The path to a top-flight career is usually built on a foundation of years of study, involving plenty of hard work as well as numerous sacrifices when it comes to ones social life and leisure interests. But, in an increasingly international and competitive job market, the checking of academic credentials has become ever more complex and time-consuming. This situation has created a window of opportunity for the unscrupulous and the lazy and it now seems that a significant number of the CVs in circulation are based on little more than imagination and fabrication. “The French recruitment sector is well aware of the fact more than a third of the applications for a job are fraudulent”, says David Goldenberg, co-founder and CEO of CVTrust. “The falsification of skills ‘affairs’ that have shaken us in recent months are therefore only the tip of an iceberg which can destroy the trust that is, however, vital in the world of work.” Some estimates place the cost to the global economy of this ‘skills fraud’ as high as US$10 billion, as employers end up with incompetent, as well as dishonest, recruits. Alongside this, is the injustice inflicted on bona fide job applicants, cheated out of positions their academic achievements merit. Already adopted by institutes such as the MIT Sloan School of Management, INSEAD and IMD, CVTrust’s Smart Certificate aims to beat the cheats by providing a reliable and cost-effective online means to certify and check academic backgrounds. The Smart certificate system is designed to: allow academic bodies to grant certified credentials and monitor their graduates; enable those graduates to send their certified credentials to recruiters in one secure step; and, give recruiters a one-click method to check academic credentials. At the beginning of this month, the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE) adopted the Smart Certificate as a means to secure the integrity of its certificates and diplomas. The CGE represents French and international higher education and research establishments offering programmes at Master’s level and beyond. “Our 216 member establishments pursue a common goal: the constant search for educational excellence in direct association with economic and civil society players”, explains Francis Jouanjean, CGE Managing Director. “We therefore had to protect this confidence capital constituted by our alumni’s diplomas, and [the] CVTrust solution perfectly meets this challenge”.