Core Systems FAQs

Guide to obtaining process and technical Core Systems help

If you don’t know how to use an aspect of the existing functionality, please access Canvas online training and/or contact your Super User for localised guidance. If there is a need to run training interventions or develop the online training offering, your Super User will be able to forward that request, as appropriate.

If you have an operational or process query, please raise a call with the appropriate team based on the nature of the issue:

  • For any queries related to your employment or employment of your direct reports, incl. position creation for recruitment, please contact HR using the HR Portal
  • For Payroll queries, please contact HR using the HR Portal 
  • If you are a casual worker with similar queries or you need to create a casual position, please contact Worklink using the Worklink Portal
  • For Finance-related queries, contact the relevant team in Finance:
    • Purchase Order queries: buyingteam@contacts.bham.ac.uk
    • Payments queries: apqueries@contacts.bham.ac.uk Please refer to the buying team matrix to help you decide which team to contact
    • New Supplier requests: read the information on the process page or email newsupplierrequest@contacts.bham.ac.uk 
    • Expense queries: expenses@contacts.bham.ac.uk 

If you wish to request (or revoke) a role on the system, please submit the Roles Request Form or Revoke Form as appropriate (you can read about the roles on the dedicated intranet page).

If you have trouble signing-in, experience system errors, find that the functionality, which used to work for you no longer does, or have a query, which doesn’t fit into any of the above categories, please log an incident on IT Service Desk (please use instructions provided below in the How to raise an effective IT Service Desk call with CSOT?).

Please also familiarise yourself with the troubleshooting sections on majority of the Canvas pages; most common issues have been identified and solutions provided so you may not need to raise the call.

How to raise an effective IT Service Desk call with CSOT

  • Describe what you were trying to do and why it didn’t work.
  • If the call is in respect of an employee that you manage please state the FULL name of the individual concerned. If the employee has more than one assignment, please identify whether the issue applies to one or all of the assignments.
  • If requesting a change of data, this will probably need to be dealt with through Finance or HR but if you believe it should be a New Core action, please state what the data is currently and what you believe it should be.
  • If there are any performance issues, e.g. a page won’t load, state the time that it happened and the page affected.
  • Provide screenshots or descriptions of any error messages if appropriate, redacting any personal or sensitive information.
  • Check if you have the authority to make the request, or whether it should come from your manager.

I am getting an ‘authentication failed’ message when trying to log-in.      

This could be due to not selecting the correct login button. When logging in to the system, use the 'company single sign on' box and enter your adf log-in details when prompted. Further details are on the intranet at https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/university/new-core/about/How-to-access-Core-Systems.aspx

I am getting an error message when trying to access the system off-campus via remote access service.

Please ensure that you have the “all internet activity” box ticked, and that you are accessing via use of google authenticator. Further details are on the intranet at https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/university/new-core/about/How-to-access-Core-Systems.aspx

I get an error screen when logging out of Core Systems.

This has been rectified and replaced with a message advising you to close your browser window to complete the logout process. Please ensure that you follow this guidance when logging out.

How can a Line Manager add or amend their direct reports structure?    

If you see additional Direct Reports on your My Team page, or some that are missing, the assigned Line Manager has the ability to correct this and choose the right one. If your Direct Report(s) is missing you can see who the Line Manager is by searching for the Direct Report on the Core Systems Directory and contact the stated Line Manager to advise to correct. Change Line Manager: eLearning and Step-by-Step Guide

My ‘emergency contacts’ field is blank.

Employees are requested to add emergency contact information to their personal profile via the edit feature within the contacts area of their profile on the system.

Can I add lines with different tax codes to the same catalogue requisition?            

No. Multiple lines that have different tax codes will not be accepted within catalogue requisitions. If using multiple codes, each of these must be raised as a separate requisition. It is however accepted to add multiple lines to a catalogue requisition if they are against the same tax code.

Can I add multiple suppliers to the same non-catalogue requisition?

