Academic units at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) must adhere to the following policies and guidelines relative to obtaining and managing the faculty transcript and credentialing (not including medical credentialing) processes.


    The following policy statements are most relevant to the appointment of faculty and the faculty credentialing process:
    2.12 Initial Appointments of Faculty
    2.9 Faculty Credentials


    The following SACS/COC statement should be included in all faculty appointment offer letters:

    Your offer for employment is contingent upon providing the University, prior to your first day of employment, official documentation of degrees earned. An original official transcript of your terminal degree must be submitted to comply with credentialing guidelines of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Foreign transcripts must be translated and certified by an education credentialing agency. Our receiving the transcript by (insert date) would be much appreciated; however, it must be on file prior to your initial appointment date. Please request that the institution from which you received this degree send an official transcript of your academic record to the attention of (insert name), the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of ________ (or College of Arts & Sciences), Department of _________________, 200 Heritage Hall, 1401 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35294-1170.


    In response to a lack of clarity about how qualifications of international faculty are justified, schools and departments have initial responsibility for verifying the credentials of all faculty, including internationally trained faculty. This responsibility includes evaluation and verification of the terminal degree as well as determination of the qualifications of the faculty member to teach the courses to which they are assigned. All letters of offer include a requirement that an official transcript of the faculty member’s terminal degree be on file prior to final approval of appointment. Each school is required to indicate on the Hiring Proposal (UAB PeopleAdmin) and the Oracle Personnel ACT Document that all faculty credentials have been evaluated and that documentation is on file.

    In those cases where there is any question as to the appropriateness of credentials from a foreign institution, or if a translation is needed of a transcript or certificate of degree, the school is responsible for obtaining a document-by-document evaluation from a qualified international educational consulting agency. Examples of such agencies that have been used and are accepted are Josef Silny, [1] World Education Services, [2] and Educational Credential Evaluators. [3] In all cases, a determination is made as to the equivalency of the foreign degree to that of a degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution of higher education.
    Additionally, departments should provide for the cost of the translation of foreign degrees.

    [1] Joseph Silny & Associates, Inc., “Foreign Credential Evaluation,”
    [2] World Education Services, “International Credential Evaluations,”
    [3] Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.,


    For the purposes of faculty recruitment and hiring, the Office of the Provost in conjunction with the UAB Registrar’s Office has adopted the following best practice for accepting electronic transcripts for faculty applicants. UAB accepts electronic transcripts so long as they are sent directly to the hiring department from the sending institution or a recognized third-party provider (rather than the faculty candidate), and that they are sent securely (either through encryption or through the use of a password to access the transcript). The features of electronic transcripts include several “management” options to include: 1) expiring the transcript once opened by the recipient; 2) watermarking the transcript when printed by the recipient; 3) limiting the number of times the transcript can be accessed or opened by the recipient.

    As The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO) did a survey in 2013 about electronic transcript exchange. The recommended best practice regarding acceptance of PDF transcripts as official is below:

    BEST PRACTICE #4: Accept secure PDF transcripts as “official” transcripts.
    As the rate of acceptance increases, the PDF exchange format becomes more valuable to all institutions. The majority of the respondents that receive PDF transcripts replied “Yes” that they accept a secure PDF transcript as an official document. Some specified various conditions under which they would accept it as official, and some provided reasons that they would NOT accept as official.

    Accepted as official: NOT Accepted as official:
    • The PDF transcript was delivered from a verified/secured source
    • The PDF transcript was encrypted/digitally certified
    • The issuing institution marked them as “official”
    • Secure email method for those pushed from originating institution or their provider, and the document has NOT already been opened/accessed
    • If document is NOT encrypted
    • Delivered direct or forwarded from students via email
    • Documents that have been opened or accessed first by another party
    • Delivered direct or forwarded among colleges within an institution via email

    There are cases when a degree has not yet been formally awarded to a new faculty hire. A letter from the university registrar or graduate school indicating that the faculty member has completed all degree requirements (such a defense and dissertation acceptance) and the date that the degree will be formally awarded will temporarily suffice.

    This information should be noted in the ACT document and the letter from the university registrar or graduate school should be maintained in the department. A copy of the letter must be attached to the hiring documents.

    Immediately upon receipt of the final transcript(s), departments must process a data change ACT document to update the faculty member’s records.


    In accordance with university policy, the highest degree for faculty and credential course instructor appointments must be entered into Oracle/ACT Document.

    When entering the highest degree information in Oracle (the ACT Document), do and note the following:

    1. Confirm that the Official Transcript is on file in the dean’s office,
    2. Verify Transcript/Official Documentation on File is checked as “yes” in the ORACLE ACT document,
    3. Complete all School or College, Degree Name, Degree Date, Type, and Degree Discipline fields in Oracle ACT document for each degree entered.
    4. ACT document cannot be approved without this information.
    5. Include all degrees on the ACT document; securing the official transcript for the highest degree. In cases where the candidate’s masters degree is used to credential for an instructional assignment, an official transcript is required for the masters degree.

    An update has been made to the Schools and Colleges Form on the ACT document. Requestors are now able to enter Foreign Universities by choosing a specific country, then searching for the College or University within that specified country. The form will default to the United States. The functionality is the same for each country chosen.