Do Filipino domestic helpers need to go through training in the Philippines?

What is a Domestic Work NCII Certificate?

Domestic helpers who are hired to work in Hong Kong for the first time (also called first-time helpers) will need to fulfil the Philippine government requirement for skills certification prior to starting their new employment. This certificate is called a Domestic Work NCII Certificate.

According to government regulations in the Philippines, a first-time helper will need to carry out training for and pass a specific assessment by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in order to receive the necessary certificate.

If a domestic helper has worked in Hong Kong previously and they have a valid Domestic Work NCII certificate from before, they will not need to go through the training and assessment process again. If the certificate has expired, the certificate can be renewed.

Why do Filipino domestic helpers need to attend a training centre in the Philippines?

According to TESDA regulations, domestic helpers are mandated to attend a Domestic Work NCII training programme at a TESDA accredited training centre before taking the NCII assessment. According to TESDA regulations, there are a few exceptions to this rule, mainly:

  • Domestic helpers with at least 2 years of domestic work experience in a country other than the Philippines and Hong Kong.
  • Domestic helpers with prior industry experience in the Philippines within the last 5 years.

If the domestic helper fits into either of the two profiles above, they will not need to attend a Domestic Work NCII training prior to taking the NCII assessment.

However, attending training at a TESDA accredited training centre is not only important in order to make sure that the helper both passes the Domestic Work NCII assessment. Effective training is also key in order for the domestic helper to properly prepare for life abroad as a migrant worker. We therefore recommend all first-time domestic helpers to Hong Kong to attend training in order to be successful in their new jobs.

What do you need to look out for when choosing a training centre?

There are many training centres in the Philippines, but choosing the right one can be difficult. Choosing an unethical training centre can both waste the money of the domestic helper as well as their time. We recommend you to look out for the following:

Training centres not accredited by TESDA to provide Domestic Work NCII training

Some training centres offering training to domestic workers do not have the right accreditation with TESDA. Watch out for these training centres as they are not certified to train first-time domestic helpers ahead of their mandatory TESDA NCII assessment. You can find a list with all of the TESDA accredited training centres providing Domestic Work NCII training here.

Training centres offering unusually short training programmes

Some training centres offer so-called ‘refresher courses’ for domestic helpers, which are much shorter than the TESDA mandated training programme. These courses are not TESDA certified and focus solely on preparing the worker to pass the mandatory assessment. Unfortunately, these courses do nothing to properly prepare domestic helpers for their job abroad.

Training centres charging domestic helpers excessive fees

Some training centres charge excessive fees to domestic helpers. Oftentimes the employment agency processing the helper’s visa will force the helper to attend a certain training centre. When doing so, the helper will be charged excessive training fees which will cover both training as well as kickback fees to the employment agency referring the helper to the training centre. Note that the choice of training centre is up to the domestic helper, not the agency nor the employer.

Training centres only focusing on hard-skills and assessment preparation

Hard-skills training is not enough to prepare a migrant domestic helper for their job in a different country. Instead, effective pre-migration training needs to properly prepare the helper for both their job and their life as a migrant worker abroad. Training should therefore also include communication skills, destination-specific training, financial education, and other practical skills necessary for the success of the domestic helper in Hong Kong.

What is the Fair Training Center?

At the Fair Employment Agency we recommend Filipino first-time helpers to attend pre-migration training at the Fair Training Center

The Fair Training Center is a non-profit, social business based in Manila. Unlike most training centres in the Philippines, the Fair Training Center prepares migrant domestic helpers with the necessary skills and tools to be successful while working abroad. Fair Training Center’s curriculum is accredited with TESDA, and includes a focus on financial education, professionalism, communication skills, migration adaptation skills, and pre-migration preparation for both domestic helpers and their families.

Fair Training Center and Fair Employment Agency are independent of each other but share the same mission of making migrant worker recruitment work better for both employers and helpers through effective pre-migration training and ethical recruitment.

You can read more about the Fair Training Center here. You can also visit their website for more information, or contact them directly via Facebook or Messenger.

Last updated on November 2nd, 2023

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