Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we are most often asked about ASIC and the accreditation process.

Questions are grouped into Institution Questions and Student Questions.

If you are unable to find the information you require or would like to talk further please get in touch, details can be found here.

Institution Questions

Student Questions

 

What is ASIC accreditation?

ASIC Accreditation is an internationally renowned quality standard for schools, colleges, universities, training organisations and online and distance education providers. ASIC has been formed to bring independent information to both the student population and the wider higher education world, through its international accreditation service with well-defined and objective benchmarking. Accreditation through ASIC will help students and parents make a more informed choice and will also help schools, colleges, universities, training organisations and online and distance education provider, demonstrate to the international student body that they are a high-quality institution. Our accreditation allows students to gain a realistic and honest picture of what an institution is really like in terms of quality, resources, student support and ethics.
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What are the benefits of ASIC accreditation?

Accreditation with ASIC will boost the profile of your institution and confirm that it meets high standards of education, welfare and good practice. The accreditation will reassure students and agents that your institution or university is a good choice and that you will provide them with professional teaching, valuable qualifications and a positive learning experience. The ASIC accreditation is not simply a one-time process and we are not only about policing education institutions. We are dedicated to developing productive, long lasting working relationships with institutions and working with them continuously to ensure ongoing, consistent quality over the long term. This ongoing work will involve training programmes in subjects such as ethical student recruitment, recruiting and monitoring agents, developing suitable admissions systems and improving and updating ethics policies and codes of practice and with sample policy and procedures documents as you require them. For more information please Click Here.
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What is ASIC membership?

ASIC Membership is available to non-UK institutions that want to be associated with the ASIC brand but do not wish to go through the full accreditation process. There is an annual membership fee of £1,000 for this service. As an ASIC member, an institution will be able to display the green ASIC Membership logo on their website, marketing material, stationery etc. and take advantage of a number of member benefits which includes an ASIC membership certificate. For a list of benefits for our members Click Here. Should a member institution wish to gain full accreditation with ASIC, the membership fee already paid by the institution for the current year of membership will go towards the total cost of the accreditation inspection process fees.
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What is Candidacy within ASIC accreditation?

Candidacy within ASIC accreditation is aimed at non-UK institutions who wish to gain full accreditation but require extra time to prepare for the inspections. An ASIC application form (known as stage 1) will need to be completed along with all the necessary documentation and the ASIC international application fee will be required to be paid. An ASIC certificate is issued for a year upon completion of a successful stage 1, to enable the ASIC accreditation inspection process to be completed.
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What type of institution does ASIC accredit?

ASIC accreditation is open to the following types of institutions both in the UK and internationally;

  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Schools
  • Summer Schools
  • Training Organisations
  • Online and Distance Education Providers

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How much does the process cost?

For an international institution, the accreditation fees start from £5,000 but please contact the ASIC office for further information or for a tailored quotation specific to your needs. Please contact us at info@asic.org.uk for further information.
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What can we expect during the accreditation process?

The full details of what to expect during the accreditation process may be found Here or under the “Inspections” section of the ASIC Accreditation Handbook but the best advice we can give is if you are unsure of anything, then please contact the ASIC office where we will be happy to offer any help or assistance that is required. ASIC accreditation is not simply a one-off award and we are not only about policing education institutions. We are dedicated to developing productive, long lasting working relationships with institutions and working with them continuously to ensure ongoing, consistent quality over the long term.
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How long does the process take?

The whole process can be completed within 3 months from the point where a good application is received, however, this is also dependent on cooperation from the institution seeking accreditation in cases where ASIC needs clarification for documentation and arrangements for the visit etc.
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My institution is new and we have not recruited any students as yet, is the accreditation process different for us?

For a new institution, the accreditation process is split into two parts with the possibility of ASIC accreditation being awarded for a period of up to one year upon the successful completion of stage 1(application) and stage 2(inspection of campus). The stage 3 inspection will need to be completed during that first year.
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How long does accreditation last?

Generally, ASIC accreditation is granted for a period of four years. If the institution is new, accreditation may be awarded for a period of one year after the successful completion of stage 1 (application) and stage 2 (inspection of campus) with the view of extending the period of accreditation to a further four years on the successful completion of the stage 3 inspection.
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Is an annual fee required to be paid by our institution?

Yes, the first annual fee will become due immediately after the successful award of accreditation is announced and subsequently every 12 months on the anniversary of the date when the first accreditation was awarded. Please see section 7 of the ASIC Handbook for further details. Click Here to view the handbook.
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What kind of service can we expect from ASIC after a successful award of accreditation?

Receiving ASIC accreditation is only the first step on what we hope will be a long and fruitful partnership between ourselves and the accredited institution. To facilitate this we will assist our accredited institutions to develop into providers of quality higher education who are respected worldwide. We will endeavour to ensure that all the ASIC areas of operation are adhered to and the best possible education experience is given to students by utilising continuous quality assurance systems. We will help to develop comprehensive, internal audit and self-evaluation systems alongside the accredited institution. We will also assist the accredited institution to develop quality partnerships on a global scale, as well as ethical marketing strategies. By doing this the institution will gain international recognition for their institution which will allow for the development of fruitful partnerships with ethical, professional education agents worldwide.
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What are the minimum qualification requirements for our principal and staff?

