Associate Accreditation

The accreditation and development programme establishes international quality standards for education specialists who support and challenge schools. The programme identifies the key areas to be assessed for accreditation at Associate and Senior Associate level. This page focusses on gaining accreditation as an Associate member.

What are we looking for in an Associate?

An Associate member would be expected to demonstrate the ability to intervene successfully in identifying and tackling school improvement causal factors and demonstrate a broad sphere of influence in a variety of organisations more widely than their own institution.

Accreditation Process

The AoEA learning journey to become an accredited Associate involves an application form with references, followed by a professional discussion, a seminar and finally a portfolio. The process is designed to be completed across a period of two to three months.


Associate Criteria

Three core criteria will underpin the Associate Assessment: advisory skills & knowledge, school improvement skills & knowledge, and governance skills & knowledge.

Within the application phase for accreditation as an Associate Adviser, candidates will be required to demonstrate that they have a wide and up-to-date knowledge of educational issues, the skills required to use their knowledge and experience to support improvement, and a track record of professional success.
A high quality education adviser must possess the understanding and skills to have a positive impact on school improvement. Fundamentally, they must understand the causal factors that contribute to a school’s performance and be able to work in concert with the school’s leadership to achieve change and improvement. We have identified certain key skills and attributes that we believe are essential to the role.
An education adviser is required to have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience that allows them to effectively support and challenge the governance of an educational organisation regarding corporate oversight and impact on the development of the organisation. This aspect is of critical importance.

The Application & Assessment Process


Submit application form with two case studies and referee details. Form & references are reviewed to ensure you meet the criteria and have the necessary experience to be successful at Associate level. This stage costs £200.

Professional Discussion

Invite to an online professional discussion panel to talk in further depth about experience and case studies. Informed whether ready to proceed to seminar or additional experience is required. Final invoice of £1,200 to be paid before seminar.


Invite to attend a full day professional learning seminar (face to face or online) where we introduce the Associate accreditation criteria in more detail.


Produce and submit portfolio on two case studies exemplifying the AoEA Associate criteria. This is assessed and validated by our team.

Associate Accreditation

Upon successful completion, become an accredited AoEA Associate. Gain access to our Member Hub, the option to join the Register of Accredited Associates and member benefits for the first year.

  • Application fee £200
  • Professional Learning & Assessment Fee £1200
  • Total £1400

If you are a large authority or group that would like to put your team through associate accreditation. We can provide bespoke development programmes to support you. Get in touch with one of our team here.

Got Any Questions?

Not ready to become an Associate yet, find out more about us.

Senior Associate

Are you interested in finding out more about our Senior Associate Accreditation.