No. For non-catalogue requisitions please raise a separate requisition for each supplier.

I am filling in an expense claim and there is no option to apply a project code.

If an employee can see “Apply Account” and not “Apply Project” when raising an expense claim, they only have access to claim against non-research accounts. The employee will need to log a call with the IT Service Desk to arrange for the appropriate access to be applied so that they can complete their expense claim against the research account. To request this access, raise a Service Desk call https://universityofbirmingham.service-now.com/itgateway/  or call: +44 (0)121 414 7171.

I am receiving requisitions notifications from across my College/Professional Services area; is this correct?

In most instances this is expected behaviour as the approvals work very differently than in Proactis with pools covering larger areas and not individual account codes or ranges. 

I am having trouble accessing the Research Dashboard

In most cases this is a browser caching issue - unfortunately if your browser cached the New Core system page before the new role was given to you, this impedes your access to it on future uses of that browser.

The following article gives you instructions for clearing your cache - you will need to ensure you clear out passwords etc. as well as temporary files: https://universityofbirmingham.service-now.com/kb_view.do?sysparm_article=KB13347

Browser cache clearing should resolve the issue, but if required; a workaround is to use private browsing or incognito mode, or try using a different browser to access New Core, one that you haven't used before.

My job title is incorrect

If your job title needs to be amended please log this as a request with HR via the HR portal at: https://universityofbirmingham.service-now.com/hr/portal.do

I need to change a work schedule or position

Tailored forms for common queries and requests have been created on the Core Systems Service Desk area. Click on either 'New/Change Position' or 'Change Work Schedule'.

I have an account code query

The Finance Office have produced a helpful guide to new account codes on the intranet at: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/finance/Account-Codes.aspx this contains useful information on general ledger and research project codes.

I've updated my bank account details within my expense claim - will this also update for Payroll?

No. If you also want to update your payroll payment details you must edit this directly within the payroll section of your personal profile.

How can I access my payslips?

You can access them by logging into Core Systems and clicking on Me> Show More> Payslips. You can also view the Canvas simulation guiding you through the steps. You will not be able to see any historic payslips, only June 2019 onwards will be available.

What about P60s?

You will be able to access them from the same screen as payslips, starting from next year.

I have reviewed my payslip and have a query, who do I contact?

If you have recently had any sort of contractual change then please direct your enquiry to HR via the HR Service Portal (https://universityofbirmingham.service-now.com/hr/ or +44 (0)121 415 8425). Further information can also be found at https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/hr/index.aspx

For enquiries related to student or casual work please contact Worklink:

*Student Work queries: worklink@contacts.bham.ac.uk or +44 (0)121 414 5000 

*Non-Student Casual Work queries: worklinkcasuals@contacts.bham.ac.uk +44 (0)121 414 922

For any other payroll enquiries please contact Payroll directly.

Why are the time cards different for casual students and non-students?

How do I find position numbers for recruitment for my existing roles?

You can search for position numbers by searching for the current role holder (or their manager) in the Directory and then clicking on the 'View in Organization Chart' icon next to their initials or photo. You will be able to see position titles, with position numbers underneath, for all direct reports.

Purchase Orders are not being sent to the right email address/the supplier has not received the Purchase Order

Purchase Orders are sent automatically to suppliers when being converted from requisitions, to email addresses held on the system for this purpose. If you believe that the email address is incorrect or that the supplier has not received the PO at all, please contact buyingteam@contacts.bham.ac.uk and let them know to update the email address for that particular supplier. You may have to share the PO with the supplier directly yourself but going forward this should resolve any issues.

Phone number is displaying to line managers in certain parts of the system

On certain screens in Core Systems it is possible for your line manager to see your Primary phone number. Only your line manager will be able to see it on those screens, however you may still wish to check and update this to ensure the correct Primary number is displaying e.g. your work phone. Please go to
your Personal Information >Edit to make the necessary changes.

I have received a 'Hold on Invoice' notification - what does this mean?

