Qualification fraud now has a bill

By 2016, qualification fraud in South Africa had reached an alarming level with several high profile and senior ranking officials among those who were exposed for lying on their CVs.

Soon employers could be faced with legislative obligations aimed at reducing instances of employing qualification fraudsters.

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Bill – published for comment in November 2016 – aims to make it compulsory for employers to refer their employees' qualifications for validation and verification to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). It will also be compulsory for employers to include signed acknowledgment forms from the purported qualification holder. Additionally, employers will be legally obligated to report fraudulent activity.

Qualification fraud is one of the most serious factors to consider as it can have severe effects on the health of the business.

We have advocated the seriousness of protecting your business from qualification fraud because the act can lead to financial loss, expensive legal action and most of all - reputational damage. Now, proposed legal obligations could make it compulsory for future employees to be thoroughly screened prior to employment, which is a great step towards transparency.

However, at present there are no laws that make complete background screening compulsory, so the onus lies solely on the employer. There are several screening checks that will not only give you a clear picture of your candidates, but also protect your business from the harmful effects of employing ill-fit candidates.  

Candidates lie about their past roles and responsibilities or inflate their job titles. Think about the damage a person who is not qualified can do if hired to perform skilled tasks.

Undisclosed criminal records is another serious transgression as it can introduce unsavoury elements into your business.

It can be time consuming and a nuisance, however, with the assistance of technology, hiring managers with the tools can build a solid and authentic recruitment plan within their organisation.

A user can determine which information they require verification for each candidate, dependent on position or seniority.

Rudi Kruger is the General Manager of Risk Solutions at LexisNexis.

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