Real news: fake qualifications

Can you spot a fake? Are there any lies on your CV? And would you ever hire someone from Nixon University? All these questions and more came up in my conversation this week with Amol Rajan on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show. The topic? Fake qualifications.

A company called Axact, out of Pakistan, reportedly operates a network of hundreds of fake online universities and has sold thousands of fake university degrees and qualifications to people in the UK.

Some people, it seems, are happy to fake their qualifications. More people are happy to fake their results. A recent piece of research by Reed Screening found that 24% of jobseekers had exaggerated their qualification results on their CVs.

Outright lying about your qualifications could land you in seriously hot water.

Paradoxically, purchasing the fake qualifications isn’t a criminal offence in itself. But using fake qualifications on your CV when you apply for a job is most certainly a crime. It is ‘fraudulent misrepresentation’ and is punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

At REED we have a dedicated screening team of one hundred people who deal specifically with CV screening. This includes checking the authenticity of qualifications. The team recently caught a candidate applying for a job as a social worker who had not only faked the qualification, but lied about their registration with the professional body. Unsurprisingly, when we flagged this individual to the authorities, the candidate was already on their radar.

This is exactly the kind of case that could have devastating consequences. Devastating for the employer who has been taken in but potentially much more devastating for the individuals who would have been receiving care from an unlicensed professional with questionable motives.

All business is based on trust. It is paramount that recruiters stay vigilant in their checks and that job seekers make sure that everything they say on their CV is truthful.

My mantra is to trust everyone and no one. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt from the beginning but experience has taught me that you have to check people out and you have to keep checking. No one will tell you that they’re a fake!

You can listen to the full programme below: 

Skip to 1:09:40 to hear the full interview