Global Recognition

The quality and rigour of CIS International Accreditation is recognized by ministries and departments of education around the world. The CIS International Accreditation process has been validated and is recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Commission on Accreditation, a body which “accredits the accreditors” in the United States. CIS International Accreditation is further validated and accepted by other countries internationally as a mark of quality assurance including NCCT in China, ONESQA in Thailand, State Departments of Education in Australia, the Council of British International Schools in the UK, and others.

As an organization, over 500 of the top universities in the world are part of our membership community. They recognize and value the mark of CIS International Accreditation, targeting students who graduate from CIS-Accredited schools for admission to their institutions. This verifies CIS International Accreditation as a mark of high quality, and therefore, endorses the quality and rigor of international education provided to student graduates of CIS-Accredited schools. Accordingly, universities and colleges in the United States and around the world fully recognize and accept students’ transcripts from CIS-Accredited schools. 

National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is the national voice of independent education in the United States and offers standards, targeted resources, and networking opportunities for its 1300 member schools.

NAIS is not itself a school accrediting agency. However, a number of accreditation agencies including CIS work together as a Commission on Accreditation under the auspices of NAIS with the aim of ensuring our work is of high quality. The ‘accrediting the accreditors’ process operated by this Commission subjects member agencies to a quality assurance and improvement process similar to that undertaken by schools. Hence, in order to maintain its good standing as a member of the Commission on Accreditation, CIS is required to align with published Standards for Accrediting Agencies and to undergo periodic self-study and evaluation by its peers – namely other bona fide accrediting agencies.


The National Center for School Curriculum and Textbook Development (NCCT) is a non-governmental agency affiliated with, and authorised by, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.  NCCT is responsible for curriculum development, textbook development, other publications and the assessment and ongoing evaluation of schools. Responsibility for assessment and evaluation also includes accreditation.

NCCT may join the evaluation process at all stages of the CIS accreditation cycle: the Membership Evaluation, Preparatory Evaluation, Team Evaluation and any other interim school evaluations that may be necessary. 

CIS Peer Evaluators and NCCT Visitors collaborate during the school evaluation and the evaluation outcomes are shared and discussed throughout the time at the school. The decision on awarding accredited status to a school is made separately by CIS and NCCT and the school notified accordingly.


The 1999 National Education Act of Thailand stipulated the establishment of the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assurance (ONESQA). ONESQA was established in 2000 as a public organisation (as distinct from a government office or state enterprise) responsible for school evaluation and feedback, quality assessment and fostering a system of school self-evaluation which would continuously improve the quality of education. It is mandatory that all schools in Thailand, including international schools, are assessed by ONESQA. 

ONESQA typically joins the CIS evaluation process at the Team Evaluation stage. CIS Peer Evaluators and ONESQA Visitors collaborate during the school evaluation and the evaluation outcomes are shared and discussed throughout the time at the school. The decision on awarding accredited status to a school is made separately by CIS and ONESQA and the school notified accordingly.

Department of Education and Training, Queensland Government, Australia

CIS and the Queensland Department of Education and Training work in cooperation and coordinate our respective activities to benefit schools that go through review and evaluation/accreditation processes with both Parties. Our common purpose is to support ongoing school improvement that focuses on high-quality learning, to provide students with the knowledge, skills and abilities to contribute meaningfully and productively in their local communities and ultimately, as global citizens, and to enable and support the institutional strength necessary to sustain that learning.

Victorian Department of Education and School Reform Board in Australia

The Council of International Schools is pleased to announce that Victorian Department of Education and School Reform Board in Australia has confirmed that it will continue to endorse the alignment of the CIS International Accreditation process with Department’s school review process. The Department has informed government schools in Victoria that:

CIS Accredited government schools are still required to provide statutory compliance information but are exempted from the state government review processes. Principals of CIS Internationally-Accredited schools responded to this welcome news.

CIS looks forward to working in continued partnership with The Victorian Department of Education and Training.

CIS has 47 members schools in Australia of which 43 are Internationally-Accredited and a further three have been awarded CIS International Certification. 

Forum on Education Abroad

The Forum on Education Abroad has accepted our code of ethics for their Standards Toolbox.

Our code of ethics succinctly describes the values that form the basis for actions and decisions of educational institutions around the world. As part of the toolbox, our code can be applied to educational institutions globally, across diverse cultures and national regulations.

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CIS is a membership community working collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools,
higher education institutions, and individuals. Global citizenship is the centre of everything we do at CIS to support our members.
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