Fraudulent qualifications back in the news

Issue 3 2021 Security Services & Risk Management

A recently passed law that affects the employee screening environment considerably is the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill, which prevents people from misrepresenting qualifications on their CVs and in job applications. It allows SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) to establish and maintain registers of misrepresented and fraudulent qualifications.

It has been said that it will allow a ‘name and shame’ process and there could be harsh consequences for those who lie about their qualifications.

In the past week we have seen three high profile politicians apparently claiming to have qualifications while this appears to not be true.

• The Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela’s official biography on the Western Cape government website claimed that he had obtained a BCom from UNISA in 1999, yet he does not have this qualification.

• The Saldanha Bay mayor, Marius Koen, claims to have an MBA from the University of Hull, but appears to be unable to produce the qualification.

• Natasha Mazzone, the Western Cape MEC for human settlements also appears to be under question for possibly portraying the image of having a legal qualification, yet she does not.

These are all people in a very public environment and there is a lot to gain or lose by making such information public, but what this does highlight is that companies need to remember that at least 5% of qualifications verified are fraudulent or invalid.

All companies should have a process in place to verify all qualifications presented in a job application or CV. If it is found that the qualification is not in fact genuine, the company, in the case of an employee, will have to follow disciplinary process and has the right to open a case of fraud with the SAPS. All of these processes are timely and costly and could impact company reputation. When hiring a new employee ensure an effective employee screening programme is implemented that verifies all information presented by a job applicant.


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