About this course
The ICEF Agent Training Course (IATC) is offered by ICEF in partnership with Pier Online. We have designed the IATC to support excellence and professional standards in international education. The IATC is a practical, professional training course for agency-based student counsellors.
The IATC covers three areas:
- The Context of International Education: destination countries, education systems, legal requirements, and visas
- The People in International Education: students, education institutions’ personnel, and immigration authorities
- Promoting International Education: working effectively, marketing, and ethics
NOTE: The IATC does not provide specific information about institutions, regulations, documents, or procedures unique to each destination country. This is a general course providing a foundation for dealing with all destinations. Links are available for each country - these provide detailed follow-up research and practical application.
Heleen Pelle, Bureau Buitenland, Netherlands
Pavel Joukovski Delius-Terra, ALC, Belarus
Soheyl Ahmadi, TKDanesh, Iran
Oksana Almanova, Bell Group, Ukraine
Who can benefit from this course?
- New entrants: individuals wishing to enter the international education industry as student counsellors
- New student counsellors: the IATC is an excellent training tool for new staff members at agencies
- Practising student counsellors: the IATC provides up-to-date information about international education principles and processes
Course participants who pass this formal test will earn the designation of ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (ITAC) and will have their name, photo, and company details including website listed on the ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor list.
All course graduates are also included in the Qualified Education Agents (QEA) app for smartphones produced by ICEF and PIER. This contains the names of more than
10 000 qualified agents worldwide – a valuable resource for educators seeking to partner with expert agencies!
Information about our recognition programme and agency screening for ICEF events can be found here:
Agent Quality and Screening
ICEF Agency Recognition Programme
Examinations for the IATC are conducted online, at ICEF events, and at related international education events as advertised. After the test, you will be automatically notified of your result as soon as you have finished. Participants who complete the IATC assessment successfully will be issued with a certificate, confirming them as ICEF Trained Agent Counsellors (ITAC).
The formal test is online and comprises 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered within 80 minutes. During the test, candidates will have access to online and offline resources. They will not be tested on individual country information/regulations, only on all the other sections of the IATC course. Candidates may use personal notes or information presented online from the course content during the test, but they will not be allowed to phone anyone or ask other people for assistance.
There are two ways to take the test:
1) At an ICEF event. If you are planning to attend an ICEF event, please send us an email to reserve your place as soon as possible. You do not necessarily need to be registered for an ICEF event to take the test; you may come just for the test. All you need is photo identification (e.g., a passport) and a wireless-enabled laptop.
2) Online from the comfort of your home or office at a time convenient for you (all you need is an Internet-enabled computer with a webcam and an Adobe Flash Player.
For both testing options, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your testing slot.
To prepare for the formal test, you can take the IATC self-assessment test on the right-hand side of the IATC homepage after log-in. This self-assessment test is identical in structure to the formal IATC test. Each question has only one correct answer, and all questions are based on the IATC course content. At the end of the self-assessment, you will receive your result. We encourage only those who pass the self-assessment to attempt the formal test. The pass mark is 80%.
Testing is not mandatory. You can also study the course for your personal enrichment and professional knowledge. There is also no time frame in which you must take the test after completing the online material.
Study for the IATC is free and is delivered in a self-paced modular format.
The charge for the IATC test is €250. This fee allows for up to three attempts at the final test if required.
The following pricing structure applies when multiple counsellors from the same agency sit the IATC test:
1st counsellor tested – regular fee
2nd counsellor tested – 10% discount
3rd counsellor tested – 15% discount
4th counsellor tested – 20% discount
5th and subsequent counsellors tested – 25% discount
There are no qualifications or specific language requirements to the IATC. However, English proficiency equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.0 (or TOEFL PBT 500/TOEFL iBT 61) is advisable for those who have English as a second language.
The designation of ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (ITAC) does not require participation at an ICEF event, nor are the agents vetted or required to provide partner references to complete training and testing.
What agents say
Without a doubt, ICEF’s role in our growth as agents has been pivotal. ICEF events have been a fantastic opportunity to establish and consolidate relationships with our educational service providers. The certifications and training programs offered by ICEF have been critically important in the development of our staff, and in strengthening our reputation of quality amongst our peers and customers.
Alejandro Gómez, Travelearners Estudios en el Exterior, Colombia
The ICEF Agent Training Course was an invaluable tool for me and our agency. The preparation for the test is an eye-opener for beginners and experienced agents alike. Personally, I was able to understand what international education was really about and the ITAC accreditation became a reference as well as an important marketing tool for our agency. Our aim at English Experience Intercâmbios is to encourage all of our agents to become accredited ITACs, and consequently, better student counsellors.
Ivan Tagliaferro, English Experience, Brazil
I recommend the IATC, even for experienced counsellors. It is an excellent tool that helps to organize your knowledge and gives you fresh ideas on what else you can do to improve your services for students. I also appreciate the training programme because of its strong emphasis on the work ethic of educational counselling. This is a very important aspect of the cooperation between students and educational institutions.
Paulina Pietrzak, JPEdukacja - Jezyki Podroze Edukacja, Poland
For those in the industry, the IATC Test is pretty self-explanatory as it reinforces the core values that we currently work under. The IATC Test has served as a tool to reassure institutions, seeking to be represented in Bolivia, that we are committed to our students and are above all ethical. We applaud the initiative and hope agents around the world will embrace not only the test itself but also everything it represents.
Oscar Del Rio, Minerva Consultores Académicos, Bolivia
Before undertaking the ICEF Agent Training Course I had a very different outlook on how to be a successful agent. Studying for the course immediately helped me to be more confident about what I was doing and what I should do next! ICEF has helped me to become a great agent, a better manager and additionally, a great motivator for our entire business. During the final IATC exam, I went back through what I had learned and analyzed how I had used it in my work. I used those examples as my exam answers and successfully passed the test. It is now clear to me that thanks to the IATC, I am on the right path for my clients.
Azimjon Khusanov, RIKS Education Centre, Uzbekistan
The IATC exam helped increase my knowledge in the field of international education and has improved my ability to counsel my students. The certification that I received confirms and promotes my expertise, experience, and authority, giving me greater confidence when dealing with students and schools.
Shadi Musallam, Bridge International for Academic Services, Jordan
The IATC Agent Training Course material was very thorough and covered many important topics. The practice assessment tests were also very beneficial, as they give a good insight into the style of questions and structure of the formal exam.
Sara Abdulla, Al Mawred Education Services, Bahrain