8.1 For some time now, the common law has imposed some control upon the content of a reference given by an employer in relation to a former employee. However, it does not require such a reference to be given at all. Regulation has also sought to impose control upon the content of a reference, where one is sought. But very often no regulatory reference has been sought and those provided have often been bland in the extreme, in order to avoid any liability at law. This position is changing dramatically: certain firms will be required to seek references, as well as to provide them, in order to inform their assessment of an individual’s fitness and propriety to undertake a role falling within the senior manager or certification regimes. The emphasis on that assessment by the employing firm (rather than simply the regulator) is intended to ensure a more rigorous approach to the provision of references underpinning that assessment.