UPDATED 4/21/15

Korvia sat down with EPIK program officials at the EPIK headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday, to discuss the future of the program as well as new program policies. While some of the policies will not take effect until next year, it’s safe to say that 2015 will feature some of the biggest changes to EPIK eligibility policies to date.

Earlier this month, EPIK reversed its decision to not use recruiting agencies and selected 4 agencies to be official partners of the program. Korvia Consulting was selected as one of the 4 agencies and will partner with EPIK for the 2015 and 2016 school year.

READ: EPIK Program Selects Korvia as 1 of 4 Official Recruiters for 2015

If you plan on applying to the EPIK program for the Fall 2015 intake or beyond, you need to be aware of these 5 big policy changes:

1.  TEFL Now Compulsory for English & Linguistics Majors

Perhaps one of the biggest changes was EPIK announcing that those who majored in English or Linguistics for their Bachelor’s degree will now need to complete a TEFL/TESOL course; only those who possess a Bachelor’s degree in Education will be exempt from the requirement.

Originally English, Linguistics, and Education majors were able to enter on a higher payscale level and were therefore not required to complete a TEFL or TESOL course. The change will surely send many who originally did not think they needed a TEFL certificate to get certified in time for the Fall intake.

image graphic news epik2015changes teflteacher - 5 Big EPIK Program Changes for 2015 and Beyond

2.  In-Class TEFL Component Required for Busan and Gyeongnam

UPDATED: 4/21/15 – Korvia has modified this information to better reflect official statements

For EPIK applicants wishing to teach in the popular metropolitan city of Busan, they will need to complete a 100-hour TEFL course that has an in-class component comprised of 50-hours or more. Applicants that wish to apply for the surrounding Busan area known as Gyeongsangnam-do, applicants will need to complete a 100-hour TEFL course that has an in-class component comprised of 20-hours or more.

3. Applicants Must Now Submit a Smoking Refrainment Declaration

All applicants are now required to sign a sworn declaration form stating that they will refrain from smoking at their school or in sight of students or co-workers.

As stated in the document that must be sent with an applicant’s final documents package:

“I will refrain from smoking in public areas where there is a reasonable chance where I may be seen by students or co-workers. In addition, I will not smoke in the following settings: Offices of Education, Educational Institutes, or other venues designated by my school/supervisor/EPIK officials.”

image graphic news epik2015changes fbicrc3 - 5 Big EPIK Program Changes for 2015 and Beyond

4.  Authorized FBI Channelers Now Accepted

The EPIK program will now officially accept FBI Identity History Summary Checks (IHSC) from FBI-approved channelers. The change comes after an FBI system upgrade slowed processing times down to a screeching 3-month halt last summer. The delay held up many applicants’ final document submissions to EPIK, and thus jeopardizing their placement. By using a channeler, applicants are often able to receive an IHSC back in under 2 weeks.

Please note that only FBI-approved channelers such as Accurate Biometrics will be accepted by the EPIK program. Using a channeller not found on the FBI’s Approved List will risk their IHSC being rejected by EPIK.

5.  SA Applicants Now Required to Submit Middle & High School Verification Letter

South African applicants will now be required to submit official letters from both their middle school and high school that states that the school’s primary language was English.

South African applicants will need to submit these two letters of proof in their initial documents submission.

image graphic news epik2015changes united2 - 5 Big EPIK Program Changes for 2015 and Beyond

So what do you think of these new eligibility policies? Do you agree with the new changes? Or do you think they’re a step in the wrong direction? Korvia would love to hear feedback from ours readers! Please leave a comment in the comment section below.

Featured images courtesy of Freepik. one, two, three, four