Immediately previous employment

What is this data entry capturing?

Records what the individual was doing before entering the most recent instance of employment with the University of Oxford into a Chancellors Masters and Scholars (CMS) contract. This information is used by the HR Analytics Team as part of the annual HESA staff return.

Industry Category

This item is returned to HESA and captures what the individual was doing and where (UK or overseas). It is also used for internal management information such as in recent Brexit impact analysis.

Company Category

This is used by the HR Analytics Team to identify when an individual has worked at another UK Higher Education Provider (HEP) in order to retrieve their existing HESA identification number from the HEP.


Company Category relates to the HEI that an individual was working at immediately prior to working at the University of Oxford. It is not to be confused with Name of institution under the Previous HEI Employment UDF which relates to any HEI that an individual may ever have worked at, at any point in the past.


‘Employer’ and ‘Position’ free text fields must also be completed.

All other items on the form are optional.


Coding guidance

This Previous employment guidance table (PDF) provides an overview of what to code on each Industry Category and details when to complete the Company Category.


How-To guidance

Add employment history

Immediately Previous Employment & Previous HEI guidance


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All employee records where a permanent, fixed term, open ended or self-financing contract is held; it also includes those on variable hours contracts.

Any small break between leaving the most recent previous role and starting with the University as a CMS employee (e.g. to make arrangements for moving to Oxford) can be ignored – instead code up the substantive activity being undertaken at the point the employee took up the offer of employment with the University.

Individuals who have been re-hired after a break in continuous service may already have an entry for previous employment. You will need to add a new entry and record what the individual was doing at the point the employee took up the offer of employment. Where a break in continuous service occurs and an individual has not been employed elsewhere during that break, entry '21 NOT IN REGULAR EMPLOYMENT' must be selected in the Industry Category, and company Category left blank.

Where an individual transfers from another University department without a break in continuous service, no new entry for Immediately Previous Employment is required. However, it is good practice to check that the data has already been entered by the previous department.

Where an individual  was employed with the University's Temporary Staffing Service prior to taking up a CMS contract please record what the individual was doing prior to starting with the Temporary Staffing Service.

Where an individual was a casual worker with the University of Oxford prior to taking up a CMS contract please record what the individual was doing prior to their casual appointment.

Record only one of the previous activities. Choose which one to use by selecting the activity where the industry Category code is numerically closest to ’01 ANOTHER HEI IN UK’.

Where previous employment history has fed through from the recruitment module to the Immediately Previous Employment form you must only apply Industry Category code (and Category code if appropriate) to the most recent previous activity.

Firstly, check that this employment history genuinely represents the most recent previous activity. For example, the individual may have been on a career break for a significant period, but this information might not be captured in the data pulled through from the recruitment module. In this case you would need to add a new record for the career break and code the Industry Category and Company Category as '21 NOT IN REGULAR EMPLOYMENT', and leave the remaining employment history rows uncoded.

The End Date/Date To of the most recent previous activity should be set to the day before the University contract start date, (even if this activity continued beyond that date) i.e. the End Date/Date To field should not be left blank.

  • Revisit the individual’s CV either on file or in the PeopleXD recruitment module
  • Check the Onboarding online form
  • Visit departmental web pages – academic and research staff frequently have departmental profiles that can be a useful source of information
  • Contact the individual directly if still employed and ask them for the information
  • Contact us

The following hints and tips have been developed as a result of common mistakes made by users:

  1. Never record University of Oxford employment as previous employment
  2. To determine the period of time in which a previous employment record is required, cross-check the Continuous Service Date held in the contract of employment – the period you need to account for and record is the period of time prior to that Continuous Service Date
  3. Oxford college employment must be recorded using INDCAT code ’35 – Oxford College’ and then the college in question can be added to the Company Category field using the dropdown list
  4. Students must be coded to ‘07 – Student in UK’ or ‘08 – Student in an overseas country’ and Company Category must be left blank
  5. Where Industry Category code ’01 – Another HEI in UK’ is used, a corresponding Company Category (the name of the HEI) must be selected
  6. So where can you find information about the most recent activity?
    • The individual’s CV, you may have a paper copy on file or this can be viewed in the PeopleXD recruitment module
    • The New Starter Data Collection form
    • Data already held in PeopleXD under ‘Immediately Previous Employment’ if an application form was completed by the individual in the PeopleXD recruitment module


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