Fair Trade for Teachers

Transferability of Teacher Qualifications in the Commonwealth

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International teacher migration poses a wide range of challenges to the recognition and transferability of teacher qualifications across borders. Of primary concern is ensuring that highly trained teachers are able to move freely between countries without their professional qualifications and skills being discounted.

This study aims to enhance recognition of teacher qualifications across borders and between the member countries of the Commonwealth. The comparability table developed for the study enables clear analysis of primary and secondary teacher qualifications offered in 35 Commonwealth countries, in an accessible and easy-to-read format. Country-by-country comparability tables are included as an annex to the study, and are also available separately (Commonwealth Teacher Qualifications Comparability Table; February 2010; 80pp; £10.00; ISBN 978-1-84929-015-9).

The study was prepared for the Commonwealth Secretariat by the South African Qualifications Authority.

Please note that Fair Trade for Teachers includes a copy of the Commonwealth Teacher Qualifications Comparability Table as an insert in the back pocket of the main book.




Achievement of a balance between competing principles, demands and policies is a task with which the Commonwealth Secretariat is very familiar. Balancing the concerns and demands of the diverse and complex membership represented across its 53 member countries in five continents is nothing less than ‘business as usual’. When, therefore, Commonwealth Ministers of Education requested in the Teacher Recruitment Protocol adopted in 2004, a balancing of the rights of teachers to migrate internationally against the need to protect the integrity of national education systems and prevent the exploitation of recruited teachers, this was a task which the Commonwealth Secretariat undertook on behalf of its member countries with the experience of precedent, strengthened by full knowledge of its goals, objectives and aspirations.


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