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Welcome to the ICEF Agent Training Course (IATC) offered by ICEF in partnership with Pier Online. We have designed the IATC to support excellence and professional standards in international education.

The IATC is a practical, professional training course for agency-based student counsellors. It provides student counsellors with:

  • An understanding of the overall international education market and the main destination countries for international students
  • The skills and research parameters to analyse destination countries and their education products and processes
  • The functional dynamics of dealing with students, education institutions, and governments.

NOTE: It is beyond the scope of the IATC to provide specific information about the institutions, regulations, documents or procedures unique to each destination country. This is a general course to provide a foundation for dealing with all destination countries. The IATC provides the student counsellor with practical training in the general principles and functions common to most destination countries, and provides links to each country for detailed follow-up research and practical application.

The course covers three areas:

  • Course Unit A
    The Context of International Education
    Destination countries, education systems, legal requirements, and visas. Important Note: Students will NOT BE ASKED about specific destination countries when they take the IATC assessment test.
  • Course Unit B
    The People in International Education
    Students, education institutions’ personnel, and immigration authorities.
  • Course Unit C
    Promoting International Education

    Working effectively, marketing, and ethics.

The IATC is delivered online free of charge via this website, in a self-paced modular format. For access, please register for the IATC (registration is free of charge). Related testing and assessment sessions take place at ICEF Workshops and in conjunction with selected industry events and locations around the world. Participants who complete the IATC assessment successfully will be issued with a certificate, certifying them as ICEF Trained Agent Counsellors (ITAC).

Who can benefit from this course?

  • New entrants: Individuals wishing to enter the international education industry as student counsellors (with or without previous experience)
  • New student counsellors: The IATC is an excellent training tool for new staff members at agencies
  • Practising student counsellors: The IATC provides up-to-date information about international education principles and processes.


There are no qualifications or specific language requirements to the IATC. However, English proficiency equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.0 (or TOEFL PBT 500/TOEFL iBT 61) is advisable for English as a Second Language readers.