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At the end of August 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the National Qualifications Framework (NQF Amendment Act) Amendment Act 12 of 2019 into law. These amendments have significant repercussions for both job-seekers and employers.

If an individual lies about his or her qualifications it could result in up to five years’ jail time, a fine or both. This sanction extends to misrepresenting qualifications on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has been tasked with maintaining registers of professional bodies, individuals and organisations who have misrepresented qualifications or have been implicated in fraudulent activities surrounding these types of activities.

Before registering a learner for a qualification or employing an individual, their qualifications must be verified according to the National Learner’s Record Database (NLRD). The verification process will be conducted by SAQA for a prescribed fee.

“Of great significance,” says Menet Hamel: Senior HR and ODETD Practitioner at Global Business Solutions, “is the fact that the NQF Amendment Act will protect the integrity of our education and training system in South Africa through, among others, the responsibility to verify qualifications as well as the provision for the registration of all private training institutions with the Higher Education and Training Department.”

It is vital to know how to interpret and position these provisions within your business. “It is our view,” concludes Wendy Viljoen: Training Research and Development Manager at Global Business Solutions, “that a number of policies, procedures and practices will need to be adapted and/or introduced.  For employers, changes in their policies and procedures will be required to allow for the verification of qualifications achieved by both applicants and employees.”