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Lehigh University is implementing the use of the Electronic Personnel Action Form, more commonly known as EPAF.

Rollout of the EPAF is happening during the 2023-2024 academic year. The EPAF rollout is not an “All or Nothing” implementation. Lehigh can use EPAFs instead of legacy processes or in parallel with legacy processes until the new process becomes routine. Because not all colleges and stems follow the same procedures, there may be some need for adjustments or modifications as we work through the EPAF rollout. A key component of this process improvement initiative is consistency across Lehigh departments. The EPAF allows our decentralized departments to examine current processes and learn best practices from one another. Thus, the EPAF was piloted with less complex cases in the Fall 2023 semester, with a complete rollout taking place during the Spring 2024 semester.

EPAF is currently used to hire new staff. Eventually, use of EPAF will expand into other areas. It is our expectation that the EPAF process will simplify many administrative tasks so that business managers can efficiently and effectively manage their staff hiring processes . The EPAF replaces the paper forms PAN and PAF, which will soon be phased out for new staff hires.

A key benefit of the EPAF is that you can attach other hiring documents to the EPAF. For example, you will be able to attach the offer letter. Other documents that need to reach payroll as a part of the new hire process can also be attached to the EPAF.

General EPAF Questions

What is an Electronic Personnel Action Form (EPAF)?

An EPAF allows personnel actions to be created and approved electronically through Banner Self Service, speeding up the process by eliminating paper and removing redundancies. The EPAF mitigates the risk of human error as information is digitally transferred through the approval queues and ultimately transferred directly into Banner. The EPAF allows the Originator to track the progress of his/her EPAF throughout the entire process.

Who are the participants in the EPAF process?

The Originator creates an EPAF in Banner Self-Service 9 from the Employee Dashboard.
One or more Approvers reviews and actions the EPAF in Banner Self-Service.
Payroll Applies the approved EPAF directly into Banner.
A Proxy can be assigned by the Approver to do their work for them while they are absent.

Who is an Originator?

The Originator is the person who creates an EPAF.  This can be the hiring manager or a departmental business manager.  This is typically the individual who would have submitted legacy versions of the paper PAF.

Who is an Approver?

An Approver is a person who carefully reviews an EPAF, and either approves, disapproves, or returns the EPAF to the Originator for correction.  This is the person who would have signed off on the paper PAF as the financial manager who approves the use of funds from the applicable index.

An EPAF must have at least one Approver (a mandatory approval level), but it will often have more than one. Examples of approval levels include the Department Head, the Dean’s Office, and ORSP if necessary.

If there are multiple indexes with different financial managers, all of them would need to be included as Approvers.

If a department requires more than one approval level on a given EPAF, the originator can add additional approval levels on any EPAF he/she creates.

Who is an Applier?

An Applier is a person who saves (applies) the information from an approved EPAF transaction into Banner. Each EPAF must have an Applier (this is another mandatory approval level).

What is the difference between “Approve”, “FYI”, and “Apply” in the Routing Queue section?

Approve – A person in the approval queue with a required action of “approve” reviews the EPAF for correctness before approving it. If there are multiple approvers for an EPAF, the EPAF will be routed to each of them, in order, based on their approval levels.

FYI – A person in the approval queue with an action of “FYI” will be able to see that an EPAF is in process. This individual can view the EPAF but cannot approve or deny it. The flow of the EPAF is not dependent on any action by this person.

Apply – Payroll applies the EPAF transaction information to Banner.  This completes the EPAF.

Can I set up a proxy for EPAFs?

Only Approvers and Appliers can set up proxies to handle their EPAF duties while they are absent.

How do I access EPAFs through Self-Service?

Once you have been identified and set up as an Originator or someone in an Approval Level (i.e., available to be added to the Routing Queue), you can access the EPAF menu under “My Actions” in the Employee Dashboard through Banner Self-Service 9.

Questions Frequently asked by EPAF ORIGINATORS

Can a department have more than one Originator?