For the principal of an institution, we would normally expect to see a higher degree such as a Masters or Doctorate, although if a person has substantial industrial, business or commercial experience then this would be acceptable. The principal is not required to hold a specific teaching qualification. Teaching staff should hold a qualification equivalent to or above the level of the subject in which they are teaching. They are not required to hold a teaching qualification but of course, this would be beneficial.
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Is there a minimum number of staff members that should be employed at an institution?

This depends on the size of the institution and the type of courses that are being undertaken. If you have a specific query, then please contact the ASIC office directly.
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Is there a minimum requirement for the size of a classroom?

There should be easy access and escapes routes in all areas. This would be dependent on the type of building being used, and the variety of courses that are being taught. If you have a specific query, then please contact the ASIC office directly.
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How many rooms should the institutions have?

There is no minimum number of rooms required for an institution although there should be enough to run the institution and teach the chosen courses.
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How do you calculate the Full-Time Equivalents (FTE’s)?

To calculate the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students at an institution depends upon what the institution classes as full-time. This could be 15 hours, 20 hours or even more hours a week for the length of the institution’s academic year which again depends on how the institution prefers to operate their term time.

For example, an institution may consider a student to be full time if they attend for lectures or tutorials for 20 hours a week, for a period of 40 weeks over the institutions year. This would mean that to make 1 FTE with part-time students it would take 2 students to attend the institution for lectures or tutorials for 10 hours per week for 40 weeks.

Again if the part time courses are shorter than the full-time courses, then the equation would look like this; 4 students to attend the institution for lectures or tutorials for 10 hours per week for 20 weeks to make 1 FTE.
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Does ASIC accreditation give an institution degree-awarding powers or validate the institution’s degrees?

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. However, it should be noted that ASIC neither confers nor validates degree-awarding powers. Applicants wishing to study at any institution, including those offering distance education programmes, should always satisfy themselves that the level of recognition of a relevant award is sufficient to meet their needs.
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What are the changes at our institution which we should notify ASIC about?

There are a variety of changes that ASIC that may need to be made aware of. A good guide would be if something affects the running of an institution either in academic or administrative terms, then ASIC should be told. This can include; a change in premises, any changes in ownership, management or major staff changes, any changes to courses or awarding bodies, gaining or losing your license to operate etc. The reason ASIC needs to be kept up-to-date with any changes or developments is to protect the integrity of ASIC accreditation and to ensure that an institution continues to be compliant with current legislation.
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What is the process if ASIC receives a complaint concerning an ASIC accredited institution?

If a student contacts ASIC to make a complaint about an institution, the student is advised to contact the institution directly to ensure they have tried to resolve the matter according to the institution’s own complaints or grievance’s procedure. If the student has tried to comply with the institution’s procedures and the matter has not been resolved, they may contact ASIC for assistance. The student must provide evidence that they have a valid complaint or grievance and show that they have tried to comply with the institution’s procedure. If the evidence supplied by the student is believed to require further investigation, ASIC will contact the institution directly to try and resolve the matter. The reason for ASIC involvement is to ensure the institution is complying with their procedures in a fair manner. In an extreme or serious situation, the ASIC Accreditation Committee may become involved with the possibility of ASIC accreditation being withdrawn from the institution. Further information on complaints can be found in the ASIC Accreditation Handbook.
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Is there an appeals procedure if ASIC accreditation is refused or removed from an institution?

There is an appeals process if ASIC accreditation is refused or removed from an institution and this can be found in the ASIC Accreditation Handbook.
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How do I check if an institution is accredited?

You can check if an institution is accredited by either looking in the UK Institution Directory (link to our UK website) for a UK institution or by looking in the International Institution Directory for a non-UK institution.
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Can ASIC tell me if the course I wish to study is accredited/validated?

ASIC accreditation covers an institution, not a specific course. You will need to contact your chosen institution to confirm whether or not a course is accredited/validated.
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What if I have a grievance concerning an ASIC accredited Institution?

If you contact ASIC to make a complaint about an institution, you will be advised to contact the institution directly to ensure that you have tried to resolve the matter according to the institution’s own complaints or grievance’s procedure. If you have tried to do this, but you believe the institution has not complied with their policies and procedures, then you will be asked to forward all evidence relating to the complaint or grievance by post to the ASIC office postal address. If the evidence you have supplied is believed to require further investigation, ASIC will contact the institution directly to try and resolve the matter. Further information on complaints can be found in the ASIC Accreditation Handbook.
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Is or will my qualification be valid/acceptable in a particular institution or country?

You should contact the issuing institution or the institution where you wish to study for advice on this matter.
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