CoreHR common queries and other useful information

 This page was last reviewed on 23 September 2020


Please also check our separate webpage which lists issues and bugs within the CoreHR system, that are currently under investigation and we expect to be resolved.

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1. 'Sent from' email address

In the Portal, all emails are sent from a ‘no reply’ central account: HRIS.MAILRETURN@IT.OX.AC.UK. If applicants accidentally reply to the email, they will receive an automatic reply. This cannot be changed, and as a result all email templates include:

‘Please do not reply to this email, the mailbox it has been sent from is not monitored.’

Some email templates also have a prompt for departments to enter their own email address in the body text. You will need to update each email sent in that batch (please remember to 'Save' each email individually, before proceeding to the next one).

2. Advert text - character limit

Please note, that whilst the Advert Text screen displays a character limit of 25,000, you should not exceed 3,500 characters (equivalent to about 500 words). Please refer to the Advert Style guide (to be published soon on the HR Support website).

3. Questionnaire cannot be previewed in the Portal

Please pay close attention to the Current Questions menu to see which questions are included and in which order, as you cannot preview this screen. 

4. Notifications - slow to appear

You should see a notification each time a document is created in the system, eg University Card form. However, these can be slow to appear, and we suggest you go to the 'Download Centre' and refresh your screen until your document appears.

NB You cannot currently create letter documents in the Portal - please see: 'Known Issues'.

1. What Staff Request notifications (ie automatic emails) does the system generate and what do they include? 

Please see below a list of all the automatic Staff Request emails sent from the system.

Action Automatic email sent

Staff Request is submitted by Staff Request Creator

Notification is sent to all Staff Request Approvers with access to that department. 
Staff Request is rejected by Staff Request Approver (Department / Division) Notification sent to Staff Request Creator, which includes the rejection comments entered by the Approver on the Staff Request form. 
Reward team have created and approved the planned appointment (Staff Request is approved)  Notification sent to all Staff Request Approvers with access to that department (stated on the Staff Request form). 
Staff Request is rejected by Reward team The Reward team will usually contact the department off-system to explain why the Staff Request cannot be approved. Once the Reward team reject the Staff Request in the system, an automatic email will be sent to the Creator of the request.


2. Where can I find a list of department codes to help me enter the cost centre (GL code) and location in step 1 of the Staff Request? 

You can see a full list of the University department codes on the University Organisation Structure spreadsheet (refer to column headed ‘Level 3 Entity’, on tab ‘Org Structure Report’). Additionally, a number of CoreHR reports will contain your department’s code(s). 


3. What do the 'Retirees' and 'Contract ending' figures mean in the 'Your Establishment' tab? 

The figures displayed on the left-hand side of the 'Your Establishment' tab do not represent the data accurately and should be ignored. 

establishment tab


1. Planned appointment screen - 'Planned Pay Details Not Required' tick box 

The tick box on the Appointment Details screen must NOT be ticked. Ticking this box can cause the individual to be paid incorrectly. 

planned appointment new tick box screenprint


2. 'Retirement Date' field in the Person Profile screen 

The Retirement Date field is calculated based on date of birth in the Person Profile screen. This does not reflect current UK legislation nor the University's EJRA. Please do not use this field.

NB Where an employee has requested to work beyond the EJRA, the 'Retirement-EJRA' UDF should be completed. See QRG: CH27 Recording and Maintaining EJRA Data.

1. What are the future plans for on-boarding via CoreHR for new starters?

New functionality options will be explored and investigated in the future, and after the completion (in October 2020) of the CoreHR Upgrade Project.

2. User Defined Field (UDF) date format (Back Office) 

Dates within UDFs must be entered in the format of DD-MMM-YY. See image below.

NB This only applies to the fields within the actual body of the UDF and excludes the 'Date To' and 'Date From' fields on the top left.

udf date field


1. I keep entering my CONNECT details when prompted, but nothing seems to be happening - what do I do?

You may have accidentally entered an incorrect password too many times and your account may now be locked. Your CONNECT account will become locked after three unsuccessful attempts. However, a message to alert you about this won't be displayed on your screen. You can reset your CONNECT password at (use the 'Forgotten Password' option). If you continue to experience logging in issues, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

2. I have forgotten my CONNECT password; what do I do?

If you have forgotten your CONNECT password, please go to, and use the 'Forgotten Password' option. If you experience any issues with resetting your password, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

3. What are my 'HR Reporting login details' as prompted when accessing a report?

Existing users prior to 22 July 2020: These are your Discoverer login details. If you have forgotten your Discoverer password, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

Users since 22 July 2020: These login details will have been communicated to you when you were first granted access to CoreHR and/or HR Reporting tool. Please contact the HRIS Helpdesk if you're unsure about what to enter here.

Please also see the HR Reporting How-to Guide for further guidance.

4. I have an active CONNECT account, but I cannot access HR Reporting - what should I do?

HR Reporting will only work when connected to a University network, eg via VPN. If you are connected to a University network and are still having problems accessing the tool, please check that your CONNECT login details are correct (see Question 1 above). Please also note that the recommended browsers are Internet Explorer and Edge. The tool will not work in Firefox, and users may also experience some issues in Chrome.

If none of the above resolve your problem, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk. 

Please also see the HR Reporting How-to Guide for further guidance.

5. My report is taking too long to run and isn't producing results - what should I do?

All reports should produce results within 30 minutes. It is possible that you may experience a loss of connection in that time, in which case please try again. If you continue to experience difficulties with running the report, please contact the HRIS Helpdesk.

6. Why is 'Favorites' spelled without a 'u'?

The reporting tool is a Microsoft product from the US, and therefore some spellings are in US English, which we are unable to change. 

7. Why am I prompted to enter my HR Reporting login details every time I want to run a report?

The security settings for HR Reporting are set at report-level. This is the way the reporting tool is designed and not a feature the University can alter. You will need to continue to enter your HR Reporting login details for every report.

8. Is there a recommended browser for HR Reporting?

Yes - HR Reporting should ideally be accessed via Internet Explorer or Edge. The tool won't work in Firefox and users may also experience issues in Chrome.

1. Back Office timeout – Remove after migration to Portal

Users’ Back Office session will time out after 90 minutes of inactivity. Whilst this is a change from v20, it is in fact the expected behaviour for the system, providing better data security. After timing out, an error message will only come up after a user attempts to commit a change, eg after clicking on the ‘save’ button.