June HRIS Bulletin


How to...?

Data Quality

Projects Update

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines


Conditional offer letter updated

The conditional offer letter template has been updated with the following revisions:

  • the proof of right to work in the UK paragraph has been revised and now includes a website link to the latest guidance on the acceptable documents for the purposes of establishing right to work, as issued by the Home Office;
  • the attachment listing the acceptable documents for the purposes of establishing right to work (‘Lists A and B’) has been removed from the template, in line with the changes to the paragraph on establishing the right to work in the UK;
  • a new paragraph on 'Euraxess’ information for international staff has been added to replace the previous paragraph on the International Staff website (which was closed at the end of May).

As the offer letter is customised with individual department letterheads and is located on the C:\ drive of individual users, the most straightforward way of updating it is for users to copy the text of the updated template into their existing version by following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Core contract pages of the Personnel Services website (you will need the Personnel Services username and password to access these – if you don’t know them, please e-mail Personnel.Services@admin.ox.ac.uk, including your contact number in the e-mail, and a member of the team will telephone you with the details).
  2. Open the updated Conditional Offer Letter (PERS_CondOfferStd_v2).  As a double check to ensure you are working with the right version, the footer indicates this is v2.1 – May 2014.
  3. Select all text: with your cursor positioned anywhere in the document, press CTRL+A to select all text.  The document text will be highlighted in blue.
  4. Press CTRL+C or use your edit menu to copy the highlighted text.
  5. Go to your C:\Coreapps\ folder and open your local version of the template file which will be in your C:\Coreapps\ folder and will have the same filename as the latest version.
  6. Delete all the existing text so that the document contains only your departmental header and footer, with no additional text in between.
  7. With your cursor positioned in the main body of the document (beneath the header) press CTRL+V or use your edit menu to paste the updated text into the old document.
  8. Ensure you are happy with the appearance of the document, including updating the signoff name and title if required. Depending on the setup of your letterhead, you may encounter some formatting issues when pasting the letter text. If this is the case and you have difficulties resolving the formatting issues, please contact the HRIS Support Centre for assistance, as detailed below.
  9. Once you are satisfied with the format and appearance of the new document, save it in your C:\Coreapps\ folder in place of the existing version, retaining the same filename.

For ease and speed of updating, we have not amended the version number of the document within Core on this occasion. Therefore you can use the updated version immediately by selecting the same option (Conditional Offer 1) on the Letters menu within the Appointment screen (PER620) as usual.

If you have any queries regarding this, or encounter any difficulties when making the change, please e-mail the HRIS Support Centre.

Job description template updated

The job description and selection criteria template has been updated to include some new prompts for administrators and line managers when drafting job descriptions. The prompts remind you to specify where relevant:

  • any safety critical requirements;
  • any specific hazards;
  • the requirement for the successful candidate to undergo DBS / Disclosure Scotland or security screening.

The updated document is available to download from the Writing a Job Description page of the Personnel Services website.

Coming soon - pre-employment health questionnaire

With effect from Tuesday 1st July the new pre-employment health questionnaire will be available to generate from CorePersonnel. The form will merge in the offer candidate’s name and address and a series of prompt questions will lead to the inclusion of the relevant questions for the candidate to answer. Once generated, the questionnaire should be sent to the successful candidate with their conditional offer letter.  With effect from 1st July the menu option for the form will be available in CorePersonnel under Tools>Letters on the Appointment screen (PER620) and the questionnaire can be downloaded from the pre employment screening pages of the Personnel Services website. You will need to save the questionnaire in your C:\Coreapps\ folder without changing the filename. If you have any issues downloading or generating the questionnaire, please contact the HRIS Support Centre.

Change to Right to Work screen

If you are involved in managing or administering immigration and right to work procedures in your department, you will be aware that Personnel Services are running training sessions to provide a refresher on right to work requirements and to introduce a new process for holding copies of data required for Home Office audits of sponsored migrants centrally.

As part of this work on strengthening immigration processes, a new screen will be introduced within Core which will replace the existing Right to Work screen.  The changes will be relatively minor but there will be a requirement for this
screen to be completed for all new staff and to be maintained where immigration status changes or visas are renewed.  A Quick Reference Guide will be provided to support this change and work is about to commence on updating the work permits report.  This new approach will also mean some changes for users of HRIS Data Services.  Details will be provided separately.

