Section 4: Reference questions

Reference Checks

  • Reference checks are an important part of the interview process for any position with pastoral responsibilities whether the position is paid or voluntary.
  • Reference checks may be obtained in writing or over the phone.
  • Before you conduct a reference check you must obtain permission from the candidate to contact their referees.
  • Confirm with the candidate that the referees they have provided are the most current and/or most appropriate for this position.
  • Confirm that the contact details for the referees are correct.
  • Using the position description as a guide, develop a list of questions to ask the referee. (It is helpful to send a copy of the position description to any referee and ask them to read it before you phone them or before they write a reference.)

It is appropriate to include among your questions the following What are the attributes that make a person suitable for the particular position? Is there any reason of which you are aware which would make the person unsuitable for the particular position? Further information about interviews and reference checks

Assembly Office disciplinary record checks

Regulation 86B has two parts: Part 1 requires a session or parish council or interim moderator to confer with the Assembly Office as to the status and standing of any prospective appointee and report that information to the session or parish council. Information held in the Assembly Office will have been provided by a parish and/or a presbytery and will generally relate to formal complaints and their outcomes. The purpose of the check with the Assembly Office is to ensure that there is appropriate disclosure of any relevant information. Part 2 refers to the requirement for a police check. Details about the process are outlined in these guidelines.