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Digital badges to be used to check CVs

A little white lie never hurt anyone…right?

Bumping up a 2:1 to a first on your CV may seem harmless on the face of it, but can backfire quickly – causing embarrassment for both employee and employer at the very least. At worst, it can result in a criminal conviction. Last year, fraud prevention officers sent a new guide to universities across the UK warning students that they could face imprisonment for lying on their CVs.

Given the time and effort involved in checking qualifications and vetting candidates, white lies on CVs often slip through the net and aren’t discovered until after the individual starts work. Currently, there’s no one system in place for checking qualifications – making it difficult for employers to be sure that CVs are completely truthful.

This could be set to change. Last week, the BBC reported that technology may well hold the answer to checking whether candidates really do hold the qualifications they say they do.

Acclaim is a scheme run by education and training company Pearson which uses digital badges to verify applicants’ qualifications. People are awarded badges on completion of a specific training course or project. They are like a digital version of a degree transcript for example – but the badges include a link back to the organisation which awarded the qualification, allowing for easy verification.

Badges will be able to be shared on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – and metadata in the badge gives potential employers information about the qualification itself. Clarke Porter, head of the scheme, claims this will make it easier for employers to recruit the right candidates.

Various organisations have signed up, ranging from Adobe to Microsoft’s Sales Academy, as well as numerous schools and colleges. The Open University, among others, is offering badged courses.

Could this be the scheme that finally gives employers peace of mind that their applicants are telling the truth? Watch this space.

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