Applying for a CARICOM Skills Certificate - What you need to know.
Under the free movement clause of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), skilled persons are entitled to move and work freely throughout the region.
These include university graduates, media practitioners, artists, musicians, sportspersons, managers, technical and supervisory staff attached to a company or a self-employed person.
But while university graduates only need to show their degrees to be granted a CARICOM Recognition of Skills Qualification, other professionals such as sportsmen, musicians and artists, are required to present other documents.
The CARICOM Secretariat outlines that even within these broad areas, there are more specific categories. In sport for example, different documents are required from athletes as opposed to coaches, whilst athletes have to be registered as a professional or semi professional in their field, coaches need to give proof of their affiliation to the respective sport federation, their tenure in the profession and their qualifications regarding their job.
The list of requirements for coaches is also further broken down by the sport activity itself. This means that cricket coaches are required to present a different set of documents than football or track and field coaches. Cricket coaches for example, have to present their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Senior Coaching Certificate, documentation that proves their affiliation to the National Cricket Association and also documentation that says that they have been coaches in the region for the past three years.
Football coaches are required to show their diplomas from reputable institutions, examples of which are: the FIFA level 3 Academy Coaching Diploma, the Brazil Football Academy Coaching Diploma or the Football Association of England Coaching Diploma. They should also be practising coaches within the last 18 months and affiliated to their country’s National Football Federation.
On the other hand, track and field coaches are required to present their International Amateur Athletic Federation Level 11 Coaching Certificates in sprints and hurdles, throws and jumps or middle and long distance running.
If they do not have these documents, they may present their coaching diploma, from a reputable institution, along with proof of practical experience within the last two years or present evidence of their affiliation with their country’s National Athletic Association.
Artists or musicians fall into four separate categories and each grouping has specific documentation requirements.
Category one consists of visual, performing, literary, plastic, folk and carnival artists. To be granted the skills certificates they will have to prove the community or national impact that their work has, give a record of awards granted by professional or national bodies and/or a record of employment in the field.
Category two artists or musicians are technicians such as stage or road managers and light and sound operators. They should also prove the national impact of their activities, give a track record or give evidence of special training in the specific field in order to be granted the skills certificate.
Support staff such as road crew, which is different from road managers, constitute the third category. To be granted the skills certificate, they have to prove that they are attached to an artist or musician.
In category four is the arts educator, who has no university certification, but is qualified up to a certain level within the education system and/or has evidence of special training in the specific field.
Skilled CARICOM nationals, who wish to exercise their right under the Free Movement clause under the CSME, can either apply for the skills certificate in either the host or home state.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Free Movement of Persons Act, 1997, is a legislation that all CARICOM Member States should have in place since December 2005.
It allows for free movement of skilled labour in six categories and persons can qualify for Skills Certificates, which allow for free movement across the CARICOM region.
For further information, you can visit the CARICOM website at http://www.caricom.org/.