The system will attempt to match an invoice that has come through to an existing PO, which relies on the orders being receipted (anyone in a given area can search and receipt an order, it doesn't have to be the original requester). If orders are not receipted to the invoiced quantity/amount, the original requester will receive a system notification that will advise them of this. Orders must be receipted in a timely manner otherwise the suppliers cannot be paid within the agreed timescales. Guidance on how to receipt orders can be found on Canvas.

If you have recently had any sort of contractual change then please direct your enquiry to HR via the HR Service Portal (https://universityofbirmingham.service-now.com/hr/ or +44 (0)121 415 8425). Further information can also be found at https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/hr/index.aspx

For enquiries related to student casual work please contact Worklink: https://universityofbirmingham.service-now.com/worklink

For enquiries related to non-student casual work please contact HR Operations: workhere@contacts.bham.ac.uk

For any other current employee payroll enquiries please use the HR Service Portal, all non-employees (including casual workers) should email payrollqueries@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Alternatively you can call 0121 414 3030

About Core Systems (former New Core)

What was the New Core programme?

It was an ambitious programme to transform the way in which HR, Payroll and Finance activities were carried out. Underpinning this, rather than driving it, was the implementation of new software now known as Core Systems. This was being managed as a business change project rather than as an IT systems implementation project. We had taken experts from across the University to form the programme team and they had been seconded to work exclusively on that project. Activities of the programme were governed by the Programme Board which had representation from Academics and Professional Services. The Executive Sponsor of the project was the Director of Finance, Erica Conway.

Given all of its other priorities, why has the University commissioned this project, at this time?

A key element of the 2020 Strategic Framework was the University's ambition to be "a well-resourced, well-managed and ambitious university with people at its heart". Our previous HR & Payroll and Financial systems limited our ability to update and change our processes. Those systems were old! For example we bought our e-recruitment system in 2007 before the advent of smart phones and tablets. It was virtually impossible for applicants to show interest in working for us using modern devices. Our HR & Payroll system had been in use since 1995 and our Financial system had been in place since 1983. The University needed efficient and effective processes and our previous systems with their limited functionality were barriers to achieving this. This was an investment in the University's administrative infrastructure that would provide modern, effective systems appropriate for a leading global University for the next decade.

What were the timescales of the programme?

The proposed launch date for all core modules of HR, Finance, and Payroll elements of the new system was June 2019. The following modules were available to all staff from launch:

  • Payroll
  • Time and Labour
  • Recruitment
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • HR
  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Payable & Receivable
  • Cash Management
  • Purchase Ordering
  • Research & Projects Accounting
  • Research Grant Management
  • Expenses
  • Tax

In addition to these phases, Business Intelligence, Document Management, Integration and Data Migration were implemented across the duration of the whole programme.

Who was on the Programme Board?

  • Erica Conway – Director of Finance and Executive Sponsor
  • Mark Gee – CIO
  • Gillian McGrattan – Director of HR
  • Stuart Richards – Director of HAS
  • Charlotte Wellington – Programme Leader
  • Kate Williams – Programme Manager
  • James Arthur – Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Staffing)
  • Phil Lumley – Deputy Head, MDS
  • Jon Rowe – Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer, EPS
  • Janice Thompson – Professor of Public Health Nutrition & Exercise
  • Bronwen Lord – Director of Operations, LES
  • Jon Darling – Head of Internal Audit
  • Bryoney Johnson – Change and Communications Lead
  • Geoff Carss (Peter Lambton as deputy) – Oracle
  • Laura Forrest – Secretary

Who was on the Core Systems Leadership Team?

  • Programme Leader: Charlotte Wellington
  • Programme Manager: Kate Williams
  • Finance Workstream Lead: Mike Dean
  • HR Workstream Lead: Alison Jinks
  • IT Workstream Lead: Adrian Hassell
  • Change Workstream Lead:  Bryoney Johnson

Where was the Core Systems team based?

