A guide to getting your school accredited for CIS
Getting accreditation from the Council of International Schools (CIS) is a significant achievement for any educational institution. The accreditation process and renewal, which might seem daunting at first, involves an in-depth evaluation of a school’s educational practices, policies, and overall operations to ensure that they meet CIS’s rigorous standards of excellence. Though the initial process of getting the accreditation can take some time and effort, the positive impact on the school, students, and wider community is noteworthy.
What is the Council for International Schools?
The Council for International Schools provides a range of professional support services such as school accreditation, career and recruitment services, and higher education services to prepare global citizens.
At its core, CIS shares two ideals:
- A desire to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to pursue their lives as global citizens
- A commitment to high-quality international education.
How can my school begin the process of accreditation?
The process to apply for international accreditation happens in three stages: the first is to become a member of CIS, to share information about the school, and complete an online application. Being a member school of CIS is a requirement to be eligible to apply for international accreditation. You can read about the requirements to apply for international accreditation on the CIS website here. The cost of an international accreditation registration fee is €2,140 and the cost of an annual accreditation fee is €4,350.
The process to apply for school membership includes two stages: first, the school shares information so CIS can confirm eligibility. Then, CIS and the school engage to understand how the CIS member standards are applied in the community and the school’s perspectives on the drivers for school improvement. During the second stage, a virtual conversation and a report are submitted to CIS. You can read about the school membership standards here and the eligibility requirements for members here. You can read about the Code of Ethics here. The cost of the school’s annual membership fee is €500 for 0-250 students enrolled and €3,200 for 251+ students enrolled. The cost of the school membership application and engagement fee is €4,325.
This report will provide an overview of the school’s current status: areas of excellence and improvement, as well as recommendations; a set of standards or expectations that the school must develop to attain accreditation.
The standards are an assortment of areas:
- students’ well-being,
- staff development,
- community engagement
Once the report has been presented, the school is provided time to plan and implement the recommendations and meet the standards.
Is a CIS accreditation really worth the effort?
Second is adopting a self-assessment mentality and plan of action. Conducting regular self-assessment reviews on all aspects of the school’s operation using the CIS standards as a framework allows all members of the community to provide input, and create goals and plan of action that fosters development and improvement.