Yes. A department can have more than one Originator. However, an EPAF can only be edited / corrected by the Originator who created it.

Our department’s Originator is out on leave. Can someone else make corrections to an EPAF they created?

No. An Originator cannot designate a Proxy.  Another Originator in the department would need to create a new EPAF if the issue cannot wait. If there is no one else to create a new EPAF, contact Human Resources for assistance.

How do I know which EPAF to use?

Refer to the "Available EPAFs" appendix (not yet completed)

What do all the different dates in the body of an EPAF mean?

Effective Date: The date the transaction will take effect in Banner. This will usually be a payroll date as noted on the payroll calendars.

Personnel Date: The date the action actually took effect. This will generally match the effective date.

Base Job Begin Date: The first date that an employee was ever placed in a specific position. If you are creating an EPAF for a rehire, the begin date should not change from when the employee was first hired into this position.

How do I know how many hours per pay I should enter?
Full-time non-exempt employees are paid Bi-weekly at 37.5 hours per week; there are two weeks per pay in the bi-weekly pay cycle.   These employees work 7.5 hours per day.
N3 employees are non-exempt full-time staff working 40 hours per week.  Included in this category are Police, Boiler operators, and HVAC technicians.  These employees work 8 hours per day.
Full-time exempt employees are paid monthly for 40 hours per week, or 8 hours per day.
Part time employees are prorated based on the type of employee and the number of hours per week.
After I’ve made corrections to an EPAF, do I need to save the EPAF again?

Yes. You always need to save an EPAF after you have made changes. 

Once you submit the EPAF it will be routed for approval.

How will I know if my transaction has been saved or submitted successfully?

You need to save your EPAF before you can submit it.

You will receive a message at the top of the EPAF screen telling you that your save or submit was successful.

If you receive an error message, you will need to resolve before you can save or submit.

How do I check the status of my EPAF?

Use the Originator Summary screen to check the status of your EPAF. If the EPAF has already been submitted, it will appear under the “History” tab.

Why does the queue status say “Waiting” instead of “Pending?”

Waiting means that the EPAF has not been successfully submitted. Locate the EPAF in the Originator Summary and view the error messages, if there are any. Click “Update” if necessary and then save and submit the EPAF.

What do I need to do about warning messages?

Warning messages are informational only.  They will not prevent a transaction from being submitted, approved, and applied to Banner.

Do I need to worry about error messages?

Yes. Error messages will prevent an EPAF from being saved or submitted successfully. If you have read the error messages carefully, reviewed your EPAF, and still can’t resolve the problem, contact one of the following for assistance:

  • Please direct questions about the contents of the EPAF to Human Resources or Payroll. 
  • Direct technical questions to LTS Enterprise Systems by submitting a Jira ticket.
  • You will get an error message about Routing Queues  if you leave a line blank.  If there is a line that you don’t need, such as the ORSP approval, please click the trash can to remove the line.  That should also remove the error message.
Can I change the position number once a transaction has been saved?

No. The position number is unique to each entry and cannot be changed after the transaction has been saved. You will have to delete or void your current EPAF and create a new EPAF.

What is the difference between “voiding” and “deleting” an EPAF?

An EPAF that has been voided will remain in the Originator Summary. This selection is useful if you would like to keep a copy for future reference. Once an EPAF has been deleted, it will no longer appear in the Originator Summary.  Be careful! There is no prompt to confirm that you actually want something deleted.            

I need to change some information on an EPAF. What should I do?

If you have saved (but not submitted) the EPAF, you can access it from your Originator Summary and make your changes.

If you have submitted the EPAF and it does not yet have a transaction status of “Approved,” you can call the next approver in line and have them return it to you for correction.

If the EPAF has a transaction status of “Approved,” it has been approved, but it has not yet been applied to Banner. Call HR so that the EPAF can be returned to you for correction

If the EPAF has a transaction status of “Apply” but has not been applied to Banner, please alert payroll.  The originator may need to take action to void/cancel.  The Originator and payroll will work together to determine the best course of action.

