Statement following the À Bon Entendeur television programme aired on Radio Télévision Suisse
The safeguards of booking language courses with accredited centres
Following the À bon entendeur television programme aired on RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse), the British Council and English UK would like to reassure Swiss partners about the safeguards in place when booking language courses with British Council accredited English language teaching centres.
UK language centres accredited by the British Council are committed to providing a safe and rewarding language learning experience for all their students.
The Accreditation UK quality assurance scheme, managed by the British Council in partnership with English UK, gives students, their parents and advisers assurance of the quality of accredited English language centres.
Standards are monitored through regular inspections by independent inspectors. The inspectors assess all aspects of the provision for students, including welfare and accommodation, as well as evaluate the quality of teaching and check that courses and services are provided in line with the centre's publicity.
There are specific quality standards which language centres have to meet in the following areas:
Premises and resources
Teaching and learning
Welfare and student services
Safeguarding under 18s
The welfare and student services section includes requirements for the care of students, accommodation and any leisure programme.
Whether provided in residences or the home of a British host, student accommodation should be inspected for safety and suitability before students are placed (and at least every two years after that), be clean and provide sufficient space and appropriate facilities.
Language centres have to show effective procedures for managing any accommodation provided (whether directly or through a partner accommodation agency), systems for identifying and resolving any problems and additional rigorous checks and safeguards for any accommodation for under 18s. Inspectors check all these systems during an inspection for accreditation.
Accredited centres are listed on the British Council website, and inspection reports are available.
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Co-chairs of the Accreditation UK Executive Board