The Core Systems team were based on the first and second floor of Cedar House on the Edgbaston Campus (O6 Map Reference).

Change & Impact

What has the Core Systems project meant for employees?

The project was looking to transform the way that Finance, HR and Payroll activities were carried out. The changes in process would require less manual intervention and result in a dramatic reduction in the amount of paper that was pushed around the University. Some of the changes affected large numbers of staff, including the way you:

  • apply for jobs
  • claim expenses
  • purchase goods
  • monitor budgets
  • access the Research Grants and Contracts process

Employees are able to view their personal data in real-time including address details, payslip information and P60s.

Employees are able to initiate actions, request annual leave, record absence, submit expenses, apply for University vacancies, submit requests for additional payments. For the first time, employees are be able to track progress of these actions and to see who the item is currently with for action.

All staff are ultimately be affected by the result of the project. How much is determined by the level of involvement they currently have in HR, Payroll, Finance and Research activities.

What this means for managers of employees and/ or budgets?

Employees with responsibility and/or accountability for other employees have additional functionality available to them. All of their employee-related tasks are available in one place and the system issues alerts and reminders for action. These reminders are escalated if tasks are overdue! The whole employee life-cycle, from recruitment to leaving, can be undertaken through one system, regardless of geographical location or the time of day. Relevant and timely management information is available within the software.

Employees with financial responsibilities are able to view, more quickly and easily, a range of appropriate financial management information. For example, from within a single system, it is possible to view the balance on a specific account, drill-down to the transactional detail behind the balance, select an individual transaction and then access the digitally parsed invoice or other document at the bottom of the chain. This real-time financial information enables quality decision-making.

How has Core Systems affected my day to day working?

Core Systems impacts all staff across the University. How Core Systems has impacted your day to day working depended on your role in the organisation and your daily involvement with HR, Payroll, Finance and Research and the associated administrative tasks. The New Core programme had put in place an extensive change programme to support staff through the transition to new ways of working. This included wellbeing and support, training and preparing staff for change.

Has Core Systems lead to a reduction of staff numbers?

The purpose of the Core Systems programme was to improve our HR, Payroll and Finance systems, and to modernise business processes and ways of working for all University staff. This meant new ways of working for some colleagues, and any changes to processes was shared with staff in advance of system launch via programme communications and training.

Core Systems was not being launched with the intention that there would be staff reductions; however, it affected some roles more than others; for example for staff in the central HR and Finance departments. However, the University 2026 strategy is ambitious in terms of staff growth, and so whilst there may have been some repurposing of roles we has not anticipated any significant staff reductions. The Core Systems programme endeavoured to keep everyone fully informed throughout the transition so that the University supported individual members of staff through any organisational change that became necessary.

What are the benefits to the University?

There are many benefits of Core Systems but the main ones are:

  • Simplified and efficient business processes that use fewer steps with less manual intervention
  • Reduced administration allowing Academic staff more time to focus on delivering excellence in research and teaching
  • A ‘single version of the truth’ that provides the foundation for more focussed management information and allows better informed decisions and judgements
  • The University is able to respond quickly to changes and opportunities and it is easier to plan for the future
  • The entire grant life-cycle from pre-award to publication is supported

Was the aim to go paperless?

Yes, but there is still the option to upload documents into the system and to download documents as needed.

Software, Security, Access & Roles

What software has the University chosen?

The University has chosen Oracle Fusion Applications for Finance, HR & Payroll, Taleo for Recruitment and Worktribe for Research. We know it collectively as 'Core Systems'.

The University undertook an extensive 13 month procurement process to select the chosen supplier, this ensured that the preferred supplier offered value for money, was capable of delivering the requirements and was subjected to necessary due diligence.

How secure is data stored in the cloud and can we guarantee the security of documents uploaded to the system?

