Update: The International Education Mark


Work has been progressing in QQI to develop the policies and processes that will support the delivery of a new international education mark early in 2023 for the English language education and higher education sectors.

Codes of practice  

QQI has prepared draft codes of practice for both English language and higher education. These set out the minimum requirements for the quality of service and supports to international learners that must be achieved by providers applying for the international education mark. The codes have already been shared with provider representative groups and their feedback will inform a second draft of the codes over the coming weeks. Following approval of these second drafts by QQI’s internal Policies and Standards Committee in September, these revised codes will be circulated for formal consultation with and feedback from all QQI stakeholders in the autumn.

Due diligence  

When applying for the international education mark, providers must meet certain criteria relating to governance, finance and compliance with the law. This shows that they are able to implement robust quality assurance procedures and ensure the delivery of high-quality education and training programmes to learners.   

The legislation relating to due diligence requires enactment by Ministerial Regulations. Regulations drafted by QQI have been sent to the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science for consideration. Enactment of these regulations by the Minister will represent a key milestone towards the implementation of the international education mark process.

CEFR briefings  

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages provides guidance for developing a language syllabus, designing teaching and learning materials, and assessing foreign language proficiency.   

Understanding the Framework will help English language education providers prepare for the quality assurance requirements of the international education mark. QQI will host briefings for English language education providers this autumn which will provide expert insights and allow opportunities to work together on curriculum and syllabus development. QQI is also currently developing CEFR guidelines which will help providers design and update their English language syllabus and programmes.