The National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill has been published for public comment.
Arguably the biggest addition of the new bill is the introduction of a ‘register’ of fraudulent qualifications which would contain the names and details of individuals and providers who had been found by a court of law to be holding or issuing at least one fraudulent qualification.
Mooted as early as 2016, it is proposed that the register would then periodically be made available to the public to act as a deterrent for those considering misrepresenting their qualifications in the future.
According to the bill, ‘a fraudulent qualification or part-qualification’ includes a degree, diploma or certificate that is forged, fraudulently obtained or awarded in contravention of this Act, and has been declared as such by a court of law.
If after verification or evaluation a qualification is found to be a misrepresented one, the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) must refer such a finding or information to the relevant professional body, and must record in the register the following information:
- Name of the holder of the qualification or part-qualification;
- Description of the document concerned;
- Status or reclassification of the document to be recognised as a qualification at a lower level on the NQF;
- Nature of the offence and sentence on receipt of details from the relevant clerk of the court;
- Name of the education institution, foreign institution or skills development provider who issued the qualification or part-qualification;
- Details of a degree, diploma or certificate mill;
- Date of confirmed misrepresentation by the SAQA or date of a finding by a court of law;
- Any other relevant information.
In addition to being included on this register, the bill states that any person who fraudulently claims to have received a qualification is guilty of an offence, and is liable on conviction to any sentence which may be imposed for an offence of fraud.
You can find more information about the bill here.
This article was first published on businesstech.co.za