Many people may embellish their Curriculum Vitae now and again to make it seem more impressive, but a new amendment made to the National Qualifications Bill will mean that those who fabricate or inflate their qualifications may face up to five years of jail time.

The National Qualifications Amendment Bill is currently being signed off by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and will establish a grounds for legal punishment if job applicants are found guilty of falsely claiming to be in possession of qualifications.

Qualification fraud is one of the most prevalent types of CV misrepresentation, and these include fake degree certificates, unfinished degrees, inflated education, and non-existent matric certificates.

“The Bill seeks to assist us as citizens and the regulator and the government to deal with the emergence and growth of misrepresentation and fraudulent qualifications,” Dr Shirley Lloyd, Former Higher Education Director of the National Qualifications Framework, said on CapeTalk. “The amendment bill now puts in place a number of actions and penalties for the different offences.”

According to Dr Lloyd, the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act did not have enough strength within itself to deal with these issues, and instead the amendment bill was looked at.

“People were just lying, claiming to have qualifications which they simply never had… and maybe people in society just took it as fact,” she said. “Others were using syndicates to help them to falsify the actual qualification document or certificate and presenting them.”

“The five-year jail term or significant fine would occur if you were found guilty in a court of law for committing fraud – saying you have a qualification when you don’t,” Dr Lloyd said.

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