We are currently working with Core to plan the transfer of the data held in the existing Right to Work screen to the new one. To ensure the integrity of the data it is necessary for all users to begin working with the new screen from the same date – this is currently planned to be 1 August.

Further information about the Core screen, requirements for completion, and confirmation of the implementation date, will be provided at the training and communicated to all Core users by email or via the next HRIS Bulletin.

How to...?

Change the interview time

Where an interview schedule has already been set up, this schedule can be amended if you need to reschedule the time slots for your applicant interviews. 

Changing an interview slot time fully, in order for this to filter through to correspondence, is a two-step process.

For example; if you want to change the time slot of your 09:00 interview to 13:30 you will firstly need to navigate to: Personnel > Recruitment > Maintenance > Vacancy Details > Search, open your vacancy and select Applicant Status from the menu list. Then go to the Applicant Schedules tab:

 Applicant schedules tab

Overtype the time for your 9:00 applicant to 13:30.

 Override Time

Click Save

The second step is to navigate to the Schedules tab:

Click Assign Schedule


Click Save, then click Cancel to return to the Applicants tab where you will be able to see that it has overwritten the time in the Interview Date field.

Note: Simply overwriting an interview time in the Applicants tab does not change the interview time in a way that allows the letters module to pick up on the change when sending out interview invites.

Any correspondence generated from CoreHR which needs to include the interview time and date, will use what is populated in the Interview Date field from the Applicants tab.

Set “Attach Documents” window to open as a maximised window

If you are working in Windows 7 you may have noticed that the “Attach Documents” browser window in the Staff Request opens as a minimised window on your toolbar. You can change the internet settings so that this opens as a separate maximised window as shown below:

Attach docs

To change the setting, open Internet Explorer and go to Tools> Internet Options> on the General Tab.  Select Tabs>Settings and then in the Tabbed Browsing Settings set “When a pop-up is encountered:” to “Always open pop-ups in a new window”. Click OK to save the changes.

Internet Options

 Browser Settings 

Data Quality

Update from the HR Information team – monthly data validation

June: Core Category and Sub Category (staff classification) validation

This month the Data Quality team (HR Information and Data Services) have been focusing on the appointment ‘Category’ and ‘Sub-category’ fields. We have communicated with many Core users to highlight records that may require attention and we would greatly appreciate you resolving these anomalies by Tuesday 01 July 2014.

To assist you when completing these fields in Core, there is now an updated guide to staff classifications on the Personnel Services website: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/recruit/recruitproc/planapprove/staffclass/.

Fundamentally, the meaning of the staff classification groupings has not been changed other than for IT Managers, who are now confirmed as part of Sub-category ‘IP’. The change to IT Managers reflects a coding change instigated by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The online updated guidance now also includes reference to ‘expected’ grade or grades for any grouping. This is meant to assist you with allocating codes. However, we are aware that there are always instances that do not seem to fit the guidance provided. In such cases, please contact us at hr.reporting@admin.ox.ac.uk

July: Clinical staff HESA fields

The next Data Quality exercise will be targeting important HESA fields that are returned for clinical staff, including: Clinical Status, NHS Contract, NHS Contract Grade, Regulatory Body, Healthcare Speciality and Clinical Sub Speciality.

Non-clinical areas will also receive another data quality exercise which will focus on other HESA-related data items.

REF 2014 and the HESA return

As many of you will be aware the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 return was submitted in 2013. The outcomes will be published on 18th December this year. Although not directly related, this year's HESA staff return will be used to provide contextual information around the REF return. How we return data to HESA will impact on our submission rates for the REF exercise. In order to make an accurate return, we will be asking departments to confirm all Research Assistant appointments held in the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014 inclusive. Further details to follow.

Closing down casual appointments

Payroll are beginning their regular review of casual appointments and will end all those where the individual has not received a payment against that casual appointment for the previous twelve months. If the individual subsequently undertakes a further period of casual work the employing department will need to submit a casual payment form to Payroll to enable a new appointment to be set up and payment made.

Such regular cleansing of casual records reduces the number of P60s that need to be issued and provides clarity when it comes to the annual HESA return, as well as ensuring that the data within the system is accurate and up to date.

To reduce the number of inactive casual appointments in the system, please ensure you notify the Casual Payments team by e-mail if you know that no further payments will be made to a casual worker within your department.

