The Accreditation Process Explained

October 13, 2016

Between 2014 and 2015 436,585 international students chose to study in the UK. However, we at English Study Breaks accept that taking the leap into the unknown isn’t always just as easy as buying a plane ticket.

An important factor to consider before you decide to study in the UK is the calibre of your prospective place of learning. What are the standards of teaching? What resources do they have? Are they committed to your education and welfare? All of these questions are totally valid and can make a big difference to your experience abroad. So how can we help settle your nerves? At English Study Breaks our students are our number one priority and that means making sure that we only work with the finest, British Council accredited institutions. This gives you the peace of mind that you are receiving the very best education the UK has to offer.

Accreditation UK is a joint venture between the British Accreditation Council and English UK to identify and develop the best English language providers in the UK. Any English Language teaching (ELT) school, which has achieved British Council accreditation is deemed to be of the very highest standard.

To become a British Council accredited learning provider in the UK is no easy feat. With the level of expectation exceedingly high, any institution aspiring to become accredited is really put through its paces. This arduous process can take months to complete and represents a considerable financial investment.

There are six key stages each learning provider must complete before they can advertise themselves as a British Council accredited school:

Step One- Preparation and Planning

Prior to applying to take part in the scheme, the prospective applicant is provided with extensive information regarding the exceptional standards expected of them. It is essential that the applying institution realises that nothing but the very best is good enough.

Step Two- Submit Application and Other Relevant Documentation for Scrutiny

Having made the decision to continue with the accreditation application process, the learning provider then completes and submits a detailed application form along with detailed supporting evidence. Once these documents are received by Accreditation UK, they undergo vigorous scrutiny to determine whether the school is eligible for inspection. This part of the process is usually completed two to five months in advance to ensure that an inspection can be scheduled during the desired time frame.

Step Three- Additional Supporting Papers are Requested

Once the inspection has been given the go ahead, Accreditation UK asks that additional supporting paperwork is sent across to the assigned inspector for their reference.

Step Four- The Inspection takes Place

The big day finally arrives: inspection day! The number of inspectors sent to the premises and the length of time they spend comprehensively examining it depends upon the size of the institution. The standard inspection requires two inspectors and lasts one day. However, larger institutions can have as many as four inspectors working over several days.

During this inspection, no stone is left unturned. The inspectors make their way around the institution, dissecting each facet to determine whether it meets their exacting standards (this includes consulting senior members of staff and ensuring that any student accommodation provided is of the required level).

Step Five- Inspectors Write Report

Within five weeks of the inspection, the inspectors write up a detailed report which is then sent through several authoritative channels, starting with the Accreditation Scheme Advisory Committee (ASAC). The ASAC then review the inspection report and decide whether the institution in question is suitable for accreditation recommendation or not. Once this decision has been made, the learning provider will be notified of the outcome within five days and the full inspection report will be sent within six weeks.

Step Six- Follow Up

If you think that this demanding process is over once British Council accreditation has been achieved, you’d be wrong. Once a learning provider has become accredited, it is subject to routine and random spot checks, undergoing a full inspection every four years in order to retain its accredited status. This on-going follow up procedure ensures that impeccable standards are kept.

If, at first, the learning provider is unsuccessful, the ASAC provides the institution with a list of points, which need addressing if accreditation is to be achieved. These hopefuls are, however, advised not to re-apply for accreditation until at least 12 months have passed.

Only a select number of English Language Teaching Schools are British Council accredited, and we make sure that we’re working with them so that we can offer you an English study break abroad worth remembering for the best of reasons! If you need any help or advice on choosing your next study break, for example, the accredited courses available, please contact us and our friendly team will do everything it can to help.

If you want to learn more about studying in the UK or the requirements to apply for British Council accreditation, you can find all of this information and more on our website: