Professional Certification: Policies and Procedures

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is a fundamental principle of learning and a necessary foundation for all academic endeavors. Violations of the principle deny the violators the opportunity to obtain confident command of the material they are credited with knowing and demean the integrity of the certification process. It is, therefore, a matter of great and mutual concern to all members of the education abroad community that a concerted effort be made to maintain high standards, both to maintain the professionalism of the field in which we are engaged and to maintain the credibility of the certification program.

Individual integrity is vital to professional certification because the process involves the search for and acquisition of specific knowledge and understanding. Evaluation of each participant’s level of knowledge and understanding is a critical part of the certification process. Any act that interferes with the process of evaluation by misrepresentation of the relation between the work being evaluated and the participant’s actual knowledge is an act of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is one example of academic dishonesty and includes misrepresenting the work of another as one’s own or inaccurately or inadequately citing sources used, including those from the Internet.

Plagiarism, as explained above, will result in immediate expulsion from the program. Participants may appeal an expulsion by initiating the Certification Appeals Process.

Certification Appeals Process

A candidate for Certification in Education Abroad who receives an adverse certification decision may appeal this decision on the following grounds:

  • The Forum did not properly apply specified certification eligibility criteria; or
  • The decision was based on a factual error that affected the outcome.

All communication regarding appeals should be addressed to Prior to initiating an appeal, a participant should request clarification of the reasons for the adverse decision.

Appeals must be initiated by email to within 30 days of the notification of an adverse decision and should include:

  • The grounds for appeal, including documentation that demonstrates how the participant successfully meets the criteria for certification; and
  • Any new or additional information to be considered.

The Forum staff will respond to the participant acknowledging receipt of the appeal, which will then be evaluated by a Review Panel consisting of, but not limited to:

  • A Forum Certification Assessor (not involved in the initial certification decision);
  • Forum Council Chair or Standards Committee Chair; and
  • A Forum staff member.

The participant will be notified of the outcome of his or her appeal within 60 days of its initiation. All decisions made by the Review Panel are final.

Use of The Forum Certification Mark

The Forum Certification Mark is for use exclusively by individuals who have successfully completed The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. The Mark may be used to publicize the individual’s status as a certified education abroad professional who has successfully demonstrated the abilities to articulate and to apply The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Please read the terms and conditions below before using the Certification Mark.

Forum Certified Education Abroad Professionals agree to the following terms and conditions for use of The Forum Certification Mark:

  • The Forum Certification Mark may not be used by individuals who have not successfully completed the Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program.
  • The license to use The Forum Certification Mark shall terminate and be revoked upon the individual’s failure to maintain certification by the means outlined on the Professional Certification in Education Abroad website, in the event of misuse as determined by The Forum, or any other breach of these guidelines. Upon such termination and/or revocation, the individual will remove the Certification Mark from all materials, printed and electronic, regardless of whether such materials are preprinted or pre-existing at that time.
  • The Certification Mark may be used to indicate an individual’s status as a certified education abroad professional. It may be used on résumés and curricula vitae, email signatures, business cards, letterhead and websites.
  • When used on a website, the Certification Mark should link to The Forum web page that describes the Professional Certification in Education Abroad. The Mark may not be used to link to other pages on your web site or to any other third party web sites.
  • The Certification Mark must be used in its entirety and may not be altered in any way, including proportion, color, element, type, etc. except by written permission from The Forum. For web display, you may decrease the web size by a maximum of 10% or increase it by a maximum of 50% as long as proportion is maintained. You may not animate, morph or in any way distort the appearance of the Mark.
  • The Certification Mark may be printed in black ink or in its original colors. Altering the color scheme of the Mark is not permitted.
  • The Certification Mark may not be used to indicate any kind of endorsement of any product or service by The Forum; to indicate that any official status for any product or service has been conferred by or is otherwise associated with The Forum; or to show any kind of relationship with the Forum aside from those permitted above.
  • The Certification Mark may not be used on official documents such as sales contracts, or official disclosure documents provided to potential or actual clients or purchasers of an individual’s or member organization’s services or products.
  • The Certification Mark may not be used in connection with any disparaging statements about the Forum or its products and services, or statements that otherwise reflect poorly on the Forum.
  • The Certification Mark may not be used on any website that is in violation of any applicable laws or governmental regulations.
  • The right to use the Certification Mark is limited to those rights set forth herein and do not extend to any other marks of the Forum. The right to use the Certification Mark does not grant right, title, or interest in any trademark, service mark, logo, or trade name of the Forum. Any goodwill attaching to the Certification Mark or other marks of the Forum as a result of my use of the Certification Mark will inure to the benefit of the Forum.
  • The Forum has the sole right to file applications to register, and to obtain registrations for, the Certification Mark. Individuals agree to cooperate fully with the Forum in filing such applications and obtaining such registrations, including providing the Forum with specimens of use of the Certification Mark and executing any documents requested by the Forum, or in protecting, enforcing, or defending the Certification Mark. Individuals should notify the Forum in writing of any infringements, imitations, claims or other problems with respect to the Certification Mark which may arise or come to their attention. The Forum shall have the sole right, but not the obligation, to take any action on account of any such infringement, imitation, claim, or problem. Individuals should not institute any suit or take any action on account of such infringement, imitation, claim, or problem, without the prior express written consent of the Forum.
  • Individuals agree not to (i) challenge the Forum as the sole, exclusive owner of all right, title, and interest in and to the Certification Mark and the goodwill associated therewith; (ii) challenge the validity, control, or use of any mark owned by the Forum; (iii) register, use, adopt, or promote any mark that is confusingly similar to any mark owned by the Forum; (iv) take or encourage any action which would impair the rights of the Forum in and to the Certification Mark or any goodwill associated therewith; and (v) infringe the Certification Mark or other marks owned by the Forum.
  • The Forum reserves the right to disallow any use of The Forum Certification Mark.
  • Any unauthorized use of The Forum Certification Mark may result in legal action.

If you have questions about any of the conditions above, contact us at:

Logo of Sara's Wish Foundation, which includes the name of the organization and a photo of Sara Schewe smiling
Scholarship support for the Professional Certification Program is provided by membership and a generous donation from Sara’s Wish Foundation.


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