HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Unit of the Department of Education, Innovation & Gender Relations commenced the process of verifying academic and professional certificates on November 11, 2013. Initially, the process of certification was under the portfolio of the Educational Evaluation and Assessment Unit of this ministry. This Unit ensured that the copies of certificates presented by individuals for certifying were true copies of the original certificate, and were stamped “Certified Correct”. This process opened avenues for fraudulency of certificates or alteration of results stated on certificates. As such, it became necessary to implement a more detailed approach to avoid the occurrence or filtration of fraudulent certificates in circulation, hence the introduction of the verification process.
The verification process entails a thorough and in-depth examination of academic and professional certificates presented to the HRD Unit. Such examination ensures that the awarding body/institution of the certificates is a registered or accredited institution. In cases where certificates are awarded to individuals from examinations sat on island, for example, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), CAPE, General Certificate of Education (Cambridge Examination), EDEXEL, etc. results are verified from master sheets presented by the awarding bodies. Validity of accreditation is checked to ensure that the institution issuing the certificate is listed as an accredited institution and the signatories on the certificates correspond with their tenure in office and are not fraudulent.
This process takes a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of five (5) working days, and entails the following:
When you come in
- originals and copies of certificates are lodged with the HRD Department (individuals are allowed a maximum of five (5) copies per certificate);
- all certificates presented to the department are recorded. The recording entails, contact information (date submitted, full name of applicant, applicant signature upon submission of certificate(s), applicant telephone number, signature of officer receiving certificates, certificate(s) submitted and number of copies;
While Documents at HRD
- these certificates are passed on to the designated officer(s) for processing;
- the officer(s) checks and validates the accreditation of the issuing or awarding agency/body and where required, the grades which appear on certificates. This would entail determining whether the institution is internationally accredited, or registered with the Department of Education, Innovation & Gender Relations, and the authenticity of the certificates submitted. If the issuing institution is not accredited the certificate holder is informed upon collection of certificate(s);
- in the case of an academic certificate which exceeds or connotes nine (9) credits or ninety (90) contact hours, or Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certificate “ verified” is stamped on the copies and signed by the designated officer. Whereas, with the professional certificates, short courses and affiliate certificates, a “certified” is stamped and signed;
- for the duration of time the certificates are lodged with department, they are stored in a safety (fireproof and waterproof) cabinet;
Time for Collection
- upon collection of certificates by applicants, presentation of ID is required, however where third party collection is concerned, authorization and ID are required; and
- applicant signs for receiving verified documents.
Advancements in technology have made it easy for the creation of falsified certificates. Consequently verification of educational credentials becomes very difficult and time-consuming. The HRD Unit carries out this function for the entire island.