The “rigorous checks” new agent applicants face include three reference checks, zoom interviews, along with other checks and requirements.
The BBSN Agent Membership Program formalizes the work the organization has been doing for the past 17 years and began with current agent members in October last year.
“We wanted to formally recognize the vital role our professional education agents play in recruiting international pupils to UK boarding schools,” BBSN director Suzanne Rowse said in a statement.
“We listened carefully to what our members told us they wanted and sought the views of experienced staff from both schools and agent member organisations.”
The expanded membership program “will provide validity and evidence of rigorous agent quality assurance for our member schools and the client families with whom our agents work,” she continued.
Two levels of membership include BBSN Approved Agent status for those who have passed all background checks and met membership requirements.
BBSN Trusted & Approved Agent status – due to be introduced in mid-2023 – goes a step further with additional requirements and recognizes “long-term” agent members who are fully engaged with the network.
Over 470 agent offices applied for approved agent status within the first week of launch. BBSN includes approximately 250 member schools in its network.
BBSN added that many agents’ applications are rejected for not meeting standards or delayed until the agent has more experience, with membership “considered a privilege”.
“The new program gives our member schools greater confidence that they are working with high-quality and reputable agencies, thereby protecting their UKVI sponsorship licence,” added Rowse.