FAQs - Students and Parents/Caregivers
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How do I check if an institution is accredited?
All of our currently accredited institutions are listed on our directory here. Please note, we cannot comment on unaccredited institutions.
Is or will my qualification be valid/acceptable in a particular institution or country? Can ASIC help me?
You need to check the level of your qualification's award against the requirements of the institution/country you wish to study at/in. Institutions/countries are entitled to set their own conditions - and there is no international law or rule or standardisation.
Unfortunately, we cannot help you, as it is not within our role or power to decide on qualification requirements either in the UK or elsewhere. If you want to either embark on further study or work abroad, you will need to speak to the relevant body responsible for benchmarking international qualifications in the country you wish to study/work in. For example, in the UK, you would need to speak to UK ENIC.
Can ASIC tell me if the course I wish to study is accredited/validated?
No, we are sorry that is not our role as a quality assurance body. We recommend that you approach the institution you are considering applying to and ask them who the awarding body is for your course/programme of study.
Any institution you consider studying at will either:
- Be able to tell you the awarding body for the programme of study that you are considering
- Or they will award their own courses (and be approved/allowed to do so by an in-country body/law)
In both cases, we advise that you check the level of study and its award fits the requirements you need to either: continue your studies; or gain employment. People who can help you include: careers advisors, teachers at your current institution, or educational advisory services for students in your country (or the country you are considering studying in).
But my institution is ASIC Accredited, doesn’t that mean my course is too?
Accreditation means different things in different countries and contexts, and we understand that this can be confusing. Our accreditation is a quality standard for institutions, not their courses. We inspect institutions to determine whether they offer students a quality educational experience with professional teaching - in a safe and supportive environment.
Why does ASIC Accreditation matter?
We help students and their caregivers form a realistic and unbiased assessment about the type of experience and provision on offer at an institution. Just like in-country and world ranking tables can tell you about the reputation of an institution, ASIC accreditation demonstrates that an institution:
- Follows international best-practice
- Cares about continually improving their students' experience
- Offers adequate student support and facilities
- Employs professionally qualified teachers and staff
- Cares about international students and their welfare
- Has voluntarily undertaken external assessment by unbiased inspectors
- Is committed to upholding ASIC Standards over the 4-year accreditation period
- Abides by the ASIC Code of Ethics in their operation
I want to come and study in the UK. Can ASIC help?
The UK is a top student destination and global leader in the international education sector. We accredit our institutions here, so you can benefit from the world-class experience that studying in the UK will deliver - in a safe and supportive environment.
You can use our directory of institutions to find those that appeal to you - and then approach them about what you need to do to apply to study there.
Organisations that may be able to help you with questions about studying in the UK:
- UKCISA (The UK Council for International Student Affairs)
- UK ENIC (The UK national agency for international qualifications and skills)
- UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration - Part of the UK Government Home Office)
You can also find information about the Short-term study visa and the Standard visitor visa on UKCISA's website.
My institution is not accredited by ASIC, but it works with/ is partnered with an institution/has a sister campus that is. Does this mean my institution is accredited?
We only accredit institutions that have been inspected and have successfully completed the process, receiving approval for accreditation from The ASIC Accreditation Committee.
- If an institution is accredited, they are listed on the directory.
- If an institution is not on our directory, they are not accredited (or are no longer accredited - and this is the same as not accredited).
- If an institution is accredited, it only covers the institution we have inspected (you can check the address on the directory) – not any of their partners.
- Our accreditation cannot be bought, conferred, transferred, or associated in any way with a non-accredited institution.
I have a complaint about an ASIC Accredited Institution. What should I do?
First, you must try to resolve the matter according to the institution's complaints procedure. If you contact us before doing so, we will tell you that we cannot get involved until there is a situation where you have tried to resolve the matter with the institution, and they have not responded satisfactorily.
If you have tried to do the above and believe that the institution has not acted in compliance with their policies and procedures or the ASIC Code of Ethics, then you can contact ASIC:
- Please write to us to outline your complaint/grievance and attach all correspondence and evidence that you have concerning the complaint in email or post.
