Standards of Good Practice

The Forum on Education Abroad is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization (SDO) for the field of education abroad. As such, it is The Forum’s responsibility to monitor changes in our field of professional practice and maintain, update, and promulgate the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad according to the needs of our field.

Our process for developing and updating standards prioritizes the core principles of due process for standards development as identified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI): Openness, Lack of Dominance, Balance, Coordination and Harmonization, Consideration of View and Objections, Consensus Vote and Appeals. Persons directly or materially affected by the Standards have the opportunity to have their voices heard in this important process.


Notification of Standards Development

Beginning October 11, 2018, notice is hereby given that The Forum on Education Abroad has convened a Standards Update Working Group with the intent of revising the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad in preparation for a 6th edition.

All interested parties are invited to share their thoughts with the Standards Update Working Group through attendance to any of the virtual or in-person meetings listed in the calendar below, or at any time via our online form. Note that virtual listening sessions have been scheduled to accommodate participants calling in from time zones around the world. Please select the listening selection that is most convenient for your location. Preregistration is not required for participation in these events, but sessions with no pre-registered participants will be canceled.

The Standards Update Working Group is responsible for revising the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and proposing new drafts to a representative Consensus Body. The Consensus Body is responsible for voting to approve proposed revisions. The Consensus Body is made up of 50 members from diverse interest categories in the field: U.S. higher education institutions, higher education institutions outside of the U.S., education abroad providers, professional associations, service providers and charitable organizations, general interest members, and individuals from the governing bodies of The Forum. Following each draft, a 30-day public comment period will commence.

 

View the complete Standards Development Policy

 

Drafts of revised and proposed standards will be available on this webpage as they become available. Applications to serve on the Consensus Body will be available beginning in March 2019.

All inquiries related to our standards development process can be directed to the Standards Manager at standards@forumea.org.

 

Timeline for Standards Development

 

August 2018 Call for volunteers for Standards Update Working Group
September & October 2018 Selection of Standards Update Working Group
October 11 2018 Notification of Standards Development
Friday, October 19, 10:45 a.m. CET 2018 Session at The Forum’s 4th European Conference in Prague, Czech Republic: “VOICE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE NEXT STANDARDS OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR EDUCATION ABROAD”
Wednesday, November 14, 10 a.m. ET 2018 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #1: Register
Thursday, December 6, 12 p.m. ET 2018 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #2: Register
Thursday, January 10, 10 p.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #3: Register
Wednesday, January 30, 12 a.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #4: Register
Tuesday, February 12, 6 a.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #5: Register
Thursday, February 28, 4 p.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #6: Register
March TBD 2019 Session at The Forum’s 15th Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, USA: “VOICE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE NEXT STANDARDS OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR EDUCATION ABROAD”; Consensus Body application opens
April 2019 Consensus Body selected and announced
May 24-27 2019 Writing retreat in Carlisle, PA, USA for Standards Update Working Group
June 2019 Draft released, public comment period opens (30 days)
July 2019 Summary of Public Comments published on website
End of July 2019 Standards Update Working Group revises draft based on comments received
August 2019 Draft sent to Consensus Body for first vote
August-October 2019 Consensus Body voting until majority vote is reached in favor of the Standards updates
November 2019 Revised Standards announced and appeal period opened to any persons who have directly and materially affected interests and who have been or will be adversely affected by the revised Standards (30 days)
December 2019 Standards Manager responds in writing to each appellant within 30 days, appeals
January 2020 Board of Directors votes to endorse 6th edition
March 2020 Release of the 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad

 

Standards Update Suggestions

Submit comments and suggestions via this online form, or share your thoughts with the Standards Update Working Group at any of the virtual or in-person meetings listed above.

  • Name: * Required
  • Please leave your comments on necessary updates and revisions to the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad in the space below.
  • May a member of the Standards Update Working Group contact you to discuss your comments? * Required
  • Privacy Policy: * Required

 


Standards Toolbox

Form and Function: Working with the Standards of Good Practice

The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad support the complex responsibilities inherent in offering education abroad opportunities to students. They act as a means to develop, manage, assess and improve education abroad programming. As a commonly-developed and accepted set of standards, they provide a framework for accountability.

Each Standard is structured by:

  • Statements: the broad principles of the Standard, detailed in bullet points. These define the baseline best practices that should be observed by any entity operating within the field of education abroad, according to their type of education abroad activity.
  • a set of Queries following the Statement: prompts for evaluation, designed to elicit a response that demonstrates how the Standard is being met and encourages discussion rather than a yes or no response.

Supporting each Standard are:

  • Fundamental elements: a dynamic feature defining essential expectations of implementing the Standards;
  • Member Resources: a resource featuring best practices, keyed to the Standards. These examples are vetted by The Forum’s Standards Committee, and are made available exclusively to Forum members,
  • Standards Guidelines: guidance that contextualizes various specific areas of education abroad practices, particularly where these practices may differ from the same practice in the home campus context.

Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 5th ed. (2015)

Standard 1: Mission and Goals

Standard 2: Student Learning and Development

Standard 3: Academic Framework

Standard 4: Student Selection, Preparation, and Advising

Standard 5: Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Measures

Standard 6: Policies and Procedures

Standard 7: Organizational and Program Resources

Standard 8: Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management

Standard 9: Ethics


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