ICOS Feature - What happens if an English language school loses ACELS accreditation

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Following the latest case of a school being removed from the ACELS register of recognised English language schools, we take a look at what this means for students and prospective students.


What will have happened before a school is removed?

If a school fails an inspection by ACELS, it has the opportunity to appeal. This process takes several weeks and removal from the list of recognised schools is only confirmed if the appeals process is unsuccessful.

After removal from the ACELS listing, a school is no longer allowed to promote itself as ACELS recognised and must remove the logo from its website and other publicity.


What does it mean for students already in class?

Classes can and should continue for those students already studying. There is nothing to stop the school operating in much the same way.


What does it mean for students who just booked?

Visas/GNIB cards will still be issued for those who have bought courses at the school. Although the school isn't accredited by ACELS any more, that simply makes it the same as other schools that don't have ACELS recognition which are visa-eligible.


What does it mean for students thinking of renewing or buying a course with the school?

Anyone who was considering buying or renewing a course with the school will now need to assess it as non-ACELS school.

ICOS advises students to only choose schools which have met the quality requirements to receive ACELS recognition.


So the school can continue to sell its courses without ACELS?

Yes, but fewer students will probably want to buy with a college that does not have ACELS and this may have an effect on the school over time.


Will a school be removed from the ILEP visa list?

The ILEP list of visa eligible courses, maintained by the immigration service, is based on standards that have some common elements with ACELS, but the two are distinct evaluation processes and schools may be on one listing and not the other. Where a school is included on both listings, loss of ACELS recognition could have consequences for its eligibility for visas, depending on the reason for failing inspection.


Updated: 20/1/16

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