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02. References your firm has requested from others

Under SM&CR, when you employ or promote an employee to a new Certification or Senior Management Function you usually need to request regulatory references from any FCA/PRA-regulated firms that the employee has worked for in the last 5 years.

Conversely, you must provide regulatory references for any former employee of your firm that joins another FCA/PRA-regulated firm within 5 years of leaving.

Corterum can be used to store the regulatory references that you have requested from other FCA/PRA-regulated firms:

  • Click Workbench and then Datasets.
  • Click Certification Regime and then click Regulatory References.
  • Click Regulatory References Obtained and then click on the circular Plus symbol to the right of the dataset title.
  • The Regulatory References Obtained dataset will open up.
  • Click the Applicant Name box and select the employee/job candidate that you obtained the regulatory reference for (the reference subject). If they are not set up as a user in Corterum, you will need to create them.
  • Navigate to the Form A information panel.
  • If you are sure that you have obtained the regulatory reference using the format required by the FCA/PRA and that you have captured all the information they require, click the toggle that reads Have references been obtained from previous employers in accordance with FCA/PRA requirements?.
  • If you are not sure about this, request all required information from the relevant firm before clicking the toggle and continuing with documenting the regulatory reference in Corterum.
  • If you have not successfully obtained a regulatory reference for the job candidate/employee (the reference subject), click inside the box which reads explanation if no regulatory references obtained and thoroughly explain why you have not obtained a reference for them. Unless there are exempting circumstances, you must keep pursuing the reference.
  • Next, click inside the Role Applied For box and enter in the role that the reference subject has applied for at your firm.
  • Navigate underneath the Role Applied For box and toggle whether the role the reference subject has applied for at your firm is that of a senior manager, certification employee or non-executive director (NED).
  • Click inside the box entitled Background to Request and enter a short summary explaining why your firm requested the reference, for example, “We requested this reference from Firm X because Candidate Y is leaving them to join us as a senior manager…”
  • Click inside the box which reads information requested and briefly summarise all the information you requested to be included in the reference.
  • Click the button underneath where reference request is written and if applicable, upload a copy of the reference request you sent to the reference subject. This is likely to be in email format so you should upload it as a PDF.
  • Click the button underneath where reference received is written and if applicable, upload a copy of the reference you received about the reference subject. This is likely to be in email format so you should upload it as a PDF.
  • If applicable, click the button underneath where other documents is written and upload any supporting documents associated with the reference request (optional).
  • Next, navigate to the Firm Providing Regulatory Reference panel and click the Name of employer box. Select the name of the firm you requested the reference from. If they are not set up as a firm in Corterum, you will need to create them.
  • Click inside the Firm Registration Number and enter in the FCA/PRA Firm Reference Number (FRN) of the company you requested the reference from.
  • Navigate to the Applicants Previous Employment panel and click inside the position held box. Enter what the reference subject’s role title was when they worked for the firm you are requesting the reference from. If they had multiple titles, indicate only the one(s) that are relevant to the reference requested.
  • Click the Applicant Employed From box and indicate the date when the reference subject started working for the firm you are requesting a reference from. This is necessary because under SM&CR, you must obtain references covering an applicant’s last 5 years of employment history.
  • Click the Applicant Employed To box and indicate when the reference subject finished working for the firm you are requesting a reference from.
  • Click the Nature of Employment box and indicate whether the reference subject was employed, self-employed, not employed or in full-time education in the last five years.
  • If you have not obtained a regulatory reference because the applicant was self-employed, not-employed or in full-time education, explain this in the box which reads Explanation if no regulatory references obtained (see above). In these situations, you will still need to acquire character and/or standard professional/educational references for the reference subject.
  • If the reference subject was either not employed or was in full-time education for the last 5 years, click inside the box which reads Details then explain what, to your knowledge, she or he was mainly engaged in during these years (i.e. Did they do any volunteering? What subject were they studying?).
  • Do not fill in this box if you have obtained 5 years of referenced work history for the candidate/employee (reference subject).
  • Next, click inside the responsibilities box and briefly summarise all the responsibilities held by the reference subject during the time when they held the roles covered by the reference. Be especially careful to document any FCA/PRA-regulated activities.
  • Click the Reason for Leaving box and select why the reference subject left the role(s) covered by the reference. If you click other from the dropdown, click inside the box entitled Reason for Leaving (if other) and explain the reason(s) why the reference subject left the role(s).
  • Next, navigate to the Request Tracking panel. Click inside the Date of Request box and indicate when you first requested the reference. If you have received a response, click the toggle underneath response received?, and then indicate the date when the response was received by clicking inside the Date of Response box.
  • If you have not yet received a response to your regulatory reference request, you must make best efforts to chase it up. To record request chasers, click inside the boxes which read Date of Chaser and indicate the date(s) when you pursued your reference request. Remember that under SM&CR, ALL FCA/PRA-regulated firms are obligated to give you regulatory references.

