background checks international schools storage

The document trail (or trial!)

Just as you will need to jump through multiple hoops to be employed at an international school, schools themselves need to collect and present these multiple documents of yours to the Government of the country they are located in. These mainly involve your certification to teach a certain subject/area. And no matter how many times you send documents, the school may ‘misplace’ them and request you send them again, so be prepared!

A background check is only as accurate as the date of the check. So, even if you have a background check uploaded to your profile; once you obtain a new job, your new employers might require a police report/background check as you exit the country of residence (for their records and to obtain the country visa).

Many teachers (those in Australian public schools, many USA public schools, etc.) are required to have mandatory fingerprinting and background checks to work in schools locally, but may not have been given a copy of the background check. It is important to know that although you might have had an initial background check, schools will likely need an additional background check(s) as you leave one job and move to their school/country.

Multiple copies in multiple places

When you decide to start the job hunting process, we advise you to update your CV/resume, scan your passport, teaching registration documents, children’s passports, and anything else you can think of, in a single folder saved in pdf versions, jpeg versions, or Apple and Microsoft file versions and upload these to a cloud-based service. After that, we advise you to upload everything to the document section of your Search profile, labelled so that you can find it easily. The original documents could be left with a trusted family member who can easily find them, just in case.

background checks international schools filing

The document section is a very convenient addition to the Search Associates profile, as speaking from personal experience, moving multiple times and multiple countries can cause chaos when it comes to accessing documents for employment. Having been originally employed internationally as a class teacher, I later wanted to teach PE at the same school. The local Government needed proof that I had majored in this at college. My transcripts were stored under our house back home that we had rented out and my university had been dismantled to make way for a car park. Add a name change through marriage and let’s just say, it took a while!

Background checks

Search Associates is an integral partner in the International Task Force on Child Protection and works closely with other recruiting agencies and international schools in an effort to preserve international schools as safe places for students.  Consequently, we are highly committed to ensuring that our candidate members have been thoroughly evaluated not just for quality of teaching but for backgrounds clear of actual or suspicious misbehavior around children.  While this means we are now asking you to provide more information than we have in the past, we trust you will appreciate that this will ultimately make you, the candidate, even more attractive to recruiters. In order to comply with the International Child Protection Task Force’s clear recommendations on best-recruiting practices, we advise you upload a background check (eg teacher registration card/document/police check) from all previous countries you have worked in (to the document section), and any proof of teaching certification such as transcripts and certifications.

Registered candidates can view information on their dashboard about SecurTest as an option for acquiring background checks. Requirements vary depending on your country of origin.

# For UK Candidates, this will be a Criminal Background Check – information available at
# For Canadian candidates, this will be a Criminal Record Check – information available at:
# For Australian candidates, this will be a National Police Certificate – information available at:
# For New Zealand candidates, this will be a Criminal Record Check – information available at
# For US candidates, this will be a Criminal Record History/ FBI Identification Record – information available at: Question: Is it better to get a police check from your state (for employment or licensing) or a national FBI check (FBI – Identity History Summary)? The State level check is specifically for domestic employment while the FBI “Identity History Summary” is more comprehensive for international employment. The FBI check covers all 50 US states for felonies and major convictions. The state checks will show arrests and misdemeanors (not necessarily proven), in addition to felonies and convictions in that state only.

Internationally, the FBI check holds more weight and is definitely more comprehensive and less time-consuming than pursuing a state-by-state check if you have lived in more than one state.

# For candidates from other countries, please contact us for further guidance on appropriate records checks.

background checks international schools security

You do not need to have a background/police check in order to register with Search Associates.

International schools are becoming more diligent in requiring background checks before a teacher receives a country visa.  Some international schools require reports from all countries of previous residence, some from your most current country of residence, and some do not yet require background checks (although this will likely change in the future).

Best practice: Background /police checks should be obtained from any country in which you have previously worked. Obtaining these checks after leaving a country is generally harder, therefore, it is a good practice to obtain these prior to leaving the country where you are presently employed and continue to do so in countries where you will be employed in the future.

Having previous background checks uploaded to your Search Associates file may help make your candidacy more attractive to recruiters.

Please check with your school’s HR department who can advise you on how to request a police check BEFORE leaving a country.

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