If the EPAF has a transaction status of “Completed,” it has been applied to Banner. You should:

  1. Call HR to delete the transaction (in which case you would want to “cancel” it from your Originator Summary) and create a new EPAF, or
  2. Submit a corrected EPAF to override the incorrect one.
How can I make someone default into the Routing Queue rather than having to search for or type their username each time?

Additional approval levels, as well as specific people, can be set up to automatically default by setting up a Default Routing Queue.

A Default Routing Queue is specific to a type of EPAF, so if you use 4 types of EPAFs, you will probably want to set up a Default Routing Queue for each type.

The Default Routing Queue can be accessed from the Originator Summary screen. You can choose an approval level, a person, and the required action for that person.

What if I want to choose a person to be in my routing queue, but I don’t see him/her on the drop-down list?

All people in the Routing Queue must be defined in an Approval Level. If the person you need to choose is not available, please contact LTS Enterprise Systems using a JIRA ticket.

What can I do if my EPAF Approver is on leave and they have not designated a proxy?

You can contact LTS enterprise systems to return the EPAF to you. You will be able to update the EPAF and change the routing queue of the EPAF so that it routes to a different Approver.  You must ensure that the proxy Approver has authority to assume that responsibility.

What do the various status of an EPAF mean?
  • Waiting: The ePAF has not been submitted and needs to be updated and submitted or deleted.
  • Pending: The ePAF has been submitted but has not yet been fully approved.
  • Disapproved: The ePAF cannot move forward.
  • Voided: The ePAF has been removed from all approval queues and will remain in the
  • originator’s history.
  • Returned for Correction: The ePAF must be corrected and resubmitted.
  • Approved: The ePAF has been fully approved but not yet applied by Payroll.
  • Completed: The ePAF has been fully approved and applied by Payroll.

Questions Frequently asked by EPAF APPROVERS

What information am I expected to approve?

It is understood that not all approvers will have the knowledge to approve all fields on the EPAF. For example, a PI wouldn’t necessarily know a student’s original hire date. However, they would know the dates they are expecting the student to work, the amount of money the student will earn, and the funding source

Can there be more than one Approver for an EPAF?
Yes, there can be multiple levels of approval (for example, an EPAF funded by Sponsored Programs must go to the Dean’s Office and ORSP). The order of approval is dictated by the routing queue. Once an approver has approved the EPAF, it will be available for the next approver in line to review it.
Can an Approver make changes to an EPAF?
No, only the Originator can make changes. If there is a problem with the EPAF, the Approver can click on the History tab to open the EPAF that needs to be corrected. Choose “return for correction” and add a comment as to what the problem is. The Originator can make the necessary changes, save and re-submit the EPAF.
How do I check the status of an EPAF?
Use the Approver Summary screen to check the status of your EPAFs:
  • The Current tab displays EPAFs you need to act on.
  • The In My Queue tab displays EPAFs that have been submitted, but that have not reached you yet.
  • The History tab shows EPAFs you have already taken action on
What is the difference between “returning something for correction” and asking for “more information?
If an Approver returns an EPAF for correction, s/he expects the Originator to change data on the EPAF, and the EPAF will need to go through the entire routing queue again.
If an Approver asks for more information, s/he expects the Originator to add a comment to clarify something. The EPAF remains with the Approver until the clarification is received.  It will not need to go through the routing queue again.  Upon approval, the EPAF will continue along its original path.
Will I receive a notification that I need to approve an EPAF?
Yes. Emails are generated once a day and are sent to anyone who has EPAFs needing approval or available as FYI.
How do I designate a proxy to handle my approvals while I’m gone?
EPAF approver proxies are separate from timesheet approver proxies and must be set up separately. If you are in an approval level, you can set up/maintain your proxies from the EPAF main menu or from your Approver Summary.