CoreHR common queries and other useful information

 This page was last updated following phase 2.1 of the CoreHR Upgrade (19/02/2020)


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 now include:

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

We have updated some email templates to prompt 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 new 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 run from Discoverer 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 - new tick box since v26 upgrade 

There is a new tick box on the Appointment Details screen, which 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 Core for new starters?

Process and functionality changes for new starters in Phase 2 of the CoreHR upgrade project are currently being investigated.


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

Whilst the guidance in QRGs advises users to enter dates in the format of DD-MMM-YYYY, in v20 users were able to enter dates without hyphens, as follows: DDMMMYY, in all areas of the system. However, in v26 users must adhere to the format of DD-MMM-YY within UDFs. 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. What involvement have departments had in the reporting workstream? 

Following an all-user reporting survey in September 2018, a reporting focus group was formed. This group consists of representatives from across all the academic divisions. This group has since been involved in a number of initiatives helping the Project team to identify the key reporting requirements. The Project team continues to work closely with the HRIS User Group and key central teams, such as the HR Analytics team. 


2. Has a decision been made on the replacement reporting tool yet? 

Based on cost, functionality, compatibility and ease of implementation, Power BI with SSRS looks to be the favoured option. The best way of implementing Power BI/SSRS is currently being investigated. 

Visit the HR Self-Service Staff Gateway page for all FAQs

1. Will employees with additional non-employee appointments (eg casual) continue to receive paper payslips? 

Anyone who has at least one appointment that gives them employee status will move to online-only payslips and will stop receiving paper copies. The exact details about this will be communicated closer to the time. 


2. Will other groups of staff be affected by the move to online-only payslips? 

HR Self-Service is and will continue to only be available to employees. Agency workers, casual staff, interns, self-employed contractors or consultants, visitors and volunteers will not be affected by the move to online-only payslips. See also the People Profiles Matrix


3. What will be the process for leavers and P45s following the move to online-only payslips? 

It is anticipated that leavers will receive a paper copy of their last payslip together with their P45. However, this will be confirmed in due course. 

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.