Oracle Cloud is already used as standard practice across a wide range of sectors and extensive due diligence on the product has been carried out by the University’s Legal Services team. The University will retain ownership of data at all times, and Core Systems team members have visited the data centre in Slough where, along with Amsterdam, the new system data is stored. They were very impressed with the high levels of physical and technical security at the site, which has hosted the University's implementation of Service Now since 2010 (used for IT faults and requests, equipment booking, and the HR Portal).
The University’s Audit Committee had also been heavily involved in ensuring additional assurance on system security. On their recommendation, an external audit on data security of the new system was carried out by PwC, which approved the system for use.

Are there IT logins for staff who don't currently have them?

All University employees get access and are expected to manage their own records. By exception where this is impossible, managers/HR can help, dependent on the type of input required. For example, a manager could book holiday on an employee's behalf, HR could change an address. However, these are true exceptions. The intention is to empower employees through building up their understanding and skills of using the system.

What is the access request process?

Access for employees and line managers is auto-provisioned. Requesting additional roles will be handled via an IT Service Desk request, with data owners acting as approvers. Please see the section: 'Guide to obtaining process and technical Core Systems help' for more information. 

Can we access the system anywhere, even off-campus?

Yes, it is a web-based product so the system can be accessed from anywhere with internet access, via the remote access service (which you can request from IT Service Desk).

What about staff with access needs?

Users with access needs have been involved in testing the system with accessibility software. Accessibility statements have been published for Core Systems and Taleo.

How can we ensure that staff have been allocated the correct access roles?

Access to functionality and information in Core Systems is role based, and the tasks, information, and reporting that staff can view and edit will vary depending on the roles that they have been allocated. More detailed information on each of the system roles is available here.

Can I delegate my role?

The only role that can be delegated in the system is ‘Line Manager’. This provides the option to “delegate” the Line Manager function to cover short term absence of the Line Manager. If done, this should be to someone of equivalent or higher responsibility to avoid inappropriate access to information. More information about what a Line Manager can see is available here. Please note that an employee's personal details can only be seen by the employee and HR.

For short periods of absence it is likely that any approvals required can await the Line Manager return, and the delegation function will not be utilised.

Please note that to delegate effectively, there are two elements to the process: delegating the role and delegating Line Manager approvals. The role of Line Manager can be delegated separately to the approvals functionality, however, if you delegate approvals without delegating the role, then the delegate will receive approvals but will have no information on which to base decisions. Please note it is not possible to delegate the approvals functionality to more than one person, or to delegate approval of expenses. Further information on the process for requesting short-term Line Manager delegation is provided on the Canvas training page.

Can job share partners both be designated as the line manager of employees?

There can only be one line manager assigned to an individual, and when line managers are assigned they are assigned by person (the line manager’s name) rather than the position they hold. As this is the case, in a job share scenario, the approval would go to the line manager listed on the record. The job share partners would need to decide a way of working this out between them, for example, if Manager A works on Monday and Tuesday and Manager B covers the rest of the week, Manager A (who holds the line manager role) could delegate the role to Manager B for the end of the week. Manager A would have to enter a different delegation period for each week (this can’t be done on a recurring basis like an Outlook appointment), but they can be created in advance. The structure is set up so that in an emergency the line manager’s manager can go into the system and transact on the manager’s behalf.

Will the Health and Safety role provide access to Occupational Health Reports?

No. This role will not provide individuals with access to Occupational Health reports or referrals. Further information on this role is available at https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/university/new-core/for-me/New-Core-Roles.aspx

Existing Systems

Which systems were decommissioned?

  • Alta HR
  • WCN
  • SharePoint Immigration Application
  • Coda
  • Proactis
  • Eploy
  • Research Accounting System
  • MyTeams
  • Catfad
  • Cardia
  • BRAd
  • CIRMS
  • Pensions Payroll
  • Research Data Mart
  • TDMS

Will this new system link in with existing systems?

Yes. Integrated systems include Canvas, Servicenow, Gladstone, D1IM, PURE and Worktribe.

HR - Leave

What is the process for booking annual leave?

