NQF Amendment Act – Jail Time for People Who Misrepresent Their Qualifications
The National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act 12 of 2019 (the Act) was signed into law on 13 August 2019. The Act has not yet commenced. It will commence on a date published in the Government Gazette.
The Act’s objectives
The Act’s objectives are to provide for:
- the verification of all qualifications or part-qualifications by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA);
- the formulation of criteria for evaluating foreign qualifications;
- a separate register for professional designations;
- the referral of qualifications or part-qualifications to the SAQA for verification and evaluation;
- offences and penalties for non-compliance; and
- the creation and maintenance of separate registers of misrepresented or fraudulent qualifications or part-qualifications.
The most pertinent points of this Act are those that relate to prospective employees; jail time, a fine or both for misrepresentation of qualifications.
Jail time or a fine or both
The Act states that prospective employees who are found to have mispresented their qualification will be guilty of an offence and will be liable to a fine or sent to jail for a maximum period of five years. In certain circumstances, the prospective employee may face both a fine and imprisonment.
Employers may face penalties too
The Act places a duty on employers to authenticate any qualifications presented to them. Employers need to authenticate these qualifications by ensuring that the qualification is registered on the National Learners’ Records Database and/or SAQA before appointing the prospective employee.
Misrepresentations on social media
The Act is not limited to misrepresentations of qualifications on CVs, but also misrepresentations about your qualifications on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter could also lead to jail time.
SAQA register of fraudulent qualifications
Where a prospective employee is caught making misrepresentation about their qualifications, SAQA will register them on their database. SAQA will maintain a register of misrepresented and fraudulent qualifications and professional designations.
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