- Reference models, whose aim is to capture domain knowledge, can assist in the adequate design of enterprise specific business processes. In complex organisations, business processes can be locally designed by specific organisational units. However, in order to be adequate, these processes should meet the local needs while maintaining the organisational standards. For this purpose, we propose to create an organisational reference model that specifies the organisational standards, guides and constrains the different organisational units when designing their specialised local processes. We propose a reference modelling approach called application-based domain modelling (ADOM), which is capable of specifying guidelines and constraints as part of the reference model and validating a specific model against the reference model. The paper presents the principles of ADOM and in particular, its novel validation procedure. This procedure enables the organisation to ensure that the local processes are in compliance with the organisational standards, as specified in the reference model. We demonstrate the validation procedure on a purchase requisition reference model within a university and its application in two sub units: a library and an acquisition department. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Reinhartz-Berger, I., Soffer, P. and Sturm, A. (xxxx) 'Organisational reference models: supporting an adequate design of local business processes', Int. J. of Technology. Her research interests include conceptual modelling, modelling languages and techniques for analysis and design, domain analysis, development processes and methodologies. Her work has been published in international journals and conferences.