Professional Certification: Curriculum

The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad Curriculum is based upon the Recognized Standards of Good Practice.

The Forum on Education Abroad is the field’s only Standards Development Organization (SDO). Recognized as an SDO by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, The Forum develops and disseminates Standards of Good Practice in order to promote quality education abroad for students who participate in programs. Certification in education abroad validates fundamental knowledge of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, recognizes the ability to articulate and to apply the Standards; establishes advanced capabilities in analysis and synthesis of the Standards; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

This certification curriculum comprises six modules plus a Culminating Project based upon the Standards of Good Practice. Each module consists of a Workshop led by a Forum Trained Facilitator and a Standards Assignment. Participants complete Module 1 first; Modules 2-6 can be completed in any sequence. All modules are designed to complement each other and build toward the Culminating Project. Modules are also available online.

  • Module 1: Overview of the Standards of Good Practice
  • Module 2: Mission, Ethics and Integrity (Standards 1, 9 and The Code of Ethics)
  • Module 3: Program Resources, Policies and Procedures (Standards 6 & 7)
  • Module 4: Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management (Standard 8)
  • Module 5: Student Learning, Development and Academic Framework (Standards 2 & 3)
  • Module 6: Student Selection, Preparation, Code of Conduct & Returning Support (Standards 4 & 5)


Forum Workshops are offered on a regular basis across the U.S. and around the world, and in conjunction with The Forum’s Annual Conference and Biennial European Conference. While each workshop is open to all education abroad professionals, participants seeking certification will also complete Standards Assignments after each workshop has been completed.

Participants may also choose to complete the program through the Accelerated Residency, a three-day program that offers the opportunity to attend all six Standards of Good Practice workshops.

Learn more about the Accelerated Residency Program»

Standards Assignments

The specially-designed Standards Assignments are exercises that relate to the content of the Standards of Good Practice and provide the means to evaluate a participant’s ability to articulate and apply the Standards. The Assignments require participants to apply what they learn to a variety of education abroad organizational and institutional contexts, which provides opportunities for real world application. Standards Assignments are evaluated by Forum Certification Assessors who are trained and appointed by The Forum.

Sample: Module 1 Assignments

Culminating Project

The Culminating Project is submitted after all of the modules have been completed. It requires that participants draw upon all of the Standards in a project that relates directly to their professional work in education abroad.

Maintenance of Certification

Individuals maintain certification by demonstrating continuing professional development related to education abroad and the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. This includes participating in a wide range of possible activities, including continuing education, professional development, service, scholarship, program development and assessment.


Logo of Sara's Wish Foundation, which includes the name of the organization and a photo of Sara Schewe smilingScholarship support for the Professional Certification Program is provided by membership and a generous donation from Sara’s Wish Foundation.