When you attempt to check references supplied by a potential employee, you may find that many people and institutions will ask for a release before providing information. They are reasonably try to protect themselves from any potential liability for disclosing information regarding a person who doesn't want the information made known. To that end, the attached file contains a sample information release form that you should have signed by prospective employees. The purpose of the authorization is to let former employers, educational institutions, and personal references know that the applicant about whom you are seeking information has consented to its release to you.
The file is in rich text format (RTF) that is suitable for use with most word processing programs used in the Windows environment.
Information release authorization
Guidelines for Reference Checking