Buy your training and certification from an accredited provider
Suzy Gunn – Quality Director, PeopleCert
When seeking a valid business, IT or language training course and certification, people must be more vigilant than ever: the risk of being scammed is very real.
The scale of unscrupulous and unaccredited training providers has got worse, with the number of whistleblowing reports about such companies increasing by 129% year-on-year*.
Whistleblowers are regularly contacting us about fraudulent activity all around the world, in many countries on every continent (except Antarctica!).
This means – as the intellectual property (IP) guardians for Axelos, PeopleCert and LanguageCert training and certification – we are taking even stronger action than before to handle these infringements.
In addition, there are actions that candidates can take today to reduce their risk of buying from unlicensed sources:
- Check whether a company is on our list of accredited providers. If a training provider is on that list, we have validated the company and you can see what they are accredited for.
- Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through one of our support channels to double check whether a training company is accredited or not – this will reduce your risk and potentially save you money.
What happens when learners are deceived?
Training and learning candidates investing in their professional development want to improve their knowledge, skills and gain validation through certificates.
Many candidates need it for employment – to either get a job or progress in their current role – and it can even be a requirement from their employer. Therefore, as a route to better prospects and earnings, there is a lot depending on genuine training and exams.
If people buy spurious training with a non-accredited provider, they cannot guarantee that the training will happen or, if it does, what the quality of the training will be. And they may receive a certificate that cannot be validated or otherwise does not provide what they need for employment.
Ultimately, being deceived in this way means the candidate will have neither genuine knowledge nor bona fide proof of their knowledge and skills.
What does fraud look like in training and certification – and what is PeopleCert doing about it?
The growth in e-commerce has made it much easier for fraudulent training businesses to operate.
For example, in India a seemingly professional website purporting to offer our Lean Six Sigma training and certification was actively scamming people before we stepped in to have it removed by hosting providers. However, the most determined fraudsters will refuse to go away, pursuing web hosting elsewhere.
Within the PeopleCert Quality Team, we have set up a new team for IP management and infringement, solely focused on dealing with this issue. This means we will be better equipped to take a proactive approach, identify issues, and act. The team is being bolstered with additional members to ensure we’re assertive with wrongdoing and willing to take legal action when necessary.
There will also be a new area on the PeopleCert and Axelos websites where people can report issues quickly and easily, which will feed directly into the work of the infringement team. In the interim, reports can be sent to our dedicated mail box at email@example.com to be picked up and acted upon directly.
In addition, we have engaged an independent, global agency to conduct mystery shopping exercises; again, helping us to pinpoint fraudulent providers and protect both our partners and training consumers from bad practices.
We are investing heavily to ensure that everyone purchasing training, learning and certification gets what they pay for and that – as far as possible – fraud in our sector will be minimised. And this is ultimately good news for the legitimate training providers in the market.
PeopleCert is committed to doing all it can to protect the integrity and security of its certifications and community, and we will continue to take stringent action to safeguard all potential candidates by educating them about the risks of fraud and encouraging them to take a moment before handing over payment details and verify that the exam provider is genuine and accredited by us.
*PeopleCert whistleblowing data: Q1 2022 versus Q1 2021.