Instructions to Referees


General Instructions  

Two reference letters are required by TIME applicants. An academic reference from someone who taught you at university and a work-related reference from your current or past employer.  If you do not want to ask your current employer, a colleague could possibly complete the reference letter. In cases of no work experience both references could be academic. In any event both references should be from individuals who know you well in an academic or work-related context.

Reference letters have to be specific. The TIME MBE asks referees for very specific information and for their assessment on the basis of given criteria. This ensures a degree of homogeneity and fairness when reviewing applications. All references must be completed online. Your referees must have a valid email address in order to receive details of how to access the online reference system. You should notify your referees in advance that they will be receiving an email from TIME MBE with instructions for completing the online form. If your referees are unable to complete this form online, please contact the Admissions Department at  

It is your responsibility to ensure that both references are submitted by the application deadline. Applications will not be reviewed in detail until references have been received. However, you do not need to wait for your referees to send their references in order to submit your application.To register your referees, login to your online application and go to the application status page. Click “Add referee” in the referee section of your application. You can view the status of your online references from the application status page. Remind your referees if the deadline is approaching and they have not sent in the references. Any information supplied by referees remains confidential and will not be disclosed to you. TIME MBE reserves the right to contact your referees directly for any further information in connection to your application.

Reference form questions

The online reference form asks the following questions: 

  • How long have referees known the candidate and in what connection. 
  • What are the candidate's major talents and strengths. 
  • What are the candidate's weaknesses or areas for improvement. 

Referees are also asked to rate candidates on the basis of the following qualities: Intellectual or academic ability, quantitative skills, initiative/ability to take decisions, problem solving skills, organisational skills, leadership skills, team skills, impact/charisma, self-confidence, self- motivation, oral English communication skills, written English communication skills. 

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