FAQs and further help

This page was last updated February 2024


Please also check our System Issues web page for a list of issues within PeopleXD and HR Reporting that are currently under investigation.

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Google Chrome is the preferred browser for PeopleXD. A full list of all the certified browsers by The Access Group can be found here.

NB This advice is different for HR Reporting

For faster selection/loading, start typing the value instead of clicking on the drop-down menu. This is useful for populating data in: Cost Centre, Location and Work Group.

A ‘403 error’ will be flagged (as a security threat), if certain special characters are entered in free-text fields, including 'job description' in vacancies. If you encounter this, remove special characters, eg ! * @ # ‘ etc. If the error persists, contact HR Systems Support.

Always log in via the System availability and login page, and not via a bookmarked PeopleXD URL link (to avoid issues and missing important system messages).

If you get a 'Sorry, we couldn't find that page' error while logging in, check your VPN connection. If issues persist, contact HR Systems Support.

Always save changes made in the system, to avoid losing them.

After clicking ‘Save’, wait for the green confirmation notification and timer to complete, before leaving the screen or executing further actions.

save successful screenshot

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Below is a list of all the automatic Staff Request emails sent from the system.


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 approved the planned appointment

(Staff Request is approved) 

Notification sent to all Staff Request Approvers for that department. 

Note. The planned appointment is not always approved immediately after the vacancy is created.  Therefore, you may notice a delay between the vacancy being created and the email being sent to the approvers.

Staff Request is rejected by Reward team The Reward team will usually contact the department off-system to explain the reason for rejection. Once the Reward team reject the Staff Request, an automatic email will be sent to the Staff Request Creator.

Refer to the University Organisation Structure for the full list (column ‘Level 3 Entity’, on tab ‘Org Structure Report’). A number of HR reports also contain department code(s). 

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


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To avoid issues, limit email batches to 25 emails (ie recipients) at a time.

All system emails are sent from a ‘no reply’ central account: HRIS.MAILRETURN@IT.OX.AC.UK. Applicants replying to this will receive an automatic reply that includes:

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

Some email templates prompt departments to enter their own email address in the body text. Remember to update and save each email individually in that batch, before proceeding to the next one.

Departments have two shortlisting form options, depending on preference. They are:

1. Generate a 'Shortlisting form' via PeopleXD, in Recruitment. This produces a Word document, which automatically pulls through the applicants' names and applicant numbers into the shortlisting form.

2. Run a report and use an Excel version of the shortlisting form, as follows:

  1. Run RECDEP41 Applicant and Vacancy Details report in HR Reporting
  2. Copy and paste relevant details into Excel version of shortlisting form, see: How to copy and paste applicant details into shortlisting form.

The Excel shortlisting form is split into three tabs: tab 1 – Selection Criteria and rejection codes; tab 2 – Scoring grid; tab 3 – Conflict of interests declaration and comments. This is for ease of navigation, eg you can easily switch to tab 1 to refer to the Selection Criteria, whilst noting down the scores in tab 2. You can paste the details of up to 150 applicants into the scoring grid table.

Applicant packs (ie merged PDFs) should be generated containing up to 50 applicants at a time, eg if there are 150 applicants create three merged packs of 50 applicants in each. Software such as Kofax Power PDF Advanced or Adobe Acrobat DC can convert separate packs into one. 

NB Advert text is included in application packs and may also impact the generation of the document. Please see item below.

The Job Description screen displays the character limit in percentages. Your advert text must not exceed 500 words, as per the University's job advertising guidelines. Adhering to the word limit creates consistency across the University, compliance with many external job boards, and helps to avoid issues with creating application packs in PeopleXD. 

To copy your live vacancy URL link for onward sharing, open your vacancy on the Jobs website and copy the full link (ending in your vacancy ID number), eg:

vacancy url link  end with vacancy id

Applicants are typically unable to edit submitted applications. If a candidate requests changes after submission, follow your usual departmental processes or contact HR Systems Support for guidance.

Applications cannot be "unsubmitted" once submitted.

To withdraw an application, update the applicant status to "Withdrawn" upon request.

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Yes, but HR will need to collect some key personal details in order to create a basic personnel record in PeopleXD, prior to the individual starting employment. The individual will then be able to access HR Self-Service (and Onboarding) and complete all further details.

HR will need to send out the shorter Onboarding new starter data collection form to collect this information.

New starters will not be able to access HR Self-Service before their PeopleXD personnel record has been ‘commenced’ in PeopleXD nor prior to their actual start date, as recorded in PeopleXD.

