Staff members are eligible for service awards after completing at least 10 years of service. In addition to receiving a service award, employees are given a higher accrual rate for vacation after 10, 15 and 20 years of service. Note, MSP employees start at 5 years of service.

Employment service credit is used to determine service time for vacation accrual rates and eligibility for service awards.  Departments will continue to recognize and appreciate significant long-term contributions our employees make to the University of California.

Please note that employee service credit does not accrue in the same way as, and should not be confused with, retirement service credit or seniority.

Procedure Checklist

This check-off sheet will take you through the steps from identifying your award milestones to getting your supply of pins, Chancellor Congratulation cards and envelopes for presentation to your employees.

Procedure Checklist (PDF)

PPS-DS #220 - Service Credit Audit Report

PPS-DS #220 - Service Credit Audit Report is available to assist departments in planning for upcoming changes to vacation accrual rates. This report shows an employee's current service credit number. This report can be used as a tool to project service time in advance of the effective date.

Service Award Pins

Service award pins are given out at 10 years of service and then every 5 years. Pins, the Chancellor’s congratulation card and envelopes are all available through UCD Buy

Refer to the Procedure Check-list for more information.

Changes to Vacation Accruals

Vacation accrual changes occur at 10, 15 and 20 years of service and require a code change in PPS. MSP employees start at 5 years. Refer to the Service Award Training PowerPoint for more information.

Department Congratulatory Letters & Gift Cards

Departments often add a more personal note to the employee from the department head. Here a few examples of department congratulatory letters for your use.

Sample Congratulatory Letter #1 (PDF)

Sample Congratulatory Letter #2 (PDF)

Many Departments also recognize employee service milestones with gift cards. PPM Chapter 380 Section 50 – addresses length of service non-cash awards.

Examples of suggested gift card amounts:

Years of Service Value of Gift Card
10 $100
15 $150
20 $200
25 $250
30 $300
35 $350
40 $400

One resource for gift cards is


  1. What if I lose my pin or never received it?
    • Replacement pins - Past practice has been that the University will supply one replacement pin per department per year. Please help to insure this practice on an honor basis due to the cost of the pins. Pin backings can be replaced as needed.
  2. What if I had previous employment with another UC Campus or State Department?
    • Previous Employment - A new or rehired employee who has employment service credit with other eligible employers should work with their department payroll staff to obtain verification of prior service. The “Request for Verification of Previous Employment" form can be used to obtain verification from outside agencies.

      Service credit is accepted from the following employers:

      • University of California campuses, medical centers, health systems, and Office of the President
      • California State University campuses
      • Department of Energy laboratories – Los Alamos National Laboratory; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • State of California offices

Questions? Contact Employee & Labor Relations at UC Davis or UC Davis Health