CIS International Accreditation Standard – Domain A


This article is the second in a series to share the CIS standards of accreditation that AISVN in committed to meeting or exceeding. The CIS International Accreditation evaluation framework provides a structured methodology for reflection, evaluation, and development for a school community to ensure systematic and continuous school improvement. Accreditation makes good schools better.  The framework is underpinned by four drivers, which reflect the Council of International Schools’ vision and mission.

These four drivers are how effectively a school:

  • delivers its own stated purpose and direction;
  • provides effective student learning;
  • ensures and enhances student well-being; and
  • develops global citizenship.

Domain A: Purpose and Direction

Schools use these essential questions to frame a reflective discussion about the overall effectiveness of the school in this domain:

  1. How effectively has the school’s stated purpose and direction been developed? How is it reviewed and by whom?
  2. How appropriate and coherent are the guiding statements? To what extent do they set the direction for the school and inform its policies and operations?
  3. To what extent is there a shared understanding of the school’s approach to learning and teaching?
  4. How well do the guiding statements help ensure that the school fulfils the values of the CIS Code of Ethics [] and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990)? How do they contribute to student and staff well-being?
  5. To what extent is there a shared understanding and common approach to the development of global citizenship and intercultural learning across the school?
  6. How could the school strengthen its purpose and direction beyond the Team Evaluation criteria?

This evaluation framework includes 8 domains, with 45 standards of which 24 are core standards. All core standards must be met or exceeded for a school to be accredited.

The following are the Domain A standards that state expectations for high-quality international practice, which schools should work to meet and aspire to exceed:

Standard A1. The school’s purpose, direction, and decision-making are guided by clear and aspirational guiding statements that are appropriate for the needs of all constituent groups and the context of the school. (CORE)

A1i.  The guiding statements systematically influence all levels of decision-making.

A1ii.  The owners and/or governors and school leadership can provide tangible evidence of how the school’s stated purpose and direction drive strategic planning and decision-making.

A1iii. The guiding statements are aspirational and well understood by the students, the faculty, and the parents.

AISVN guiding statements

Standard A2. The guiding statements provide clear commitment to high quality learning and teaching which is effectively implemented at each stage of a student’s pathway through the school. (CORE)

A2i.   The school puts into action its definition of high-quality learning and teaching which is appropriate for all stages of a student’s pathway through the school.

Standard A3. The guiding statements provide clear commitment to developing global citizenship and intercultural learning. (CORE)

 A3i.  The school puts into action its contextual definition of global citizenship embracing intercultural learning, both inside and beyond the classroom, as evident in the learning experiences of all students.

Schoolwide global citizenship workshop

A4i.   The guiding statements are in alignment with the CIS Code of Ethics and their ethical basis influences how the whole school operates.

A4ii. The guiding statements make a clear commitment to the wellbeing of the school community and this commitment is widespread in practice.

 A4iii. Interactions between adults and students are conducted in alignment with the values within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990). These are confirmed in policy and evidenced in practice.

 Standard A5. Monitoring, evaluating, and reviewing the school’s stated purpose and direction takes place on a planned and regular basis with the school’s constituent groups.

A5i. The review of the effectiveness of the guiding statements involves all constituent groups.

A5ii. Qualitative and quantitative data inform monitoring, evaluation, and any review of changes to the guiding statements.

Standard A6. The school’s approach to inclusion in its admissions procedures is aligned with its guiding statements.

A6i. The school’s admissions policy, procedures, and the outcomes of admission decisions are evaluated regularly in the context of the guiding statements and the level of success for all enrolled students.

AISVN Open House

Source: CIS International Accreditation Evaluation Framework [Revised June 2019]


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