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Getting British qualifications recognised overseas

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Hi There,

Happy Easter or Joyeuses Pâques as we say here:-)

I moved to Canada 18 months ago and finally got accepted as a resident last week. At this point I received my teacher certification from the Teacher Certification Board in Fredericton (the provincial capitol of New Brunswick). This would all be wonderful were it not for the fact that they clearly don't understand the British education system and so have applied Canadian rules to my qualifications.

In short I have been accepted as a teacher of ARTS (including Chemistry, Science and Geology) - I have a BA from Oxford and whilst I have tried to explain to Fredericton that all Oxford degrees are BA's they simply can't get their heads around this!

Then there are 6 levels of teacher certification and I have been allocated a level 4 because I have a three year degree plus a PGCE. All Canadian teachers who followed the same route as me have 4 years degrees (three year degrees don't exist here) plus teaching certification so are allocated a level 5 certificate. This means that they have greater access to promotion and are paid more than me despite being no more qualified.

I have contacted Oxford to ask if they can provide me with some proof that a three year Oxford Bachelors is equal to a 4 years bachelors from another university, but of course Frederiction will assume that Oxford are just blowing their own trumpet!

So I was wondering if any of you could help me by providing me with a name or website for an independent certification board for the UK who if necessary I could pay to write to Fredericton to politely explain that someone in the UK with an Oxford degree would not be paid less than someone from say, Cardiff with the same degree irrespective of how long it takes to attain the degree because a Bachelors is a Bachelors is a Bachelors!

The problem is that in North American all courses are allocated Credits and of course we don't have credits in the UK so I can't prove that I have the same number as anyone else!

Any hints or suggestions would be really gratefully appreciated:-)


p.s. certification is a huge issue in New Brunswick right now as they are desperate for immigrants to move here and bring their skills, but then wont take the time to assess these skills properly and pay them a decent wage.

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If I were you, I'd begin with just asking for a friendly letter from the university explaining the difference between British 3-year degrees and American 4-year degrees... There will be someone in Oxford qualified to explain. I had a similar problem 25 years ago in explaining to the American School I work at what a PGCE was! My tutor from Manchester wrote and explained to them that it was equivalent in standard to an American MA and they just accepted it...

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