    If a firm refuses to supply you with a reference, either in whole or in part, click inside the Reasons for Refusal to Provide Reference box and explain which parts of the requested reference were not supplied and why. Under SM&CR, ALL FCA/PRA-regulated firms are obligated to give you regulatory references, so bear this in mind when you are considering the reasons given.

Employee comments

Under SM&CR, all reference subjects should normally be offered an opportunity to comment on references given about them (particularly but not only if the reference is adverse). Make sure that you have given the reference subject a chance to comment on their reference:

  • Click the Subject Asked to Comment? Toggle. Then, move to the right of this toggle and indicate whether the reference subject elected to comment on their reference or not.
  • Click the Date Asked to Comment box and indicate when you asked the reference subject to comment on their reference.
  • Move to the right of this box and indicate the date when the subject told you either that they want to comment on their reference or that they do not want to.
  • If the reference subject elected to comment on their reference, click inside the Summary of Subject Comments box and summarise the comments that the reference subject mad eabout their reference. If appropriate, you should consider tangibly acting upon these comments.
  • If the reference subject provided their comments electronically, click on the button underneath where subject comment documents is written and upload a copy of their comments. The upload should usually be in either Word Doc or PDF format. (Optional)
  •  

Additional information

  • If you requested additional information from the reference subject or their firm, navigate to the Additional Information panel and click the Additional info requested toggle. Then, click inside the box entitled Date of request for additional info and indicate when you requested the additional information. Click inside the Summary of Additional Info Requested box and briefly summarise the additional information you requested.
  • If you requested additional information, click inside the box entitled Rationale Behind Request for Additional Info and briefly explain why you requested the additional information.
  • Click underneath this box and indicate whether your request was approved or rejected by the reference subject or their firm.
  • Then, indicate the date when they made their decision on your request by clicking inside the box which reads Date of Approval/Refusal Decision.
  • Click inside the box entitled Rationale Behind Approval/Refusal Decision and explain why the additional information you requested was given or not. This box is especially important if the additional information was not given. Under SM&CR, all FCA/PRA-regulated firms must give regulatory references in a specific format. If the additional information you requested was a mandatory part of this format, the reference subject or their firm is obligated to give it to you.
  • If the additional information you requested has been received, click the Additional Info Received? toggle.
  • Then, click inside the box entitled Date Additional Info Received and indicate when you received the additional information.
  • If you sent or received any electronic documents associated with your request for additional information, click the button underneath where Additional Info Docs is written to upload them.

The hiring decision

  • Next, navigate to the Hiring Decision panel. and select Subject hired? or  Subject Not Hired? based on your decision.
  • Then, click inside the box entitled Date of Decision to hire or not hire the applicant and indicate when you made your final hiring decision.
  • Click inside the Summary of Hiring Rationale box and explain why you did or did not hire the reference subject. Be especially detailed here if you decided not to hire them because you found something illegal or improper in their regulatory reference(s).

Revising references

Under SM&CR, if at any time the firm that provided you with the regulatory reference discovers that the reference subject violated FCA/PRA Conduct Rules during their employment with them, they MUST provide you with a revised reference. If this reference is a revised one:

  • Click the toggle underneath where Revised Reference Received? is written.
  • If, after receiving the revised reference, you are still employing the reference subject, click the subject still employed? toggle.
  • If you have dismissed them, do not click this toggle.

If a regulatory reference is revised, the reference subject should normally be given an opportunity to comment on it irrespective of any comments made on their original reference. When you have asked the reference subject to comment on the revised reference:

  • Click the Subject Asked to Comment? toggle.
  • If the subject is not immediately contactable, you must make best efforts to contact them for comment on their revised reference.
  • If you have attempted to contact them, click on the Attempted to Contact? toggle and then select whether your attempts to contact have been successful or not.
  • Click on the boxes entitled Contact Attempt and indicate the date(s) when you attempted to contact the reference subject for comment on their reference.
  • Then, click on the Attempted Methods of Contact box and select all the methods you used to contact them.
  • Corterum allows you to record the details of up to three contact attempts.
  • If, after all your attempts to contact the reference subject, they decide to comment on their revised reference, click the Subject Elected to Comment? toggle.
  • If they decided not to comment, click on the Subject Declined to Comment? toggle.
  • Then, click inside the Date of Subject Decision box and indicate the date when the reference subject communicated their decision to comment or not on their revised reference.
  • Click inside the Summary of Contact Attempts box and summarise each time you attempted to contact the reference subject about their revised reference.
  • Note the date when you attempted to contact them, the method you used and the outcome (e.g. Did a call ring out to voicemail? Was an email ignored for three weeks?).
  • If the reference subject decided to comment on their revised reference, click inside the Summary of Subject Comments box and summarise all of their comments on their revised reference.
  • After this, click inside the box entitled Action Points Arising From Revised Reference and record any action points that emerged from the reference subjects comments.
  • If applicable, click the button underneath where Documents relating to revised reference is written and upload any documents associated with the revised reference. (optional).

Final steps

  • Finally, click Save and then Close.
  • The reference and all associated details will be permanently saved within Corterum.
  • Repeat the above steps for all candidates/employees for whom you obtained regulatory references.
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