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Reference questions

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Which are the questions that must be asked in a reference form to meet legal requirements?

I want to keep it short to ensure a prompt reply from the former employer and trust my and my colleague's judgement about a person's capability from an interview and a trial day.

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Hi

The PLA letter includes

 

details of employment dates

suitability to carry out duties on job description

any reason why unsuitable to work with children

sickness in last 12 months

candidates honesty

any live disciplinary

would you re-employ

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks Diesel. Some employers are hesitant to communicate and lengthy forms can be put aside, so I'm trying to find out what is the minimum to ask to meet legal requirements.

Could I only ask about 1) unsuitability to work with children and 2) any past or ongoing disciplinary procedure?

I would prefer a conversation with the former employer. Are there reasons not to call them?

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I have (hopefully) attached a form I made recently - not sure if it's any use.

 

I needed one really quickly for all our staff. Therefore I do actually know them all- but wanted to make it easy for then to get their 2nd references. (staff have all been employed 7+ years, but we are changing to a community group, so did reference checks just in case Ofsted class us a new setting etc)

 

.............. I seem to have forgotten how to upload- but I shall do it very soon! :huh: :o :lol: :lol:

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think I've done it now. :1b

 

The six weeks holiday is obviously not good for my brain ! :lol: :lol:

Reference Form Sept 2017.docx

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  1. Reference Form Sept 2017.docx (18)

I just had an inspection in June and she didn't really read them, just commented that they didn't have an address on, I said there is an email address! The council accept emails! She was fine.

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Thanks Louby Loo. A few questions...

When did the applicant work for/with you, or how long have you known this person? (Please give exact dates.)
Why exact dates? Why wouldn't 'about six months' or 'two years' be sufficient?

Did the applicant require a Disclosure & Barring Service check when employed by you?
Why is this important?

Are there any outstanding disciplinary issues?
Isn't it important to ask about past disciplinary issues too?

Edited by Wildflowers

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Here are two questions which may be important to ask in a reference form, though the last one may be too personal:

In your experience, has the applicant the ability to maintain confidentiality?

Are there any issues you are aware of which may impact the applicant’s job performance?

This question also includes capability procedures, not only disciplinary ones:

Has the applicant been subject to any capability or disciplinary procedures during their employment with you? If yes, please indicate reasons and action taken.

We are not allowed to ask applicant to fill in a health declaration until they have been offered a job? Are we allowed to ask about number of sick days when seeking references, which takes place before the job offer?

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Thanks Louby Loo. A few questions...

When did the applicant work for/with you, or how long have you known this person? (Please give exact dates.)

Why exact dates? Why wouldn't 'about six months' or 'two years' be sufficient?

Did the applicant require a Disclosure & Barring Service check when employed by you?

Why is this important?

Are there any outstanding disciplinary issues?

Isn't it important to ask about past disciplinary issues too?

 

To be honest I googled early years references and then cobbled together my own version.

 

Dates- I know Ofsted like exact dates. However I would accept rough dates ie I have know X for 10+ years from personal refs

DBS - Not sure, but I suppose I'm allowing for non childcare job previously?

I might of typo'd out about previous disciplines- I was in a hurry and was determined to get the whole thing on one side of A4!!! :unsure: :lol:

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I used to work in a workplace nursery which was also used by the local community. When I once told HR department I'd done a reference for someone- they went ballistic with me and I was told I could only give out their standard template reference from the company.

It had about three things one it -

  • confirming they worked for company
  • job title
  • length of time

I think it may have had about timekeeping on it also, but I was not allowed to add anything else.

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I wonder if those three things would be considered sufficient by Ofsted.

Once I gave a reference, answering all questions honestly, assuming that it was confidential. The former employee asked to see the reference and she had the right to see it according to data protection legislation. I would hesitate to answer some questions in writing after that, if I had anything negative to write, despite some forms claiming to that the information would be kept confidentiality.

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I wonder if those three things would be considered sufficient by Ofsted.

Once I gave a reference, answering all questions honestly, assuming that it was confidential. The former employee asked to see the reference and she had the right to see it according to data protection legislation. I would hesitate to answer some questions in writing after that, if I had anything negative to write, despite some forms claiming to that the information would be kept confidentiality.

 

Actually, now you mention it I think perhaps they would have to (or at least should do!)

 

I did Census collecting in 2011 - once finished I was given a standard reference with those exact same things on it. I had to have police checks and allsorts of other things and it was a government job :lol: :lol: :lol:

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I think people tend to put the minimum of information, eg job title, dates of employment, sick leave, which are factual and avoid giving any opinions/subjective information, as this is what employees might have come-back on if they didn't agree. I tend to not complete any multiple tick boxes for anyone I wouldn't recommend and more info if it is someone I know the new employer will be pleased to employ, and hope the new employer takes the hint. In the past had a problem with dishonesty and a multiple tick box questionnaire to complete - I started to write in the relevant box and then crossed out. The person receiving took the hint and rang me so I could pass on a few concerns without putting in writing!

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if you have evidence (from appraisals/supervisions...agreed by the team member) then you are able to put less favourable comments in...as long as you can prove that you have given them the chance and they have not complied with the agreements.

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