A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds

What's more, one in three candidates admit to falsifying information

Education Editor

One in three employers admit they never bother to check candidates’ degree qualifications, according to a survey out today.

A poll of more than 100 graduate recruiters revealed that a third take CVs at face value and do not request a copy of their degree certificates.

The figures, when combined with earlier research showing one in three candidates admit to falsifying their degrees, highlight the potential for “cheats” to con their way into a job.

“Most degree fraud goes undetected due to the lack of proper checks being made by employers, although it’s widely publicised that a third of applicants admit lying on CVs,” said Jayne Rowley, director of the Higher Education Degree Datacheck, an online service set up by Graduate Prospects and funded by the Government to help employers verify candidates’ qualifications. 

The survey showed only 63 per cent of respondents requested degree certificates from applicants. Of these, 76 per cent assumed they were legitimate and did not check them with the issuing university, while 32 per cent accepted copies rather than the original documents.

“While many businesses, particularly when recruiting graduates, invest significantly in sophisticated application tracking, assessment centres, psychometric testing and so on, few verify qualifications as part of that process,” added Ms Rowley.

“Many of us want to believe that people are telling the truth so we place our trust in references, applications and interviews. With a low perception of the frequency and risks of qualifications fraud, it’s easy to become complacent. But some people are unscrupulous and looking to take advantage. If someone is lying about their qualifications we have to question their overall integrity as a potential employee.

“It’s important to request original degree certificates and check them out with the university that issued them. Many certificates look legitimate yet have subjects and grades altered as well as totally fabricated universities and courses.”

The poll, which also sought the opinions of 568 students, revealed that three quarters expected employers to check their qualifications and that 82 per cent would like verification to be compulsory.

Video: Man tries to get job by advertising his CV in Waterloo

“Graduates are used to rigorous checks by UCAS pre-university and having their academic work verified by plagiarism detection software to prevent cheating but the same rigour isn’t in place for job applications and employment,” said Ms Rowley.

“There is a duty of care incumbent upon organisations and universities to take this seriously and ensure the interests of genuine graduates are protected.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Imperial College London: Safety Training Administrator

£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...

University College London: Client Platform Support Officer

£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...

Guru Careers: Instructional Designer / e-Learning Designer

£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...

Recruitment Genius: Schools Education & Careers Executive

£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss