Frequently Asked Questions

What is inspected?

Eaquals accredits the teaching of all languages and Eaquals inspections cover all aspects of language education service. Inspectors verify the processes of the language centre’s management, examine  how course delivery supports learning programmes, how the assessment processes work, what systems of quality assurance exist, etc. They check staff terms and conditions and the range of services offered to students.

Who are the inspectors?

Eaquals inspectors are competent practitioners with considerable experience in school management. Before being appointed they need to demonstrate a good knowledge of practice together with the capacity to analyse the language centre’s performance and the ability to communicate the results in an appropriate way. They are required to comply with the Code of Conduct, follow the established procedures and respect the Eaquals principles.

How are language centres assessed?

Eaquals inspections are based on a principled and effective methodology, which combines direct observation of all aspects of the language centre’s activities with inspection of documentation and other evidence. Eaquals assesses the language centre as a whole in its own particular context  and inspectors verify that the Eaquals Quality Standards are being met.

What are the main elements of an Eaquals inspection?

  • meetings with management and academic managers
  • meetings focus groups of students and teachers, and where applicable, other stakeholders
  • interviews with members of staff
  • observation of a representative selection of the teaching
  • checking that academic management and administrative systems work in practice
  • checking key documentation – including material stored online
  • inspection of premises and resources and if applicable student residences

What sort of standards are  applied?

The Eaquals  Inspection Scheme is international and the Standards are designed to apply in all national contexts. Eaquals Quality Standards are derived  from the Eaquals Charters. They are cover 12 main Categories and include Detailed Criteria. Inspected language centres  are asked to provide evidence that they meet these Standards.

How long is an inspection?

This depends on the size of the language centre. The inspection team need enough time to review the whole operation of the language centre. For large language centres  this can take up to 4 days, while an average-size language centre will normally need 2 days.

How much does it cost?

Costs depend on the size of the  language centre  and the Secretariat will provide further information. Eaquals is a not-for-profit association and candidate institutions cover the inspectors’ professional fees, travel, subsistence  and accommodation costs. Link to Accreditation Fees

How soon can new institutions be accredited?

The first inspection of a single language centre can normally be organised after the language centre has been delivering language education services for 24 months. The period could shorter in case of groups of schools  and organisations with centralised management which already have at least one centre accredited by Eaquals.

What support does Eaquals provide?

The Director of Accreditation and Consultancy  works closely with language centres to decide the best way to prepare for a first inspection and the overall time frame. Eaquals offers  pre-inspection advisory services, adapted to the needs of each language centre. This can include a review of documents, a site visit by one of our inspectors and regular consultation. If required, Eaquals can deliver additional on-site training sessions.

How long does the  accreditation process take?

This will vary slightly for each institution. It can take up to 2 years and typically follows this path:

  • The language centre sends a first enquiry to the Secretariat, who provide initial information and advice.
  • The candidate language centre works with the Eaquals Self-Assessment Handbook to benchmark its systems and processes against Eaquals  Quality Standards.
  • A follow-up consultation with the Eaquals Director of Accreditation and Consultancy is arranged to agree the next steps.
  • An on-site Advisory Visit is conducted by an Eaquals inspector to give advice and consultancy on whether the candidate institution  is ready for a full inspection and what further developments are needed to meet the Eaquals Quality Standards.
  • The candidate language centre  receives a written report after the Advisory Visit and has a follow-up discussion with Eaquals.
  • The language centre implements further developments in line with the recommendations from the Advisory Visit.
  • The language center applies to Eaquals for a first inspection at least 3  months before its preferred inspection date.
  • The first inspection takes place, followed by a report, its moderation by the Accreditation Panel and the verdict 8 weeks after the inspection.

Do all institutions have an Advisory Visit?

An Advisory Visit is not compulsory but is offered to help applicants to achieve a successful inspection outcome.

What happens after a successful first inspection?

The language centre  is granted accreditation for four years, becomes an Accredited Member of Eaquals and benefits from all the advantages of joining our Association’s international network. Members pay an annual membership fee and participate in Eaquals events and academic projects.

What if an institution does not meet every standard?

Eaquals will make a requirement, explaining what action must be taken before the language centre can be accredited. Only those that fully comply with Eaquals  Quality Standards can become Accredited Members.

How long does accreditation last?

Accreditation  is granted for for years. Accredited Members of Eaquals are re-inspected every four years so that the quality of the education and services provided by members can be regularly verified.

How can I find out more?

Anna Andor, our Services Manager, will be pleased to provide full information and put you in direct contact with our Director of Accreditation and Consultancy. Please write to info@eaquals.org