The following general standards are designed to guide the Board and the ACAMIS schools about membership decisions. ACAMIS believes that membership should be extended to those schools it can best serve and that, in return, are able to contribute to the ACAMIS community.

ACAMIS international schools include preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools of international character and are further defined as those that:

  • are located in China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Province of Taiwan, and Mongolia;
  • are governed by their own independent school board or other competent independent educational authority and led by an appropriately qualified school Director, Head, Superintendent, etc. who oversees the school’s day-to-day operations;
  • are accredited by a legal and appropriate international accrediting body acceptable to and approved by the ACAMIS Board of Directors;
  • are not foreign sections of host country state schools or affiliated with universities;
  • employ a teaching faculty of several nationalities;
  • admit students from multiple nationalities and regions;
  • offer external examinations such as AP, IB, SAT, ACT, A-levels, etc, which
  • prepare graduates for universities beyond the school’s host country;
  • teach a curriculum not offered by the school’s host country;
  • use English as a language of instruction.

Membership standards and requirements are further elaborated below.

1.The school's mission, program, and system of operation shall be in keeping with appropriate respect for diversity, and pluralism in international education. Member schools should be mindful of the need to respect host country laws, regulations, languages, cultures and traditions. ACAMIS cannot condone any actions by its member schools that jeopardize its relationship with the government of the host country.

2.The school must be committed to a formal process of independent external evaluation regarding its educational program, its governance and management, a professionally certified teaching faculty, facilities and infrastructural operations including its child protection and health and safety standards and protocols. Such evaluation must be regularly conducted so as to inform and support continuous school improvement.

ACAMIS recognizes as a minimum standard for membership a school that submits evidence of successful single or joint accreditation by agencies such as CIS, WASC, MSA, NEASC, or AdvancED. Schools in mainland China may wish to use joint accreditation with NCCT. Curriculum authorization alone is not a valid external review. Schools that use other forms of external evaluation may submit the following:

for Canadian curriculum schools: successful inspection or accreditation by an official provincial body such as from Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta and British Columbia;

for Australian curriculum schools: successful recognition and review by state authorities such as New South Wales Board of Studies;

for British curriculum schools: successful initial OFSTED report and commitment to ongoing OFSTED inspection process that includes one OFSTED Team Visit per five years.

The ACAMIS Board may consider applications from schools that can demonstrate commitment to a process of independent qualified external evaluation not indicated above.

3. The school shall be governed by its own independent school board or other competent independent educational authority(-ies) who in turn shall appoint and authorize an appropriately qualified Director, Head, Superintendent, etc, who oversees the school’s day-to-day operations;

4. Schools applying for membership shall agree to host, at their school's expense, an evaluative visit by one or two members of the ACAMIS Board and/or the Executive Director. Upon the conclusion of the visit, the ACAMIS visitor(s), using an ACAMIS Site Visit Matrix, shall report to the full Board on the degree to which the candidate school meets membership criteria. A quorum of the Board of Directors will determine the outcome of the school’s application. The decision will be reported to the applicant Head of School by the Executive Director.



Schools are admitted as Full Members to ACAMIS in one of two levels:

COMPREHENSIVE MEMBER SCHOOL: for schools who wish to participate in all ACAMIS offerings – including student sports, cultural enrichment (ACE) and other activities and professional development events.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MEMBER SCHOOL: for schools who wish to participate in ACAMIS professional development offerings only.

Once admitted for Full Membership status in ACAMIS, schools may move from one level to another by notifying the Executive Director by March 1 of the academic year prior to the year in which the level change is to take effect.


A school that meets all the ACAMIS Membership criteria above except for final accreditation as stated in 2. above, but which is in the process of such independent external evaluation, may be admitted into Provisional Membership status after submitting its application, completion of the site visit and submission of an official letter from a recognized accreditation agency or other ACAMIS approved external evaluation agency acknowledging readiness to enter the school evaluation process. Provisional Membership will only be granted based on the presentation of a scheduled plan for the realisation of such external evaluation in meeting the ACAMIS criteria.

Conditions of Provisional Status:

§Provisional Membership status will normally be granted for no longer than two years along with the requirement that the school adhere to its schedule for meeting full membership criteria. Any variation to this schedule must be communicated to the ACAMIS Executive Director with specific reasons given for the change.

§The ACAMIS Board reserves the right to rescind Provisional status at any time should there be sufficient reason to doubt that a school is able to meet its commitment.

§Schools with Provisional Membership status must pay the same annual fee as those with Full Membership status. Memberships activated after January 1 will be required to pay 1/2 annual membership fee for the remainder of that academic year.

§Heads or other representatives of Provisional status schools may not vote or hold ACAMIS office on the ACAMIS Board of Directors or serve on any ACAMIS committees until they have achieved full comprehensive member status.

§Provisional status schools may not use the ACAMIS logo in or on any of their school promotional materials or for commercial purposes.

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