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How to Verify Educational Credentials During an Employment Check

In today’s competitive job market, it’s not uncommon for job applicants to embellish or even outright lie about their educational credentials. This is why employers often perform education verifications as part of their employment screening process. In this article, we will explore the importance of verifying educational credentials and provide tips on how to conduct an effective education verification.


Why Verify Educational Credentials?

Employers verify educational credentials for several reasons. First and foremost, they want to ensure that the job candidate has the educational qualifications required for the position. For example, if the job requires a bachelor’s degree, the employer needs to confirm that the candidate has indeed earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Second, employers want to protect themselves from legal liability. If an employee is hired based on falsified educational credentials and later causes harm to the company or its clients, the employer could be held liable for negligent hiring.

Finally, education verification can also be a way to assess a candidate’s honesty and integrity. If a candidate is caught lying about their educational credentials, it raises questions about their character and may be a red flag for other dishonest behavior.

Why Background Verification Is Important

How to Verify Educational Credentials

There are several ways to verify educational credentials. Here are some tips on how to conduct an effective education verification:

1. Obtain Written Consent

Before conducting an education verification, it’s important to obtain written consent from the job candidate. This consent should be part of the employment application or a separate authorization form. The consent should explain what information will be obtained and how it will be used.

2. Confirm the School’s Accreditation

One of the first steps in verifying educational credentials is to confirm that the school is accredited. Accreditation means that the school meets certain standards of quality and is recognized by an accrediting agency. There are several accrediting agencies in the United States, such as the Higher Learning Commission or the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.

3. Verify the Degree

After confirming the school’s accreditation, the next step is to verify the degree. This can typically be done by contacting the registrar’s office or the National Student Clearinghouse, which is a nonprofit organization that provides educational verification services. The verifier will typically need the candidate’s full name, date of birth, and the degree information (e.g. major, date of graduation).

4. Verify the Transcript

In addition to verifying the degree, it’s also a good idea to verify the candidate’s transcript. The transcript provides a more detailed record of the candidate’s academic performance, including their grades and any honors or awards received. The verifier will typically need the candidate’s full name, date of birth, and the dates of attendance.

5. Check for Forged Documents

Unfortunately, some job candidates may submit forged educational credentials in an attempt to deceive employers. To check for forged documents, look for signs of tampering or inconsistencies. For example, if the font or formatting looks off, or if the document contains spelling or grammatical errors, it may be a red flag. It’s also a good idea to cross-check the information provided with other sources, such as the candidate’s resume or social media profiles.

6. Use a Third-Party Verification Service

Employers can also use third-party verification services to conduct education verifications. These services specialize in verifying educational credentials and have access to databases and records that may not be available to employers. However, it’s important to choose a reputable and reliable verification service.


Verifying educational credentials is an important part of the employment screening process. By confirming that job candidates have the educational qualifications they claim to have, employers can protect themselves from legal liability and ensure that they are hiring the most qualified candidates. By following these tips, employers can conduct effective education verifications and make informed hiring decisions.



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