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FAQs & Resources


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is UCPath?

UCPath is the critical business transformation project of the University of California. The first stage of the project is replacing UC’s 35-year old payroll/personnel system with a single new payroll and HR technology system, standardizing and streamlining payroll and HR processes systemwide, and centralizing certain HR, Academic Personnel and payroll transactional processes within a shared service center.

What does UCPath stand for?

UCPath = UC Payroll, Academic Personnel, Timekeeping & Human Resources.

What was involved in standardizing the University of California's business processes?

As a key component of the UCPath program, the University of California standardized over 100 HR/payroll and other business processes so that they could be supported by a common technology platform and service center. Given the wide variety of ways that each campus and health system conducts business, this was a large, complex effort and represents a huge success for the University of California.

UC leaders in HR/payroll and associated areas — from almost all of 20 UC locations— reviewed each new business process to make sure it was right for the University of California and each location. The work was facilitated and documented by short-term consultants who brought expertise from supporting process alignment efforts at similar organizations.

Is UCPath going to include timekeeping?

Yes, but not yet. Throughout the initial phase of UCPath, all UC locations will retain their local timekeeping systems and will develop interfaces to UCPath. These interfaces will pass timekeeping data to UCPath for payroll and leave calculations. Once all locations have implemented the HR/payroll aspects of UCPath, the plan is to begin the second phase of the program to standardize timekeeping systems across UC.

Where is the new shared services center physically located?

In Riverside, California in a LEED Gold certified building.

How many people will work at the shared services center?

By the time the UCPath Center is fully operational, as many as 415 employees will work there. Learn more about working at the UCPath Center.

How do we know that UCPath staff will efficiently and accurately answer questions from each campus and health system?

Currently, more than 33% of the staff members at the UCPath Center previously worked at other UC locations. All have expertise in HR/payroll and other areas served by UCPath.

What work is moving to the UCPath Center?

Certain tasks related to processing routine HR/payroll-related transactions will be performed by the UC staff at the UCPath Center. Tasks from approximately one hundred processes in the areas of payroll, benefits, finance/GL integration, absence management, compensation, and workforce administration were identified and will be standardized across the system.

Why replace UC’s current payroll/personnel system?

The current system is outdated, nearly 35 years old, and is a significant risk for the University of California. The new system will be a stable, modern foundation for every location to perform is payroll and personnel functions with accuracy and efficiency.

When is my campus / health system transitioning to UCPath?

See the latest timing information. As dates become available, timeline will be updated

Who is in charge of UCPath at my campus/health system?

Select your location from the list (on the left) on the UCPath on Campus page.

What kind of training will be available?

The UCPath training team will work with each location to determine the right balance of training.

Super-users, like HR/Payroll professionals, will have tailored, role-specific training as well as opportunities to practice in the new tool. More casual users, like managers (who will use UCPath to view data about their staff) or employees (who will use UCPath to check/update their personal information), will be provided with training, tailored information, and tools, where appropriate. 

What’s the difference between the UCPath team in Oakland and the team on my campus?

The UCPath program management office (Oakland team), is setting up the infrastructure for UCPath. For instance, teams are writing code, designing and testing systems, and working with locations and the UCPath Center to ensure that processes, technology, and the new shared services are understood and working prior to a campus transitioning to UCPath.

The location teams ensure local processes can support UCPath and that the local technology works with the new system, ensuring converted data is accurate and are active participants in UCPath testing. They also facilitate change management and communications for your campus and customize these efforts as appropriate.

The Oakland and location teams work closely with each other, as well as with the UCPath Center.

Why are there so many testing phases to get UCPath live?

Multiple phases of testing are a “best practices” process. It is imperative for each portion of a new program to be tested completely. When it comes to our paychecks and benefits, there is no room for error, so these processes and technology need to be tested, re-tested and tested again.

Each phase of testing builds on the previous one(s) checking and double checking that the systems will work as planned. The test phases are:

Functional Unit Tests (FUT) - Checks each customized feature for correctness by testing the customized designs against the code. These tests are executed for each customized feature within UCPath.

System Testing (ST) - Confirms configuration and functionality within UCPath modules, interfaces and enhancements.

Integration Testing (IT) - Verifies UCPath integrates successfully other internal and external applications. As part of IT, we coordinate with internal campus systems and external vendors to validate that interfaces work perfectly end-to-end.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) - Allows the primary users of the system to complete one final review of functionality prior to deployment to ensure business processes can be successfully executed. UAT focuses on the process hand-offs between departments at locations and between UC locations and the UCPath Center. UAT will test all systems and processes in the upcoming deployment.

Parallel Payroll Testing - Verifies UCPath produces comparable payroll results to the legacy PPS system.