May 3, 2023

Becoming an accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) World School

children in school

The International Baccalaureate also known as IB is a worldwide education program founded in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, that offers high-quality educational programs to students across the globe. The process of accreditation is a rigorous one, that can take between 18 to 24 months to complete. The International Baccalaureate is no small organization, as it currently is present in 4,460 schools and 151 countries and territories worldwide. The accolades for IB are even greater, with a report by the University of Chicago stating that “Chicago Public School students who completed the IB curriculum were 40% more likely to attend a four-year college, 50% more like to attend a selective four-year college and significantly more likely to persist in college than their peers outside of IB.”

What is the International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate has its origins begin with Marie-Therese Maurette, the director of the International School of Geneva who wrote “Educational Techniques for Peace, Do they exist?”, this book would become the framework for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which still exists today.

The current roster of the International Baccalaureate encompasses four programmes:

  • The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students 3 to 12 years old. It focuses on the development of the whole child and aims to foster a love of learning that will last a lifetime. The curriculum is inquiry-based and student-centered, so students are active participants in their learning.
  • The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed for students 11 to 16 years old. The focus is to provide students with a foundation in a range of subjects, fostering critical thinking skills and their ability to work independently. The curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable, thus being able to meet the needs of each student.
International Baccalaureate (IB) World School primary years program
International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Middle years program
  • The Diploma Programme (DP) is designed for students 16 to 19 years old. In its rigorous curriculum, students are provided an in-depth education in six different subject areas in two years. The programme has been designed to prepare students for success in college and beyond. Completing the Diploma Programme awards students with an IB Diploma, considered one of the most respected qualifications around the world.
  • The Career-related Programme (CP) is designed for students 16 to 19 years old. The program implements academic study and practical experience in a specific career field. It has been designed to be flexible, allowing it to be tailored to the needs of each student. Completing the Career-related Programme awards the student with an IB Diploma or IB Career-related Certificate.

The IB programmes aim to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

What is the process to becoming an IB school?

The International Baccalaureate website is very informative and provides a richness of resources to guide your decision in considering becoming an IB school or not. The purpose of the IB accreditation is focused on reflection, inquiry, and growth. In the process to become an accredited IB school, the International Baccalaureate provides companionship, provides professional development for leaders, and ongoing communication to provide schools with the support and information to become an IB school. It should be noted that IB promotes that authorization to implement a programme is not the finish line or end goal, but, a milestone to become an IB World School.

process to be IB school

The journey consists of the following:

authorization process to becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
Caption credit: https://www.ibo.org/
  1. The consideration phase is where the first communication is established between IB and the school. The school reviews the different IB programs offered and implements a Feasibility Study that allows for reflection and assessment of the school’s current state. Also, schools should read the Guide for Authorization, to decide which of the Programmes will they implement.
  2. The application phase involves working with an IB Development Team to develop the Application for Candidacy and create a readiness timeline. At this step, school leadership must register for professional development, school create a five-year budget, pay the Application fee and submit an application. IB will work with the school and issue a decision on candidacy.
  3. Once the school is in candidacy, the school will have a period where steps to become an IB World School must be taken: training for inquiry-based teachings, the consultant works with the school to guide on the following steps, Candidacy and Consultation fees are paid, IB visits the school and a report is generated. If the school determines that the requirements have been met, it is time to apply to become an IB World School.
  4. Once the school applies and pays for the fee, IB issues a response to the application and a verification visit is scheduled. The school will continue to work on refining the implementation of IB standards. IB will then visit the school, and issue a verification report. From this report, the school will continue to grow and make changes, IB will then make a decision and once the school submits a signed authorization agreement, the school becomes an IB World School.

The cost to obtain an IB accreditation

Getting an international accreditation can incur many costs for the school, but the benefits outweigh the costs. For the International Baccalaureate, the fees will depend on two aspects: which of the four programs you are applying to, and the continent from which you are applying. Also, fees are different according to the stage in your IB journey.

request for candidacy fee for International Baccalaureate (IB) World School

The request for candidacy fee includes the payment for consultation, authorization process, and visits to the school. To learn more about candidacy fees, you can visit the IB website here.

The second fee is the candidate fee, and the third step as described above. This second fee will be charged on the 1st of the month following the granting of candidacy. Please note that this fee will be billed yearly until the school notifies the IB it would like to apply for authorization.

International Baccalaureate (IB) World School candidate fee

This fee will be charged on the 1st of the month following the granting of candidacy.

Once the school has been authorized to implement one of the programmes, the school must pay an annual fee. The annual fee for each programme for 2022-2023 are as follows

annual International Baccalaureate (IB) World School fee

To learn more about IB fees and costs, you can visit their website here.

Once your school is authorized.

Once your school has become an IB World School, the implementation process does not end. IB values ongoing development, thus it offers a range of professional development, workshops, and events to help the school in two areas: the implementation of the programmes and to embrace the IB programmes. The IB accreditation also offers a range of networking opportunities, resources, communication, and connection with other schools that have become IB World School.

Commitment to educational excellence and continuous improvement will well propel your institution to achieve the accreditation status and high-quality international education you are looking to achieve. The International Baccalaureate offers many benefits to students, as their accreditation is considered one of the best.

To learn more about IB you can visit their webpage here

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