THE-ICE – International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education
Description of the agency
THE-ICE (International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education) is a not-for-profit international accreditation agency focusing on the accreditation, benchmarking, the development and the promotion of excellence in the specialised fields of tourism, hospitality, events and culinary arts (TH&E) education. Governed by an elected Board of Directors, managed by an Executive Team and supported by the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel, our vision is ‘to be the leading and authoritative source on TH&E education and training’.
The history of the agency
Originally funded by the Australian Federal Government (2004 – 2008) THE-ICE was established on 13-Apr-2004 as one of five International Centres of Excellence promoting Australian education prowess, THE-ICE was awarded to, and managed by, the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), the largest tourism and hospitality scientific research centre in the world at that time. With the endorsement and support of the Australian government, THE-ICE designed, developed and implemented strategic activities to:
- recognise excellence in tourism and hospitality education in Australia
- assist in furthering the development of that excellence, and
- promote of that excellence to future international students
and in 2007, with the introduction of the annual research initiative, THE-ICE Student Barometer, ‘benchmark of that excellence’ became the fourth ‘Pillar’ underpinning the corporate culture and ethos of THE-ICE. In July 2008 THE-ICE transformed from a government-funded international education initiative, with fourteen (14) Foundation Members from Australia, to a not-for-profit international accreditation and quality assurance agency. Today, THE-ICE is a global network of thirty-five (35) Members from 16 countries, comprising of thirty-three (33) public and private universities, vocational institutions and private hotel schools, and two (2) Business Alliances.
THE-ICE is a not-for-profit organisation, duly registered under the Corporation Act 2001 (Cth) and the [Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission] (ACNC), Registration Number: 86 131 628 370.
THE-ICE is 100% funded by annual fees and subscriptions from its membership network. Governed by a Board of Directors, members of which are elected by the General Assembly in accordance to THE-ICE Constitution, managed by THE-ICE Executive Team, supported by a team of appropriately quality external auditors from the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel.
Quality assurance procedures
Institutions seeking THE-ICE accreditation for their education programmes (English or non-English) must meet the applicable criteria of THE-ICE Standards of Excellence. It is a two-stage process:
- Stage One: Pre-accreditation – for all new incoming institutions seeking THE-ICE accreditation. Upon successful completion of this process, the institutions will be pre-accredited and invited to join THE-ICE as Associates Members.
- Stage Two: Full-accreditation – for existing Pre-accreditation Members or new incoming institutions, which have successful completed THE-ICE Pre-accreditation Fast Track Interview. The interview, a pre-qualifying process, is available to institutions that are well-established and are qualified to apply for Full-accreditation in the first instance.
The process involves the following steps:
- a) Self-review: completion and submission of the applicable application Proforma
- b) Evaluation: assessment of the application Proforma by auditors from the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel - one (1) auditor for Pre-accreditation and two (2) auditors for Full-accreditation
- c) Site audit: visit of applicant institution campus to verify and validate claims made in the Application Proforma
- d) Peer review: the self-review document, Application Assessment and Site Audit Final Report, the Executive Summary and the recommendation of the auditor/s will be submitted to THE-ICE Board of Directors for consideration and decision
- e) Benchmarking – mandatory participation in the annual THE-ICE Student Barometer Survey (THE-ICE ISB-SB™), part of THE-ICE’s ongoing commitment focusing on the internal and external quality assurance enhancement of member institutions.
Validity of the decisions
- 3 years for Pre-accreditation
- 5 years for Full-accreditation
THE-ICE publish a sweep of corporate collaterals, available for download. However, THE-ICE do not publish findings/reports of Pre-accreditation or Full-accreditation applications. However, institutions which have successful completed the application process are encouraged to display THE-ICE reports in the public domain at their own discretion.