At ICEF we are concerned about agent quality and professionalism. For this reason we pride ourselves on having the strictest, most comprehensive and diligent agent quality controls.
The foundation of our quality control process is a database of over 20 000 international education agents, built over the last 15 years. This database is managed by our agents department, which is comprised of 15 Agent Relations Managers; each Agent Relation Manager supervises markets in particular regions.
To keep our database updated, our Agent Relations Managers keep in touch with agents’ associations worldwide, ministries of education, embassies as well as other relevant organisations, government bodies or certification boards who deal with educational matters. They stay informed of developments in their particular markets and regularly identify new agents through web research and attendance at education events.
The Selection Process
To ensure that only the very best of these agents attend ICEF events, we have developed a selection process considered the most stringent in the industry; due to its reputation, some of the world’s most important educators rely solely on ICEF for their agent introductions.
Any agent who wishes to participate in an ICEF event must complete an extensive application form (in English) including, but not limited to, the following information:
- Company information, including year of foundation and number of employees
- Official registration details
- 150 word description of their activities (in English)
- Detailed information on the programmes they are interested in and promote to students
- Total number of students sent abroad each year (by programme, education level and destination country)
- Four positive references from educational institutions they already work with
- Promotional and marketing strategies (e.g. how does the agent recruit students and how do they promote their partner institutions)
- Promotional items (e.g. does the agent publish a brochure? What is the agency’s URL?)
- Details of association membership and proof of professional standards
- Accreditation by a reputed entity
- Signed terms and conditions, indicating compliance with ICEF´s standards
All information that an agent submits must be dated within the last 12 months to be accepted. To ensure that agencies attend our events solely to do business as student recruitment agents, we enforce a strict no selling policy: Agents may not sell any services or products to educators. To ensure compliance with our no selling policy, agents are monitored onsite.
The Clientele’s Balance
To maintain the quality of our events, we choose our clientele selectively. The number of agencies we accept at each event depends upon the number of registrations we receive from educators. We also establish quotas for the number of agencies we accept from specific markets. These quotas provide a balance of countries at our events and ensure that each educator has the opportunity to meet with enough participants of their choice.
We will only confirm an agency’s participation in an event after reviewing all of the details noted above, after performing a website check and after receiving four positive references from reputable educators. For some of our events we require additional information: Agents applying for ICEF Higher Education, ICEF Australia New Zealand (ANZA) or ICEF Vancouver must also demonstrate a clear focus on sending students to these programmes and markets.