7 Reasons Why We Love OneRef
For locum doctors, collecting references can be the most frustrating and time-consuming process of registering with agencies.
Currently the process is manual, paperwork-heavy and time-consuming for your referees to complete. It also has to be repeated every time you want to register with a new agency.
This often results in delays starting work, or missing out on locum work altogether. And we know that you can feel embarrassed about pestering the same Consultants multiple times for references.
That’s why we created OneRef - our online referencing service. In this article, we share our top 10 reasons that we love OneRef, and why you should too! If you want to learn more about what OneRef is and how it works, you can read this article, but if you want to know how OneRef will benefit you keep reading!
👉 1. OneRef makes providing a referencing easier for referees.
Writing a reference for you is a burdensome task for consultants. The way the system has worked up until now, is that every time you need to provide a reference for a new agency or job, your referee has to complete a reference form anew.
Each new reference takes at least 10-15 minutes to complete, and it can be stressful for them if they have to try and recall accurate dates and information about work you may have done several years in the past.
This old system can mean referees may refuse to complete references for you, or that the references they do provide become lower and lower quality over time as the referee tires of completing detailed information for you.
OneRef turns a 15 minute task into a 2 minute one (we’ve thoroughly tested this!), and each referee only needs to complete your reference one time. This reference can be reused over and over which means less of an administrative burden is placed on your referee. Woohoo!
👉 2. The OneRef form provides a ‘detailed reference.’
Did you know there are several different types of references? Factual references, detailed references, and character references all provide slightly different levels of information, and are used in various different contexts throughout your career.
Detailed references are incredibly useful and widely applicable, as they provide high-value information about your skills and abilities as a professional.
The OneRef form prompts your referee to rate you across a number of domains, which you can keep as evidence of your capabilities throughout your career. You may even be able to use these references in your locum appraisals as evidence of your commitment to developing your skills.
You can read more about the different types of references in our article ‘How to ask for a medical reference’.
👉 3. You can see what your referees say about you.
Before OneRef, you obtained a reference by providing an agency or job with the contact details of your referee (ideally, after you’d checked with them first to ensure they were happy to be contacted) and then waiting until you got an email from HR saying it was ‘all sorted’ and you could move onto the next stage of registration.
With OneRef you can actually see what your referees have said about you, unless they specifically untick a box that allows you to view your reference. This means that you can download your references for discussion at your appraisal, or can work on specific areas of your practice that may require further development.
If you get a glowing review of your work, it can also be a massive confidence boost to know that the teams you have worked with think highly of you and support your career ambitions.
And if you end up with a reference that you feel is unfair, you can challenge any overly harsh or inaccurate assessments and have the opportunity to find a new referee who may be more supportive of you instead of being unknowingly stuck with a reference that may be holding you back.
👉 4. The OneRef format is accepted by all agencies at Messly.
Before OneRef, each locum agency had their own referencing form with slightly different requirements, wording on questions, and unique branding. This meant that the reference obtained by one agency could not be shared with, or wouldn’t be accepted by another agency, meaning your referee had to complete multiple references for you over and over.
This created anxiety for some doctors, as they were worried about over-pestering their referees and as a result, it sometimes held doctors back from registering with new agencies and finding new jobs and opportunities that might have suited them better.
OneRef was carefully designed to ensure that the information obtained on the reference form was acceptable for ALL of the locum agencies that work with Messly. This means that each reference only needs to be completed once and the same reference can be used over and over when registering with new agencies.
This means doctors don’t need to hold back from finding the best opportunities for them as their lives and careers change over time.
👉 5. Your reference timeline helps you identify gaps that could hold you back.
If you are moving around between Trusts or departments often, collecting references is a task that is easy to forget to do.
Most locum agencies require references that cover every single role you have listed on your CV. Some hospitals will not allow you to locum in departments where you lack previous experience and if you don’t have a reference for work you have done, they may not count it. Shadowing can count as work experience so make sure to get references for time spent shadowing too.
OneRef provides a visual reminder to collect references for the work you have done, and it can help you easily identify which parts of your CV and experience are not currently referenced so you can obtain one quickly. This means that you will never miss out on work opportunities due to a missing reference.
👉 6. All your references are collected and securely stored in one place.
As you progress through your career you will accumulate certificates, documents, references, sign-offs and more, and it can be easy to lose important information if you aren’t careful and organised.
OneRef (and the Messly Docs service generally) is really handy for keeping tabs on references and other important portfolio information. The documents saved there can be downloaded for future use, or stay securely stored on your Messly profile.
References are an essential part of a robust portfolio. You can read more about references and portfolios in the ‘References’ section of our Portfolio Companion; a comprehensive guide to structuring and organising your medical portfolio.
👉 7. It is free for Messly users.
OneRef was born because we listened to your feedback on how the the traditional referencing process wasn’t working for you.
✅ We heard how anxious doctors were about contacting their referees over and over.
✅ We heard how frustrated doctors were when they lost out on locum work because referees were slow to respond.
✅ We heard how exhausted doctors were by bottlenecks in the registration process.
Unlike other e-portfolio or digital document storage services, Messly’s Docs and OneRef services are entirely free to use. This is because we are dedicated to making life as straightforward and seamless as possible for you when it comes to finding incredible locum opportunities.
OneRef streamlines one of the most time-consuming processes in the registration process, and significantly reduces the workload on both you and your referees. It is an entirely new way of collecting medical references and we think it is the future! We hope you love it as much as we do!
We have a number of articles about medical references. Click the links below to read them.
This article is part of a wider series of comprehensive guides and information to help doctors ensure their F3 year is a success. We cover everything from initial planning, options for moving abroad, help with finding work, and tips for making the most of the experience.
Click here to visit our F3 Resource Hub to explore the full list of guides and articles.
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