ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has launched an online degree attestation system through which applicants can apply to have their degrees attested.

A press release stated that the HEC has created a new portal that applicants can use for online registration and to create an account.

The system has been designed to facilitate degree holders with a hassle free mechanism, and means they will no longer have to queue in person to have their documents attested.

A user can apply for attestation by filling an online application form and uploading scanned documents. Once submitted, the application will initially be scrutinised online by the HEC.

The applicant will then receive an email or SMS to schedule a visit to an HEC office in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar or Quetta.

The applicant must bring original documents and a copy to receive attested degrees within a short time. If the applicant sends someone else for the scheduled visit, that person should carry an authority letter from the applicant.

There is also an option to have degrees attested using a courier service, for which the applicant will have to select the option for attestation through courier and submit documents and a fee with the courier company whose details are provided on the portal.

There is also a two step verification process for PhD applicants. From the dashboard, applicants will be navigated to the PhD country directory (PCD), and the system will conduct a search based on the CNIC number or email address provided by the user. The user will then add a PCD serial number and fill out the data verification form. The HEC will verify the record for subsequent attestation.

Visits can be rescheduled in case the applicant fails to appear at the time prescribed, and the system also allows for applications to be tracked online.

The new system for degree attestation has been connected to the Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR). If a degree programme is not listed in the PQR, an application will not be able to proceed with attestation.

In such an event, the applicant can contact the focal person at the relevant university and request the entry of the programme into the PQR. A list of focal persons is available on the attestation portal.

Although most universities have been completing entries to the PQR proactively, universities with a slower response are being advised to entry their degree programmes to the PQR as soon as possible to streamline attestation and other related processes.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2017

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