British Accreditation Council

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The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education is an educational accreditation agency recognised by the British Government for international students entering the United Kingdom on student visitor visas.[1] The British Accreditation Council was established in 1984,[2] making it the oldest national independent accrediting body for non-EFL independent further and higher education providers in the UK.


The British Accreditation Council has been an affiliate of Enqua since 2009,[3] became a member of INQAAHE[4] in 2006 and has a memorandum of agreement with the Quality Assurance Agency.[5] The Chief Executive of the BAC is a member of the British Council’s Accreditation Scheme Advisory Committee.[6] The British Accreditation Council is a stakeholder of the Federation of Awarding Bodies.[7]

Charitable objectives[edit]

The charitable objectives of the organisation are:

  • To improve and enhance the standards of independent further and higher educational institutions by the establishment of a system of accreditation of such institutions and bodies administering schemes for such institutions and by the provision of an advisory and consultancy service in the field of independent further and higher education;
  • To define the eligibility of institutions and bodies to apply for such accreditation and to establish the criteria and standards to be observed by institutions and bodies applying for such accreditation;
  • To arrange for inspection of institutions and bodies applying for such accreditation and to prescribe fees payable therefore;
  • To act as the national accrediting authority for independent further and higher education.[2]

Research and development activities[edit]

As well as assisting law enforcement in cases of potential fraud,[8] the British Accreditation Council has provided evidence on the private sector to the UK parliament.[9] In 2008, the charity undertook a research project on private further and higher education in Kosovo, as requested by the British Council and the Kosovo Government.[10] The findings of that project were published in a report in July 2008, which was fully endorsed by the Kosovo Government.[11]

In 2012 the organisation was commissioned along with CFE by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to provide a comprehensive picture of provision by privately funded institutions operating in the UK higher education (HE) sector.[12]

Inspection and accreditation[edit]

The British Accreditation Council inspects and accredits around 250 organisations within the UK and overseas. An inspection of a private college assesses four main areas:

  • Management, Staffing and Administration
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Student Welfare
  • Premises and Facilities.[13]

As well as private colleges such as Hult International Business School, the charity inspects training providers such as Crown Agents. In October 2012, it announced that it would also inspect and accredit online colleges.[14]

Non-UK colleges accredited by the organisation include ICBS Business College, City College (international faculty of the University of Sheffield) and CTI Education Group. Until October 2012, colleges outside the UK were only eligible for BAC accreditation if they offered higher education courses and had a formal validation agreement or other link with a UK higher education institution, awarding body or BAC-accredited college.[15] In October 2012, a new accreditation scheme was launched for certain overseas institutions that did not meet these criteria.[16]

Inspection reports are considered by the Accreditation Committee, which includes representatives from the British Council and the Council of Validating Universities.[17]


  1. ^ "UK Border Agency | Student visitors". 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "ENQA - Detail View". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Member profile". Inqaahe. 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Memorandum of Agreement concerning the collection and use of information" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  6. ^ "ASAC - About us - British Council - Accreditation". British Council. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  7. ^ "Bac British Accreditation Council | Fab Stakeholders". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  8. ^ Matthews, David (2012-04-05). "College principal cheated Herts and students | General". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  9. ^ "The Future of Higher Education (13th July 2011)". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  10. ^ "Our work in education and society". British Council. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  11. ^ "Kosova Accreditation Project Report : July 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  12. ^ "Statistics at BIS - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  13. ^ "College Scheme Document" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  14. ^ "International Education News l The PIE News l BAC unveils accreditation for non-UK institutions". 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  15. ^ "International higher education accreditation". BAC. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  16. ^ "BAC launches new accreditation schemes". 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  17. ^ "Accreditation Committee". BAC. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 

External links[edit]