Proving Academic Qualifications – Why do Employers Ask?

Getting a new job can seem like an endless paperwork process these days. Employers can do a wide range of checks on applicants. Some of these, such as the “right to work” checks, are a legal requirement. Similarly, if you’re applying for work in healthcare or with children, you’ll know you have to apply for a DBS check too. But most of the other checks which employers¬† do are up to them. Proving academic qualifications isn’t something which every employer does. However, a large number of people are known to lie on their CVs, so asking for proof isn’t such an unusual step.

What sort of jobs ask about proving academic qualifications?

It’s unlikely that you’re going to be asked for a certificate for every exam you’ve ever sat. If you’re applying for graduate jobs, for example, you might be asked for your degree certificate only – employers are unlikely to want to see A-level or GCSE certificates. If you’re applying directly from school though, you’ll need copies of your exam passes. Employers might ask for specific proof of ability to do a particular job too. They’re not going to take your word that you have completed Gas Safe training. They’ll want to see the certificate. It might be many years since you’ve sat the exams but that’s no excuse – you’ll need that piece of paper. As you progress through your career your older qualifications are less important, but you might still be asked for certificates.

But I’ve lost my certificates!

If you’ve lost your certificates then don’t panic. You won’t be able to get a copy of your exam certificate in most cases, but you can get a certified copy of results from the exam board. These show all of the exams you sat, the grades and dates and will be accepted by employers. You’ll of course have to remember which exam board set the exams, and under which name you sat them. Exam boards are also allowed to charge a fee for providing a certified statement of results. For degree certificates, speak to student services at the University or College where you studied. For other professional qualifications, speak to the official body to find out their processes for providing the information.

Don’t be tempted to guess your exam grades or which subjects you passed if you can’t remember. Employers take a dim view of people telling fibs on their application forms, whether intentionally or because they’ve forgotten. If at a later date they ask for copies and the details don’t match, they’d have grounds to sack you.

Change of Names on Exam Certificates

Another common issue is that the name on your exam certificates doesn’t match the name you are currently using. This could be for any number of reasons, but is most often down to marriage or divorce. If you’ve declared that you have used different names previously, this shouldn’t be a problem, Employers are only concerned when they get a certificate with a name which bears no relation to the name the applicant has given on other paperwork.

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