Being registered with the British Council is a pretty big deal. We are one of only a handful of accommodation agencies who have been through the comprehensive inspections process and come out the other side – with very good reports both times we might add!
The inspection itself is a 2 day process, but as I’m sure you can imagine, many hours of preparation go into making sure we are ready for those 2 days. Comparatively, it’s similar to what a school would go through in an Ofsted inspection.
Documentation: Inspectors rigorously go through all documentation including company policies, handbooks and databases. This is on the inspection itself, but months beforehand we will have already submitted details of the entire business, everything from Job Descriptions, to our Liability insurance certificate to our publicity materials!
Personnel: Inspectors sit down with each team within the company to talk about their roles within HFS London and to understand their grasp of British Council guidelines.
Homestay visits: Inspectors randomly select homestays to visit and speak to hosts to gain an insight into their understanding of hosting students, as well as the nature of their relationship with us in the office.
Once the inspection is over, we reach for the cocktail cabinet and pour ourselves a large Gin and Tonic! Meanwhile the inspectors have 4 weeks to write up their report and submit it to the Accreditation Unit for editing. The report then goes to the next available Accreditation Scheme Advisor Committee meeting, of which there are 6 held per year.
Once this meeting has been held, we are informed within 5 working days of the result. We’re proud to say that the result of both of our inspections has been very positive. Most recently, we were granted registration for a further 4 years!