The exaggeration and falsification of academic qualifications is rife and the media has recently brought to our attention a number of high-profile individuals building a career on fictitious qualifications.
Elizabeth O’Bagy, a prominent scholar celebrated by US media and referenced by US Senators in congressional hearings, lied about earning a Ph. D, and lawyer Thomas O’Riordan filled his glittering CV with lies, including claiming five degrees he had not been awarded. Mr O’Riordan’s dubious credentials went unchallenged for years by a number of separate employers and were only uncovered when he used his fabricated CV to apply for a new job.
Analysis of HireRight’s background screenings reveal the extent of this problem – 63% of all screenings undertaken in EMEA in September 2013 contain an inaccuracy or lie, a figure that continues to trend upwards. Most frequently these falsifications relate to education verifications, followed by employment verifications and professional qualifications verifications.
Alarmingly, almost two fifths (38%) of all of the 3,883 education verifications carried out in September 2013 contained discrepancies. The frequency of this type of discrepancy is at an all-time high and is increasing at a rapid rate, having more than doubled in just two years (a 135% increase from Q3 2011 to Q3 2013).