After the launch of Core Systems, one of the learnings we have made since go-live, as a result of the visibility the system has provided, is that there is a huge complexity of working patterns across the university. To ensure Core Systems can accurately calculate leave entitlements for all our employees, we will need to move to a system of calculating holiday in hours. This is due to take place sometime in 2021.

What does this mean for you?

  1. You should continue to track and record your leave per the local processes you have in place. 
  2. Note that if you are a sponsored worker you should continue to use Core Systems to record your absence per previous training and guidance provided.
  3. The current core system configuration does work for all of those on standard full time contracts with working days of equal length so you may choose to use the annual leave functionality if you wish, but this is optional (please check with your Line Manager if they are ok with this).
  4. There is a '5 day for 3 months' carry-over rule built into the system. Any UoB announcements that change this rule will not be reflected on the system and may have to be managed and tracked off the system locally.
  5. Calculation of entitlement for joiners and leavers has continued to be determined by the HR online calculator. This can be found, along with additional policy guidance here: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/hr/Time-and-Attendance/Absences/Annual-leave.aspx
  6. When an employee leaves and they have not used all their remaining holiday, the manager should contact Payroll by raising a ticket on HR Portal to advise on the outstanding leave to be paid regardless of whether leave has been captured in Core Systems.

What about academic staff?

Although academic staff do not have a defined number of annual leave days, in order to ensure that all staff receive appropriate time off for rest and recuperation, Core Systems will assume that full time Academic Staff holiday is 25 days (187.5 notional hours) a year, in addition to 8 bank holidays (60 notional hours) and 7 University closed days (52.5 notional hours), equivalent to administrative and other academic related staff. Part time Academic Staff are expected to take holidays pro rata. This does not affect the unspecified number of holidays under the conditions of employment for Academic Staff; holiday beyond 25 days can be arranged directly with your Head of School.

How is sick leave recorded?

Sick leave is recorded in the system as a sickness absence (the reason for which can be selected from a dropdown list). It can be entered by the employee and approved by the line manager, or entered by the line manager on the employee's behalf. If a fit note is required, this can be uploaded to the system - only you, your manager and their manager will be able to see this. More information can be found on Canvas.

HR - Payroll

Has Core Systems replaced paper payslips?

Yes. The system provides staff with access to their payslips via their personal dashboard.

How can I access my payslips?

You can access them by logging into Core Systems and clicking on Me > Show More> Payslips. You can also view the Canvas simulation guiding you through the steps.

What about P60s?

You are able to access them from the same screen as payslips.

Will a financial house, such as a bank, accept payslips that have been printed from a computer as approved documents for mortgage applications etc?

It will be possible to download and print payslips as PDFs which will be fully University of Birmingham branded as they are now, and contain all relevant fields that are on current printed payslips. Printed versions of these payslips will be accepted by banks or other areas requiring them for proof of ID. If difficulties with this are encountered, HR can be contacted and provide the necessary validations.

What happens after you leave - how do you obtain payslips for previous months?

It is recommended that you save copies of payslips you think you will require. It's straightforward to do and means you have them whenever you need them.

How would an employee access their last payslip if they leave mid-month or take annual leave prior to leaving?

An employee who leaves before the end of the month will have their last payslip printed by the Payroll team and sent to their home address.

HR - Recruitment incl. casual

Does the system show where any 'bottlenecks' are in the recruitment process?

Taleo (the recruitment module) will show the full history of what transactions have been carried out in respect of a vacancy. It will also show the current status of the vacancy.

Is the idea that everyone on the shortlisting panel will go in and look at applications in the system? Can they leave notes on the system?

Yes - individuals on the shortlisting panel can be added as 'collaborators'. Each collaborator can review the applications and leave notes on the candidate records by selecting to update their Step/Status and leaving notes in the Comments box at the bottom of the prompt.
Please ensure steps/statuses are only updated after job advert is closed, being careful particularly with the Rejected status.

What to do when recruiting casuals who charge a flat fee e.g. to deliver a lecture?

