Application procedure

Application Procedure for Accreditation & Membership of THE-ICE

Overview 

Institutions delivering quality TH&E (tourism, hospitality and events) higher education may have their TH&E programmes accredited by THE-ICE by completing the following five-step process:

  1. Register your interest by requesting an application proforma from THE-ICE
  2. Complete the Pre-accreditation application formalities (legal and financial) and undergo assessment based on THE-ICE Standards of Excellence, or apply for Pre-accreditation via our Fast Track Process
  3. Successful completion of step 2 entitles the institution to become an Associate of THE-ICE, with this pre-accreditation status being valid for a three year period
  4. Within the three year period, Associates of THE-ICE may complete the Full Accreditation application formalities (legal and financial) and undergo more extensive assessment under THE-ICE Standards of Excellence
  5. Successful completion of step 4 entitles the institution to become a Full Member of THE-ICE, with this accreditation status being valid for a five year period

AN OVERVIEW OF THE-ICE ACCREDITATION PROCESS

THE-ICE has adopted a two-stage accreditation process which consists of the following steps, outlined in brief:

Stage I: Pre-accreditation Assessment – to become an ‘Associate of THE-ICE’

The focus of this stage is to establish the credentials of the institution, the specifics of the programmes for which accreditation is sought, and the available resources to facilitate the quality delivery of those programmes. This stage is aimed at verifying that the programmes align with THE-ICE’s Standards of Excellence.

i) Self-review: applicant institutions must complete THE-ICE Pre-accreditation Application Proforma with quantifiable information to address the applicable criteria of THE-ICE Standards of Excellence.

ii) Evaluation: one auditor from the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel will review and assess the application document prepared by the applicant institution, and a Pre-accreditation Assessment Report will be presented to the applicant institution for comments upon completion.

iii) Site audit: one auditor or the Chair of the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel will visit the campus of the applicant institution to verify the validity and currency of claims made in the self-review application document.  The site audit will include the inspection of the applicant institution’s campus facilities, and meetings with the teaching staff, administrative support staff, students, alumni, the industry advisory board and all relevant stakeholders.  A Site Audit Report will be presented to the applicant institution for comment.
THE-ICE Accreditation & Membership Brochure.

iv) Peer review: the auditor, or the Chair of the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel as the case may be, will tender a recommendation to THE-ICE Board for consideration which will be based on the findings of the Preaccreditation Assessment Report and the Site Audit Report.

As part of this Pre-accreditation phase, THE-ICE Assessment Panel would review any relevant TH&E programmes of the application institution and endeavour to flag any ‘areas for improvement’ – thus giving the institution time to develop and work on these before applying for full accreditation.
Upon the approval of THE-ICE Board, the applicant institution would then be invited to join THE-ICE global network as an Associate of THE-ICE.  This membership tier carries pre-accreditation status for a period of up to three years, during which at any time the Associate of THE-ICE may apply for full accreditation of its programmes.

An Associate of THE-ICE may be eligible for an extension of pre-accreditation status for a further period of three years, upon such request in writing being made to, and approval being given by, THE-ICE Board of Directors.

Stage Stage II: Full Accreditation Assessment – to become an ‘Accredited Full Member of THE-ICE’

During the three-year validity period as an Associate of THE-ICE, a pre-accredited institution must undergo the following process in order to become an Accredited Full Member of THE-ICE:

i) Self-review:  the Associate of THE-ICE institution must complete THE-ICE Full Accreditation Application Proforma – a self-review document with a focus on self-reflection and a purpose of addressing the criteria in line with THE-ICE Standards of Excellence.  The mission and objectives of the institution and its programmes would first be examined, then tangibly aligned with the actual programmes, review process, graduate attributes, facilities, teaching staff, internationalisation policies and industry engagement activities.

ii) Evaluation: two or more auditors from the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel will review and assess the application document prepared by the Associate of THE-ICE institution, and a Full Accreditation Assessment Report will be presented to the applicant institution for comments upon completion.

iii) Site audit: two or more auditors of the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel under the leadership of the Chair will visit the campus of the applicant institution to verify the validity and currency of claims made in the self-review application document.  The site audit will include the inspection of the applicant institution’s campus facilities, and meetings with the teaching staff, administrative support staff, students, alumni, the industry advisory board and all relevant stakeholders.  A Full Site Audit Report will be presented to the applicant institution for comment.

iv) Peer Review: the auditor, or the Chair of the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel as the case may be, will tender a recommendation to THE-ICE Board for consideration which will be based on the findings of the Full Accreditation Assessment Report and the Full Site Audit Report.

Upon approval of THE-ICE Board, the applicant institution would then be invited to progress their membership level to become a Full Member of THE-ICE.  This membership tier carries accreditation status for a period of five years before re-accreditation is required.  Throughout this time, THE-ICE must be informed of programme changes to ensure their alignment with the accreditation granted.

