Do Employers Check Degrees UK? Everything You Need to Know about Qualification Checks

Do Employers Check Degrees UK

In today’s competitive employment market, ensuring that your qualifications and documents are valid and verifiable is crucial, as employers will use very strict measures to verify your credentials. But one may ask, do employers check degrees in the UK? Do they look at every detail of my Degree?

For most jobs in the UK, qualification checks are a standard part of the recruitment process, while others give more attention to work experience. Whichever one you find yourself, preparation matters in all.

In this piece, we will shed light on everything you need to know about employers’ checks on degrees in the UK; why they do it, the different ways they verify your qualifications, and what you need to do to ensure a smooth process.

What are qualification checks in the UK?

Qualification checks in the UK are the processes through which employers verify the authenticity and legitimacy of an applicant’s educational qualifications, such as degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

These checks are a crucial part of the hiring process, as they help employers ensure that candidates possess the qualifications they claim.

Typically, qualification checks involve contacting the educational institutions where the applicant claims to have studied. Employers request academic records, transcripts, or confirmation directly from these institutions.

In some cases, they may also use third-party verification services to streamline the process. These checks are essential for maintaining the integrity of the hiring process, preventing fraudulent claims, and ensuring that candidates meet the educational requirements for the job.

Employers in the UK take qualification checks seriously to make informed and reliable hiring decisions, safeguard their reputation, and comply with industry standards and regulations.

Why qualification checks are important

Qualification checks are vital for several reasons. Firstly, they help employers maintain the integrity of their hiring process by ensuring that candidates possess the required educational background and qualifications.

This is essential for making informed hiring decisions and selecting candidates who are genuinely qualified for the job.

Secondly, qualification checks help prevent fraud and misrepresentation. Without proper verification, individuals could falsely claim degrees and qualifications they don’t possess, potentially harming the organization’s reputation and performance.

Moreover, these checks ensure compliance with industry standards and legal requirements, especially in regulated professions where specific qualifications are mandatory. By verifying qualifications, employers demonstrate their commitment to due diligence and minimize the risk of liability.

Process of qualification checks

The process of qualification checks involves several crucial steps to ensure the accuracy and validity of an applicant’s educational credentials.

  • Candidate Disclosure: Candidates are typically required to provide information about their educational history, including the names of institutions attended, dates of attendance, and degrees obtained.
  • Contacting Educational Institutions: Employers reach out to the educational institutions listed by the candidate. This can involve contacting the registrars, admissions offices, or academic records departments to verify the candidate’s claims. Some institutions may have dedicated verification procedures.
  • Document Verification: Employers may request academic records, transcripts, or certificates directly from the educational institutions. These documents are cross-checked with the information provided by the candidate to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Third-Party Verification: Employers may also use third-party verification services or background check companies that specialize in confirming educational qualifications. These services can expedite the verification process.
  • Reporting: Once the verification is complete, employers receive a report detailing the authenticity of the candidate’s qualifications.

How long do qualification checks take?

The duration of qualification checks can vary significantly depending on several factors. Typically, the process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Factors influencing the timeline include the responsiveness of the educational institutions, the complexity of the candidate’s academic history, and the efficiency of third-party verification services if used.

Simple verifications for well-known institutions with readily accessible records may be quicker, while more complex cases or institutions with less streamlined verification processes can take longer.

Employers often aim to complete qualification checks as efficiently as possible to avoid delays in the hiring process, but it’s important to strike a balance between speed and thoroughness to ensure accurate results.

How do employers check qualifications UK?

Employers in the UK implement a multi-step process to verify the qualifications of job applicants, a crucial step in ensuring that candidates possess the requisite educational background for their roles.

Initially, they rely on the information provided by candidates in their resumes or application forms. This data typically includes details about the educational institutions attended, the degrees earned, and graduation dates.

Following candidate disclosure, employers directly contact the educational institutions mentioned in the candidate’s application.

This contact often involves reaching out to the registrar’s office, admissions department, or academic records office. Some institutions have established verification procedures to facilitate this process.

To further confirm the authenticity of qualifications, employers may request academic records, transcripts, or certificates directly from the educational institutions. These documents are meticulously cross-referenced with the information provided by the candidate, ensuring accuracy and legitimacy.

Many UK employers also opt to utilize third-party background check services that specialize in verifying educational qualifications. These services streamline communication with educational institutions and provide comprehensive reports to expedite the verification process.

In some cases, employers may access online databases or platforms that store educational records, simplifying the verification process and enhancing efficiency.

Read: How Many Students Work While at University?

What background checks do employers use UK?

In the UK, employers commonly conduct comprehensive background checks as part of their hiring process. These checks typically include:

  • Criminal Record Check (DBS): Employers often request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which reveals a candidate’s criminal history, if any, including convictions, cautions, and warnings.
  • Employment History Verification: Employers verify a candidate’s work history by contacting previous employers to confirm positions held, dates of employment, and job responsibilities.
  • Reference Checks: References provided by the candidate are contacted to gather insights into the candidate’s character, work ethic, and suitability for the role.
  • Qualification Checks: As discussed earlier, employers verify educational qualifications by contacting institutions or using third-party verification services.
  • Credit Checks: Some positions, especially in finance or roles involving financial responsibility, may require credit checks to assess an individual’s financial stability.
  • Right to Work Verification: Employers confirm a candidate’s eligibility to work in the UK by checking documents such as passports or visas.

