Complaints against CIS member and accredited schools

The award of Membership and Accredited Status from CIS demonstrates that a school is aligned with the CIS Standards for Membership and Accreditation. It reflects that the school has achieved high standards of professional performance in international education, has a commitment to continuous improvement, and also adheres consistently to the CIS Code of Ethics.

Section 1: The Role of CIS in Response to Complaints

CIS may ask for a view from the school as a prelude to potential further action if it considers that the evidence provided by a complainant sufficiently substantiates any claim that Standards for membership or accreditation are being systematically broken or that the CIS Code of Ethics has been breached.

However, CIS cannot assume responsibility for mediating individual grievances between students, faculty, or members of the community of CIS member or accredited schools. Nor can CIS consider complaints or adjudicate in matters of admission, grades,  fees, student discipline, faculty appointments, promotion, tenure, and dismissals. If the complainant has instituted or has  threatened to institute legal action against the school, no action under the CIS complaints procedure will be taken by CIS whilst such circumstances remain.

Section 2: Complaint Procedures

Complaints are only considered when the complainant is identified and therefore made known to CIS. Information should be presented by the complainant using a standard complaint form in support of the allegation that the school is not adhering to the Standards of Membership/Accreditation and/or breaching the CIS Code of Ethics. (See section 1) Furthermore, the complainant must confirm and provide details that efforts to pursue a resolution through appropriate review/grievance/appeals procedures provided by the school have been exhausted.

This will normally include:

  • Meeting with the school administration – and the issue remains unresolved
  • Meeting with representatives of the governing board  - and the issue remains unresolved 

The complainant is also responsible for reading the CIS complaints procedures on the CIS website and detailed above under Section 1, determining that the issue is actionable by CIS and that legal action against the school in relation to the issue has been neither instituted nor threatened.  

Section 3 – Subsequent Procedures on behalf of CIS

All complaints received by CIS will be acknowledged and regardless as to the response relating to a specific complaint, a copy of all correspondence pertaining to each case will be kept confidentially on record. Where partner agencies are involved, CIS is committed to making every effort to act in unison with its partners to agree a common approach to complaint issues.

Upon receiving a complaint CIS will consider all the evidence provided and will determine if further action should be taken.  In most cases a first response will be to communicate with the school leadership or governing body to request their own account of the issues detailed by the complainant. Should such initial investigations warrant further exploration, CIS reserves the right to take additional steps as it deems necessary.

Please complete our online form and provide any supporting attachments.


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