How to get an apostille for City & Guilds qualifications
  1. The original & copy of the NVQ qualification can be apostilled
  2. Both the original and copy must be solicitor certified
  3. Email, post, or deliver your vocational qualifications in person
  • 10-12 day service from £98
  • 3-4-day service from £120
  • 1 day (next business day) from £130
  • 1-day e-Apostille from £167

The price includes admin fees, solicitor certification, apostille certificate, FCDO fees, and VAT.

For us to be able to solicitor certify your City & Guilds vocational qualification, the solicitors need to see the original certificate. The same goes for NVQ, ESOL, QCF, RQF etc.

Let us know if we should apostille the original or a certified copy.

If you only have a COPY, or a digital download (PDF), our solicitors will require proof that your copy/PDF is genuine. This can be achieved by asking the issuing university to send an email to our solicitors directly. 

Originals do not require proof for the solicitor or notary. 

We can return the legalised documents via DHL or Royal Mail (next-day service), or you can collect them in person from our London office.

Jump to: How much does it cost? ↓ How long does it take?

The full order process

Step one:

Make sure that your National Vocational Qualification(NVQ) can be legalised with an apostille. Your certificate should not be damaged or altered in any way.

Step two:

Contact our office.

When emailing, please provide the following information:

  • In which country will your NVQ be used?
  • Should we legalise the original or a certified copy?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?
  • How will the NVQ qualification be delivered and returned?

When we have all the information, the team will assess your enquiry and give you a quotation.

If you accept the quote, the process of getting an apostille starts.

Step three:

Once your City & Guilds qualification has been apostilled, we will send you a scanned copy via email.

If you are not collecting your apostilled document from our London office – we will provide you with the tracking number given by the courier.

Note that we return documents by DHL or Royal Mail only. If you want to make other arrangements, please let us know.


How much does it cost?

For personal documents, prices are as follows:

  • 10-12 day service from £98
  • 3-4-day service from £120.
  • 1-day (next business day) from £130
  • 1-day e-Apostille from £167

The price includes admin, solicitor, FCDO, and VAT fees. Business documents incur an additional processing fee.

There could be additional costs, depending on another service you choose and how many documents you wish to apostille. Additional cost examples are:

  • Translations start from £65
  • Notarisation by notary public (+ £96)
  • Return delivery costs (+ £12)
  • Embassy legalisation (from + £75)

How long does it take to get an apostille?

There are 4 options for getting an apostille.

Option one: 10-12 days:

Your documents are “posted” to the FCDO in Milton Keynes and then posted back to our office – or your address. This process usually takes about 10 business days.

Option two: 3 to 4 days:

  • If documents arrive by 10:30 am, it will take 2 days
  • If documents arrive after 10:30 am, then it will take 3 days
  • Documents are submitted and collected in person

Option three: 1 day (next business day)

  • Documents must arrive before 10:30 am for the next-day service.
  • Documents can be collected around 3:30 pm the next day.
  • Documents are submitted and collected in person

Option four: e-Apostille 1 to 2 days 

Electronic apostilles are usually completed within 24 hours but can take two working days, depending on the FCDO’s workload.

Document receipt and return services

We have several ways documents can be delivered and returned like, email, in-person, post, or private courier.

Are City & Guilds qualifications recognised outside the UK?

Yes. City & Guilds vocational qualifications are recognised in more than eighty countries worldwide [1].

You need to certify and apostille the qualification to get them legally recognised. Hague member countries only require an apostille, whereas non-members might also require embassy legalisation and notarisation.

Are ESOL qualifications internationally recognised?

Yes. Some ESOL qualifications are designed to be recognised internationally. ESOL International qualifications are not the same as ESOL Skills for Life.

ESOL Skills for Life are primarily intended for speakers of other languages who wish to live and work in the UK or another English-speaking country.

ESOL International qualifications are intended to be evidence of English language proficiency in any country.

What are QCF and RQF?

The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) was the national transfer system for education qualification in England, Northern Ireland and Wales until October 2015 [3].

The QCF has now been replaced by the Regulated Qualification Framework or RQF [4].

The aim of these frameworks is to indicate which qualifications are at a similar level because they require similar time and work. The RQF recognises that, although qualifications may be at a similar level, they are not necessarily directly equivalent [5].

City & Guilds vocational qualifications examples with apostille certificate
City & Guilds vocational qualifications examples with apostille certificate (image credit see references)

Why do I need apostilles for my vocational qualifications?

Overseas authorities can request that you legalise your qualifications with an UK apostille from the FCDO. Here are a few circumstances when an apostille may be required or requested:

  • You are a UK national who has completed a City & Guilds qualification and you wish to use it to gain employment overseas.
  • You are a UK national who has completed a City & Guilds qualification and you wish to use it to gain further education overseas.
  • You are an international student who has completed a City & Guilds qualification in the UK, and you wish to use it to gain employment in your home country.
  • You are an international student who has completed a City & Guilds qualification in the UK, and you wish to use it to enter into a professional register in your home country.

Who can ask for apostilles for my vocational qualifications?

Apostilles for vocational qualifications are usually requested by prospective employers when you apply to work overseas. They may also be requested for the purposes of study or further training.

Can I get apostilles for qualifications issued in another country?

No. The FCDO provides apostilles only for qualifications issued by a recognised authority in the UK.

Apostilles for foreign qualifications are issued in the country from which the qualification was obtained.

Can I get apostilles with copies of my qualifications?

Yes. The FCDO will accept copies of your qualifications provided the copies have been certified by a solicitor or notarised by a notary public.

Authorities and employers in some countries may require notarisation of your original certificates by a notary public or may ask for other legal confirmations and embassy attestation.

Always check the requirements in the destination country.

Is additional documentation required if I apply for an apostille from outside the UK?

No additional documentation or certification of your vocational qualifications will be needed to get an apostille if we are applying for the apostille on your behalf.

Can I get an Apostille for my vocational qualifications even if I no longer live in the UK?

Yes. Provided your vocational qualifications were issued in the UK, you can get an apostille from the FCDO. The FCDO does not supply apostilles for qualifications obtained outside the UK.

We can deliver your documents and apostilles to you in any part of the world.

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

[1] City and Guild recognition list (mention)
https://www.cityandguilds.com/-/media/productdocuments/learning/

Vocational Training – Qualifications – City & Guilds (about)
https://www.cityandguilds.com/qualifications-and-apprenticeships/qualifications-explained

[2] Criteria for English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) Qualifications
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/

[3] Qualifications and Credit Framework  (QCF)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualifications_and_Credit_Framework

[4] Explaining the RQF – Vocational and technical qualifications
https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2015/10/01/explaining-the-rqf/

[5] Apostille Section
https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/specialised-sections/apostille

Image copyright credit:
https://www.cityandguilds.com/