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Topic: Recruitment

professional qualifications request
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Professional qualifications request

Professional qualifications request

You probably take up references on a prospective employee but do you take steps to check the other information they’ve provided on their CV or in an application form, for example, their academic and professional qualifications? Our request letter should assist you with checking professional qualifications.


With an estimated one in four people lying on their CVs, it’s important for employers to thoroughly check them before making a job offer. The lie could be about job titles, previous work experience, length of employment or even outside interests, but one of the common areas that people lie about is qualifications, both academic and professional. So what should you do? Well, for starters, ask the prospective employee to bring in their qualification certificates before they start work. If they say they’ve lost them, don’t just accept that - it’s normally possible for people to obtain copies (usually for a fee) if they approach their education institution, examining board or professional body. The other route is for you to try to verify the qualifications yourself, or pay an external organisation to do it. This is where our Professional Qualifications Request letter comes in - you should send it to the relevant professional body asking them to confirm the prospective employee does indeed have the qualifications they say they have. It’s a simple letter which sets out what those qualifications are and then asks the recipient to fill in a form requiring a “yes” or “no” answer. Where they answer “yes”, it asks them to provide the relevant dates so you can check they’re consistent with what the CV says. Where they answer “no”, it asks the recipient to confirm what professional qualifications the person does have according to their records (together with dates). There’s a final box for any other comments.

Data protection

The Employment Practices Code, made under data protection legislation, states that you should explain to job applicants as early as is reasonably practicable in the recruitment process the nature of your verification process and the methods you intend to use to carry it out, including any external sources that will be used. In addition, where it's necessary to secure the release of documents or information from a third party, you should obtain a signed consent form from the applicant, unless consent to their release has been indicated in some other way. Use our Verification of Qualifications Consent Form for this purpose. Don’t run checks on everyone you interview though as that’s likely to contravene the data protection principles. Wait until you've made a job offer and then run the checks on your preferred candidate. Make the job offer letter conditional on proof of stated qualifications - our Offer of Appointment Letter already contains this condition. Should any of your checks produce discrepancies, don't just withdraw the job offer as a knee-jerk reaction - first give the applicant the opportunity to respond and make representations before you make any decisions. Once you’ve received the documents or information from the third party, rely on the processing of them being necessary for the purposes of your legitimate interests, i.e. conducting due diligence on prospective staff and assessing their suitability for employment, as your lawful basis for processing.




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