Why a Letter of Professional Standing is important for teachers


Have you any plans of teaching outside Nigeria? You are already aware that teaching is one profession that is regulated, like every other profession.  After obtaining a teaching licence through the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), a Letter of Professional Standing is required for you to be licensed a teacher in the other country.

The letter had become mandatory on all teachers following the 2009 resolution by members of the  International Forum of Teaching Regulatory Authorities (IFTRA). The IFTRA is umbrella body of teaching regulatory agencies in various countries for the purpose of the regulation of the teaching profession globally.  Nigeria’s TRCN is a member of this organisation with its headquarters at the General Teaching Councils for Wales, in the United Kingdom.

All members of the IFTRA resolved back then, that teachers wishing to teach in other countries were required to mandatorily get a Letter of Professional Standing from their countries before their application for teaching licenses in the foreign countries could be considered. In the guide to obtaining a teaching licence in Nigeria, recall I pointed out certain amounts of money needed being paid for one to be accredited a licensed teacher. Beyond that is that someone requiring a ‘Letter of Professional Standing’ needs to pay 40 thousand naira, to Nigeria’s teaching professional regulatory authority, the TRCN.

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TRCN regularly receives letters from all over the world requesting it to provide confidential professional report and assessment of Nigerians who have applied to teach in the various countries.

It uses the Professional Standards for Nigerian Teachers as guide in writing such reports. Professional Standards for Nigerian Teachers are abstractions of the National Minimum Academic Benchmarks for various Teacher Education Programmes in Nigeria, as well as several national and international legal frameworks and education policies which must guide the practice of the teaching profession in Nigeria and in the international community.

If you had ever applied to teach in a foreign country, you would have noticed that part of the requirements to teach there is a teaching licence. In a case where you had been teaching in your home country prior to then as stated in your resumé, you would have to state your licence number. The employer in the foreign country would thereafter need to verify your professional standing through the teacher regulatory agency in your home country.

It is very clear that in most countries of the world today, teaching is taken very seriously as a profession and that Nigerians who fail to get favourable report from the TRCN cannot get the teaching employment they seek to have outside Nigeria.

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Therefore, you’ve got to be of good conduct as a teacher in Nigeria even as you dream of practicing the teaching profession outside Nigeria. I wish you all the best in your sojourn teaching abroad.


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