FAQs - UK Accreditation
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What is ASIC UK Accreditation?
ASIC is a UK government approved (UK Visas and Immigration) accreditation working with education providers to uphold rigorous and world-leading UK quality standards. We work with private colleges, English language and summer schools, training organisations, and more to reassure international students that, when they choose the UK as their place of study, they will receive a quality educational experience.
ASIC UK Accreditation is a quality standard that you must hold to recruit international students for English courses on the 11-month Short Term Study Visa or 6-mont h short-courses on the Standard Visitor Visa, as required by UKVI (UK Home Office). We are one of several bodies approved to accredit education providers for this purpose, and you can find our listing here on the UKVI website. Find out more here.
What does holding ASIC Accreditation mean for a UK provider?
Accredited institutions can accelerate their growth by recruiting international students – and we provide support to help you do this. You will also be able to display the ASIC Badge of Accreditation across your marketing collateral and use our services and resources to help you broadcast your accredited status to prospective students and their sponsors. Learn more about the benefits or contact us to find out more.
Are there any additional benefits in choosing to work with ASIC?
As one of the world’s largest international accrediting bodies, our network gives you the opportunity to learn from and partner with other institutions from around the globe.
If you want to:
- Expand your network
- Learn from international best-practice
- Attend events
- Take part in free CPD accredited training from global education experts
- Have access to dedicated support to help you with your student recruitment
Go to this page to learn more about the process, read more about the benefits of joining us, and download the application form here.
Is my institution eligible to apply for ASIC UK Accreditation?
All types of providers are welcome to apply. We accredit Colleges, English Language Providers, Drama Schools, Flying Academies, Training Organisations, Beauty Schools, Business Schools and more. View the breadth of providers we accredit here.
My institution is newly operating/start-up, and we do not have students yet. Is the accreditation process different?
First, check you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. If you are eligible to apply, the stages are the same - the difference in the process is that:
- If you successfully complete Stage 2, Interim Accreditation is awarded (for up to a year); this will allow you to start recruiting students.
- Once you have students undergoing their studies with you, you must contact us and arrange the Stage 3 inspection. (If there remaining time on your Interim Accreditation, we will add it to the full accreditation period.)
How long does the accreditation process take?
It can take as little as six weeks, but we have known it to take months. Your availability of dates for inspection and the speed of response to our communications can all affect the timeline. If you talk to us before you submit your application, we can help you make sure you are ready to go ahead to ensure the process goes smoothly.
What can we expect during the accreditation process, and what happens during the inspection?
You can learn more about the process here and see what the inspectors need to see at each stage here, and ASIC staff are here to help and answer any questions you have. Alternatively, you can read the Inspections section of the Handbook.
How long does the UK Accreditation last?
Accreditation lasts 4 years.
For new institutions, see the explanation for Interim Accreditation.
What are the minimum qualification requirements for our principal/head of institution and staff?
- We expect the principal/head to hold a higher degree (i.e. Masters or Doctorate) or have substantial industrial/business/commercial experience. They are not required to hold a teaching qualification.
- Teaching staff should hold a qualification equivalent to or above the level of the subject they are teaching. We recommend that they have a teaching qualification, but it is not required.
What are the minimum staffing level requirements?
It depends on the size of the institution and the type of courses on offer. If you have a specific query, contact us.
How many rooms does our institution need to have, and is there a minimum size requirement?
There should be enough classroom and office space to run the institution effectively and teach the courses offered. For health and safety purposes, there should be easy access and escape routes in all areas. If you have a specific query, contact us.
Do we need to have physical premises?
Yes, to be accredited by ASIC, the institution must be registered with Companies House, and you must have an admin office/physical premises* in the UK. We will need to visit the premises during the inspection stages. If you are an online provider, please contact us.
*We also accredit small home-based providers and providers operating out of larger institutions; we will still need to visit (as required by UKVI), but the nature of the visit may be different. Contact us if you have any questions. Otherwise, we will inform you what we will need to see during Stage 1.
How do you calculate the Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs)?
FTEs are determined by what your institution classes as full-time (attending lectures/tutorials for 15 hours, 20 hours, or more a week) for the length of the academic year (which depends on how the institution prefers to operate its term time).
- 1 FTE = 1 student, 20 hours a week, for 40 weeks.
- Or, to make 1 FTE with part-time students = 2 students, 10 hours per week, for 40 weeks.
- If the part-time courses are shorter than the full-time courses, 1FTE = 4 students, 10 hours per week, for 20 weeks.
Does holding ASIC Accreditation confer awarding powers to our courses or qualifications?
No, ASIC inspections include an examination of the content and standard of the curriculum as well as the quality of its delivery to learners. We also pay close attention to the consistency and reliability of assessment. We will also check that you have appropriate awarding powers for the courses on offer at the institution. However, it should be noted that ASIC neither confers nor validates degree-awarding powers. (Applicants for distance education programmes should always satisfy themselves that the level of recognition of a relevant award is sufficient to meet their needs.)
If you need to have your courses accredited, please contact:
What are the fees for ASIC UK Accreditation?
Our fees are straightforward, ethical, and transparent, with no hidden costs. Please see the UK Accreditation Process for the complete fee breakdown and timeline of fees.
Not a UK institution? Click here for International Accreditation.
For other fees, such as a premises visit (usually due to a change of premises) please see the ASIC Handbook for when/why they may occur.
Are there any extra charges?
Where an inspection has been arranged and then cancelled by you (the institution), or situations occur such as the return of post (where the address was confirmed before sending), then you must pay the costs incurred and those required to rearrange. These situations are listed in the ASIC Handbook and are always avoidable. Our documents and correspondence will prompt you to check all details before you proceed, so you can take steps to avoid occurring these extra charges in error.
Is there an annual fee required, and how much is it?
Yes, the annual fee maintains your accredited status and the services provided for each year of the accreditation period.
The annual fee* is determined by the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students at the institution as follows:
- Up to 200 FTEs: £1000
- 201 - 400 FTEs: £2000
- 401+ FTEs: £300
The first payment is due on the successful award of accreditation and is then due each year on this date. (Terms of payment are provided on the invoice.) Please see your full responsibilities for maintaining accreditation in the Handbook.
*We offer a 50% reduction of the annual fee if an institution holds a current Educational Oversight report (see UKVI approved bodies for university/college sponsor licence).
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