Pre-accreditation and Full Accreditation of English and Non-English TH&E Programmes

Pre-accreditation and Full Accreditation by THE-ICE is available for TH&E programmes delivered in either English or non-English. For the latter, applicant institutions should expect to complete the application documents in English and provide certified translations to English of all relevant evidence and supporting documentation. Appropriately qualified translators would also be required during any site audits should the auditors have need for clarification.

Pre-accreditation Fast Track

At the discretion of THE-ICE Board, Pre-accreditation Fast Track may be made available to certain institutions who are deemed suitably qualified to waive Stage I: Pre-accreditation in the first instance.  The Fast Track process entails:

i) A collegial Pre-accreditation Fast Track interview with the applicant institution will be conducted by an auditor from the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel, with the discussion to focus on the top line risk factors (9 elements) to determine the prima facie feasibility of the applicant institution meeting the criteria of THE-ICE Standards of Excellence and securing full accreditation.

ii) The said auditor of the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel will then tender a recommendation for peer review as to whether or not the applicant institution is deemed qualified for Pre-accreditation Fast Track, based on their summary findings.

iii) The Peer Review Panel, which is comprised of the Chair of THE-ICE Board and the Chair of the independent THEICE Assessment Panel, will determine whether or not the applicant institution is suitably qualified with respect to THE-ICE Standards of Excellence and would then be invited, or not, to proceed directly with an application as an Accredited Full Member.

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES

There are two main categories for membership of THE-ICE:

(i) ‘Associate of THE-ICE’

To become an Associate of THE-ICE, institutions must successfully complete ‘Stage I: THE-ICE Pre-accreditation Assessment’ process (see pages 3-4 herein).  This is the pre-requisite category for institutions that intend to seek full accreditation from THE-ICE for their TH&E programmes, unless approved under the Pre-accreditation Fast Track process (see page 5 herein).

(ii) ‘Full Member’

To become a Full Member, institutions must successfully complete ‘Stage II: THE-ICE Full Accreditation Assessment’ process (see page 4 herein) after having previously completed either: Stage I to become an Associate of THE-ICE; or being approved under the Pre-accreditation Fast Track process.

THE-ICE offers three levels of Full Membership to suit individual needs:

a) Full Member with AccreditationPLUS Status – for institutions whose interests lie in accreditation and quality assurance of their programmes PLUS the additional strategic initiatives offered by THE-ICE.  Institutions opting for AccreditationPLUS status are therefore seen as recognising the added benefits of participating in global marketing through THE-ICE, and the opportunity for further involvement in other strategic activities. Full Members with AccreditationPLUS status also have the right to nominate partner institutions to join THEICE as Full Member with Affiliate Status (see below).

b) Full Member with Accreditation Status – for institutions whose primary interest is in accreditation and quality assurance for their programmes.

c) Full Member with Affiliate Status – for those institutions who are education partners of current Full Members with AccreditationPLUS Status.  Unlike the above two full membership options, such institutions can only make an application for full membership through nomination by their partner institutions, who must be a current THE-ICE Full Member with AccreditationPLUS status.

Other – ‘Observer of THE-ICE’

In recognition of the growing interest in the benefits of international accreditation, THE-ICE welcomes reputable institutions to join THE-ICE global network as Observers of THE-ICE should they wish to have a closer understanding of THE-ICE strategic activities.

This category is open to those institutions that are appropriately registered and recognised, and that offer TH&E education programmes, but are unable for various reasons to seek Pre-accreditation at this time

Full Members with Affiliate status

An “Education Group” operates with a central body being responsible for curriculum development, programme structure and content, quality assurance, review, of any and all independent education providers within the Education Group. Each of the education providers within the Education Group must operate as an independent legal entity, separate from the other education providers and the Education Group itself.

Once the requirements for full membership of a “Lead Institution” from an Education Group have been met, the Lead Institution must first become a Full Member with AccreditationPLUS status in order to nominate other education institutions within the Education Group to become Full Members with Affiliate status.

Any such nominated education providers must successfully complete the Full Membership with Affiliate status application procedure and independently meet the applicable criteria of THE-ICE Standards of Excellence, as well as complete any other application-related processes that may be required from time to time, including but not limited to the requisite site audits.

Full Members with Affiliate status shall be regarded as “subsets” of the Lead Institution and as such shall be entitled to the same benefits as extended to the Lead Institution as a Full Member with AccreditationPLUS status. Validity of accreditation and membership shall run concurrently with that of the Lead Institution.

For further information

For further application details please contact Ms Pauline Tang, CEO of THE-ICE via email: accreditation@the-ice.org