The Kenya National Examinations Council(KNEC) PROFILE and HISTORY


The Kenya National Examinations Council (also referred to as KNEC or the Council) was established in 1980 under the Kenya National Examinations Council Act Cap 225A of the Laws of Kenya. This Act (Cap 225A of 1980) was repealed in 2012 and replaced with KNEC Act No. 29 of 2012.

KNEC was established to take over the functions previously undertaken by the defunct East African Examinations Council and the Ministry of Education to conduct school, post school and other examinations. The establishment of the Council followed the breakup of the East African Community and the need for an institution to take over control of such examinations to ensure their validity and reliability; and to ensure conformity to Kenya�s goals and changes in Government policy relating to the curriculum and examinations.

The KNEC Mandate

According to section 10 of the Kenya National Examinations Council Act No. 29 of 2012; KNEC is mandated to:

  • set and maintain examination standards;

  • conduct public academic, technical and other national examinations within Kenya at basic and tertiary levels;

  • award certificates or diplomas to candidates in such examinations;

  • confirm authenticity of certificates or diplomas issued by the Council upon request by the government, public institutions, learning institutions, employers and other interested parties;

  • issue replacement certificates or diplomas to candidates in such examinations upon acceptable proof of loss or damage of the original;

  • undertake research on educational assessment;

  • advice any public institution on the development and use of any system of assessment when requested to do so, and in accordance with such terms and conditions as shall be mutually agreed between the Council and the public institution;

  • promote the international recognition of qualifications conferred by the Council;

  • advice the Government on any policy decision that is relevant to, or has implications on, the functions of the Council or the administration of examinations in Kenya;

  • do anything incidental or conducive to the performance of any of the preceding functions.

KNEC Core Functions

The core functions of the Council are to:

  • develop national examination tests;

  • register candidates for the KNEC examinations;

  • conduct examinations and process the results;

  • award certificates and diplomas to successful candidates;

  • issue replacement certificates and diplomas;

  • conduct educational assessment research;

  • carry out equation of certificates and diplomas issued by other credible examining boards;

  • conduct examinations on behalf of foreign examination boards;

Core Values

In its operations; the Council is guided by the following values:

  • respect to rule of law as stipulated in the Constitution; the KNEC Act No. 29 of 2012; Basic Education Act No. 27 of 2012 and other laws of the land;

  • responsiveness to national and sectoral policies;

  • strict adherence to examination regulations in the conduct of examinations;

  • maintenance of high level of efficiency, integrity and honesty by all Council employees and contracted professionals involved in the conduct of examinations;

  • conducting examinations that are relevant, fair, valid and reliable;

  • responsiveness to public needs in service delivery;


To be a world class organization in assessment for quality education


To objectively assess learning achievements in order to safeguard and enhance globally acceptable educational certification standards

The KNEC Business

The business of KNEC is to administer examinations and issue certificates to successful candidates, equate certificates issued by other examining bodies, and to carry out research on educational assessment


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