CHAPTER 4

Authenticity

RELEVANT ARTICLES RCP

  1. In view of the occurrence of falsified qualifications and diplomas as well as other documents, verification of the authenticity of documents is important. Such verification seeks to establish:
    1. whether the documents in question are genuine, i.e. whether they have been issued by the institution indicated in the document and whether they have not subsequently been unlawfully altered by the applicant or others; and,
    2. whether the documents in question have in fact been rightfully issued to the applicant.
  2. While the need to establish the authenticity of documents as a part of the assessment procedure is therefore very real, this need should nonetheless be balanced against the burdens placed upon applicants. The basic rules of procedure should assume that most applicants are honest, but they should give the competent recognition authorities the opportunity to require stronger evidence of authenticity whenever they suspect that documents may be forged. While certified photocopies of official documents will be sufficient in most cases, the competent recognition authorities should be in a position to require original documents where this is considered necessary for the purpose of detecting or preventing the use of forged documents.
  3. States are encouraged to review any national laws requiring overly complicated and costly authentification procedures, such as full legalisation of all documents. Modern communications tools make it easier to verify the authenticity of documents in less cumbersome ways and competent recognition authorities and education institutions of home countries are encouraged to react swiftly and positively to requests for direct information on documents claimed to have been issued by them.