Standards Development: 6th Edition of the 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.
Beginning May 1, 2020, a 30-day appeals period was opened. Persons with directly and materially affected interests and who have been or will be adversely affected by any procedural action or inaction by The Forum with regard to the development of a proposed Standard or the revision, reaffirmation, or withdrawal had a right to appeal. Appellants were invited to file a written complaint with The Forum within thirty calendar days after the date of notification of action or at any time with respect to inaction. The complaint had to state: the nature of the objection(s) including any adverse effects, the clause(s) of these procedures or the Standard(s) that are at issue, action(s) or inaction(s) that are at issue, and the specific remedial action(s) that would satisfy the appellant’s concerns. Appeals emails were to be sent to the attention of the Standards Manager at email@example.com before May 30, 2020.
One appeal was received, requesting to strike references specific to the US from the following places in the document, in order to align more closely with The Forum’s mission:
From the “Introduction”
This document, published by The Forum on Education Abroad, specifies minimum requirements, quality indicators, and a framework for continuous improvement for education abroad
for US postsecondary participants. It is applicable to undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education, whether for credit or not for credit.
From page 6 in “How to use the Standards”
While these Standards represent consensus in the field of education abroad at the postsecondary level
for participants from US institutions, other constituents may find the Standards useful for informing their own practices.
From page 9 in “Scope”
This document specifies minimum requirements, quality indicators, and a framework for continuous improvement for education abroad.
for participants from US postsecondary institutions. It applies to undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education, whether for credit or not for credit.
The Consensus Body considered the appeal and the changes were adopted on June 12, 2020, when consensus was once again reached with thirty-nine (39) affirmative votes and one (1) abstention.
Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 6th Edition Released
The 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad is now available online, along with the accompanying publication, Meeting the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad: Prompts for Self-Assessment. Both publications are released in conjunction with The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference, hosted virtually April 21-23, 2020.
Access the 6th Edition
The 6th Edition to Be Released at The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference
The highly anticipated 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad will be first released at The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference, hosted virtually April 21-23, 2020. The 6th edition of the Standards has been a major undertaking of nearly two years involving the valuable contributions of hundreds of people. The 6th edition includes new guidance on equity, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, and the importance of re-entry programming. Be the first to receive the 6th edition by attending the 16th Annual Conference.
Majority Vote Reached on 6th Edition
On October 18, 2019, the consensus was reached on the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Forty-three (43) members of the Consensus Body voted in the second ballot: 41 affirmative, 1 negative, and 1 abstention.
Forum staff and volunteers are hard at work creating new programs and resources and updating existing ones to prepare for the roll-out of the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice, to be officially released at the 16th Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, March 25-27, 2020. After their release, the 30-day appeals period will begin on April 1. Any individual materially and negatively affected by the 6th edition of the Standards will have the opportunity to appeal to the Standards Manager in writing during that time.
Please note: This is a change from the originally projected timeline. The appeals period has been moved back in order to give all members of the field time to familiarize themselves with the new edition of the Standards and to acquaint themselves with the training, communication, and support resources that will be provided by The Forum in the coming months.
Check back on this page for more information about the roll-out and appeals 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. 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. Drafts of revised and proposed standards will be available on this webpage as they become available. All inquiries related to our standards development process can be directed to the Standards Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A draft of the revised Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad was available for public comment on this page during the 30-period of June 1-30, 2019. Directly and materially affected individuals were welcomed and encouraged to share their feedback on the draft. View the draft and comments received below.
The first ballot of the Consensus Body closed on August 22, 2019 at 5pm EST. The votes tallied by the deadline were 26 affirmative; 17 negative; 2 members did not vote (total of 45 members). The ballot did not reach the two-thirds or greater majority necessary to approve the draft; 29 affirmative votes were needed (of the 43 cast). Feedback provided by the members of the Consensus Body has been forwarded to the Standards Update Working Group for further consideration.
The Standards Update Working Group is currently reviewing all feedback received and will use it to inform further revisions to the Standards, which will in turn be submitted to the Consensus Body for a second ballot by October 1.