New starters’ ‘Welcome’ email for HR Self-Service will encourage them to provide their details without delay, but this will only work for those who commence their employment and complete their details prior to the payroll deadline that month. Where it may be unacceptable to wait for the salary payment until the following month, departments may wish to adopt a ‘hybrid’ approach and collect bank and National Insurance details separately, and ahead of the person’s start date, so that this can be entered on their behalf before the payroll deadline. The Onboarding new starter data collection form should be used for this purpose.

Whilst appointments should be commenced in advance of payroll deadlines to ensure the timely set-up of HR Self-Service accounts, there is no need to approve salaries in advance. You may continue with your current timelines for salary approvals. 

The Onboarding task list is a system version of a checklist which looks at whether these specific tasks have been completed and not whether the data is already populated within the personnel record. Where data already exists in People Management and it is accurate and up to date, if appropriate to do so you may mark the Onboarding checklist as complete on the individual’s behalf.

Where individuals from other departments come up under Onboarding this is because they have previously held an appointment within your department. As you continue to have access to this persons record you will see the Onboarding checklist as this sits against the person record and not the appointment. This set up reflects the way our system security settings work in other parts of the system. In such cases please ignore the data displayed for these individuals. 

In exceptional circumstances you may need to mark Onboarding Tasks as 'complete' for a staff member. This may apply where the new starter completed a Word version of the New Starter Details form and you have already entered the information into People Management.

The steps below will mark ALL of the tasks as ‘complete'. Before proceeding, check that all of the required data has been collected/entered into People Management.

  1. Open the employee record in People Management and go to the Onboarding section

  1. Click YES to confirm.

  1. Confirmation message will appear.

Rehires who had an HR Self-Service account previously will regain access once SSO details are re-activated and an appointment is created in the University's HR system. In such cases, there will be no email notification.

Existing staff will only be presented with tasks where these haven't been completed or marked as completed before.

Staff who started on or after 1 November 2023, will not be presented with any items, unless they transfer from a non-academic into an academic, or non-clinical into clinical post, and will now be presented with tasks that wouldn't have been displayed to them before.

This also applies to staff who at the time of Onboarding launch were automatically marked as having completed their Onboarding tasks to prevent them from being presented with the checklist at that stage.

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a) Part-time staff working their full contracted week should have Monday as their start date in PeopleXD and their employment contract (regardless of whether their regular working days include Mondays). This ensures accurate payment for their full working week. For example, an employee contracted to work Wednesday – Friday, should have Monday as their start date in PeopleXD and their contract of employment. This ensures that part-time staff are treated the same as full-time staff. Failure to adhere to this will result in a part-time staff member's pay being pro-rated further as though they only worked a partial week of their normal contracted hours, despite them having worked their full contractual FTE in their starting week.

b) Part-time staff who will not work their full, contracted working week in their first week of employment should have the actual start date recorded in the system and in their contract. For example, a part-time member of staff contracted to work Tuesday – Friday and whose first day of work will be a Thursday, should have Thursday as their start date in PeopleXD and contract of employment. Their pay will be pro-rated accordingly to reflect that they only worked part of their contracted week.

When a scaled allowance is entered, 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

You should not update your own system record within People Management.

If you are normally (or at the time) the only individual within your team who has 'edit rights' within People Management, and an update is needed to your own personnel record, please follow these steps:

1. To update certain personal details, please log into HR Self-Service and update your details, as applicable (eg address, next of kin, diversity etc).

2. If changes are needed to any aspect of your grade/salary details or to set up a new appointment record, this must be done by another system user. If there isn't an alternative team member who can do this, please contact your divisional HR team for help. If this is not possible, please contact HR Systems Support. You must not attempt to update your own record, as this can cause system errors and issues.

When a new RTW UDF was set up in July 2021, the Right to Work details of active records only were migrated for the following policy reasons:

  • When rehiring List A casuals, departments can rely on a previous check held by the department - but only if they still hold the original RTW. Departments need to hold the physical records (which should be deleted after the employment ended plus two years).
  • If a RTW is held by another department, users are required to obtain copies.
  • When rehiring List A employees, departments should make a new RTW check.

If there is a need to access details for a previous record, please contact the Staff Immigration Team.

The Continuous Service calculation is driven by set system rules, which look for eligible appointments when calculating the service duration. 

Continuous Service dates may appear incorrectly where the employee holds multiple appointments which are a mixture of eligible and non-eligible for continuous service, and a non-eligible appointment is set as the substantive appointment. In this scenario a break in service may be applied where the non-eligible appointment is set as substantive, meaning that the system will incorrectly apply a “Continuous Service End Date”.

