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Combating fraud and fakes: The accurate and reliable verification of students’ credentials

by Ed Hall, CEO, Qualification Check

The threat posed by qualification fraud and fake qualification certificates is well-known to professionals in institutions across the globe.

It can take many forms: from an innocent student who’s the victim of a scam to a legitimate graduate trying to ‘enhance’ their degree by one grade; from unaccredited diploma mills right through to large-scale organised criminality.

Whatever the root of the fraud, it threatens to devalue higher education, potentially damaging the reputations of the institutions delivering it.

The growing scale of the challenge is unquestionable. Here are three statistics, derived from our checking and verification of qualification certificates in 2020, compared to previous years:

• Non-verification of certificates checked in Nigeria grew three-fold to 10%
• It rose in Brazil to 9.9%
• In the USA, where non-verification rates are consistently in double figures, it was 12.9%.

Quick, accurate and reliable verification

The accurate and reliable verification of a student’s credentials is vital, as is the detection of fraud.

Qualification Check is Ecctis’ official verification partner, providing these services to universities and other institutions.

Its platform is simple to use, and allows admissions teams to verify applicants’ qualifications, ensuring they stay visa-compliant, whilst streamlining the application process and removing time-consuming, paper-based administration.

The platform enables checks to be wholly automated and verified with the primary data source in real time. This means quicker response times and more efficiency than can be offered by other providers, with verification delivered at lower cost.

Key to a successful service is the ongoing improvement of the verification processes to reduce turnround times whilst ensuring no corners are cut. Every verification is checked at the primary source with a full audit trail. The process also accommodates cases where additional manual processes are required.

The flexibility of the platform means there is capacity to build direct API links into a student record system, and the expertise of those behind it can help institutions understand specific data challenges they may be facing.

Pedigree and expertise

‘Successful delivery of a comprehensive global verification service demands long-standing knowledge of the sector,’ says Ed Hall, CEO, Qualification Check. ‘We have been checking academic credentials since 2009, dealing with tens of thousands of education verifications across every continent each month. Our QCAS service (Qualification Checked At Source, delivered through Ecctis) has evolved into today’s service, delivering directly to institutions.

‘With teams in the UK, Africa, India and elsewhere, Qualification Check is committed to improving delivery globally, including in countries with less integrated technology.

‘We work to build relationships with newly-accredited institutions and universities as they are created, and to understand when universities merge or evolve into different structures, when they change names or ownership. When they close, Qualification Check records where archives of graduate data are held, and by whom.’ 

In the second half of 2022, Qualification Check expects to add 11,000 institutions from across the world to its portal, further enhancing the regular addition of universities and institutions that come from its research and operations teams’ ongoing engagement programme.

If you would like a demonstration of Qualification Check’s online verification portal, get in touch with Adam Rudd or Phil Dupont at enquiries@qualificationcheck.com.

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