Recruitment agents

A UK Agent Quality Framework (AQF) was established in 2022 following extensive research with students, education providers, education advisers and agents. The project is jointly led by the British Council, BUILA, UKCISA and Universities UK International (UUKi).

The Framework aims to enhance the partnership between recruitment agents and the UK education sector. It helps facilitate best practice, provides training for agents and counsellors, and provides key guidance and quality assurance tools. This ensures the ethical practices of agents and provides greater transparency on how agents and education providers work together to enhance the student experience. Over 150 institutions have signed up to the AQF pledge.

The tools have seven parts which include:

  • UK agent and counsellor training,
  • the National Code of Ethical Practice for Education Agents,
  • a database of certified agents and counsellors,
  • guidance for students and a formal complaints process for them,
  • a good practice guide for providers using education agents,
  • and a centralised communication hub for agents.

The British Council’s training programme for agents is continuously developed, and certified agents monitored. Any agents that are certified and breach the Code face termination by their UK partner education provider.

In less than a year, the programme has successfully certified over 8,500 education agents from more than 100 countries worldwide. As of 14th May 2024, 129 higher education providers had pledged their commitment to the Framework.

Resources on about education agents: