FAQ on the ICEF Agent Training Course (IATC)


Connect. Recruit. Grow.

What is the IATC?

The IATC is a practical, professional training course for agency-based student counsellors developed by ICEF and delivered in cooperation with PIER. The course is available online and free of charge to agency student counsellors in a self-paced modular format. Related testing sessions occur at ICEF events and also at the counsellor’s location via an internet connected computer. Participants who complete the formal IATC test successfully will be issued with a certificate, certifying them as an ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (ITAC).

What is an ITAC?

Candidates who successfully pass the IATC formal test will obtain the status of ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (ITAC) and their name and agency details will be listed on an ICEF Agent Training Course (IATC) List.

What is PIER?

PIER – Professional International Education Resources – is a web-based portal providing information and training to individuals involved in international education. It consists of a substantial database of resources and news, and the PIER training courses. PIER links to relevant websites across the field of international education globally. PIER offers:

  • Access to formal qualifications through a suite of competency-based courses at diploma and certificate III level.
  • A growing database of information
  • Access to professional networks worldwide
  • News of professional development opportunities and conferences.

PIER also assists in connecting people across organisations and professional networks. The Education Agent Training Course (EATC) is contained within the wider group of PIER courses for international education professionals. The Education Agent Training Course (EATC) is specifically aimed at education agents who counsel and refer students to study in Australia. It is contained within the wider group of PIER courses for international education professionals, and is offered in partnership with Australia Education International (AEI) and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). The PIER courses – diploma to certificate programmes in International Education Services – have been successfully delivered since July 2006.

What is the cost of the ICEF Agent Training Course?

There is no cost to access the information and course materials. Interested participants simply need to register (free of charge).

The cost of the IATC test, i.e., formal assessment, is €250.

How does the formal IATC test work?

It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in an 80-minute timeframe. Candidates will not be tested on individual country information/regulations: only on all the other sections of the course. They can use personal notes or consult the IATC course online during the test. However, they will not be allowed to phone anyone or ask other people for assistance.

Where can I take the formal IATC test and how much does it cost?

There are two ways to take the test:

  • 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., 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.

For both testing options, please email training@icef.com to reserve your testing slot.

In both cases, the charge for the test is €250, which allows you three attempts. Meaning if you do not pass on your first attempt, you still have two more chances to become qualified.

What is the self-assessment test and why should I take it?

To prepare for the formal IATC test, we recommend that you take the self-assessment test (see the right-hand bar on your IATC home page after login). This self-assessment test is identical in structure to the formal test. Each question has only one correct answer, and all questions are based on the IATC course which you have studied.

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.

We designed the self-assessment test as a practice exercise for ITAC candidates, so they can increase their odds of passing the formal test the first time they sit it.

Certification: Will my company/agency be certified or just the person who takes
the IATC test?

The person who takes the test will be certified and will receive the ITAC Designation (ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor) with a certificate and a personal ITAC number. This person will continue being certified even if he/she changes jobs/agencies.

How long is this certification valid for?

There is no expiry for the IATC certification. If the course is updated or upgraded, ITACs will be notified via email.

How/when will I know I have passed the test?

If you have taken the test either online or at an ICEF event, you will be automatically notified as soon as you have finished your test. Your ITAC Certificate and ITAC number will be emailed to you instantly.

If I fail the test do I have to pay the testing fee?

Yes, there is a testing fee regardless of whether you pass or fail.

If I fail the test when can I take it again and do I have to pay?
When you sign up for the test and pay the fee of €250, you have up to three opportunities to successfully complete the test.

Can I take the test if I am not a student recruitment agent?

Yes, anyone interested in ITAC Certification and recognition can take the test.

Do I have to take the test once I have completed the course information?

Testing is not mandatory. You can also study the course for your personal enrichment and professional knowledge. There is no timeframe in which you must take the formal test after completing the online material. If you wish to take the formal test and receive the ITAC Designation, please attempt (and pass) the self-assessment test first.