Academic Action is absolutely committed to the Statement of Principles for the Ethical Recruitment of International Students known as The National Code of Ethical Practice.
The National Code establishes the standards and best practices for education consultants, agents and counsellors who act on behalf of UK education institutions. This comprehensive code has its foundations in the London Statement of 2012 and the British Council's Good Practice Guide for Education Consultants, issued in 2013, and has received endorsements from numerous UK sector bodies. The development of The National Code has seen significant contributions from education consultants, and UK education institutions are committed to incorporating The National Code into their agreements with education consultants as well as their quality management procedures. While The National Code is not a legal document, it serves as a crucial guideline for ethical and professional behavior in the realm of UK education consultancy.
The National Code is based on the underlying ethical framework of the London Statement that requires education and aggregator agents to operate with:
- Integrity - being straightforward and honest in all professional and business dealings;
- Objectivity - not allowing professional judgment to be compromised by bias or conflict of interest;
- Professional competence and due care - maintaining professional knowledge and professional service, and acting diligently;
- Transparency - declaring conflicts of interest to all clients, especially when service fees are charged to both the education provider and the prospective student;
- Confidentiality - respecting and preserving the confidentiality of personal information acquired and not releasing such information to third parties without proper authority;
- Professional behaviour – acting in accordance with relevant laws and regulations and dealing with clients competently, diligently and fairly; and
- Professionalism and purpose - acting in a manner that will serve the interests of clients and the wider society even at the expense of self-interest; recognising that dedication to these principles is the means by which the profession can earn the trust and confidence of stakeholder groups (individual clients, the public, business and government).
Principle 1 - Agents and consultants practice responsible business ethics.
Principle 2 - Agents and consultants provide current, accurate and honest information in an ethical manner.
Principle 3 - Agents and consultants develop transparent business relationships with students and providers through the use of written agreements.
Principle 4 - Agents and consultants protect the interests of minors.
Principle 5 - Agents and consultants provide current and up-to-date information that enables international students to make informed choices when selecting which agent or consultant to employ.
Principle 6 - Agents and consultants act professionally.
Principle 7 - Agents and consultants work with destination countries and providers to raise ethical standards and best practice.