In some rare cases this may appear as though the employee has a negative continuous service value, with the Continuous Start Date being later than the Continuous Service End Date.

Please contact HR Systems Support to request that the continuous service for an employee be reviewed to assess whether a fix can be applied before taking any further action.

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.

Where someone has worked their full working week (whether they are part-time or not), their last working date should always be recorded as a Sunday, even if this falls into the next month, eg Friday is 31 March and Sunday is 2 April. The exceptions to this, where departments should record the actual leaving date, are when an employee is either:

  • working on an externally funded fixed-term contract, and the leave date is dictated by the grantor 
  • retiring, actual retirement date should be used (along with retirement leaving destination details)

Where someone has not worked their full contracted week (whether they are part-time or not), their last working date should be the actual date they last worked. 


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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.

If you are experiencing issues with filter selections when running reports (ie whereby the filters reset), this is likely caused by your browser settings, and not the HR Reporting tool. This normally occurs when the browser has password-manager or other form-filling extensions enabled. Try running the report using a different browser, or in 'Incognito' mode. The recommended browsers for running reports are Internet Explorer and Edge.

If this doesn't resolve the issue, please contact HR Systems Support for help. 

Please also see the specific advice about running the PERDEP01_Staff in Post report on the Reports Library webpages.

Your account will get locked after three unsuccessful password entry attempts, but this does not get flagged to you. Reset your CONNECT password at https://password.connect.ox.ac.uk (use the 'Forgotten Password' option). If you continue to experience login issues contact HR Systems Support.

HR Reporting will only work when connected to a University network, eg via VPN. Please also check that your CONNECT login details are correct (see Question 1 above).

NB 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 HR Systems Support. 

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

If you have forgotten your CONNECT password, please go to https://password.connect.ox.ac.uk, and use the 'Forgotten Password' option. If you experience any issues with resetting your password, please contact the HR Systems Support.

Your HR Reporting login details are issued when you are first granted access to PeopleXD and/or the HR Reporting tool. Please contact HR Systems Support if you haven't got or have forgotten your HR Reporting login details. See the HR Reporting How-to Guide for further guidance.

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.

Reports may time out if they take too long to run. It is also 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 HR Systems Support.

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

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.


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'Run-time error 5174' message means that your letterhead document is missing (or the file name has changed) in your Coreapps folder on your C drive. The guidance on setting up letterheads can be found here.

'Run-time error 5101' message 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 PeopleXD 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 PeopleXD via a VPN connection only.

You will not be able to produce any documents that rely on a letterhead whilst logged into PeopleXD 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 the system via a VPN connection only. See IT Services web pages for more details about remote working.

Please check that the relevant PeopleXD record is completed in full. The prompts may not work properly if there is any missing essential data.
When producing documents such as contracts or the offer letter in Recruitment, please ensure that the 'Vacancy details - 2' screen is accurate and fully completed, as well as the 'Offer Details' screen (paying careful attention to the FTE Hours and Hours fields). Please also remember to follow the relevant how-to guides when completing data and producing documents.

If your document is missing certain details that you would have expected it to populate directly from the system, this may be due to missing data within the staff record or the offer details screen. Please review the PeopleXD record carefully - add details as needed and rerun the document.

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 PeopleXD record!

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

Some of the merged data from the system 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 PeopleXD 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 PeopleXD 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 system, accordingly.

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.

The following templates are available in People Management

Template name

Further details

Academic-related staff contract
Run to issue a contract to staff at grades 6 and above. This includes clinical grades, eg E66 and E82 etc.

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.

Apprenticeship agreement Run to issue a contract for apprentices which also includes the Apprenticeship Learner Agreement.

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

Must only be run for new starters who will not have access to HR Self-Service. Used to collect equality and diversity details for new appointments. Staff should be encouraged to update their details via HR Self-Service.

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 in the system. 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

Template name

Further details

Please note that contract templates and new starter-related forms are also available in Recruitment (as per the list above in People Management). Please be aware that Recruitment contract templates contain slightly different prompts due to the lack of the same data being available as in People Management.

Equality and diversity form

Used to collect equality and diversity details for applicants who apply off-system. Otherwise applicants are prompted to enter these details as part of their online application. 

Shortlisting form

Used to assist with the shortlisting process. This will extract all the applicant names and their applicant ID's into a shortlisting table.

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. Go to the 'Download Centre' and refresh your screen until your document appears.