The CIS International Accreditation Process is a flexible, yet rigorous, vehicle for continuous school improvement which leads, if successful, to the most highly valued and sought after international recognition of a school. The process involves evaluating the school in the light of:

  • the school’s own Guiding Statements (i.e. Philosophy/Mission/Vision for Students/Educational Objectives/etc.), always referenced to the CIS Code of Ethics for members;
  • the CIS School Evaluation Standards.

The initial requirements for participation in the accreditation process are:

  • The school must be a member of CIS.
  • The school must be committed to continuous school improvement.
  • The school must have been in operation for at least two full academic years.
  • The whole school must be ready to be included within the accreditation process - accreditation is not offered to a part of a school.

The accreditation process is a five-year cycle.

The Preparatory Evaluation for first time accreditation, or for re-accreditation

A Preparatory Evaluation lasting four days is carried out by two CIS representatives, including a CIS School Support & Evaluation Officer. The purpose of the visit is to clarify the international accreditation process to the school community and evaluate the school's readiness to undertake the Self-Study.

THE Self-Study Process

The Self-Study process is the most important part of the whole evaluation and accreditation cycle, both in terms of time and effort and in the value for the school. While identifying and validating the school’s strengths, this process also involves the identification of areas for improvement and initiates actions to address them. Schools find that considerable improvements in alignment with the CIS School Evaluation Standards and Evaluation Criteria occur during this vital Self-Study stage. A Self-Study normally takes between 12 and 18 months to complete.

Team Evaluation

After submission of the Self-Study Report, the school is visited by a team of volunteer Peer Evaluators: suitably qualified and trained school leaders and teachers drawn from other CIS-accredited schools.

The evaluation team assists the school by providing an objective evaluation of the conclusions of the Self-Study and the process taken. The evaluation team visits the school for up to a week, with evaluators observing all types of learning contexts and talking with students, parents, faculty/staff and members of the school’s Board/Governing Body. The team analyses all aspects of the school in the light of the Self-Study Report, the school's own Guiding Statements, and the CIS School Evaluation Criteria.


To enable CIS to support and monitor continuous school improvement, accredited schools provide an annual accreditation report which provides an update on school improvement practices and substantive developments.

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higher education institutions, and individuals. Global citizenship is the centre of everything we do at CIS to support our members.
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