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Code of Practice




Members must satisfy IADL assessors, officers and regulatory staff that their organisation, products and services comply with the minimum standards required by the IADL, and all members agree to adhere to the conditions below to the best of their ability.


These conditions constitute a code of good business practice for Approved and Accredited IADL Members. IADL reserves the right to vary these conditions from time-to-time.





1. The Member should demonstrate a high commitment to pedagogical and instructional values.

This should be evident in any mission statement, corporate objectives, or strategic goals the provider adopts, and its actions should at all times be compatible with those values. The Member should also be committed to the continuous professional development of academic and administrative staff, instructors, and trainers.


2. The Member should be financially responsible and be able to meet its obligations to learners.

A Member's financial resources should afford all enrolled learners a reasonable prospect of completing their studies.


3. The Member should adopt widely accepted norms of good business and employment practice including (but not limited to):-

3.1. Having a fair and effective policy on refunds, which is made clear to the learner prior to enrolment.

3.2 Not discriminating, directly or indirectly, on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, or religious or political belief.

3.3 Having adequate premises and equipment to conduct its business.


4. Members are expected to:

4.1. Offer efficient and professional customer service at all times.

4.2. Have in place a clear and transparent system for learners/customers to voice grievances and complaints.

4.3. Thoroughly and impartially investigate complaints and if found to be justified, endeavor to satisfactorily resolve them in a timely manner.


5. All staff should be suitable for the positions they hold, and possess appropriate qualifications and experience.


6. Learner support should be of high quality. Where a Member employs more than one tutor, trainer, or instructor steps should be taken to ensure that support is consistent throughout the course provision.

Such measures may include but are not necessarily limited to:-

6.1 The development of normative schemes for marking and assessment.

6.2 Guidance notes for instructors, trainers, and/or faculty.

6.3 Regular meetings of instructors, trainers and/or faculty.

6.4 Sharing information on good practice, problems and solutions.

6.5 Ongoing monitoring and review of tutors'/ instructors'/trainers'/faculty work, including random or systematic sampling of marking and comments.

6.6 An appraisal system for tutors/instructors/trainers/faculty.

6.7 Guidance for new academic / training staff in the special requirements of open, distance, and online learning.

6.8 Providing adequate administrative backup for academic / training and administrative staff.

6.9 Such other provisions as the provider deems appropriate.


7. Sufficient resources should be available to ensure that every learner receives an adequate, individual service


8. The Member should adhere to all IADL recommendations and guidelines for the provision of open, distance and online learning.


9. If the Member has adopted its own set of quality assurance systems and controls by which its performance can be assessed, these should be compatible with IADL standards. The Member should seek, wherever possible, to strengthen internal quality controls in ways appropriate to the particular provision in question.

Internal quality assurance controls and systems may, for example:-

9.1. Identify & select suitable tutors/ instructors/ trainers and authors of course materials.

9.2. Monitor and review the continuing competence of all staff on a regular basis.

9.3. Set time limits for responding to external approaches, marking and returning assignments to learners, or reviewing course materials.

9.4. Seek and encourage feedback from staff, learners, clients and customers on evaluating and improving materials and services.

9.5. Measure outcomes, and use those measurements to enhance the quality of instruction and methods of course-delivery.

9.6. Include other provisions and procedures considered relevant by the Member.


10. IADL validation and recognition covers the complete range of courses, programmes, products and services provided by the Member unless otherwise stipulated.


11. Any course, programme, product or service offered by the Member may be deemed to be validated by IADL provided it is:

11.1. Approved by IADL as part of its overall due diligence and validation procedures, or

11.2. Approved by IADL as a separate item.

11.3. Subject to the Member's own quality control procedures; or

11.4. Subject to the quality control procedures of a partner organisation which is itself recognised by IADL.

11.5. Already approved by another accreditation agency or regulatory body recognised by IADL.


12. Where a Member has sought and obtained accreditation or validation by another organisation recognised by IADL, that accreditation or validation, and any submission made in support of it, may be used as evidence in support of an application for IADL Approved Member or Accredited Member status.


13. Approved Members may choose to acknowledge IADL membership and display the IADL Logo on websites, prospectuses, course-completion and graduation certificates, course materials and other publicity or promotional material. They will be issued a Certificate of Membership for the duration of membership.

13.1. Approved Members may use the following publicity statement:


"Approved Member of the International Association for Distance Learning".


13.2. Approved Members are normally required to upgrade to Accredited Membership after TWO years.

13.3. Approved Membership does NOT confer IADL accreditation on the member institution or organization, and Approved Members are prohibited from claiming or implying IADL accredited status.


14. Accredited Members may choose to acknowledge IADL membership and display the IADL Logo on websites, prospectuses, course-completion and graduation certificates, course materials and other publicity or promotional material. They will be issued a Certificate of Accredited Membership for the duration of membership.

14.1. Accredited Members may use the following publicity statement:


"Fully-Accredited Member of the International Association for Distance Learning".


15. Members may announce their IADL membership status and display the IADL logo on websites and/or promotional and publicity materials relating to any branch office or satellite campus, provided that:

15.1. The branch office or satellite campus is located in the same country as the member institution.

15.2. The branch office or satellite campus bears the same name as the member institute and/or is not considered as a separate entity.

15.3. Operating procedures, curriculum, syllabi, and methods of course-delivery are broadly the same.

15.4. Branch offices and satellite campuses which do not meet all of the above criteria will be required to submit a separate application for IADL membership.

15.5. Representation offices or sales/recruitment agents are exempt from the above, provided that no instruction is carried out at/from that location.


16. Institutions, organizations, and business entities affiliated or in partnership with an IADL Member for the purposes of marketing, promotion, joint-course delivery, or other business activity, may display the IADL logo and announce the IADL membership status of the Member on websites and promotional and publicity materials.

16.1. Promotional statements must not suggest that the affiliate or partner is also an IADL Member (unless this is actually the case), or is in any way endorsed, approved, validated, or recognised by IADL as an entity separate from the IADL Member. Members are responsible for enforcing this restriction on their affiliates and partners.

16.2. The decision of the IADL regarding the recognized IADL status of any branch office, satellite campus, affiliate or partner shall be final and binding on the Member.

16.3. Unauthorized use of the IADL name, brand, and logo may be subject to civil and/or criminal legal proceedings.


17. Members will be required to submit an annual return in the format required by IADL. Members also agree to allow IADL and/or its duly appointed inspectors or assessors to make unannounced on-site evaluations or other quality assurance controls as required.


18. Members should report any changes of significance in their operating circumstances or methods of course delivery to IADL.


19. Members must refrain from engaging in any activity or conduct likely to bring the name and brand of the International Association for Distance Learning into disrepute.


20. IADL will investigate consumer complaints made against members and, at the request of both parties, can act as liaison or in an arbitrational capacity to assist in the resolution of disputes. This service is non-binding on the parties and is offered without prejudice to their rights under the general law.


21. Any significant or persistent breach or breaches of this Code of Practice may render the offending Member liable to disciplinary measures, as determined by IADL, including (but not necessarily limited to) probation, suspension, or cancellation of membership.


22. The version of the Code of Practice published on the IADL website (www.iadl.org.uk) is considered current and updated, and supercedes any versions which may appear or be published elsewhere.