Is SERI the agency responsible for issuing recognition certificates for foreign qualifications in education science?
Teachers wishing to work at pre-school (Kindergarten), primary school, lower-secondary school, upper-secondary school (within the academic sector) or in special education should contact the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education.
SERI is only responsible for foreign qualifications relating to teaching at upper-secondary schools within the VET sector as well as at schools that offer tertiary-level B continuing education and training.
Do teachers need to have specific language proficiency?
Teachers wishing to work at upper-secondary schools within the VET sector as well as at schools that offer tertiary-level B continuing education and training need to speak one of Switzerland’s official languages (German, French or Italian) either as their mother tongue or at C2 level (confirmed by a corresponding language proficiency certificate).
Exception: teachers who only need to teach a foreign language at a VET school or at a professional college. Such individuals only need to produce a language proficiency certificate showing that they have reached B2 level in German, French or Italian.
Does my teaching qualification have to be officially recognised by the government of the country where it was issued or will any teacher training programme do?
The recognition procedure is only open to holders of teaching qualifications that have been issued or recognised by the government of the country where the qualifications were issued.
I did not follow a purely academic educational path. Will I have problems getting my teaching qualification recognised?
No, quite the opposite in fact. Switzerland only allows individuals to hold teaching positions at VET schools (upper-secondary level), or CET schools (tertiary B level) if they have work experience in the given profession. Some teaching positions require prospective teachers to have completed a three-to-four year apprenticeship or a six-month traineeship.
In my home country, I am authorised to train apprentices in host companies and I have a corresponding qualification. Who do I need to contact to obtain a recognition certificate?
Cantonal VET/PET agencies are responsible for recognising such qualifications. You should only obtain a recognition certificate if you also wish to train apprentices in Switzerland.