WAEC Certificate Collection: All You Need to Know

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The West African Examinations Council popularly called WAEC is responsible for conducting the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) at different times of the year. The certificate issued by WAEC is recognised both locally and internationally for academic and career advancements from those who schooled in Nigeria and other West African nations.

In this post, we have revealed the information on how you can collect your WAEC certificate, but first, let’s have a quick overview of the body in charge of issuing the certificate

WAEC Certificate Collection: All You Need to Know

Established in 1952, WAEC has been pivotal in the education in Anglophonic countries of West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia).

Over the years, the council has developed a team of well-trained and highly motivated staff which has ensured the efficient administration the WAEC examinations that are valid and relevant to the educational aspirations of member countries.

Over three million candidates register annually for the exams and the council is also involved in assisting other examination bodies (both local and international) in coordinating Examinations.

The history of WAEC can be traced to 1948 when the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, University of London School Examinations Matriculation Council and West African Departments of Education met concerning education in West Africa.

Eventually, the council was approved in 1951 when the legislative assemblies of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia passed the West African Examinations Council Ordinance NO. 40 approving the establishment of WAEC.

One of the key points of the ordinance was the responsibility of the council in coordinating exams and issuing of certificates to students in individual countries by the West African Examination Council.

Liberia joined WAEC in 1974 when the country’s council issued their ordinance in 1974, at the annual meeting held in Lagos, Nigeria.

The West African Examination Council is known to have a strong committee. The structure of the council is divided into three major parts: International committees, National Committees, and Subcommittees.

The International Committee treat matters affecting all member countries and also harmonizes national views pertaining to policies of the council as a whole. The National committees handle matters relating to specific member countries. It also assists in the articulation of national views on issues affecting the policy of the council as a whole. The subcommittees work on various aspects of the Council’s activities. The Finance committee, for example, is in charge of WAEC’s financial status. There are many subcommittees, and they assist both the International and National Committees.

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WAEC conducts four different categories of examinations. These include the International Examinations, National Examinations, Examinations conducted in collaboration with other examining bodies, and Examinations conducted on behalf of other examining bodies.

The International exams are taken in the five countries with the WAEC ordinance. It comprises the WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination):

  • WASCE for Private Candidates (First Series) January – February
  • WASSCE for (School Candidates) March-May
  • WASSCE for Private Candidates (Main GCE) September – October

The National examinations are taken in individual countries. They include:

  • the Junior Secondary School Certificate for Nigeria and the Gambia,
  • Junior and Senior High School Certificate Examinations for Liberia,
  • National Primary School and Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Sierra Leone,
  • Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Ghana, and
  • Senior School Certificate Examinations for Ghana.

The council also coordinates examinations in collaboration with some trustworthy examination bodies. These include the City and Guilds of London Institute and the Royal Society of Arts

Also, WAEC conducts examinations in West Africa on behalf of international examination bodies. These include:

  • University of London GCE
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test and Graduate Record Examinations for Educational Testing Service, Princeton, USA, and
  • JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board) examination in countries outside Nigeria.

WAEC issues credible and reliable certificates to candidates that participate in the Examinations. And the standard of this certificates matches with that of the United Kingdom. This is because the WAEC Ordinance empowered the council to conduct Examinations and award certificates, provided the certificates don’t have a lower standard compared to their equivalent certificates of examining authorities in the United Kingdom.

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Candidates that fail to collect their certificates within a year after its release are usually fined.

If you’re wondering how you can process the collection of your original WAEC certificate, you’re certainly on the right page

If you wrote your examination during the May/June period, you can receive your certificate from the school where you registered to write the examination.

Because WAEC usually prints and dispatches the certificates to schools for collection by candidates.

On the other hand, if you’re a private candidate, you will need to get your certificate from WAEC directly.

There are several WAEC offices in different parts of the country, so you can visit the one closest to you to make enquiries on how to collect your certificate.

Typically, you would be required to present an application letter, a sworn affidavit from the High Court, the online result print- out, one passport-size photograph, photo card and your identity card.

If it’s been more than a year since your certificate was released, you will have to pay a fee to collect your certificate. WAEC calls it a custody fee and the rate vary depending on how long your certificate was kept in WAEC’s care.

Each time you delay the processing and collection of your certificate, the amount of money you’d pay increases. So, it is better you go get your certificate as soon as possible.

We have highlighted the amounts you would pay depending on how long you kept WAEC waiting.

Years / Amounts Payable

0-4 / N3, 500

5-9 / N8, 500

10 to 14 / N13, 500

15 to 19 years / N18, 500

20 years and above / N23, 500

Once you have retrieved your certificate, you should ensure you keep it safe as it could be destroyed by insects and rodents.

However, you shouldn’t laminate the certificate, you can just keep it in a transparent bag and store safely.

So that’s it, the process of retrieving your WAEC certificate isn’t so difficult, you just need to know the right steps to take which we have compiled in this post.


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