“Fake it until you make it” is one of the many maxims floating around on social media these days. But, if a new bill is passed, faking it on a CV could have severe long-term consequences.
The bill, called the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill and now officially adopted by the National Council of Provinces, aims to prevent South Africans misrepresenting their qualifications when applying for employment.
A ‘fraudulent qualification’ is defined as a forged degree, diploma, or certificate, or any of these fraudulently obtained.
Should the bill become law, those found lying on a CV or presenting fraudulent qualifications won’t be let off with a simple slap on the wrist. The bill seeks to implement a ‘name and shame’ approach in much the same style as those publicly-accessible registers for more serious crimes, like sexual offences.
Those found to be guilty may also be liable to a fine and / or imprisonment for a maximum period of five years.
The bill has been submitted to President Cyril Ramaphosa for approval.
Fraudulent qualifications pose a business threat
In the context of the new bill, negligent hiring is one of the more serious threats posed to businesses due to the potential for law suits, crippling fines, and even jail time.
Negligent hiring refers to the business’s liability in an incident where the employer knew (or should have known) that an employee posed a risk. An example is that of a heavy machine operator unqualified to operate heavy machinery causing an incident at the work place where other employees or members of the public are injured.
Fraud and theft is another high risk scenario. In this instance falsified credentials are used to gain access to a company or sensitive systems. According to reports American-based Verizon attributed 20% of their electronic breaches to insider misconduct – a practice which amounts to $3.7 trillion per annum.
While these figures do not reflect fraudulent qualifications or lying on a CV, they are indicative of a strategy often employed by syndicates and individuals with criminal intent. The aim here is to get access to data or sensitive information by means of employment by the target company. The potential risk to the company is astronomical, and could extend beyond any short-term losses.
The detection of false or inaccurate qualifications on a CV is luckily a relatively straightforward matter, and can be included in a business’s standard background screening process with very little extra cost.
During the verification process details about an individual’s qualifications are verified with the relevant educational institution. References can be verified at the same time.
Given that the number of detected false credentials has risen in the past year based on general consensus in the background screening industry, any business will benefit from a little added protection when hiring new employees.
For more information about CV and qualification verification, call us on 0861 274 911, or get in touch here.