The accreditation process (FAQs)

What is inspected?

All aspects of language education services, and the management, staff and systems that support these. Eaquals accredits the teaching of all languages.

Who are the inspectors?

International teams of inspectors. Eaquals inspectors are language education professionals with considerable managerial and international experience who have successfully completed the Eaquals inspector training scheme. They develop and maintain their expertise through regular professional development sessions.

How are institutions assessed?

Eaquals assesses the institution as a whole and in its own particular context. Inspectors evaluate evidence from different sources to verify that the Eaquals Quality Standards are being met.

What are the main elements of an Eaquals inspection?

  • Observations of teaching and other academic activities
  • Review of course design, assessment and certification
  • Review of academic documentation and other management records
  • Meetings with key staff – managers and teachers
  • Meetings with learners
  • Checking of premises, learning resources, facilities and accommodation where applicable

What sort of standards are applied?

The Eaquals accreditation scheme is international and the standards are designed to apply in all national contexts. Inspected institutions are asked to provide evidence that they meet these standards. Where Eaquals standards are higher than local regulations, Eaquals criteria are applied.

How long is an inspection?

This depends on the size of the institution. The inspection team need enough time to review the whole operation of the language centre. For large institutions 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 institution and the Secretariat will provide further information. Eaquals is a not-for-profit association and candidate institutions cover the inspectors’ professional fees, travel and accommodation costs.

How soon can new institutions be accredited?

The first inspection of a single language centre can normally be organised after the institution has been delivering language education services for 24 months.

What support does Eaquals provide?

The Director of Accreditation works closely with institutions to decide the best way to prepare for a first inspection and the overall time frame. Eaquals offers a pre-inspection advisory service, adapted to the needs of each candidate institution. 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 it take to be accredited by Eaquals?

This will vary slightly for each institution. It normally takes 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 institution works with the Eaquals Self Assessment Handbook to benchmark its systems and processes against Eaquals standards.
  • A follow-up consultation with the Eaquals Director of Accreditation 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 is ready for a full inspection. The inspector will signal what further developments are needed to meet the Eaquals Quality Standards.
  • The candidate receives a written report after the Advisory Visit and has a follow-up discussion with Eaquals.
  • The institution implements further developments in line with the recommendations from the Advisory Visit.
  • The institution applies to Eaquals for a first inspection at least 4 months before its preferred inspection date.
  • The first inspection takes place, followed by a report and 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 institution 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 institution can be accredited. Only those that fully comply with Eaquals standards can become Accredited Members.

How long does accreditation last?

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. Please write to