A senior Glasgow midwife who used a fake degree certificate to apply for a “lucrative” role in Saudi Arabia has been suspended by regulators.
Mary Clarke admitted sending the certificate to an employment agency stating she had achieved a Master of Science Degree from Napier University.
However, she was rumbled after it emerged the document was signed by a university chancellor who had been dead for four years.
The midwife, a senior charge midwife at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, was applying for a post as assistant director of nursing for maternal and child at King Fahad Military Medical Complex in Dhahran in the Eastern Province.
She listed the degree on her CV and on the job application form.
Napier Univerity alerted the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) saying they had no record of the midwife being awarded a master’s degree.
The certificate was dated July 13 2007 and contained the signature of a previous chancellor who had passed away in 2003.
A university witness told an inquiry that the formatting of the text on the degree certificate was not in keeping with its house style and “unlike anything she had seen in 20 years”.
The NMW said the midwife’s “premeditated act” had been motivated by financial gain.
She admitted to falsely claiming she had been awarded the degree in a job application and CV and sending a fake certificate.
A third charge that she knew she had not been awarded the qualification was found proved by the NMC.
The inquiry heard from four witnesses including the managing director of the English recruitment agency she used to apply for the job in Saudi and a senior teaching fellow in midwifery at Napier University.
It emerged that the midwife had enrolled for a master’s degree course but had only obtained 75 module credits out of the required 180.
She had achieved an exit award postgraduate in teaching and learning in higher education.
The midwife claimed she was told by a university lecturer that other courses she had completed would count towards credits for a master’s degree.
However, she was unable to explain why a transcript outlining the modules she had completed did not include the other courses she is said to have discussed with the course leader.
Ms Clarke said she was relying on the lecturer going to the exam board to confirm whether the additional work would be sufficient to obtain the degree.
However, the NMC said it was “not plausible” that she would not have followed this up with the university.
The midwife described the job she had applied for as “lucrative” and admitted that having a Masters would be beneficial for her application.
Her solicitor told the inquiry that she had fully complied with the NMC investigation, turned down promotions while the investigation was ongoing and enrolled with the University of West of Scotland to complete her master’s degree.
The inquiry found she had shown genuine remorse for her actions and had a previously unblemished 24-year career in midwifery.
However, the NMC said she was guilty of serious misconduct and she was suspended from the nursing register for nine months.
A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it did not comment on individual cases and said all HR procedures are managed in line with national policy.