Take care when entering bank details

A recent case has highlighted the importance of ensuring that bank details are entered correctly into the system.  An employee’s bank account details were incorrectly entered into Core which resulted in their salary being paid into another individual’s account (not an employee).  As a consequence, the department responsible for the error had to bear the cost of two salary payments while attempting to retrieve the money from the original recipient.

Fortunately such incidents occur extremeley rarely, however we recommend that you always ask new starters to provide bank details to you in writing via the New Starter Data Collection form or, for changes to existing employee details, via a local form or in writing. Use the monthly changes report to check the details prior to the payroll deadline (or supplementary deadline in the case of bank details) and wherever possible ask a colleague to double check the data entered.

Projects Update

OPENdoor decommissioning

The activities to decommission OPENdoor have been underway for some time.  To date the historic payroll costing data has been copied to the secure BI data warehouse. Reports are under development to enable the information to be accessed and provided to departments, on request, by the HRIS Support Centre.  These reports are currently undergoing testing. The aim is to complete the decommissioning by the end of July which would mean, therefore, that OPENdoor will be unavailable for users to access from that point.  Further communications will be circulated to HRIS and OPENdoor users, once testing is completed. In the meantime, OPENdoor continues to be available for use as normal.

HRIS User Support

Planned downtime – 1st July

As detailed in our e-mail to all users on 9 June, CoreHR will be unavailable between 9:00am and 1:30pm on 1 July 2014. Please ensure you are logged out of the system before this time.

This downtime will affect all back office users of CoreHR and applicants using e-Recruitment. A separate message will be placed on our website to inform applicants of this. We also strongly advise users of e-recruitment not to set any vacancies to close on 1 July 2014. If you have already set up vacancies with a closing date of 1 July we will contact you separately to discuss your options for managing this.

The downtime period is required to apply a fix to address the issue we communicated in February where applicants are experiencing problems when copying previous application details. Also the corresponding problems experienced by back office users attempting to open the ‘applicant detail report’ and duplicated records appearing in shortlisting packs for vacancies where affected applicants have applied.

New approach to managing enhancement requests

A new approach for managing enhancement requests from users was discussed at the HRIS User Group meeting in May (see item below). From Tuesday 15 July, a new section will be included on the ‘Using HRIS’ webpages explaining how to raise an enhancement request and listing enhancements already requested and plans for their introduction.  Also included will be an explanation of the process for reviewing such requests.  We will email all users on 15 July to provide a link to the new webpage.

HRIS User Group

The HRIS User Group met on Wednesday 21 May. Items on the agenda included an update on the Upgrade Project from the Project Manager, and a discussion on the proposed approach for managing user enhancement requests (as detailed above). The minutes of this meeting will be posted on the HRIS webpages soon.

HRIS Support Centre

Contact details for the team are:  hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 - 17.00 

This Month's Deadlines

Deadlines for Personnel Users: June Payroll

Please also refer to the July 2014 Payroll Cycle Diagram (19kb)

Friday 20 June - 6pm June Supplementary Payroll Deadline Any changes which affect payroll but do not require payroll action/ approval, must be entered and approved within the department by this deadline in order to be included in June's payroll run.
Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 June No user input Two clear working days are required during which users cannot enter data, to enable the payroll to be run (reporting, e-Rec and Staff Requests are unaffected).
Thursday 3 July Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Tuesday 8 July. Staff Requests received after this deadline are not guaranteed to be processed by the standard payroll deadline. The usual turnaround timings for gradings apply (ten working days).
Friday 4 July Casual Payments Deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Tuesday 8 July HRIS Data Services users only: Data Services Admin Deadline Data Services payroll forms should be submitted to the HRIS Data Services team by this deadline.  This is to ensure sufficient time for the team to process them for the payroll deadline and resolve any queries.
Tuesday 8 July Support Requests for July Requests for assistance associated with actions for this month's payroll deadline should be received by the HRIS Support Centre by this date. This is to ensure that sufficient time is available for the team to address your queries.
Thursday 10 July July Payroll Deadline All changes which require payroll action/approval must be entered and approved within the department by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Wednesday 23 July July Supplementary Payroll Deadline Any changes which affect payroll, but do not require payroll action/ approval, must be entered and approved within the department by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.