Disclosure Details

Recruitment - 330/17

Dated: 07 Apr 2017

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

Thank you for your e mail dated  16 March  2017 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. Do you request references for all of your new applicants or just for certain posts?  If only certain posts, please can you confirm the job roles in which you do not need references for?

2. If you need references for a new applicant, how many do you require, or how far back (in years) do you seek references for?

3. When a reference is received, do you verify its origin to ensure that it is real?

4. If yes to the above, how is verification undertaken?

5. Where verification is carried out, how long can this take? (an average per reference is sufficient.  A min – max time is also sufficient)

6. If a fake reference is discovered prior to the applicant beginning a role, would the application be terminated?

7. What would happen if a reference was discovered to be fake after the person had started their job?  Would this be a legal issue, or dealt with via your in-house procedures?

8. Have you received a fake reference in the last 2 years?

9. What is the name and email address of your Head/Director of Human Resources? (or equivalent Head of the department that deals with Workforce, Recruitment or People Services)

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the HR Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. References are requested from all successful candidates, they form part of the pre-condition of employment.

2. We are required to seek references from applicants, to the police officer position, covering a 3 year period. We extend this provision to all other categories of paid employment within the Police Service.

3. Referees contact details are provided by the candidate at the start of the recruitment process. References are sent for via our e.recruitment system to the email address the candidate has provided.  Once received, the reference will be checked against the information the candidate has provided on their application form.  Additionally we operate on the concept of personal responsibility and from a basis of trust.

4. References are verified by checks against the information candidates have stated on their application form.

5. No information held. This information is not calculated.

6. References form part of the pre-conditions of employment; a fake reference would be considered an integrity issue and would lead to an application being rejected.

7. If it was subsequently discovered that a reference was fake, this would be considered an integrity issue and dealt with through our Professional Standards Department, via Force Policy procedures.

8. No.

9. Lesley-Anne Knowles.  E-mail address Lesley-anne.knowles.6876@northumbria.pnn.police.uk


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes. 

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.