- If our assessment of the evidence submitted determines that we need to investigate further, ASIC will contact the institution directly on your behalf. We will keep you informed throughout the process.
Please see more information on complaints in the ASIC Accreditation Handbook.
Is ASIC Accreditation fake?
No, we find that this question usually comes from confusion over terminology, different uses of the word accreditation in different contexts, and what our accreditation covers. ASIC Accreditation is an internationally renowned quality standard, and we have independently inspected every institution that carries its ASIC Badge of Accreditation. You might also find the answers to this question about what our accreditation is and this question about whether we accredit courses helpful.
Is ASIC Accreditation recognised?
ASIC and our Accreditation is recognised around the world in many different ways (depending on local context and laws), including approved regulatory status in some countries and external voluntary status in others, MoUs with governments and Ministries of Education, and memberships and affiliations with other education organisations concerned with international quality assurance.
Sometimes a country will not recognise QA bodies from outside of the country, or we have simply not yet worked in a particular region or area. We are always happy to enter into dialogue with governments and ministries to either explain who we are and what we do or work with them to find a way for us to accredit institutions in the country that works in alignment with local laws, regulations, and requirements. If you need something specific, such as a letter explaining what ASIC Accreditation is, please contact the ASIC Office.
Is ASIC Accreditation recognised by the UK government for schools overseas?
We have two distinct roles:
- In the UK, we accredit institutions as an approved body on behalf of the UKVI (Part of the UK Government Home Office). You can read more here.
- Internationally, we provide a world-class inspection and benchmarking service for institutions interested in improving their international educational offering. Learn more here.
There are other types of accreditation bodies that perform different roles.
Is ASIC Accreditation good?
As a marker of international quality standards, our international accreditation is unrivalled. We are the only UK accreditation body that focuses on improving international standards in a way that respects best-practice, heritage, and culture in the country of operation without imposing a British curriculum or antiquated ideas about different models of delivery. Discover more here.
My institution is ASIC accredited but not recognised by "x" department of education, country, organisation, [other] institution etc.?
ASIC Accreditation is recognised and accepted around the world as an international marker of quality. However, just like international trade, travel, or immigration rules - all countries operate in different ways, with their own laws and requirements regarding education. (Just as individual institutions are also able to choose their own entry requirements.)
- Sometimes our accreditation will be enough/combined with other recognition for an institution to be accepted.
- Sometimes other requirements or conditions need to be met that holding our accreditation alone will not satisfy.
If needed in an application or letter, you can link to your institution's listing on our directory. We hope that this helps you.
Is an institution accredited by ASIC legit?
- Every institution we have accredited has been independently inspected and verified by ASIC inspectors. They have assessed across these areas, and you can look at our standards for more detailed information.
- Every institution we accredit meets the requirements to operate by law in their country of operation.
- Different countries have different laws, regulations, types of institutions and recognition that exist within these frameworks. Even more confusingly for an international student, sometimes reputation, the country of operation, and the model of the provision will provide more recognition internationally than others.
- For example, a larger provider operating on an international scale will often be accepted as a legitimate provider worldwide due, in part, to its global reputation. Whereas a smaller institution that operates more locally and is not as well-known will often not be automatically accepted as a recognised provider in all countries - even though it is also legitimately operating and provides a good standard of education.
Points 1 and 2 do not mean that institutions have automatic recognition everywhere - and this is because of point 3. You may also find the answer to the question above helpful.
As a parent, what should I look for when choosing an international school?
As a parent, you understand that the most important thing you can do to ensure your child's future is to give them the best possible educational opportunities. Choosing an ASIC accredited institution for your child provides a wealth of advantages:
- Well-being: Student welfare is at the heart of ASIC Accreditation. From student recruitment and induction to ongoing support (as well as adequate provision for those with special educational needs), ASIC accredited institutions put procedures in place to ensure a supportive experience.
- Learning environment: Children perform best when in surroundings that are both safe and conducive to the learning experience. We also require our institutions to undertake health and safety checks.
- Safeguarding and security: Child protection systems must be in place (where relevant), alongside appropriate staff training.
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