For employers (and other companies and organizations), having attained a minimum educational degree is often a prerequisite for qualifying for a particular job (or for qualifying for certain franchises, or for some volunteer positions). However, employers and others oftentimes fail to verify the educational achievement, or worse, they rely on proof that the applicant provides.

If a certain level of education is required for a position – whether it be a high school diploma, college or graduate level degree, or even a technical certificate – obtaining independent corroboration of the applicant having attained the necessary scholastic level is crucial. Why? Desktop publishing programs and services are readily available for purchase that will provide fraudulent credentials. Further, there are a plethora of websites that will provide a myriad of documents that appear to be authentic, but instead are simply great forgeries that will deceive the uninformed. Not to mention the “diploma mills” that abound, which are essentially “pay for play” degrees.

To authenticate that someone has attained the mandatory education that an employer or other organization is seeking, the educational degree either needs to be independently confirmed by a trusted employee of the organization itself, or the services of a reliable background screening company – one that is also a reputable CRA (consumer reporting agency) – should be secured as an impartial third-party that can substantiate the educational achievement.

Verifying credentials such as education should never be performed by relying on paperwork submitted by an applicant. As CEO of a CRA for the last three decades, the horror stories I am personally aware of are endless – employers being duped by credentials, submitted by applicants that appeared to be genuine, placing the employer at risk for negligence. There are even cases where the employer paid for the technical certification of their employee, only to later discover that the employee submitted false documents for reimbursement – adding financial “insult to injury.”

If having attained a minimum educational level is important to an employer or other organization, it is imperative that it be verified independently, either by the organization or employer themselves or by obtaining the investigative services of a reliable background screening company – CRA (consumer reporting agency).

Posted by: Rudy Troisi, L.P.I., President and CEO, Reliable Background Screening
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