NQA and Nampol Join Forces to Crack Down Qualifications Forging Syndicate
20 Oct 2014

Windhoek - The Namibian Police last week carried out a stint operation to flash out a syndicate allegedly involved in issuing fraudulent qualifications to Namibians. Preliminary information reveals that while some of the yndicate's clients were unsuspecting members of the public,some are believed to have knowingly received or bought these qualifications. The Police intervention was a joint operation with the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA). which alerted the authorities about the scheme.

The NQA, as per its mandate under the Regulations to the Evaluation of Qualifications (Government Notice 182, 2007) evaluates qualifications attained from institutions of learning outside Namibia. This is done with the aim of determining its comparable level on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). 

Recently and in the process of considering applications for the evaluation of qualifications, the NQA noted an unusually high number of suspicious qualifications ostensibly from the Spessis College in Zimbabwe. Close to 100 such qualifications were submitted for evaluation by the NQA during the past few months. This prompted the NQA to temporarily discontinue evaluating qualifications from that specific college, pending investigations into the suspicious qualifications submitted.

The investigations, which at initial level were carried out by the NQA revealed that the Spessis College is a legitimate, fully accredited training provider. However, the college authorities unequivocally confirmed the status .of the applications submitted to the NQA for evaluation as forged, which prompted the NQA to report the matter to the Namibian Police for further investigation and the culprits to be brought to book.

The NQA has recorded an increase in forged qualifications in recent months, mostly from foreign institutions and thus cautions the public that the buying and selling of qualifications is illegal and a criminal offence in Namibia. Further to that, training providers are encouraged to issue qualifications with high quality security features that make it impossible to forge them, as this is the only way to protect the integrity of their qualifications and reduce the high incidences of qualifications fraud.

In line with its mission to sustain a dynamic national framework that assures quality qualifications through credible recognition of quality learning attainments, the NQA subscribes to the highest principles of transparency, ethics and integrity. The Authority therefore views these types of actions in a very serious light as they compromise the quality and integrity of the country's education and training system. In this regard, it is the NQA's resolve that any person or institution found guilty of issuing or forging qualifications must be held accountable for their
actions and feel the full extent of the law.

The NQA would also like to assure the public that it employs the most stringent evaluation procedures aimed at detecting fraud and to ensure that people do not lay claim to unearned qualifications with which they intend either entering the employment market or to register for further studies. Namibian cannot afford such sabotage.In conclusion, the NQA would like to reiterate that it only evaluates qualifications obtained at accredited institutions and that are registered on the NQF. Therefore before enrolling at any institution of higher learning, prospective students are advised to verify the accreditation status of the institution and that the qualification they are enrolling for is registered on the National Qualifications Framework in Namibia, or the country of origin. The NQA offers a free service to any person wishing to verify any institution's accreditation status as well as the evaluation of

About the Namibia Qualifications Authority:
The NQA was established by Act 29 of 1996 and has as its mandate to exercise and perform the statutory powers, duties and functions in line with the Namibia Qualifications Authority Act no. 29 of 1996 which include but are not limited to set up and administer a National Qualifications Framework, set up the occupational standards for any occupation, job, post or position in any career structure; accredit persons, institutions and organizations providing education and courses of instruction or training and advise any person, body, institution,organization or interest group on matters pertaining to qualifications and national standards for qualifications.