Fraud within recruitment

A few years ago a Training Manager with an NHS Trust in Devon was caught out by an NHS Counter Fraud audit where they discovered that she had lied about her qualifications and CIPD membership, she lost her job and received a suspended sentence.

Earlier this year in Surrey, Simon Macartney was jailed for three years after he was he had been employed for four years as a Driving Standards Manager at South East Ambulance NHS Trust where he had earned £200,000 over the period. He had used fake qualifications to secure the position from a former colleague at Surrey Police where he had been a Special Constable. Some of the documents he supplied stated he had been a Police constable with the Roads Policing Unit (Traffic). Whilst in prison he has been subject to confiscation orders to recover the money.

The lessons here are that you need a robust recruitment process, Check what your candidates are telling you and then check again. In the SE Ambulance case, they failed to check with Surrey Police. This type of fraud comes to light in the NHS because NHS Counter Fraud conducts audits and investigations on personnel files.

In parts of the public sector and certainly in the private sector there will be people who have got away with this for years. For example, I regularly see people who claim to have FCIPD membership on LinkedIn and I know for a fact they have never achieved that grade, they are committing fraud!

Likewise if you have been a CIPD member and have let your membership lapse you will no longer be entitled to use Assoc.CIPD, MCIPD, and FCIPD to do so is fraud!


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  • Very Interesting! 


    I have in the world of pharmacy come across brothers/sisters within family units (even cousins) who will 'share' a pharmacist certificate - when they have similar names! 

    We have professional body registrations, so we usually check with our professional body who is registered and expire dates etc as well as any cautions or annotations... this however does not prove the person in front of you is indeed the person holding the qualification...



  • Hi Paul

    Thanks for your post, I agree that fraud during recruitment is definitely on the increase in terms of the need to vet and check qualifications. The quality and number of forgeries that is available on the dark web has significantly increased I understand.

    Interesting comment about CIPD membership, as I know there are some HR professionals who consider once they have achieved the qualification and providing they continuously update their CPD, feel aggrieved not being able to use their hard earned qualifications. So I guess some may have a different opinion on whether this is fraud as such.

    Do you have any recommendations on companies that could be used to support the vetting of applicants?

    All the best


    • Hi Sarah,

      I don't recommend any companies that undertake this, I'm from the (Late) Ted Johns school of thought on HR, if you can't do it yourself to a good standard then you should really ask yourself if HR is the right place to be!

      One company I know of charges clients premium rates whilst paying their staff NLW, they suffer from high turnover, so you must ask yourself whether the quality of information is worth the outlay.

      Even large credit checking companies that can undertake reference checks are highly wasteful if the reference they receive doesn't contain the information they require. For example, a reference request is sent by one of these companies on behalf of a client to a large well-known company, which actually has outsourced its HR to a third party and has agreed SLA's in place which states they can only give tombstone references. This isn't acceptable to the reference requester so they continue to bombard the outsourced HR operation with further requests, and they are only allowed to send out exactly what has been sent out before and they are not allowed to talk to the other company! In the end, it is the clients who pay the bill. Wasteful? Yes. Inefficient? Definitely

      On the other matter Assoc.CIPD, MCIPD and FCIPD are membership grades, not qualifications if you let your membership lapse then you are not a member so not entitled to use membership grades. The CIPD divorced qualifications and membership grades in 2010.


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