University Controller's Office
Grants & Contracts

ECRT/Effort Reporting Frequently Asked Questions for Certifiers and Principal Investigators


How do I get access to the site?

ECRT requires users to have an active eID in order to access the ECRT site. Please verify your eID using the eID Manager site:

If your eID is active, please contact Effort Reporting (



Who do I contact to get my access restored when I am notified that my access/account was deactivated?

A reactivation request should be submitted to Effort Reporting in order for your access to be restored. Once submitted the access can be immediately reactivated by a member of Effort Reporting.



Which web browsers are compatible with the ECRT system?

ECRT is compatible with Internet Explorer and Firefox. However, other web browsers also have a history of working with the site.

The link included in the notification email should be copied and paste into a new web browser.



I receive an error message which states the system is down or unavailable. What should I do?

Access is removed from the ECRT system in order for maintenance and retrieval of data from various systems at the University. The system will generally become available once the data upload completes. If the problem persists, please contact Effort Reporting.



Does ECRT allow users to navigate using the Back and Forward Internet options?

Yes, ECRT allows you to navigate the system using the back and forward internet options. However, the "Back" button should not be used once the "I agree" button is clicked during the certification process. Clicking either the "I agree" button or the "Certify" button multiple times may cause an error in the processing of your card.



How do I know when a certification period has begun?

The ECRT schedule,, lists the certification period start and end dates. Certifiers will receive notification emails from ECRT ( if they have effort statements that are awaiting their certification.



How do I determine which period(s) I need to certify?

The status line of an effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) determines whether or not certification is needed. Cards with statuses beginning with Not Certified, Not Processed should be certifiednot certified. Please review the Certify-View My Effort helpful tool for additional information.



Why do I have two effort statements (i.e. ECRT cards) for overlapping periods?

Changes in your employee type and/or position may cause ECRT to generate multiple effort statements with overlapping periods in order to account for all of your activities. All cards with the status beginning with Not Certified, Not Processed should be certified.

status not certified



How do I certify my effort in the ECRT system?

See Helpful Tools, for information on how to certify using the ECRT system.



What does my computed effort percents represent and how is it calculated on my effort statement (i.e. ECRT card)?

The Computed Effort percent column of the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) totals the Payroll and Cost Share salary columns.

Your salary charges are uploaded into the ECRT and are grouped based upon the certification periods. The Certification Payroll Report displays the salary charges by org code and by pay periods. The Account View, allows you to view the percentage listed on the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) along with the total salary charged for the entire ECRT period. The Pay Period View, allows you to view the salary charges by pay period.

Payroll reportaccount view



Can certification percents be entered into the Certified Effort Column using decimals?

As stated in the instructions on the Effort Statement page, certified percents should be keyed into the Certified Effort column using whole numbers. However, ECRT will round up/down if decimals are entered.



The information on my effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) is incorrect. Who should I contact in order to get my information corrected?

The information available in ECRT is uploaded from various data sources. Your primary effort coordinator (whose name is located on the top right corner of the Certify Effort page) should be contacted.



I received the error message, “Only numeric values are allowed” when I entered in my certified effort on the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card). Why?

ECRT requires you to certify your effort using whole numbers.



I received the error message, “The certification is below/above the valid range of 99” after I entered in my certified effort on the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card). Why?

The certified column must be within the allowable range of 99-101 percent due to rounding.



How do I get ECRT to capture all of my certified percents at once?

The “All” option located on the bottom right of the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) should be clicked prior to selecting the “Certify” button. all option.

See ECRT Helpful Tools, www.controller,



How do I confirm whether or not ECRT accepted my certification?

Review the status line of the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card). If the status does not state Not Certified, Not Processed, the certification was accepted.

Review the Transaction History of the effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) (lower left corner). This will provide the date and name of the person who certified and/or processed the card. effort history



The status line of my effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) changed from Not Certified/Not Processed to Certified/Not Processed.  Should the card still be listed under the Effort Statement screen?

There are four stages/statuses to an effort statement (i.e. ECRT card). Cards with the status Certified/Not Processed are awaiting the review and process/approval of the department’s primary effort coordinator. Please see the chart below.




I have certified my effort, yet I am still receiving past due notifications. What should I do?

Please review your “Statements Awaiting Certification” tab. The “Statements Awaiting Certification” tab will list effort statements with the status of “Cycle Still Active” and statuses beginning with “Not Certified, Not Processed”. In order to access the effort statement, simply click on your name found on the “Statements Awaiting Certification” tab.



I manually certified my effort statement (i.e. ECRT card), why am I still receiving overdue notices?

An effort statement (i.e. ECRT card) is not completed until the card is in a Certified and Processed status. Please contact your listed effort coordinator to determine when your card will be certified and processed within the ECRT system.



Is there a feature in the ECRT system that provides users with a detailed explanation regarding a screen's capabilities, purpose, and/or intended use?

The Help File (Help File icon) is located on the upper right hand corner of ECRT screens (with the exception of the home page). This feature provides users with a detailed explanation of the screen currently accessed.



What is my eID and why is it necessary?

The ECRT system allows access by keying in your eID and eID password. The link below will direct you to VCU Technology Services website for additional eID related information. This link will also allow you to find your eID user name and/or reset your eID password.


Technology Services Help Desk, 828-2227 or



I received a system-generated email from with the title "Your reminder that the effort certification period has begun". Why did I receive this email?

Recipients of this email have time and effort towards either sponsored projects and/or clinical (graduate medical education effort) that need to be captured and validated.



How can I determine the due date of an Effort Statement (ECRT card)?

The Effort Statement due date is listed on the "Statements Awaiting Certification" tab and appears under the "Needing Certification" section on the Effort Statement screen.



How do I navigate to my effort statement (ECRT card)?

The “Statements Awaiting Certification” tab and the “Certify” menu can be used to navigate to your effort statement (ECRT Card). Only the cards under the “Needing Certification” will need to be certified





How do I navigate to my certified effort statement (ECRT card)?

The “Certify” menu can be used to access all of your effort statements (ECRT Cards). The certified effort statements (ECRT Cards) will be located under the “In Progress” section if the card has a status beginning with “Certified, Not Processed”. All processed cards will appear under the “Historical” section of the effort statement window.





What is a base statement?

Base statement is another name for effort statement and ECRT card.



What is a statement owner?

The "Statement Owner" is the listed certifier on the effort statement.



What is the VCU Institutional Base Salary definition?

The annual compensation rate, as determined by University administrative procedures, for an employee's appointment (University effort) devoted toward University-related activities. See compensation codes located at for the IBS compensation codes currently included in the University Effort Reporting System ECRT. IBS includes both compensation for University-related effort, and compensation from the MCV Physicians (MCVP) Practice Plan for clinical effort. However, some specific types of compensation are not included for the purposes of effort reporting. These types include bonuses, reward/recognition compensation, etc.