Rates for all types of casual work have been agreed and set up on the system. Please discuss any concerns you have about this with your local HR Business Partner as soon as possible.

Are hiring managers sending interview invitations out via the system themselves now instead of HR? 

Yes, the aim of the system is to make the same process applicable to all roles and to give hiring managers more ownership over recruitment in their own areas. In practice this shouldn't have created more work, as hiring managers were already involved in scheduling interviews by filling out a spreadsheet. The new system is saving time in other ways.

At what stage in the recruitment process will unsuccessful candidates be notified?

Hiring managers are able to select to notify unsuccessful candidates at any stage of the process, once a candidate has been assessed and once appropriate evaluations have been done on any candidate applying via redeployment.
For candidates rejected at the Shortlisting step, it is recommended to change their status to Rejected, select the reasons and not send any correspondence to them unless desired. Candidates will immediately see their status changed as 'Unsuccessful' when they log into their candidate portal. Additionally, each posting will have a disclaimer advising that if candidates haven't heard from the Hiring Manager in 6 weeks time to assume that they have been unsuccessful.
However, it is advised to send correspondence to candidates when they are rejected after the Interview using template: Rejection Letter After Interview.

Do offer letters sit on the system if we need to refer to them once an employee has been hired?

Offer letters will sit in an employee's personnel file and can be requested through HR.

What about offer process for international recruitment where scans of Right To Work documents cannot be collected before they start?

Individuals need to present their Right To Work documents in person the day before they start. They can be sent to HR to do this or, if collected locally, the scans need to be uploaded onto the candidate's file on the system as per the normal process.

Does the salary need to be negotiated before expectations are captured (offer grid)? Who is doing the negotiating?

Most salary negotiations are done by the Hiring Manager and the offer grid would need to reflect that and be the final version. In fact, all offer details should be established at the offer capture point.

What about using one recruitment process to recruit multiple candidates to different positions?

Before raising the recruitment requisition, which can only be created for one position, please ensure you have the right number of positions created for each job you wish to recruit for. Use one of those for your requisition but list every other in the Key Role Context box to be used later by HR to update the positions of the successful candidates. Make sure (request) that this one position has the right number of openings on it to be able to accept the correct number of successful candidates, and update that number of openings on the requisition form (default is 1).

Are honorary appointments going to be managed in this recruitment system?

No - the system can handle honorary appointments but would require some manual intervention. Also, honorary appointments are processed in different ways across the University, so the decision has been taken not to use Core Systems for the appointment of honorary staff. HR can provide further guidance, but the process remains the same as at present.

 

HR - Time & Labour

Who records time in Core Systems?

Casual staff (hourly paid), casual students (hourly paid students), support staff claiming overtime (excluding HAS who will continue to use VisionTime), Estates support staff, BMSU staff and project employees.

Are flexible working hours/TOIL managed in the system?

No, flexitime and TOIL will continue to be managed off-system, although this may change at a future stage.

Finance - Expenses

Who approves expenses?

Expenses are approved by an employee's line manager, who in most cases is the appropriate person to approve whether the expense claim is valid. Budget holders will be able to monitor what is coming out of their budget via reporting. Expenses will also be audited.

What if an employee submits their expenses under the wrong code?

The approver will need to return the claim back to the employee with a message to let them know that the wrong code has been used, for them to resubmit the claim. If claim was already processed, contact you Finance Business Partner to arrange a journal.

Does the receipt that accompanies a claim still need to be itemised?

Yes, the policy is still the same. The receipt will need to be attached to the claim in the system and it will need to be an itemised receipt (rather than just a credit card receipt). Scans or photographs of receipts are accepted.

How do students claim expenses?

All students, including postgraduate students, will continue to claim expenses via the manual non-staff expenses process.

How do visiting speakers/external examiners enter expenses?

