CAIS Standards & Guidelines

Our 12 National Standards are researched, internationally recognized, and cover all areas of program and operation.

A requirement of CAIS membership is that each member must meet all National Standards. These Standards, listed below, are fully outlined in the 2015 CAIS Accreditation Guidelines (for member schools in CAIS Connect). Along with directing leaders through the accreditation process, these guidelines provide schools with a detailed understanding of each Standard and associated indicators of effective practice.

CAIS’ Standards and Procedures are congruent with the internationally accepted criteria and model core standards adopted by the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA).

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CAIS National Standards

Mission, Vision, Value & Strategy

The school has clear mission, vision, values and strategy. These statements are understood and accepted by all constituencies: Board, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and students. The statements give direction to the Strategic Plan (including curricular, co-curricular, financial, organizational) to ensure that all facets of school life are in alignment.

Co-Curriculum & Learning Environment

The school promotes and acts upon the academic, emotional, physical and social potentials of all its members within an ethical community.


Academic Program

The school’s program is congruent with its mission and strategy; it is based upon an articulated philosophy and research about the ways in which students learn and effective ways to teach them. Through an ongoing consultative process, the school has published a definition of excellence in teaching and learning that encompasses current research.


School Leadership

The school has an overall administrative organization, which communicates, carries out and supports the school’s mission and strategic plan.

Human Resources

The school’s Human Resources strategy is in place to ensure that the people practices and policies support the educational purpose of the school and are aligned with the mission, vision, values and strategies.

School & Community

The constituent relations, communications, and fundraising programs of the school are well planned and effective, both serving the community and engaging them in achieving the school’s mission. As well, the school has established systems and procedures to maintain harmonious relationships with the community in which it exists.

Enrolment Management

The school has defined those qualities that constitute a “mission appropriate” student and has established policies and procedures for enrolment management that ensure that the school is enrolling mission appropriate students.



The Board’s membership, structure and processes advance the school’s mission, vision and long-term viability; and the Board operates in fiduciary, strategic and generative modes.


The school’s financial resources and financial planning are adequate to support the school’s mission and to sustain the school’s long-term permanence and strength.


Physical Plant, Health & Safety

The physical plant, grounds and operations of the school support the mission, vision and programs of the school. The school has established and effectively implemented guidelines and procedures that promote a safe and healthy school environment.

Commitment to School Improvement

The school demonstrates a commitment to continuous whole school improvement.

Boarding & Homestay Programs

The Boarding program operates in a way that assures an enriched and extended learning experience for all students.

The Homestay program operates in a way that assures an enriched and extended learning experience for all students.