The primary verification processes will authenticate the credentials of overseas students and professionals applying to study in the UK.
It will be open to UK NARIC members, which include education institutions, employers, professional bodies and migrant advisory organisations.
“Educational fraud and fraudulent applications for work and study are a growing problem”
Primary source verification processes can be “an invaluable step in rooting out problem applications” for these institutions, according to UK NARIC’s deputy managing director, Paul Norris, who added they can also “mitigate concerns with high-risk markets”.
“Educational fraud and fraudulent applications for work and study are a growing problem that has serious consequences for institutions and the safety of our society as a whole,” Norris commented.
“The DataFlow Group is well-placed to offer PSV across a wide geographical area, and we are pleased to offer this added feature for the benefit of UK NARIC members,” he added.
Hong Kong-based DataFlow works worldwide, liaising with a network of more than 60,000 issuing authorities to verify documents.
As well as academic qualifications, the company verifies employment certificates, practice licenses, work permits and passports.
The service also provides a paper trail that can be used as evidence in institutions’ admissions decisions or to demonstrate compliance and record-keeping.
For example, after uploading documents to the online platform, users receive a written report detailing the results of the verification process.
“By extending our PSV service to UK NARIC members, not only are we helping them make informed admissions and recruitment choices, but we are also contributing to the implementation of robust verification programs throughout the UK and Europe,” commented DataFlow Group chief commercial officer Aiman Shehabi.
Academic qualifications fraud has become an increasingly prominent topic of discussion in the international education industry worldwide, with initiatives to combat fraud multiplying in recent years.
Among them is My eQuals, a database of certified qualifications that is gathering steam in Australasia as an offshoot of the Groningen Declaration Network: an initiative dedicated to bolstering qualifications security.