Education / qualification checks

Whether for a qualification specific and relevant to a role, or simply to establish that a benchmark of educational attainment has been met, education/qualification checks are an important part of establishing whether an individual is suitable for a role for which they have applied.

A candidate’s educational achievements, whether relevant to a role or not, are a key benchmark for their suitability, and frequently influence a final recruitment decision. However, with diploma mills and forgery rife, particularly within professional sectors (with fake degree certificates costing as little as £50), qualification checks are even more critical to an effective screening process than most realise.

Conducting comprehensive, sophisticated qualification checking on all individuals being considered for a role is a critical safeguard against one of the most common vectors of fraud committed by candidates. It is no longer sufficient to simply see the certificate and establish that the university is legitimate as you might have twenty years ago, at minimum you should now be verifying the individuals enrolment, attendance and attained grades directly with the university, whether through an integration to their database or traditional correspondence.

Highest Education check: Verifying a person’s highest education, even when it’s not relevant to the role that they are being considered for, is still an important element of background screening.

What a candidate declares as part of their application must be verified in order to make sure that they are not trying to get role under false pretences – 56% of employers have detected employees with bogus credentials and embellished CV’s. Some could be entirely falsified or someone may have declared that they achieved a higher level than they actually did.

Many businesses now add a highest education threshold in order to ensure that the candidate can evidence that they have skills and experience that would be transferrable to the role.

Ensuring your worker is appropriately qualified for the work they do is key to protect your business. When making a recruitment decision, qualifications enable an employer to assess the skills of that individual and in turn, their suitability to a role.

As a screening business, it is essential to review the completion date, the expiry date if applicable, the grade, and the establishment. These details are then cross referenced with any declarations from the candidate, and what the Education establishment hold on record for the individual.

The award must be obtained from an established institute, if Qualifications are gained overseas, then these must be equivalent to the required grade for the country that person will be employed in.

Job Applicable Qualifications: Whilst not as critical to a role as a professional qualification for a regulated profession (as defined by European Directive), job applicable qualifications are still instrumental in assessing whether someone will be suitable for a role and capable of undertaking it’s duties. As such, verifying that any claim of a qualification is comprehensively verified is critical too.

There are far too many organisations in the market currently who either don’t check job-applicable qualifications at all, or simply accept a certificate provided by the candidate without any secondary verification.

With diploma mills doing a massive proportion of their trade through fraudulent qualifications outside of professional qualifications as defined by EU directive due to the reduced scrutiny placed on them, such qualifications should pose a higher fraud risk to companies in their hiring and screening processes, rather than being an afterthought as they commonly are today.

At minimum all of an applicant’s claimed qualifications should be verified at the certificate level, and via secondary verification – with the awarding institution having been verified separately, ensuring that they are a legitimate educational or training institution, holding the appropriate authority to award qualifications.