The old FIN7N forms were replaced with two new non-staff expense forms, one for a person being paid into a UK bank account and one for a person being paid into a foreign bank account. The forms are available on the Finance Office intranet page: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/finance/A-Z-Forms.aspx and there are also examples of how to complete the forms correctly.

Finance - Procurement

Do the element 2 and 3 codes still need to be used?

No, these are changing. The main change is that the element 3 code is being split into two parts 1) Activity and 2) Source of Funds. This will enhance our reporting capability. An exercise was done to map existing codes to their equivalents and further information about the new Chart of Accounts and the correct codes to use can be found on the relevant page. If you have any queries about the new Chart of Accounts or require further information, please contact your Finance Business Partner.

Who approves requisitions?

Items purchased from the catalogue (Science Warehouse or other approved suppliers) are auto-approved up to £500. Non-catalogue items and items over £500 would need approval from the budget holder. There are budget approval pools set up for this to avoid any delays if one person is away.

How is the purchase of technical equipment or potentially hazardous items managed?

Purchase of technical equipment or hazardous items is subject to additional approval driven directly from the nature of the item being procured. Where appropriate, this is additional to budgetary approval and these requisitions are, hence, subject to a two-pronged approval process (Budgetary and Technical/Hazardous).

Please raise and submit requisitions for IT equipment or hazardous goods separately from non-IT and non-hazardous goods, otherwise the whole requisition will go for technical/hazardous approval, which will delay your goods/services being approved and delivered.

Who receipts goods and services?

It is for individual Schools/Colleges to decide who receipts purchase orders, but the recommendation is that the requisitioner would receipt the goods or services and Accounts Payable will then process the payment.
Goods and Services should be receipted at the point that the goods or services are received and not done retrospectively when the invoice comes in. 

The exception is internal trade and Puchasing Card orders - please do not receipt these. The former need to be receipted by the supplier areas themselves and not the person placing the order. This is to ensure that the internal recharges are credited to the correct accounts. The latter is reconcilied through the use of SDOL and cardholders are responsible for making sure the transaction on SDOL is matched to a Purchase Order; SDOL will ask for the PO number and the line number to be matched to the transaction on SDOL.

How do suppliers know where to send their invoice to?

The Purchase Order document provides this information. 

Worktribe

When was Worktribe implemented?

It was implemented in June 2019.

What happened to the Pink Form?

Worktribe replaced the Pink Form completely. 

Is JES updated to link in with Worktribe?

There are no current plans but it is something that UoB and other universities which use Worktribe are lobbying for. Using Worktribe ensures that there is a complete record of the project in one place, including full budget details. This makes it easier to transfer the information into JES once the project has been awarded.

Is the facility to look up salary information (in order to calculate costings) available to everyone?

No, it will be available to researchers and Research Support Services. The system generates a notification to the person whose salary has been looked at and this activity can be monitored carefully. Salary information can be requested currently via Research Finance, so this function is not new.

Has the Contracts tab in Worktribe replaced the contract request form (Word document)?

Yes, from June 2019, all contracts are requested through Worktribe. The contract requested doesn't have to relate to a specific project, although it can be tied to a project retrospectively.

Training, Support, Get Involved

How can I get involved in Core Systems?

Academic and Professional Services staff can get involved in Core Systems in a number of ways:

  • by becomeing Super Users
  • by championing the system locally
  • by requesting and organising training session to be run by CSOT locally. We ask that minimum of 15 people are guaranteed to attend this session.

For more information please visit the Training support section of the Core Systems website or contact csot@contacts.bham.ac.uk

What support is available for staff who don't regularly use a computer?

CSOT is working closely with POD and Library Services to ensure that Change Impact and Basic IT Skills training are available to colleagues on request.

How many Super Users are there and what is the time commitment expected of a Super User?

There are around 500 Super Users across the University. It is anticipated that 5% of a Super User's time is allocated to assisting colleagues. List of Super Users is available via the Core Systems Canvas Page and the UoB Service Desk, so staff can identify their nearest resource.

Colleges

Professional Services