisation has use the HRS4R e-tool for the Initial Phase or Interim Assessment:
There are 2 tasks to perform at this stage:
- Establish the status of achievement of the actions already planned in the previous phases,
- Add new actions to the action plan for the next 36 months.
Key elements to consider for these tasks :
a) As an organisation that filled in the action plan in HRS4R E-Tool at the Initial Phase or Interim Assessment, you 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 three options : « in progress », « completed » or « extended ». 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”.
b) 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 and Interim Assessment. The proposed actions can address either individual or multiple principles. In order to ensure all the gap principles will be addressed by the institution based on own priorities, the list of Gap principles not selected in any action so far, will be provided for reference.
The selected gap will be automatically accompanied by the rating already set in the Gap Analysis: « fully implemented », « almost but not fully implemented », « partially implemented » and « insufficiently implemented ».
The timeline should cover at least 36 months up to the second 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.
If your organisation has not used the HRS4R e-tool for the Initial Phase or Interim Assessment and enrolled the HRS4R Process at the Award Renewal Phase, the 2 tasks to be performed are the same, but the forms will be empty.
Indeed, 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 previous phase, as it is the case of the organisations which have used the e-tool for the application to the ‘HR Award’ or for the Interim Assessment.
In order to report on the status of achievement, your organisation will have to fill in first the actions set in the previous version of the action plan, with the details provided at that time : the gap it addresses, timing, responsible unit, indicators (KPIs), etc. If the status is “In progress” or “Extended”, your organisation has 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 previous phases, 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 the institution’s own priorities and tactics.
This last part of the Internal Review must include information on how the HRS4R was implemented and embedded inside your organisation through working groups, alignment with HR policies and internal mechanisms, etc.
Besides describing the overall implementation process in a free text field, there is also a mandatory checklist with questions to answer, as you can see. The answer to each question should be detailed in maximum 500 words. This limit is indicative. 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, your organisation 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, your organisation proceeds to the next level of the process, which consists of 2 separate steps if you are at the first or third Award Renewal:
- Desk-based assessment
- One-day site visit
The desk-based assessment of the application is the first step of the Award Renewal assessment phase and can only be initiated if an application has passed the administrative eligibility check.
If a site visit will be organized part of the assessment process, the European Commission will inform your organisation accordingly and will stay in contact to establish an agenda and a convenient date.
Please check the Site Visit guidelines for institutions published on EURAXESS, for more details.
One of the three individual experts will be assigned the role of lead-assessor and will prepare the commonly agreed consensus report integrating the input provided in the individual assessments. The consensus report is the official feedback that your organisation will receive in terms of the Award Renewal request. It is also based on a standard template, and it includes customised recommendations in terms of the implementation of the HRS4R procedure.
If the Award Renewal assessment implies the organisation of a site-visit, your organisation will have access to the consensus report within one month after the site visit has taken place.
The general assessment, provided as part of the consensus report indicates whether your organisation is accepted the award renewal.
Three outcomes are possible : « accepted », « accepted pending minor modifications » or « declined –major modifications».
If the outcome is « accepted », your application meets the criteria. The experts may comment on the submission asking for future focus on a particular aspect, if appropriate.
If the outcome is « accepted pending minor modifications », your organisation broadly meets the criteria, but the external assessors have some concerns or questions about specific areas, in which case the institution is moved backwards on the HRS4R process flow in order to reflect on the feedback and act upon it.
Your organisation should consider for immediate action the recommendations mentioned as mandatory in order to have the award renewed. The other recommendations can be addressed during the next phase of the HRS4R process.
Your organisation is required to update the documentation in the HRS4R e-tool and resubmit the application for review within two months. The experts will review only how your organisation has followed up on their feedback, which is why it is strongly recommended to act upon the specific recommendations and clearly detail the actions in the revised application.
Should your organisation face difficulties in complying with the deadline, there is always the possibility to ask for a deadline extension provided that the deadline is not overdue. The request should be made in the HRS4R e-tool. The extension is offered only once, and it is standard for all institutions. The duration is one month from the previously set deadline. For special cases, the deadline extension can be longer than one month.
If the outcome is « declined-major modifications », your organisation does not meet the criteria to have the ‘HR award’ renewed and is required to make the appropriate changes taking into account the recommendations of the assessors. In this case your organisation is moved backwards on the HRS4R process flow in order to implement what is requested.
At this stage, your organisation will have to update the documentation in the HRS4R e-tool and resubmit the revised application for review within 12 months.
Your organisation should consider for immediate action the recommendations mentioned as mandatory in order to have the award renewed. The other recommendations can be addressed during the next phase of the HRS4R process. Here also, the assessors will review only how your organisation has followed up on their feedback, which is why it is strongly recommended to act upon the specific recommendations and clearly detail the actions in the revised application.
Be careful : special attention is needed when resubmitting the revised application as only two resubmissions are allowed at this stage.
Note that there is always the possibility to ask for a deadline extension provided that the deadline is not overdue.
Congratlations, you got your HR Award renewed ! Your organisation will continue the implementation of the reviewed and improved action plan based on the recommendations provided by assessors in the consensus report, for the next 36 months.
The HRS4R process will further run in a cyclical way, with new Internal Reviews every 36 months for Award Renewal, alternating the organisation of site visits.
- General overview of the Award Renewal Phase
- Internal Review for Award Renewal - 1 / 2
- Internal Review for Award Renewal - 2 / 2
- How to access the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 1 / 2
- How to access the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 2 / 2
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 1 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 2 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 3 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 4 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 5 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 6 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 7 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 8 / 9
- How to fill in the Internal Review form in the HRS4R E-Tool - 9 / 9
- The Award Renewal Assessment
- Award Renewal Assessment & Outcomes - 1 / 2
- Award Renewal Assessment & Outcomes - 2 / 2
- What’s next?