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European Association for Quality Language Services
Founded in 1991, EAQUALS is a pan-European Association of language training providers aiming to promote and guarantee quality in modern language teaching institutions. To achieve these aims it has established and published a demanding set of criteria for membership. These are laid out in the form of a Code of Conduct, Student, Staff and Information Charters (ISBN 88-900072-0-6), and backed up by a rigorous inspection scheme.
Membership is open to private or state institutions which are involved in the delivery of quality language training or are, in some other way, committed to the achievement of excellence in this area.
To become a full member of EAQUALS, language training institutions must prove their full adherence to the Code of Practice and Charters through submitting themselves to the inspection, which is repeated every three years, or more frequently if deemed to be necessary. It follows that only institutions that have been successfully inspected can be Full Members and display the EAQUALS logo.
The Code of Practice
The basic principles underlying the Code of Practice are:
The Student and Staff Charters further define the Code of Practice, of which they are an integral part.
- fair dealing with clients, students and staff;
- veracity of advertising and information provided to the public;
- value for money;
- respect for the legal constitution of EAQUALS.
The Student Charter
This is a clear undertaking by each member to provide quality services in all areas related to a language course. The main areas covered are:
The Student Charter is to be displayed in its entirety in each school.
- qualifications, experience and professional skills of the teachers;
- the teaching materials and organisation of the teaching programmes;
- suitability of the premises;
- the provision of detailed, truthful information about the course of studies.
The Staff Charter
This concerns itself with the working conditions, duties and entitlements of both the academic and non-academic staff where not already defined in national law. It requires a school to deal fairly with its staff, in accordance with local conditions, to provide suitable working conditions, and to have and publicise grievance procedures. The Staff Charter is to be displayed in its entirety in each school.
The Information Charter
This guarantees the veracity, comprehensiveness and clarity of the information provided by the school in its brochures, publicity and other information sources.
The Inspection Scheme
The Code of Practice and the Charters are of no practical use to the consumer unless there is clear proof of the school's full adherence to them. It is for this reason that the Inspection Scheme was drawn up. This scheme sets out in detail the 162 points that must be checked to ensure compliance and, in so doing, defines EAQUALS' understanding of quality in relation to the provision of language training.
To became a Full Member a school or institution must pass every aspect of the inspection, which will the repeated every three years. It is also subject to spot checks.
EAQUALS inspectors are qualified and experienced practitioners drawn from EAQUALS members, supplemented by outside experts. They all have to undergo a training programme and are given detailed notes on what they must inspect and how to carry out the inpection.
Inspections are undertaken by two people, at least one of whom will be familiar with national legislation and local custom. Their detailed, standardized report is submitted to the Eaquals Inspection Committee, which will make the final decision on membership.
Click to list EAQUALS members in: United Kingdom;
Further information from:
Chemin des Maggenberg 5
Tel: +41 26-481-4665
Fax: +41 26-481-4665
Contact: Frank Heyworth, Secretary General
EAQUALS website: http://www.eaquals.org/