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Author  John O’Brien, Head of Membership - Axelos

September 12, 2016 |

 3 min read

  • Blog
  • Capabilities
  • Skills

Would you lie on your CV to secure your dream job?

Well, you might not. But before you dismiss the idea that this practice goes on, the latest facts tell a different story about job applicants and, even more alarmingly, about employers:

Data gathered by the UK’s Office for National Statistics reveal that, in the last three years, of 138,000 HR managers and directors in the UK 14% have dealt with at least five instances of employees not holding the certifications they claimed – the equivalent of about 100,000 job applicants.

Meanwhile, an AXELOS study with 500 UK-based HR professionals across the public and private sector shows that almost half (48%) do not always check whether applicants’ certiifications are valid. Why is this finding such a problem? Well, an employee without the right credentials could soon be having difficulty meeting expectations in the job role. That employee could then face termination of contract as 37% of employers in our study said they would if they found certifications were exaggerated.

It’s hard to believe so many organizations do not routinely check the certifications of job applicants, but the approach to checking does vary between companies. Nearly a third (30%) of organizations think checks can be waived if the candidate has previous experience in the role they are applying for. One in ten will waive checks if the candidate has been recommended by someone senior in the business. And yet more than half (53%) of HR professionals said that poor performance was the most significant risk from under qualified staff.

The reputational impact of employees not having the certifications they claim to was cited as an important issue, with more than one quarter (26%) of those surveyed listing it as their chief concern. And organizations also face significant costs if they have to find a new recruit. Nearly 40% of companies had spent more than £10,000 in the past three years re-hiring staff after employing someone who wasn’t properly qualified, with 9% of respondents spending more than £40,000.

The AXELOS survey also revealed that before employing someone new, 62% of HR professionals believe you should check references and just under half (47%) think you should check a candidate’s certifications.

In the midst of this challenge, AXELOS has found an innovative solution to help organizations verify their candidates’ credentials through the use of digital badges. These are available to people who hold ITIL®, PRINCE2® or MSP® certificates and are awarded only through the AXELOS Membership programme following successful completion of CPD activities.

Digital badges are a great way of demonstrating certifications on networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as on candidates’ CVs which are generally shared digitally these days. Employers and others with whom the badge is shared can instantly verify the skills and competencies of badge holders.

In an increasingly competitive jobs market, there are people who are willing to exaggerate or lie to win that much sought-after role. But lies can quickly get out of hand: clearly, it’s better for both parties - employee and employer - that claims about qualifications and experience are both true and easily checked and verified.

AXELOS Membership equips you with a wide range of content, templates, online resources and best practice guidance that will enable you to succeed. Aimed at IT Service Management (ITSM) or Project and Programme Management (PPM) professionals you can choose from an ITIL, PRINCE2 or MSP membership and access resources that you can put to work, whatever stage of your career. Visit for further details.