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UK Recruiters vs Prospective Employees with Foreign Qualifications.

Dear CIPD community,

My message addresses all HR and L&D practitioners that operate in the UK (this information is also applicable/viable to others), especially those who are involved directly or indirectly with the recruitment and selection and background checks for verification and decision-making purposes. This information will hopefully help CIPD HR and L&D members decrease their risk of losing potentially skilled candidates.

The United Kingdom is a multi-diverse country and a very attractive market for international students, expats and scholars from other countries. Having said, these groups are looking for work in the UK, already settled in the UK or planning to change careers/jobs in the UK. Most of them will have foreign education as well as have been educated in the UK. However, this group also includes British expats and CIPD members who may have obtained a non-UK degree and you maybe one of them.

When non-UK qualification holders make a job application and submit their foreign qualifications, it may put some recruiters off, confused, don’t understand how to compare it or don’t know where to look for the right authorities/information. Usually this means some or most potentially skilled candidates could be overlooked for various reasons. However, some candidates will have the proper evaluation document provided by UK NARIC.

UK NARIC stands for ‘National Recognition Information Centre’. The UK NARIC is a national agency and is responsible for providing information, advice and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications and skills from all over the world. They issue a document called Statement of Comparability ‘SOC’ which basically informs UK employers/recruiters what their foreign education corresponds to in the UK market. This means recruiters can request the individuals to present a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability for their foreign education.

However, decision makers can take a more direct approach, if they don’t want to wait too long. UK NARIC offers practical training courses held face to face and online to better understand foreign qualifications and what they may compare to in the UK and offer training in detecting fraudulent documents. You as a recruiter with UK NARIC training or similar can be properly equipped in the recruitment and selection decision phase. Which means you as a recruiter will decrease the risk of losing a potentially skilled candidate/s.

If recruiters and decision makers encounter candidates holding professional non-UK qualifications, they can get advice from UK Centre for Professional Qualifications ‘CPQ’. There are also other UK bodies, I would recommend CIPD members to go on to the UK NARIC website to find out more about the organisation and its services.

This information is helpful for:

  • Recruiters/ Recruitment agency
  • CIPD HR and L&D
  • Those holding foreign degrees
  • CPD
  • Indirectly involved in the recruitment and selection phase/decision making.

I hope this information helps.

Regards Assoc Umar S.

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