The going concern principle in accounting, also known as continuing concern concept or continuity assumption, means that a business entity will continue to operate indefinitely, or at least for another twelve months.

“Oh No! Not another boring lecture”… Relax, I don’t intend to mimic your college professor! Some of you still have nightmares about him/her! Rather, a recent assignment got me thinking about this principle in relation to Certificates both Academic and Professional. Do they have an expiration date or are they valid indefinitely?!

It is common practice around the world for archiving professionals to destroy outdated records pegged on “x” number of years. One reason is to ensure adequate storage is available and secondly, the records have lost relevance to the users. Only the extremely important records may be housed in museums or national archives for historical benefit. Did you know the same fate befalls Certificates that you labored for so many years to acquire?!

Here are interesting scenarios: You attended school in the “ice age” or the institution no longer exists or the referee died a few years back or the backup records were destroyed at their premises. In all these cases, there’s simply no one in the present to certify your “papers” though they are legit?!

You all know that HR professionals are accustomed to conducting “reference” checks on potential employees. This is where “we” go back in time to check out your legitimacy. Based on my introduction to this piece, what happens when there’s simply no “background” for the checks?!

Now that you have read this article, i suggest you visit the relevant institutions you attended and have the reference letters issued or copies of the testimonials certified in the coming weeks. Then you can have them in the safety of your personal files before the sources vanish!

For those who have already succumbed to the aging fate, do not be alarmed. The HR professionals are not supposed to be sadistic and a “good” one always has a Plan B if everything else checks out about you.

First, we will hire such persons based on the number of years worked. That’s where we have an additional statement in the job advert / memo saying “an added advantage” regarding experience or alternative training. And NO, you cannot trick “us” it always shows during probation whether or not you are the real deal.

Second, we do not expect you to keep going back to training every waking day especially since it’s not always a pocket and schedule friendly venture. If you already serve in the company, we remain content with the skills you have provided over the years as we prepare a successor and wait for your retirement. Your track record has it’s own voice!

Remember, you will always remain skillful in your area of specialization long after the institutions become obsolete. The know-how was always within you, not behind the classroom walls. They just showed you how to “extract” it?!

You can now give a sigh of relief and allow the archives departments continue with their job!