In terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act No 2 of 2000, the written consent of the candidate must be obtained before any referencing, qualification validation, criminal checks or credit checks may be commenced.

Past experience has shown people who are asked for references generally respond more candidly to a consultant than they might to a prospective employer. As a result, Woodburn Mann is able to provide the client with a more accurate evaluation of the candidate concerned. Furthermore, this approach safeguards the identity of presently employed candidates.

However, as the majority of executive search and selection assignments conducted by Woodburn Mann are at senior executive level and above, clients often have a professional relationship with other major business leaders who may be the referees on the assignment. The client may therefore prefer to carry out their own verbal references on the preferred candidate, although the written consent of the candidate will still be required.

At the time an offer of employment is being intended and at the request of the client, Woodburn Mann will undertake reference, credit and/or criminal checks for those candidates to whom an offer is to be made, and arrange for the appropriate psychometric assessments of the preferred candidates.

An additional charge will be levied for each psychometric assessment and qualification validation that Woodburn Mann is requested to undertake.

Where it is impractical to obtain references until the candidate has received a formal offer, or where such activity might constitute a breach of confidentiality in respect of the candidate (for example, where most of the working career has been spent with one employer), any offer made should be conditional on satisfactory references being received.

Whilst every reasonable care is taken in obtaining references, the conclusions from any such references (which must remain confidential and unattributable) can only be made in good faith, and it must remain clear that Woodburn Mann cannot and does not guarantee these conclusions or the accuracy of statements made by referees. Referee names are always obtained from candidates.