Agent Quality Framework

A Partnership for Quality: UK Quality Framework for Education Agents

UK Agent Quality Framework strengthened

We are pleased to announce the launch of three important new tools to help education advisers all around the world better understand the UK education system and the UK as an international study destination.

These tools are a vital part of the UK’s Agent Quality Framework, which recognises the critical role that agents and counsellors play in attracting and supporting international students wishing to study in the UK. They provide crucial resources for ensuring agents have the right information and skills as well for sharing best practice and providing up to date information.

The Agent Quality Framework: New Tools

The new tools include a free, agent and counsellor training and engagement hub created by the British Council, a Good Practice Guide for Agents & Counsellors, and a ‘Student Guide’ containing tips on what to look out for when selecting an agent. Combined with the National Code of Ethical Practice for Education Agents and the Good Practice Guide for Providers, this suite of tools will provide education providers, agents, and students the knowledge and best practice to maintain quality partnerships across the international student recruitment journey.

The documents that form the UK’s Agent Quality Framework include:

The National Code of Ethical Practice for Education Agents

The Good Practice Guide for Providers using Education Agents

The Good Practice Guide for UK Education Agents Partnering for Quality

A Student Guide to Choosing an Education Agent

UK Agent and Counsellor Training

The British Council’s newly revamped, now free UK Agent and Counsellor Training hub was developed in partnership with UK education sector partners, including UKCISA, UUKi, the Association of Colleges, The Council of British Independent Schools and English UK.

Importantly the new training hub received significant input and feedback from BUILA members, with specials thanks to those that supported with testing and the development of the training contents.

Agents and counsellors will now be able to access the latest topics including:

• Why should students choose the UK as a study destination?

• Preparing students for studying and living in the UK.

• The UK’s visa and immigration system.

• Employment opportunities and post-study work options.

In addition, international students and their parents will be able to check if their agent has the right level of knowledge via a public-facing searchable database of certified agents.


Legal Templates

For information on how institutions can embed the Agent Quality Framework and the Agent and Counsellor Training into their existing agent agreements see here for legal templates and further guidance.

Endorsement from Education Sector Partners

The Agent Quality Framework has endorsement right across the UK Education sector, and the new hub includes information on what international students will need to study at an English Language School, Independent School, College, or Higher Education Provider. The training hub will provide a one stop shop for agents and counsellors to engage with the UK as a study destination as a whole.

Bobby Mehta, Chair of the British Universities International Liaison Association, said:

‘We are really pleased to be launching these vital tools in the UK’s Agent Quality Framework with Education partners right across the different levels of study in the UK. The tools will sit alongside the existing Code of Ethical Practice, and Best Practice Guide for Education Institutions, to underpin the close partnership we have with agents and counsellors in maintaining quality and sustaining our international recruitment

Charley Robinson, Head of Global Mobility Policy, Universities UK International said:

“We are delighted to see the new UK Agent Quality Framework and agent training launched. Built on clear, evidence-based recommendations and insight from students, agents and education providers, the tools and guidance represent a major development in UK agent quality assurance. These resources will ensure we are providing the highest quality training, effective governance, and support to education agents and counsellors representing the UK sector, and the framework empowers students as key decision makers to make informed choices in identifying well qualified agents to support them on their pathway to study in the UK.”

Colin Bell, CEO of Council of British International Schools, said:

‘The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is delighted to support the launch of the Agent Quality Framework and the associated British Council Agent and Counsellor Training. COBIS is the largest premier global association for British schools overseas, committed to school improvement, safeguarding and supporting our members and the wider education sector. Quality is at the heart of everything we do and this framework will provide assurance to our student guidance counsellors and school members worldwide when providing advice to students and parents about the role of agents for inter-school recruitment and progression to UK higher education.’

Emma Meredith, Director of Global Engagement, Interim Director of Skills Policy Association of Colleges, said:

‘I commend the excellent agent and counsellor resources developed by BUILA and the British Council on behalf of the UK’s education sector. The new agent hub and broader agent quality framework are central to guiding and supporting colleges that welcome and advise international students. These resources help to set the standard for all institutions recruiting international students.’

Roz McGill, project manager (market development) of English UK, welcomed the launch of the new agent quality framework, and said:

‘As a sector we understand the importance of being responsible for our own quality assurance and prioritise these initiatives. With our own experience in agent relations and having had our own partner agency scheme for almost a decade, we have been delighted to input on the development of this framework. We are also delighted to be able to introduce the framework to English UK member centres through a free training workshop facilitated by our colleagues at BUILA in how to use it.’

Jacqui Jenkins, Global Programme Lead, International Students at the British Council, said:

I’m delighted to say that the new hub offers a full set of resources and is now completely free. We hope that the hub will empower agents and counsellors working with prospective students and provide a better international experience.’

If you have any questions about the Agent Quality Framework please contact Edward Chan at [email protected]