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Writing references for existing or former employees. There is therefore an obligation on managers to ensure that, when references are provided, the facts are correct and any opinions expressed are fair and can be evidenced or to make it clear that their knowledge of the person is limited.
The Information Commissioner's Office have produced a useful data sheet on the provision of employment references and how they are affected by the Data Protection Act (1998). This can be found on the following link:
Author’s of references should be aware that any reference could be the subject of a Date Access Request and/or the Freedom of Information Act and could be seen by the individual concerned.
All references provided by the University should contain the following paragraph ay the end of the letter, but before the signature of the author, “Oxford Brookes University and its staff accept no responsibility of any kind for the reliance you may choose to place on this reference. You must satisfy yourself that the applicant has the skills, experience and ability to perform the role applied for.”
The Policy and procedures for the prevention and detection of fraud, corruption and other irregularities affecting the University states that any request for a reference for a member of staff who has been disciplined or prosecuted for fraud shall be referred to the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources shall prepare any answer to a request for a reference having regard to employment law.
The Oxford Brookes University invests in creating a vibrant, inclusive and ambitious environment in which it strives for internationally excellent and world-leading research. The University has been using the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and/or the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics to inform their internal assessment processes for REF 2021, including provision of references for existing or former employees. More information about the Research integrity and responsible metrics, including a full responsible metrics position statement approved by the University, can be found here.
Updated August 2020