These background checks help employers make informed hiring decisions, mitigate risks, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. The extent of the checks may vary depending on the role and industry.

How far back do employment background checks go UK?

The extent to which background checks reach back in time varies according to the job’s requirements and the industry. Generally, you can anticipate background checks to cover a minimum of five years of a candidate’s history.

However, the depth of these checks depends on factors such as the position’s responsibilities and potential risks associated with it. It’s worth noting that criminal record checks follow a distinct pattern.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) conducts three primary levels of checks: basic, standard, and enhanced. The specific level of DBS check required for a role is determined by the job’s nature and the degree of interaction with vulnerable individuals or sensitive information.

Also, read: What is Work Placement, and How Can it Help Your Career?

How do employers check employment history UK?

Employers in the UK verify employment history by directly contacting the candidate’s previous employers. This process typically involves reaching out to the human resources or personnel department of the companies listed on the candidate’s resume or application.

Employers inquire about the candidate’s dates of employment, job titles, roles, and responsibilities, and may ask if the candidate is eligible for rehire. To ensure accuracy, employers may request signed authorization from the candidate to release this information.

Reference checks, where supervisors or colleagues provide insights into the candidate’s work performance and character, may also be part of the employment history verification process. This diligent verification helps employers make informed hiring decisions and ensures the credibility of a candidate’s work history.

Read Also: Can Employers Check GCSE Results from 20 Years Ago?

Do employers check degrees UK?

In the United Kingdom, employers commonly undertake degree verification checks as an integral part of their hiring process. These checks are imperative for several compelling reasons.

Firstly, credential verification ensures that candidates indeed possess the academic qualifications they claim on their resumes or job applications.

This verification process is instrumental in making well-informed hiring decisions and selecting candidates who possess the necessary knowledge and skills for the position.

Secondly, degree checks serve as a safeguard against potential fraud or misrepresentation. Without adequate validation, individuals may falsely present their educational backgrounds, potentially compromising the fairness and reliability of the hiring process and potentially damaging the reputation of the hiring organization.

Additionally, certain professions and industries in the UK mandate specific qualifications or certifications. Therefore, employers must verify these credentials to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory standards, maintaining the integrity of the workforce.

Lastly, conducting qualification checks reflects an employer’s commitment to due diligence. This practice minimizes the risk of hiring unqualified candidates, which could have detrimental consequences for an organization’s performance and reputation.

How do employers verify college degrees?

Employers verify college degrees by directly contacting the educational institutions listed on a candidate’s resume or application. They typically reach out to the registrar’s office, admissions department, or academic records office to confirm the details provided by the candidate.

This process includes requesting academic records, transcripts, or certificates to validate the degree, major, graduation date, and other relevant information. Employers may also use third-party verification services that specialize in checking educational credentials.

These services streamline communication with institutions and provide comprehensive reports, expediting the verification process.

Also, see: <strong>Employers Verify Education</strong>

What are diploma mills?

Diploma mills are illegitimate and unaccredited institutions that offer diplomas, degrees, or academic credentials without requiring students to complete meaningful coursework or demonstrate academic proficiency.

These fraudulent operations prioritize profit over education, often granting diplomas based solely on payment or minimal effort. Diploma mills exploit unsuspecting individuals seeking quick and easy qualifications for career advancement, leading to worthless degrees that lack recognition and credibility from reputable institutions and employers.

As a result, degrees obtained from diploma mills hold no genuine educational value and can severely damage an individual’s career prospects and reputation. It’s essential to thoroughly research educational institutions to avoid falling victim to diploma mill scams.

What makes you fail a qualification check?

Several factors can lead to failing a qualification check:

  • False Information: Providing inaccurate or fraudulent information about your educational qualifications, such as claiming to have degrees or certifications you don’t possess, can result in a failed check.
  • Unaccredited Institutions: If your qualifications are from unaccredited or unrecognized institutions, they may not meet the employer’s requirements, leading to a failed check.
  • Inconsistent Information: Discrepancies between the information you provide and what educational institutions or verification services report can raise concerns and result in a failed check.
  • Incomplete Records: Failing to provide complete records or transcripts requested by employers for verification purposes can also lead to a failed check.
  • Expired Qualifications: In some cases, qualifications that have expired or are no longer valid may result in a failed check if they are a job requirement.


Knowing the employers’ checks on your qualifications can aid you prepare for an interview well, and exhume a feeling of confidence when applying for a job in the UK.

To avoid unnecessary delays during recruitment, you have to list your qualifications correctly and be prepared to verify them if required.

While a degree is a required credential, employers also value your skills and experiences, as well as honesty, when shopping for a candidate to fix in a particular job position. So focus on your strengths during the application process and give it your best shot.


Can employers see your search history UK?

In the UK, employers generally cannot access your internet search history without your explicit consent, as it falls under personal privacy protections.

Can a new employer verify previous salary UK?

In the UK, employers can request salary information from previous employers with the candidate’s consent. However, candidates are not obligated to provide this information.

What are background checks UK?

Background checks in the UK are thorough investigations conducted by employers to assess a candidate’s criminal history, employment record, educational qualifications, financial history, and right to work in the country, among other factors. These checks help employers make informed hiring decisions.



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