As of September 2016, IALC has two new members in North America: ICLS (International Center for Languages Studies) in Washington, USA, and Van West College in Vancouver and Kelowna, Canada. They join an association of independent language centres that now numbers 98 organisations with a total of 139 centres around the world.
IALC recruits members strategically, focusing on new locations as well as popular destinations where there is demand for more than one IALC-accredited school.
Jan Capper, executive director, explains what happens next: “In places where we would like more members, we identify language centres with the reputation and style of a typical IALC school - high quality, caring, personal - and invite them to apply. They are then inspected by an independent auditor. They may be accepted, accepted conditionally on making small changes, asked to make more significant changes and re-audited at a later date, or rejected.”
The benefits of IALC membership are quality branding and joint marketing activities, which help individual language centres and small chains to operate in the increasingly competitive language travel market. Members are also encouraged to contribute to the association through committees, an online forum and even hosting the annual agent workshop.
Commenting on joining IALC, Barbara Elliot, Executive Director of Van West College, says:
“VanWest is delighted to be a new member in the IALC organization. We believe that our vision and values match those of IALC and are proud to be part of an organization that represents the best independent schools and agents from around the world. We look forward to meeting our new colleagues at ICEF Berlin!”
Leaving IALC in October 2016 are Sydney College of English and Phoenix Academy in Australia.