Home Tutor Verification
Smart Tuition is well trusted by Singapore parents to recommend suitable and reliable tutors to them. Our tuition agency emphasizes a lot on the verification of identification and qualification of our home tutors.
We practise flexibility and understanding in our services, however, we are very particular over this matter. Tutors who have yet to send us their documents for verification will be dropped out from the tuition assignments even if the parents have selected them.
We firmly believe that verification does benefit all tutors as well as parents. It greatly raises the standard and integrity of our team of dedicated tutors, so that more parents will seek our tutors for help. Parents have reasons to believe that our tuition tutors are more sincere than others because our tutors go through hardship with us to verify their identities and qualification.
Document submission is another way that we are using to judge our tutors.
Why is verification so important?
There are cases of home tutors falsely claim their qualification in order to meet the requirements of the tuition assignments. This will also allow them to quote higher tuition fees. Smart Tuition wants to prevent such despicable incidents from happening.
We believe parents and students deserve to get what they have offered and tutors without integrity will bring harms to the students due to bad influence. Even though many parents do quote unrealistic tuition fees (below market rates), Smart Tuition believes tutors who are willing to take up the tuition assignments should meet the requirements stated. Our team does our best to help parents/students but we are also prepared to "lose the business" rather than to go against our conscience.
We also believe that we should put ourselves in the parents' shoes. They will need some assurance to the integrity of strangers who are stepping into their houses.
Our team may be able to judge the tutors through the interaction (registration process, phone conversation, SMS etc), however, we cannot guarantee the validity of the qualification claim simply based on our judgment. We have to answer to the parents/students.
Problems that we are facing
Home tutors verification has brought us many problems. If it is unnecessary, we would not have been spending so much time working on it. This is probably the reason most tuition agencies in Singapore do not insist their tutors to submit their documents.
Ever since we start working on our tuition agency, we have been facing lots of issues with tutors over document verification. We are very thankful to all polite tutors who have shown trust, understanding and appreciation towards us.
Sensitivity of documents
Some tutors feel that the documents are too personal to be sent even with our assurance that the documents will be kept strictly within our team and we will seek approval if parents are requesting for self-verification, and we will gladly reject the parents' requests if tutors are not comfortable with it.
It is absolutely time consuming for us to collect and verify the documents. We have quite a number of promising tutors who join our team everyday. Verifying large number of documents everyday is very tedious and boring. It has thus slowed down the progress of implementing new features to the website.
Quality of documents
When we do it, we do our best. Due to possible fabrication of documents, we have certain expectation of standard in the documents that are submitted to us. Some tutors have different opinions and may feel frustrated.
Standardizing of documents that we approve
We set a platform fair for all tutors. Ocassionally, we do receive feedback from some tutors who have finished their final examinations but have not yet received their final official transcripts. Even though we may trust the tutors who have sent us the unofficial transcript, we have to make it a point so that nobody will start challenging the system and making job difficult for us unintentionally.
Methods to create soft-copy documents
For tutors who do not have a scanner, we do accept photos taken from cameras, including camera phones. However, the contents must be reasonably visible. Your name and NRIC, the logo and header, where applicable in the original document, must also be included. For tutors who do not have both scanner and camera, you can photostat and mail them by post to us directly.
Some creative tutors do paste a post-it on top of their original documents at empty space with "only for Smart Tuition verification" before scanning or taking photos of them. We are pleased with that as long as the contents are not being blocked.
To summarise, tutors can:
- use a scanner
- use a camera
- photostat and mail to us
Physical verification of documents during first lesson
All tutors who are successfully matched with any student have to bring along his/her original documents during the first lesson. Parents/Students have the right to deny any tutor who fails to do so without paying any tuition fee.
What exactly are we verifying?
We are verifying the identity of the tutors and their qualification obtained (NIE and GCE 'O' level onwards), which we only accept the final official copies.
This applies to all tutors who have completed their studies and are waiting for the final documents from their schools - everyone is on the fair ground.
Below are some of the documents that are likely be approved given that you provide the full copy of them (including the letter header, your name and IC) in colour:
Documents must have both NRIC and full name printed.
