My next move

Q I plan to move to the UK in February next year from Australia. Although I have a degree in health sciences and a masters of business management (HRM), and am responsible for more than 4,000 employees across three states in engineering, UK employers only seem to recognise a CIPD qualification. I am willing to exchange with people wanting to move to Australia. Is there any way to set up such a scheme?

A There are a number of organisations and recruitment companies that already have such schemes in place. However, they may not work at a senior enough level to suit your skills and background.

It may prove difficult to set up your own scheme, except on an informal basis, as you would need to promote this to UK nationals explaining your offer of services. The second aspect to consider is the visa requirements. As you are probably aware, unless you are an EU national, you will need a visa to work in the UK likewise, a UK candidate will need a visa to work in Australia.

If you decide to set up your own scheme, you might want to consider the following:

  • What qualifications would a UK citizen need in Australia?
  • What guarantees could you offer? Visa assistance? Accommodation assistance?
  • How would you attract candidates to offer an exchange?
  • How would prospective clients interview these candidates?
  • Would you interview them first, before presenting them to a client?
  • What can you offer that would be different for a prospective candidate moving to Australia?
  • How would you engage their interest and commitment to ensure that the exchange via your scheme was better than going through an established route?

If you are an experienced professional with relevant postgraduate-level qualifications from the past 10 years, then CIPD accreditation through prior certificated learning (APCL) might be an option. The APCL will assess your postgraduate-level qualification(s) against its professional standards. If successful, you will then be awarded exemptions from the CIPD Professional Development Scheme (PDS). You can be accredited with up to six modules from the PDS based on this, and it may be the best way for you to become a member of the CIPD.

Not all companies request that staff have a qualification and the request is normally a safeguard to ensure, among other things, an understanding of UK employment legislation.

by Gail Bell, managing director, Interim Performers

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