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.


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.

Next update: February 15, 2020


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 standards@forumea.org.

 

Read the Standards Development Policy

 


Proposed Revisions

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.

 

Comments Received

 

6th Edition Draft

 

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.


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
Thursday, December 6, 12 p.m. ET 2018 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #2
Thursday, January 10, 10 p.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #3
Wednesday, January 30, 12 a.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #4
Tuesday, February 12, 6 a.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #5
Thursday, February 28, 4 p.m. ET 2019 Online Standards Information and Listening Session #6
Thursday, March 28, 1:45 p.m. MDT 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 Washington, DC, 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
October 18 2019 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad approved by Consensus Body
November 2019 Forum staff begin preparing Standards for official release (ongoing)
February 2020 Board of Directors votes to endorse 6th edition
March 25-27 2019 Release of the 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad at The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, USA
April 1-30 2020 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)
May 2020 Standards Manager responds in writing to each appellant within 30 days, appeals
July 2020 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad takes effect