About this Course

Welcome to the Irish Education Agent Course, created and developed by ICEF. The IEAC is the first of its kind and supports professional development for agents specialising in Ireland as a study destination.

Agents who take the IEAC will acquire a firm foundation in the benefits and organisation of the Irish education system. Agents will also gain access to resources to help international students study in Ireland at the most appropriate institutions and in programmes that best meet their goals.

The IEAC provides education agents with

  • Accurate and up-to-date information about education in Ireland
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the study options and credentials available in Ireland, in all areas and levels of education
  • Tips on how to best prepare students for living and studying in Ireland
  • The knowledge and skills to work effectively with Irish institutions
  • The ability to provide students and their families with specialised advice

The IEAC provides education agents with a general foundation in the education system and processes in Ireland as they apply to international students. For information on the rules and processes of specific education institutions in Ireland, agents will have to conduct their own research and make direct contact. The IEAC includes a helpful list of resources at the end of each section for the agent’s personal use.

The Course is divided into several sections:

About Ireland
The Irish Education System
Secondary Schooling in Ireland
English Language Learning
Institutes of Technology
The Higher Education Environment
Living In Ireland
Student Visas
Working in Ireland
Promoting Ireland

The IEAC is free of charge and is delivered in a self-paced modular format.

IEAC examinations are conveniently offered online, at ICEF events and at international education events as advertised. An exam fee of €250 will be charged. This fee includes 3 attempts at the final test if required.

Education agents who pass the IEAC examination will receive a notification indicating that they have successfully passed and will be acknowledged with an Irish Course Graduate (ICG) listing on the ICEF website and the Qualified Education App for smartphones, containing the names of over 9 000 qualified agents worldwide.

All courses have extensive study materials available. You can purchase the course eBook for €25 – which is a useful resource for counsellors.

Benefits of the IEAC


Education agents who wish to further their professional development and focus on Ireland as a study destination should take the IEAC. While they will not be officially accredited or endorsed by the Irish Government as a result of passing the IEAC exam, agents will have their name and company details published on icef.com and in the Qualified Education App for smartphones, containing the names of over 9 000 qualified agents worldwide.


There are no qualifications or specific language requirements for the IEAC. However, English proficiency equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.0 (or TOEFL PBT 500/TOEFL iBT 61) is advisable for candidates with English as a Second Language.

Specific Information on this Course

ICEF's new Irish Education Agent Course (IEAC) is designed for educational agencies committed to:

  • Operating according to the highest standards in providing guidance to international students planning to study in Ireland.
  • Working effectively and ethically within the framework of the Irish education and immigration systems.

The course involved extensive consultation with institutions and stakeholders in Ireland. An international advisory board comprising Irish associations, organisations (and government entities tbd) as well as agents from different parts of the world reviewed and gave input to the final course material. We thank all who assisted us in the interests of ensuring that agents have access to the most accurate and current information possible when they are advising students about Irish education providers, programmes, visa requirements, work regulations, and culture.

Agents who study the IEAC and decide to pass its exam will be demonstrating their dedication to professional and ethical conduct, and they will be in a better position from which to help international students make wise choices about study in Ireland – choices that will lead to fulfilling and successful experiences in Irish schools.

Advisory Board Members based in Ireland

Lucia Reynolds, Brand Manager - Education in Ireland
Enterprise Ireland

Celestine Rowland, Director
Galway Business School

Declan Millar, Managing Director
High Schools International

Debbie Flynn, Founder
Irish Education Partners

Sinead Lucey, International Education Manager
Irish Universities Association

David O'Grady, CEO
Marketing English Ireland (MEI)

Miriam Ryan, Head of International Education
Technological Higher Education Association

International Advisory Board Members

Victor Hugo Baseggio, Director
CI, Brazil

Fernando Lanzagorta Diaz, Marketing and Sales Director
Estudia en Irlanda, Mexico

Onur Yaldizkaya, Founder
Idealist, Turkey

Noriko Okada, Marketing Directo
Ireland Celtic Travel, Japan

Oscar Porras, Director
Midleton School, Spain

Dr. Osamah Majeed Qureshi, Director
Student Counseling Services, Pakistan

Course participants who pass this formal test will earn the designation of Irish Course Graduate (ICG) and will have their name, photo and company details including website listed on icef.com.

In a further recognition of this professional standing, all graduates will also be included in the Qualified Education Agents App (QEA) for smartphones produced by ICEF and PIER containing the names of over 9 000 qualified agents worldwide – a valuable resource for educators looking for expert agencies!

The designation of Irish Course Graduate (ICG) does not require participation at an ICEF Event, nor are the agents vetted or required to provide partner references to complete training and testing.

Information about our recognition programme and Agency screening for ICEF Events can be found here:



The formal test is online and comprises of 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 80 minutes. During the test, candidates will have access to online and offline resources. 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:

  • At an ICEF event (see IEAC Test Schedule on the left tab menu). If you are planning to attend an 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 and all you need is photo identification (e.g., passport) and a wireless-enabled laptop.
  • 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; please download here).For both options, please email training@icef.com to reserve your testing slot.

In both cases, the charge for the test is €250, 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.

For agencies:

In an effort to make the IEAC more accessible to agencies, the following discounts are available:

The following pricing structure applies when multiple counsellors from the same agency take the IEAC test:

2 counsellors tested - 10% discount
3 counsellors tested - 15% discount
4 counsellors tested - 20% discount
5 and subsequent counsellors tested - 25% discount
Over 10 counsellors - 50% discount


For approved educational agency associations:

In order to support an organized and responsible sector, a special discount will be made to members of educational agency associations that enter into an agreement with IEAC.

To prepare for the formal test, you can take the IEAC self-assessment test, which can be found on the right-hand side of the IEAC homepage once you have logged in. This self-assessment test is identical in structure to the formal IEAC test. Each question has only one correct answer, and all questions are based on the IEAC 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.

If you are taking the test either online or at an ICEF event, you will be automatically notified of your (pass/fail) result as soon as you have finished your test; if you have passed, your ICG Certificate and personal ICG Nr will be emailed to you instantly.

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. If you wish to take the formal test and receive the ICG designation, please try (and pass) the self-assessment test.

The Irish Education Agent Course was very useful for us as agents. English courses and Higher Education in Ireland are becoming more popular among Kazakh students, as Ireland provides high-quality education at competitive prices as well as the opportunity to work while studying. I found the training information well-structured and consistent. I hope that the material will help us to become more effective Irish education consultants for our clients.
Yevgeniya Zholdasbayeva, Kazakh British Study Center M & K, Kazakhstan.

The IEAC was excellent preparation for my professional profile in the international education sector. I was able to transfer what I learned to support my agency's goal of market diversification, encouraging customers to travel to other destinations such as Ireland to meet their educational goals.
Diana C. Peñaloza, Extudia, Colombia.

The IEAC training course was very useful and added a lot to my knowledge. I learned much new information about visa requirements and working in Ireland. Now I'm looking forward to working with Irish education institutions. This training course has opened my mind toward working with Ireland, which is really one of the best education destinations.
Mohamed Bashir, KCSC Kuwait, Kuwait.

Having passed the IEAC, we greatly improved our professionalism in the field of education in Ireland. Today we are actively promoting this destination to Ukrainian students. And we already have dozens of positive reviews from happy students who worked with us to go and study in amazing Ireland!
Mariia Chernykh, Compass, Ukraine.

I have recruited eight students to study in Ireland since I graduated from the IEAC course. It was so helpful to understand the education structure, visa processes, and to know more about Ireland. It was easy to understand all of the content and helpful for me while I was taking the course.
Enkh-Od Dashnyam, Bridge Blue Pty Ltd., Mongolia.

The IEAC course is excellent. We use our certification to promote Ireland as a study destination to our students and give our Irish education partners assurance of our knowledge and business practices.
Johnny Huang, GLC International Education Group, Taiwan.