Education agents play a significant role in counselling and referring students to international education providers. The primary representatives in this role are study abroad advisers at whom the CEAC is aimed. The CEAC is a Chinese version of the IATC, translated by ICEF and customised by BOSSA.
ICEF introduced the IATC as a means of raising the standard of quality and the professionalism of study aboard advisers and was originally developed based on the input of 769 education agents from 113 countries and 437 education institutions from 78 countries. Further input was given by the IATC Advisory Board, comprised of 30 director level individuals from education agencies, education institutions and official organisations in 18 countries.
The CEAC instructs the study abroad advisers in fundamental knowledge and functional skills. The study abroad adviser gains a “big picture” perspective of researching and marketing destination countries, and recruiting students for their education institutions and courses. This provides a conceptual framework with which to build detailed knowledge of a destination country, its education system and institutions, and its immigration processes.
The CEAC is based on the following definition of the role of a study abroad adviser:
The study abroad adviser connects the people involved in international education, linking students, parents, education providers, and travel and accommodation providers to each other in order to facilitate study in another country.
Core services to students are:
- Provide information on destination countries, e.g., lifestyle, costs
- Provide information on education options, courses, and pathways
- Provide counselling to students to ensure the most appropriate course selection
- Process enrolment applications
- Process visa applications
Core services to education providers are:
- Recruit suitable students
- Process student applications
- Provide market information
- Market and promote education providers
In the CEAC, key concepts are reinforced and expanded across lessons. In each lesson they are linked to related concepts, which both aids memory retention and promotes acquisition of wider cognitive connections. By the end of the course, the study abroad adviser should possess a broad conceptual framework within which to understand their role in international education.
The CEAC has three Course Units (A). Each unit is divided into Lessons (A.1), each lesson is divided into Pages (A.1.1), and each page may have a number of segments. Information is cross-referenced with hyperlinks.
The course units contain three types of questions/exercises:
Focus Questions: These are at the beginning of each lesson and prepare the student for the information contained in it.
Extension Questions: These occur throughout the content and assist in applying the knowledge gained from the course. They are a practical checklist to ensure that study abroad advisers are always able to give accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information to prospective students, especially with regard to specific destination countries.
Activities: These are learning tools at the end of each page, allowing study abroad advisers to test and reinforce essential information before continuing to the next one.
All CEAC participants have the option to take the formal CEAC test and earn a professional designation: China ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (CITAC).
Participants who pass the CEAC formal test will receive a Certificate from both ICEF and BOSSA, certifying them as China ICEF Trained Agent Counsellors (CITAC) and recognizing them internationally as qualified consultants for the international education industry. Further to this, they will receive a certificate from the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) providing national professional recognition in China.
In a further recognition of this professional standing, all agencies with CITAC-certified counsellors on staff will be listed on the CITAC Finder, a special web locator map and public listing featured on the ICEF and BOSSA web sites.
The formal test is online and comprises 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 90 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 CEAC. 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.
Testing and assessment sessions take place at Pearson Vue testing centres all around China.
To schedule a testing option, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your testing slot.
The charge for the test is 1300 Yuan, which allows you to have 3 attempts. Meaning if you do not pass on your first attempt, you still have 2 more chances to become qualified.
To prepare for the formal test, you can take the CEAC self-assessment test, which can be found on the right-hand side of the CEAC homepage once you have logged in. This self-assessment test is identical in structure to the formal CEAC test. Each question has only one correct answer, and all questions are based on the CEAC 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%. Until you have reached a good result on the self-assessment, please keep practising.
You will be automatically notified of your (pass/fail) result as soon as you have finished your test. If you have passed, you will receive your CITAC Certificate and personal CITAC Nr shortly after.
The testing fee must be paid regardless of a pass or fail result. This fee covers three testing attempts.
Once you have registered for the course and test, you have one year in which to sit the formal exam. If you wish to take the formal test and receive the CITAC Designation, please try (and pass) the self-assessment test first.