Background Checks: Qualification Verification

Jul 3, 2019

Industry News, Services

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When applying for a job you need to show your potential new employer that you are qualified for the position you are applying for. Experience is always good, but most employers prefer employees to have completed tertiary education. It also protects the company as they have proof that the employee is qualified for the job they are applying for and that they do not pose as a potential risk for the company.  

Qualification fraud happens more often than you think, and the forgeries are so good that you won’t be able to tell the difference by just looking at the certificate. That is why it so important to make sure the candidate is who they say they are. If they are willing to forge their certificate(s) and lie to get the job, then what else are they willing to do?

What is needed for a Qualification Verification?

  • The candidate must sign a consent form giving authorization;
  • Copy of the candidates’ ID;
  • Legible copies of the qualification(s)

What to keep in mind?

  • Statement of results are NOT certificates and cannot be treated as such;
  • Any Matric certificates that were issued before 1992, these must be accompanied by the province and school name to be verified;
  • If the candidate is a married female be sure that their maiden name is also submitted as it might be the name under which they graduated, if not the verification could show as false when it is in fact not;
  • Verifications of students or qualifications that are from other countries take longer to verify and may cost more so be patient;

When is it not necessary to check qualifications?

  • When candidates are working seasonal jobs that do not require technical knowledge, for example pickers at wine farms, low to mid class restaurant waiters, cleaners etc;
  • If the CV is going to be rejected on the foundation of suitability, experience etc.

Diploma Mills

Unfortunately, there are institutions that claim their accreditation is from an independent agency whose standards and curriculum are different to established institutions (these are usually not of high standard and are illegal). Sometimes the candidates themselves don’t even know they have been deceived as the qualifications look legitimate.

How are qualification verifications done?

Authority boards like Umalusi, SETA etc have given permission to specific companies like MIE and Lexis Nexis that have access to their databanks. These companies allow registered users to submit qualifications on their site to be checked at a standard fee.

Sometimes it may take a few days, but the process is relatively quick.

Why is it important to check Qualifications?

If a candidate with a false qualification is hired it could jeopardize your relationship with clients. If the employee makes a mistake due to the lack of knowledge gained by not actually completing the studies, the client could be angered and file a lawsuit which could be costly and could severely damage the company’s reputation.

If an employee with a false qualification works in a factory or production position and gets injured or dismisses any health and safety regulations it could cause a lot of damage. For example, if they eat something that might contain allergens in red (danger) areas it might contaminate the production line which could for example cause consumers of the product sick or worse, as in the case of processed meat causing listeriosis. It is very difficult to contain such an outbreak and can become very costly.

Contact Uphando Forensic and HR Services if you wish to have any current or potential employees’ qualifications verified.

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