Firms must establish, implement and maintain policies and procedures that are adequate for the purposes of comply with the SM&CR regulatory references requirements.
Regulatory references are a key input into the fit and proper assessment process. They are relevant for all external recruitment and for some internal promotions.
At a high level, these requirements oblige firms to take “reasonable steps” to obtain regulatory references covering the previous six years of employment with respect to all Senior Managers, all certification staff, and non-executive directors who are not senior managers (“Non-approved NEDs”). The requirements also apply to Appointed Representatives of the firm, as well as to the firm itself. The FCA believes that it is the responsibility of each individual firm to determine what “reasonable steps” means in this context.
Regulatory reference information is to be shared using a standard template, which is found in SYSC 22, Annex 1.
Firms which are subject to the SM&CR must try to obtain a reference from a previous employer even if the previous employer was not an FCA regulated firm.
 SYSC 22.8.1R
 SYSC 22.2.1R(1)(b)
 SYSC 22.2.1R
 SYSC 22.8.3R
 PS16/22 “Strengthening accountability in banking and insurance: regulatory reference final rules”, page 9
 SYSC 22.7.4G