IC3 Institute Accreditation


The IC3 Institute Accreditation recognizes high schools that have established career and college counseling offices, are invested in student success, and that follow best practices to ensure the best standards of support to help their students make informed career decisions, by awarding them with a peer-reviewed and peer-recognized accreditation.


To shape the landscape of international career and college counseling practised in high schools globally by setting standards of best practices in the field to support schools in helping their students make best fit career decisions.


To recognize high schools that have demonstrated commitment to connecting students with opportunities for success, and shown innovation in career exploration and development through a robust career and college counseling department.

What the IC3 Institute Accreditation can mean for your school

  • Sustained improvement in school’s career and college counseling practices through adherence to established best practices
  • Strengthened parent-school relationship through assurance of quality counseling services for students
  • Recognition and visibility in the education community
  • Access to a network of career and college counselors through the IC3 community for continued peer learning and professional support
  • Access to global IC3 initiatives and events aimed at continuous professional development, knowledge-sharing and networking
  • Improved student placements through recognized institutional health and school profile
  • Eligibility Criteria

  • K-12 high schools with an active career and college counseling office
  • Junior colleges (offering grades 11 and 12) with an active career and college counseling office
  • Accreditation Process

    The IC3 Institute Accreditation is a comprehensive evaluation of a school’s career and college counseling infrastructure, conducted in the following steps:


    The accreditation process begins with the school submitting its interest in getting accredited. In its application, the school must demonstrate that it has the basic structures, policies, and systems in place to support the functioning of a career and college counseling office.


    The school’s candidacy is reviewed internally by the IC3 Institute, after which the school is invited to conduct a self-study. The self-study includes a quantitative and qualitative analysis of its own counseling facilities by the school, it also includes feedback by the stakeholders of the counseling process- counselors, other school staff, students, parents, and where possible, the alumni. The IC3 Institute will provide schools with a manual detailing the self-study process, relevant stakeholder questionnaires, and a self-study report template.

    Evaluation Visit

    A Visiting Evaluator conducts a school visit and on-site evaluation of the counseling infrastructure. The evaluator prepares a report for the school and the IC3 Institute Accreditation Panel on the school’s compliance with standards, and makes a recommendation on accreditation status. The IC3 Institute Accreditation Panel, an independent body comprising established education leaders from high schools, decides the final accreditation status of the school.

    The accreditation process can take between 25-28 weeks from the date of submission of interest to final accreditation being awarded.

    The IC3 Institute Accreditation process follows the highest standards of integrity and fairness to all stakeholders of the process. All applicant schools and evaluators are required to make a pledge to commit to the highest standards of ethics and integrity throughout the process of accreditation.

    Standards for Accreditation

    The career and college counseling facilities in schools are evaluated on the following standards

  • Infrastructure
  • Staff
  • Leadership/Management Support
  • Counseling Curriculum and Activities
  • Resources
  • Documentation
  • School Partnerships/Associations
  • Accreditation Levels


  • Schools receive a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 accreditation, based on a quantitative evaluation of the set standards for accreditation, with Level 1 being the highest
  • Schools can apply for a reconsideration of level after six months of initial accreditation

    Assessment Fee

  • FIRST TIME APPLICANT SCHOOL: Administrative cost USD 480 (per school and per campus in case of a group of schools)
  • RENEWAL: Administrative cost USD 250 (every three years)
  • RECONSIDERATION OF ACCREDITATION LEVEL: Administrative cost USD 250 (after a minimum of six months since last evaluation)
  • The school will be responsible for organizing the visit of the Visiting Evaluator, which may include the cost and logistics of travel.


  • The accreditation will need to be renewed every three years to ensure continued adherence to best practices
  • Schools can apply for reconsideration of accreditation level after a minimum of six months since last evaluation