Complaints procedure

About CIS

The Council of International Schools is a membership association of schools and universities focused on the development of global citizens through high-quality international education. As an international accreditation body for primary and secondary schools, CIS ensures quality and encourages school improvement as we evaluate alignment with international standards. Schools voluntarily participate in our external peer review process to earn recognition for high-quality international education.

CIS is not a governmental agency or regulatory body. Neither is CIS the owner, proprietor, or governing body of any individual institution.

Scope of this procedure

  • CIS can consider complaints about a CIS member institution when evidence is submitted that the institution has systematically breached the CIS Standards for Membership and Accreditation (for schools). (There have been multiple instances when an institutional policy, system or plan has been broken, violated or not followed over time.)
  • CIS cannot mediate individual grievances between students, faculty, or parents and the CIS member institution; nor can CIS adjudicate or mediate in individual matters relating to admission, grades, granting or transferability of credits, fees, student disciplinary matters, collective bargaining, faculty appointments, promotion, tenure, or dismissals. These types of individual concerns should be raised directly with the institution following their internal policies. 
  • CIS cannot investigate any issue that involves actual or threatened legal action against the institution; or where external investigations by law enforcement, government, inspection or regulatory bodies are underway.


Before submitting evidence of a systematic breach of standards at a CIS institution, the complainant should:

  1. Read and understand the scope of this procedure
  2. Engage with the institution and have exhausted its own procedures with the administration and the governing body or proprietor

To submit evidence of a systematic breach of standards, complete the complaint form.

CIS process

  1. CIS will investigate complaints that are submitted on the completed CIS Complaint Form
  2. CIS will consider the evidence of a systematic breach of standards for membership or accreditation.
  3. CIS will handle each complaint on an individual basis.
  4. CIS will inform the complainant if the complaint is deemed to be outside the scope of this procedure or if we will take necessary action based on investigation.
  5. CIS will work collaboratively if a school is accredited or authorised by other partner agencies to agree a common approach address the breach of standards.
  6. CIS will not provide feedback to individuals or address specific complaints in any public forum.


CIS reserves the right to share information from any complaint with other external agencies, including law enforcement, regulatory and governmental bodies, accreditation and curriculum authorisation agencies.