Foreign qualifications are hindering my career progress

07 January 2003 by
Foreign qualifications are hindering my career progress


I am working as an F&B manager in very busy three-star hotel. I have been in the catering business for more than seven years and I have a university degree. I come from Turkey and finished my studies in the UK. My first experience of work was helping my father when he was a hotel manager.

I am looking to move to a more senior position, but it is much harder than I thought. The problem is that some of the hotels I have applied to don't recognise my qualifications because they're from another country. Is this fair? Do I have to get another degree from this country, and how can I do this while I am working? What do you advise?

What the expert says

Chris Sheppardson, managing director, Chess Partnership

I do appreciate the isssues that you are facing. There are a few solutions that you might consider: - Individual hotels and groups with no presence outside the UK tend to have a rather insular approach to experience and qualifications gained outside the UK. Generally, employers prefer people with UK qualifications. This is quite natural as they can easily understand the experience gained. In contrast, international hotel groups tend to take a more flexible and open approach to qualifications or experienced gained internationally. It is probably worthwhile, therefore, to concentrate on international companies when seeking new job opportunities. - It may be possible to gain associate membership of the hotel industry's professional body the HCIMA. Over the last few years the HCIMA has been validating qualifications gained from educational establishments outside the UK. Of course, this would depend on what qualifications you have and whether the HCIMA recognises them. The best thing to do would be to contact the HCIMA directly. Its Web site ([ has contact details. Certainly, if you can state legitimately that you have associate membership it will add weight to your credibility in the eyes of a UK employer. - - There is also a range of qualifications you could gain here in the UK. Depending on how recently you completed your academic studies and what level they were, you could probably get exemption from certain parts of HND or degree courses in hospitality management. When you speak to the HCIMA about associate membership, you could ask them about relevant courses. At the same time you could consider applying directly to colleges and universities. You may be able to do a part-time or distance learning course, which would mean you could still work.
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