FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our school is already accredited. What is the added value of an additional accreditation through CIS?
There are a number of considerations.
- The fact that CIS is a non-national, non-regionally affiliated body is significant in giving a message about your school’s quality to potential parents/students, irrespective of their location, cultural context and national background;
- CIS is the leader in the field of school evaluation/accreditation worldwide. For international schools, the three regional US accrediting agencies (MSA/WASC/NEASC) partner us in the protocol we use (developed jointly with NEASC);
- There are significant professional benefits for faculty and leadership members who may join accreditation teams and visit diverse schools all over the world;
- CIS accreditation confers the truly international recognition to stakeholders all over the world;
- The enlarged network of leading, accredited international schools of all types, that CIS accreditation brings with it to benefit the school; and
- The manageability. CIS/NEASC, WASC and MSA are accreditation partners and a joint accreditation process is followed, minimising any excessive bureaucracy for the school.
What is the difference between the British inspection model and the CIS evaluation/accreditation model?
CIS evaluation, leading to accreditation, is distinctively different to evaluation/inspection. The CIS evaluation and accreditation process is led by peers in a full Visiting Team (i.e. colleagues from other CIS accredited schools rather than full-time evaluators). The OFSTED sub-contracted inspection system uses colleagues from schools and recent retirees to inspect schools. However, in a CIS evaluation and accreditation exercise, CIS has a long term relationship with the school concerned, from the point at which the school applies to be a member, to the Preliminary Visit and onwards through the ten year accreditation cycle. CIS will have visited the school on several occasions in the cycle through full-time, professional colleagues working on school support and evaluation, and CIS will know the school well: it is a long-term relationship and therefore, the evaluation may be contextualised by the school and its longer term school improvement goals. OFSTED inspections, be they by any of the sub-contracted providers, tend to be single week episodes.
CIS is a non-nationally affiliated, non-regionally affiliated global organisation. It does not favour any regional or national curricula over any other, nor does it form government partnerships that may jeopardise its non-partisan nature. CIS is not an inspection body in the way that the British government defines school inspection, i.e. through OFSTED, a non-ministerial government department.