I have blogged previously on the subject of pre-employment screening and the important part it should play in any HR recruitment policy to protect the employer their co-workers. Here in the UK we seem to have almost grown to accept that a CV or Curriculum vitae, Latin for “the course of your life” is as much a work of fiction as it is of fact.
On the programme “The Apprentice” chaired by Lord Alan Sugar a very popular series on TV here in the UK, some time ago a candidate was exposed for submitting what was almost a complete work of fiction as his CV. None the less he eventually won the competition and was awarded with a contract working within organisations connected to his Lordship.
So, how can this practice of deception be discouraged or even eradicated?
I have to thank my colleague Alwyn Marais, owner of Truth-Detector Polygraph & Forensic Investigations in South Africa for bringing a new law in his country to my attention. The article first published on 24th August 2019 by Marelise van der Merwe states 7 things you should know about the new law that could land you in jail!
Job seekers or students can now face up to five years in jail for misrepresenting their qualifications under the new National qualifications Framework Amendment Act 2019.
The new law has been formulated with todays social media interaction firmly in its sights. Under the Act applicants also risk jail time if they lie about their qualifications on social media sites such as Linkedin, twitter or Facebook.
The Act makes it an offence punishable by a fine or up to five years for anyone to claim falsely or fraudulently that they hold a qualification that is registered on the NQF or awarded by a recognised and accredited institution. This means even posting on your social media account such false or fraudulent statements is considered an offence.
Employers also have duties of care under the regulations and must check that the qualifications are genuine on the countries National Learners’ Records Database. If the qualification is not registered it must be reported to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
If an applicant is caught lying about their credentials your details will be recorded on the SAQA database and that’s serious. The law is also designed to protect the potential student by protecting them from bogus institutions. The same term in jail of 5 years or a fine can be imposed on any educational establishment or education skill provider who falsely claim to be registered or accredited or offer qualifications not registered on the NQF.
For students who have already been conned by fraudulent education suppliers there is a defence that may lead to an acquittal and the relevant educational supplier might be charged and be liable to a fine and criminal conviction.
This is a fine example of a country taking its responsibilities seriously. A job awarded on the basis of false or fraudulent qualifications can have horrific consequences. Here in the UK we have seen many newspaper articles about medical staff, some of consultant level being unmasked at a later date as having supplied false qualifications for the job. It really is about time the UK adopted similar legislation.