Department of Human Resource Management
Policies and Procedures Manual
Print This PolicyPrint This Policy | Policies

Policy Number: 1.10 - Service Recognition
Efft. Date: 9/16/93 Rev. Date: 4/25/05

Application:  Classified employees.

This policy provides for the recognition of employees for their state service and directs agencies to develop programs suitable for recognizing such service.

State Service State service for service recognition purposes means the sum of all salaried employment in full-time or part-time classified state positions as well as salaried employment in positions exempt from the coverage of the Virginia Personnel Act (such as faculty, “at-will,” and positions in the Legislative and Judicial branches).
Service Award A certificate and/or gift item presented to the employee by his or her current agency in recognition of the completion of each five-year increment of state service.
Timing and Nature of Awards Agencies are responsible for developing a program to recognize employees’ service. These programs must provide for:
  • awards starting at five years and for each five-year increment thereafter;
  • presentation of service awards at least annually; and
  • an appropriate presentation ceremony.
Presentation Ceremonies

Agencies may determine the manner in which service awards are presented, provided that:

  • presentation ceremonies held during work hours are reasonable in duration and consistent with the agency’s mission and business needs; and
  • expenses incurred for the presentation of service awards  are just, reasonable, and necessary for providing an appropriate event.

Agencies may combine service award presentations with other recognition ceremonies.

Calculating State Service

State service includes all salaried employment worked at all agencies of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of Virginia government. State service includes all periods of approved leave with and without pay.

NOT INCLUDED for service recognition:

Employees must pass the service milestone before receiving the recognition award for that level of service; service time is not rounded up.

Agencies may establish workable cutoff dates as needed in order to administer the program efficiently. For example, an agency may require employees to reach the service milestones by October 31 to qualify to receive an award at a December ceremony.
Service Recognition Award Items

Service recognition gift items are available through contracts administered by the Department of General Services, Division of Purchases and Supply (DGS/DPS).

Lists of gift items by service level can be accessed through links on the Department of Human Resource Management Website ( and the DGS/DPS Website (  Employees eligible for service awards may select a gift item for the service level attained or from a lower level.  For example, an employee eligible for a 20-year award may select an item from the 20-year group or may opt for one item from either the five- , ten- , or fifteen-year group.

Purchase of service recognition gift items other than those offered by the service awards contract(s) should be arranged through the Division of Purchases and Supply (DPS) Contract Officer. Such purchases may be required to comply with the competitive process described in the DPS Agency Procurement and Surplus Property Manual (APSPM). Award items should be consistent in cost/value with the contract items for a given service level (five years, ten years, etc.).

Application Agencies may continue programs established before May 7, 1978, or may follow the program outlined in this policy.
Availability of Funds Agency heads must ensure the availability of funds to support their programs for awards for length of state service.
Records Retention Agencies should maintain such records as are needed to implement the service awards program. Where Library of Virginia or Department of Accounts regulations apply, agencies are expected to comply.

The Department of Human Resource Management issues this policy pursuant to the authority provided in Chapter 12, Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.


The Director of the Department of Human Resource Management is responsible for official interpretation of this policy, in accordance with section 2.2-1201 of the Code of Virginia.

Questions regarding the application of this policy should be directed to the Department of Human Resource Management's Office of Agency Human Resource Services.

The Department of Human Resource Management reserves the right to revise or eliminate this policy at any time.

Related Policies
Policy 1.20, Employee Recognition Programs
Back to the Top