The results of the final matric exams in 2023 have been released to complement yet more stories of fraudulent qualifications in senior management and higher-level positions.

As our matriculants receive their results, employers are again advised to consider vetting potential employees’ matric certificates by Dr Mafu Rakometsi, Chief Executive Officer of the Umalusi Council of Quality in General and Further Education and Training. In addition, Rakometsi said that a Department of Higher Education and Training employee had been arrested for fraudulently issuing a Diploma certificate for cash in December.  Umalusi was “seriously concerned about group copying cases” involving 945 National Senior Certificates (NSC) candidates detected by the Department of Education.

As it currently stands, false qualifications are going to be sticking around. We at iFacts did some research into how easy it is to get fraudulent matric certificates and were surprised only at how blatant the advertising of fraudulent qualifications was.

We looked at Facebook Marketplace and within the first two scrolls, there were many people offering fraudulent matric certificates.

One search is how easy it has become to get a fraudulent qualification. This is proof that employers need to ensure they include qualification verification when they screen potential employees. Every qualification, from a National Senior Certificate to a PhD can be forged.

Of the matric certificates that are legitimate, there is the question of the true value of passing matric. Matric results hinge on “base pass marks”, officially known as the National School Higher Certificate Standard, which are the lowest common denominator.

The official matric pass rate is based on this low standard, requiring learners to achieve only 30% in three subjects and 40% in three subjects to pass. The average mark needed to be deemed to have “passed matric” is effectively 35% on aggregate, making a legitimate matric pass, not very valuable.

The Department of Basic Education’s Diagnostics Report shows that most pass vital matric subjects  with less than 50% .

The 2023 National Senior Certificate results show that the class of 2023 achieved a pass rate of 82.9%, up from 80.1% in 2022. 

We can break these numbers down a little for clarification.

Passing matric may not be as prestigious as one might hope, however those who do not manage to pass, can easily purchase a false qualification, making qualification verification a necessary part of your employee screening and vetting process.

We also need to consider the impact that low base pass marks and fraudulent qualifications have on our businesses. Simply verifying a candidate’s qualifications is not enough, you need other checks to ensure the candidate will bring worthwhile value to your organization.

Sonya Skipp of iFacts has said that it is essential for companies to have a robust employee screening system that ensures candidates are thoroughly screened to ensure job suitability and integrity.  Some solutions offered by iFacts include skills testing, integrity assessments and social media risk assessments. These assessments may well be more illuminating than a simple qualification. These assessments will determine the technical skill and general attitudes of your candidate as opposed to simply verifying they are in fact qualified as they say they are.

Hire with confidence, hire with iFacts.

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