Membership Standards

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 school board or other competent 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;
  • does not offer the host country curriculum (existing member schools are not affected by this criteria);
  • 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 British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspection by one of the five agencies licensed by OFSTED and commitment to that process, including the required refresher visit every three 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.