The authorization process

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The IB's authorization process thoroughly supports and prepares a school to teach one or more IB programmes. In order to become an IB World School, a school must be authorized by the IB to offer one or more IB programmes.

The authorization process has three primary aims.

  • To provide guidance and support to schools as they work towards authorization
  • To confirm that the school is prepared to offer the IB programme with fidelity to the IB’s programme standards and practices, rules and regulations
  • To plan for ongoing development and improvement after authorization as an IB World School

The authorization process comprises several stages. Each stage has distinct objectives, tasks and costs.

The IB authorization process

The authorization process comprises the same phases and activities across IB programmes while also incorporating programme-specific activities that relate to each programme’s characteristics and requirements.

Projecting your authorization timeline

There are no set deadlines or timeframes for any stage of authorization. The authorization process is school-focused and -driven, allowing each school to determine its own readiness for each successive stage in the process. Readiness is based on the school satisfactorily completing the milestones in each phase, and considering the advice provided by IB educators and staff.

How long does it take to become an IB World School?

Use our new interactive timeline tool to anticipate how long your school’s authorization journey will be.

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From the moment your school becomes a candidate school, you will be given a direct point of contact, known as your programme relationship manager, at the IB. This person will provide specialized support throughout your candidacy.


The resource library contains key documents and relevant resources to support you through the authorization process.

Read more about the different phases in the authorization process: