CoreHR common queries and other useful information

 This page was last reviewed on 13 April 2021


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. Which browsers are compatible with CoreHR?

Google Chrome is the preferred browser for both, the Portal and the Back Office. (Please note that the Back Office should only be used to process exceptions - the Portal must be used for all other system tasks.) A full list of all the certified browsers by CoreHR can be found here.

2. Drop-down fields with large selection choice

Drop-down fields that contain a large selection of options can take a long time to display/load. For efficiency, start typing the value you need, instead of clicking on the drop-down menu. This is especially useful when populating data in the following fields: Cost Centre, Location and Work Group.

3. Special characters within free-text fields

The system has validation scripts that scan any text entered within CoreHR Portal to check for potential security threats/attacks. Where this process identifies anything that could resemble a malicious code, an error is flagged (‘403 error’). This occurs when certain special characters or in some cases a combination of special characters are entered into any free-text fields, including job descriptions in vacancies. If you encounter a ‘403 error’ message in such instances, please remove any special characters from the text (eg ! * @ # ‘ etc). If this doesn’t resolve the error, then please contact HRIS Support.

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

New functionality options will be explored and investigated in the future.

5. Issues accessing CoreHR

Please always log in via the System availability and login web page. We strongly advise against bookmarking the direct URL link to CoreHR as this may cause issues and you may miss important messages about system availability or maintenance.

If you see a 'Sorry, we couldn't find that page' error message when attmepting to log in, please check that you are connected to VPN. If a connection to VPN is established and you are still unable to access CoreHR, please contact HRIS Support.

6. Saving changes

You are not prompted to save changes - please always remember to do this, otherwise changes will be lost.

When you click ‘Save’, a green confirmation notification appears, with a green line beneath - this is a timer. You must wait for it to complete, before leaving the screen, or executing further actions.

save successful screenshot

7. Vacancies widget (lefthand-side menu option) on the Employee Dashboard

Please note that the vacancies widget on your Employee Dashboard is designed for internal applicants to search for vacancies, and is not a feature for use by Recruitment Administrators to manage vacancies.

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 sent to all Staff Request Approvers for that department. 
Staff Request is rejected by Staff Request Approver (Department / Division) Notification sent to Staff Request Creator, including the rejection comments entered by the Approver on the staff request. 
Reward team have created and approved the planned appointment (Staff Request is approved)  Notification sent to all Staff Request Approvers for that department. 
Staff Request is rejected by Reward team The Reward team will usually contact the department off-system to explain the reasonf for rejection. Once the Reward team reject the Staff Request, an automatic email will be sent to the Staff Request Creator.


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? 

Access the full list of the University department codes from the University Organisation Structure spreadsheet (refer to column ‘Level 3 Entity’, on tab ‘Org Structure Report’). A number of CoreHR reports also contain your department’s code(s). 


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

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

establishment tab


1. Sending email batches to multiple applicants 

To avoid issues, when emailing multiple applicants at the same time, please only send up to 25 emails at a time (ie emailing up to 25 applicants at a time).

2. 'Sent from' email address

All system emails are sent from a ‘no reply’ central account: HRIS.MAILRETURN@IT.OX.AC.UK. If applicants reply to the email, they will receive an automatic reply, which includes:

‘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).

3. Generating applicant packs - up to 50 applicants at a time only - UPDATED 13 April 2021

When generating applicant packs (ie creating one PDF document), please only select up to 50 applicants at a time, eg if you have 150 applicants, create three merged packs of 50 applicants in each one. You could then use specific software, eg Kofax Power PDF Advanced or Adobe Acrobat DC to convert the three PDF packs into one. 

Update 13 April 2021: Please note that advert text is now included in the application packs and may impact on the successful generation of the document. Please see item below.

4. Advert text - character limit - UPDATED 13 April 2021

The Advert Text screen displays character limit in percentages. The percentage remaining after inputting your advert text must be no less than 87%. This is equivalent to around 3,340 characters (ie about 500 words). Following this format will create consistency across the University, comply with many external job boards, and help to avoid issues when generating merged application packs in the system. 

5. Copying vacancy URL link

If you need your vacancy URL link, in order to post on another site or to share in an email, simply open your live vacancy on the Jobs website and copy the full link (which should end with the number of your vacancy ID), eg:

vacancy url link  end with vacancy id

6. 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. 

7. 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.

8. 'Unsubmitting' web applicants

Occasionally candidates may request for their application to be reinstated after they have already submitted it, but this is not possible in CoreHR. Please follow your usual processes in case this arises, or contact HRIS Support for guidance.

1. Checking that bank details have been entered correctly

To check that the correct bank details have been entered, please run the PERDEP20 report to cross reference against your data collection form (or other).

2. Scaled allowances - incorrect description in 'Allowance Type'

When a scaled allowance is entered in the Portal, the description within the ‘Allowance Type’ field will auto-populate with ‘Clinical APA Allowance’, instead of ‘Scaled’. Please be assured that the correct allowance type has been selected and will be paid accordingly. This is purely a display issue and does not affect the correct processing of the allowance. Please continue to add the allowance, ignoring its description.

In this instance, the system is displaying how allowances are calculated rather than the description itself. You can verify this when back on the Allowances screen, where within the Value column you will see the relevant scaled description.  

allowance  apa display issue


3. Numbers displayed in the Command Centre

command centre  number count

The number count on the Command Centre should be ignored. This looks at active staff only, who have ever held an appointment in your department. This is misleading for the way we work at the University (devolved organisation). 

NB Salaries/allowances awaiting approval for rehires (whose records remain dormant) will not show up in the count under Salary Approvals. Please always click 'VIEW' on Salary Approvals to see an accurate list of items awaiting your approval.

4. Unable to locate an individual in Employee list/ open their staff record via the VIEW button, after appointing

If you can’t find the individual in Employee list, you are unable to open their record through the VIEW button, after appointing into a new appointment, please contact HRIS Support. This often happens where a pay group is missing, which can only be rectified by HRIS Support.

1. When I enter my CONNECT details when prompted, nothing seems to happen - 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 Core 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.

Guidance for HR staff is available on the HR Self-Service guidance webpage.

Visit the HR Self-Service Staff Gateway page for further FAQs, relevant to all staff using HR Self-Service.


1. Why do I see an error message as soon as I open the generated document?

If you see an error message 'Run-time error 5174' this means that your letterhead document is missing (or the file name has changed) in your Coreapps folder on your C drive. The majority of the documents pull through your departmental letterhead and therefore this document must be set up correctly on your C drive. The guidance on setting up letterheads can be found here.

If you see an error message 'Run-time error 5101' this means that your letterhead is missing one of the two required bookmarks (header and footer), and thus has not been set up as required for letter generation. Please refer to the guidance on setting up letterheads here.

Note: Remote desktop service

Please note that when you are logged into Core via Remote desktop service, you will not be able to produce any documents that rely on a letterhead. This is because the file path is changed and the macro in the documents will not be recognised. You will need to log out of Remote desktop service and log into Core simply via a VPN connection only. Please ensure that any produced documents are then saved in a secure place.

2. Can I generate documents from Core when I am logged in via Remote desktop service?

You will not be able to produce any documents that rely on a letterhead whilst logged into Core via Remote desktop service. This is because the file path is changed and the macro in the documents will not be recognised. You will need to log out of Remote desktop service and log into Core simply via a VPN connection only. Please ensure that any produced documents are then saved in a secure place. See IT Services web pages for more details about remote working.

3. My document is missing some of the required data from Core - why?

If your document is missing certain details that you would have expected it to populate directly from CoreHR, such as grade and salary details, this may be due to the following reasons:

  • the salary status is 'planned' in People Management; ie it has not yet been approved. In this case, either wait for salary approval and rerun the document or simply add the details to the template manually.
  • there is missing data within the staff record or the offer details screen. Please review the Core record carefully - add details as needed and rerun the document.

4. Which details/text can I amend within the templates?

You must only edit the text that you are prompted to edit within the template (normally highlighted in yellow). You must not amend any contractual clauses. You may only add details into letters if this is needed for operational/administrative reasons, eg to add further instructions about returning signed copies etc. You may also edit information that might have been pulled through incorrectly - although this must also be corrected in the Core record!

Always review the document for accuracy and formatting before sending it to the individual. Most templates will require a little bit of formatting editing, eg removing an additional space or correcting the font in some places, which can happen occasionally.

5. Some details aren't displaying in the correct case/capitalisation - why?

Some of the merged data from Core has been formatted within the templates to ensure that only the first letter is capitalised, eg name, surname and department. This is because the default fields in Core are all in capitals. This may on occasion cause incorrect display of capitalisation within the generated documents - eg 'IT Services' will show as 'It Services'. Please amend this as required on a case-by-case basis, before sending to the individual.

The exception to the above is the job title. This will be extracted exactly as per the Core record (as this is a free text field). If this isn't displaying accurately in your document, please review and update the job title in the Core record accordingly.

6. I do not have/cannot see my C drive - what do I do?

Your C drive may be hidden from view. To find it, open the file explorer window and enter C:\ in the search bar. You should then see it appear. If you are still having issues viewing or locating your C drive, please contact your local IT support.

7. What templates are available?

The following templates are available in People Management

Template name

Further details

Academic-related staff contract

Run to issue a contract to academic-related staff at grade 6 and above

Additional duties

A letter to acknowledge when an employee formally assumes additional duties in their role

Additional increment

A letter to acknowledge when an employee receives an additional increment to their pay

Casual teaching contract for services

To be issued to all casual teaching staff

Casual workers letter of engagement

To be issued to all casual staff (not teaching)

Change job title

A letter to acknowledge a change in employee’s job title

Change in place of work

A letter to acknowledge a change in employee’s place of work

Change in funding letter

A letter to acknowledge a change in employee’s funding details/source

Change in hours letter

A letter to acknowledge a change in employee’s working hours

Congregation nomination form

To issue to all staff eligible to join congregation (grade 8 and above)

Data collection form

Used to collect new starters’ details.

Equality and diversity form

Used to collect equality and diversity details for new appointments – this should only be used if individual cannot use HR Self-Service. Staff should be encouraged to update their details via that route.

Fixed-term contract extension letter

Must be issued to any fixed-term employees whose contracts have been extended

New starter health forms

Used to produce the health declaration and/or health questionnaire forms for new starters. These should only be run where an offer letter wasn’t produced via Core. Offer letters include these forms by default.

Offer letter

Must be produced and issued for all new appointments, ahead of contract. Offer letters include the health declarations and the health questionnaire form, where required.

Probation confirmed post

Used to confirm somebody in post following their successful probation period.

Promotion substantive grade

To be issued to employees hired underfilling on a lower grade, who have now been promoted to the role’s substantive grade.

Support staff contract

Run to issue a contract to support staff at grade 5 and below.

University card form

Must be run and issued for all new starters to enable them to obtain a University card.


The following templates are available in Recruitment

To be added in due course. 

None at present.