- Singapore Identification card (most preferred)
- Birth Certificate issued in Singapore
- SAF 11B
- Singapore Driving license
- Singapore Issued Passport
- Visa for foreign student issued in Singapore
- Original certificate
- Result slip of main subjects from SEAB
- Final official transcript that indicates completion of course or status awarded
- End of year 4 report for IP students (equivalent to GCE 'O' level)
Why are my documents being rejected?
There are some documents that are not sufficient to prove that a tutor has the obtained the qualification. In cases such as GCE 'O' and 'A' level, Mother Tongue languages and Project Work (PW) can be taken months or a year before the main modules. Candidates may not have taken the main modules before dropping out. Likewise, there can be rare cases of candidates not taking the main examinations after obtaining the school graduation certificates. In order to reduce the problems of fabrication of documents, printscreen from websites will not be accepted as well.
Please note that we are verifying that we have obtained the final official certificates/transcript of all the qualification claimed by all tutors.
Documents that are insufficient for verification purpose
Printscreen from websites
Transcript that doesn't indicate completion of course
Transcript that indicates "currently pursuing the course"
Graduation certificate from schools
Certificate for the Mother Tongue Language or Project Work
Passport not issued by Singapore
Any identity card without IC number or full name
Documents will be rejected if:
- It is not readable (eg. too blur or small)
- The name or IC portions, if applicable, is not included
- The logo or letterhead of institute/school, if applicable, is not included
- It is a confirmation letter by the institute to state the completion of the course when the tutor has already obtained the final official certificate/transcript
Documents cannot be verified if:
We apologise for our limitation. In such cases, we will explain to the parents/students. Decision is up to them to accept your assistance in tutoring.
- It is not in English language
- It is not issued in Singapore
Document Submission Procedure
As we are handling quite a number of documents submission from tutors everyday, we will appreciate a lot if you can help us by following the steps below to speed up the verification process.
If you are zipping the files up before attaching them, do name the zipped file like the subject "S1234567X - Full Name" as well.
Make sure the files are readable
The files should be in correct orientation (upright) and readable. Imagine yourself as a stranger and you have to at least be able to read the name and NRIC number on the document.
Give your documents relevant filenames
You can name your files in full description or use short-form like below:
- ic - front.jpg (Identification card's front view)
- ic - back.jpg (Identification card's back view)
- o.jpg (GCE 'O' level main certificate)
- o chi.jpg (GCE 'O' level Chinese certificate)
- a.jpg (GCE 'A' level main certificate)
- a pw chi.jpg (GCE 'A' level Project Work + Chinese certificate)
- dip.jpg (Diploma certificate / transcript)
- bac.jpg (Bachelor degree certificate / transcript)
- mas.jpg (Master degree certificate / transcript)
Use the same email you have used to register with us
Some tutors own more than one email addresses. Please use the same email that you have registered with us to send us the documents. This will allow us to find you easier.
Ensure your mail client does not automatically resize images
Some email clients may resize the images before sending the email out in order to reduce file size. Usually, after the images are reduced in size, the contents become unreadable. If you have enabled the feature in your mail client, you can put your documents in a folder and zip it up before sending to us.
Send the email to "verify at smarttuition.sg"
In the "subject" field, please put your nRIC number and name as appeared on your IC such as "S1234567X - Full Name". You can leave the content field empty - do not worry about formality.
This email account is purely for downloading of tutors' documents and any enquiry should be sent to "admin at smarttuition.sg" instead.
We will download all attached files as a single zipped file with the default filename exactly the same as your email's "subject", which explains the format of it. Since we do not verify documents immediately until collecting a number of them, the proper naming of your files will help a lot and you may be rewarded.
Auto resizing of images by Email Client
Please make sure you disable the auto resizing feature of your email client before sending us your documents, otherwise, they will appear to be tiny and not viewable. Some mobile phones may have this feature in order to reduce bandwidth.
Indication of documents verified
Even though there is only indication of highest qualification verified, we do have a column (only viewable by our staffs) to indicate the documents submitted. If you are teaching 'O' or 'A' level subjects, obviously a Bachelor degree certificate cannot prove your 'O' (IP year 4) or 'A' level results, and thus, is insufficient.
Future use of your files
You should keep your documents after sending to us in case you may need them in future for other purposes.
Forgery is a crime
We will take appropriate actions against tutors who send us fake documents, by referring to the authorities and other tuition agencies.
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