There are three stages in the accreditation process, namely:
Stage 1 – Scrutiny of the Application Form and the Accompanying Documentation.
If the information provided, which is assessed by a member of the ASIC Accreditation Committee, that is, the Assessor, is acceptable the process moves to Stage 2. If it is not acceptable, the college may be advised either on actions to take to rectify the perceived shortcomings, or that it is unlikely that ASIC would accredit it at this stage of its development. There is a fee payable at Stage 1 (see Section 7 of the Accreditation Handbook).
Stage 2 – Initial Inspection Visit
Will normally comprise a one day visit by an ASIC Inspector, who will focus on the college’s compliance with statutory and the Border and Immigration Agency’s requirements, management, student support, premises and the adequacy of the teaching resources for the advertised courses. The visiting inspector will also discuss the format of and the arrangements for the Stage 3 inspection visit with the Principal and senior management of the college.
However, if the college has recently been accredited by a recognised body, it may be possible to avoid the need for a Stage 2 visit. In this case any queries or clarification which might be required can be resolved by telephone or e-mail.
When a Stage 2 visit has occurred, the visiting inspector will submit a report of the visit, which will recommend whether or not to proceed to Stage 3 and identify any shortcomings that the college may need to address before the Stage 3 event takes place.
The Stage 2 report will be considered by the Accreditation Committee (see section 3.6), which will decide whether or not to confirm the recommendations. If it is decided not to proceed to Stage 3, the college will be informed of the reasons for this and given the opportunity to appeal and present grounds for requesting a review of the inspector’s report. There will be a fee for the Stage 2 visit (see Section 7 of the Accreditation Handbook).
Stage 3 – Accreditation Inspection Visit
The college will be contacted regarding the arrangements for the Stage 3 inspection visit; should the college not agree a date for this within six months of the Stage 2 visit the application will be deemed to have lapsed.
The cost of a college's accreditation will vary depending upon the following factors.
- The number of full time equivalent students attending the college
- The number of inspector-days required
- Is the college applying for re-accreditation
- Has the college previously been accredited by a recognised accrediting agency
For more details on our fees, please see Section 7 of the Accreditation Handbook
There will be no fees for one day interim inspection visits, random, unannounced visits or inspection visits made in relation to complaints or appeals. Colleges making an appeal will, however, be required to pay a deposit of £1000 for a full appeal or £750 for a review appeal, which will be refunded if the appeal is successful.
Payments of Fees and Expenses
Colleges are normally required to have paid all of the fees and expenses associated with their application for accreditation before the final outcome of the application is released. Colleges which do not conform with this requirement, or which delay payment of the annual fee by more than three months, will be assumed to have withdrawn from the accreditation process and will not be awarded accreditation or will have their accreditation withdrawn as appropriate and the Border and Immigration Agency (Home Office) informed accordingly.
It is recognised by ASIC that those colleges, which have been refused accreditation or which have had their accreditation withdrawn or suspended, should have access to a fair and expeditious appeals process.
If the Accreditation Committee decides to refuse or withdraw accreditation, the Chief Executive of ASIC will contact the college within 10 working days informing the Principal of the decision and the reasons for it and, furthermore, reminding him/her of the right of appeal.
The Principal or other appropriate representative of the college should submit an appeal within a further 10 working days of receipt of the notification of the Accreditation Committee’s decision. If the appeal is made by an accredited college, then accreditation will remain in force until the appeals process is completed.
For more information regarding Appeals, please see Section 6 of the Accreditation Handbook
ASIC will consider any genuine and relevant complaints against colleges, which have been accredited by ASIC and where the complainant has exhausted the college’s own complaints procedures.
For a complaint to be considered to be genuine, it must be submitted in writing to the Chief Executive of ASIC explaining the bases of the complaint, clearly identify the complainant and be related to the college’s alleged failure to comply with the accreditation criteria. Other complaints will normally not be considered by ASIC.
On receipt of a genuine complaint, ASIC’s officers will work with the complainant and the college in an attempt to resolve the complaint to their mutual satisfaction. The complainant must authorise ASIC to act in this respect. ASIC will inform the college of the nature of the complaint and require it to respond in writing to the issues raised in the complaint and to provide copies of any relevant documentation.
It is a condition of accreditation by ASIC that colleges will cooperate in the resolution of complaints against them.
If initial, informal attempts to resolve the complaint are unsuccessful, the Chief Executive will refer the complaint to the Accreditation Committee, which will be provided with the relevant documentation and a report on the initial discussions attempting to resolve the issues.
After due consideration, the Accreditation Committee will then make a decision based on the evidence provided.
For more information regarding Complaints, please see Section 5 of the Accreditation Handbook
* It should be noted that it is a condition of ASIC’s recognition as an accrediting body that it will investigate any complaints or concerns referred to it by the Border and Immigration Agency or other Government bodies. The Border and Immigration Agency will be informed of the progress and outcomes of such investigations.