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During the consideration phase, the school familiarizes itself with the IB’s philosophy and structure, as well as the programme requirements.

The school compares the IB’s expectations with the school’s current situation to determine the tasks that will need to be completed to implement the programme.
At the end of the consideration phase, the school will be able to make an informed decision on whether to apply to become an IB World School (IBWS).


Each school’s approach to the consideration phase will vary according to their local context and resources.

Schools considering authorization should inform the IB that they are interested and provide basic contact information via the Indication of interest form. This will connect the school with IB staff who will provide guidance and answer questions as the school explores the possibility of offering an IB programme.

Typically, schools undertake the following activities during this phase:

  • Identifying who will be responsible for learning about the IB and the programme in which the school is interested, and for exploring the feasibility of pursuing authorization
  • Engaging members of the school community so that they may begin to develop an understanding of the IB, the programme’s characteristics and requirements and the authorization process
  • Analyzing the IB mission statement and key IB documents

Conduct a feasibility study to determine whether your school can become an IBWS and the steps required to get there.

Professional development

If the school intends to start the authorization process, it must complete the following professional development activities during the consideration phase.

The head of school (or appropriate designee*) must fulfil the category 1 “Head of school” workshop requirement for the relevant programme. The requirement can be fulfilled in the following ways.

  • The head of school (or appropriate designee) completes the current “Head of school” category 1 workshop.
  • The head of school (or appropriate designee), having already completed the current “Head of school” category 1 workshop for another programme, completes the self-paced “Head of school: Adding an IB programme” PD relevant to the programme for which they are seeking candidacy.
  • The head of school has received the IB certificate in leadership.
  • The head of school is a workshop leader for the current “Head of school” category 1 workshop.

The programme coordinator must complete the relevant category 1 “Leading the learning” workshop or be registered to complete it within six months of the submission of the Application for candidacy.

The school can also meet this requirement by submitting official documentation that the programme coordinator has previously completed the current version of the relevant “Leading the learning”

category 1 workshop.


*An appropriate designee is a member of the school’s senior management team who will play a leadership, change management and decision-making role during the authorization process. The programme coordinator is not an appropriate designee.


During the consideration phase, the school will incur the following IB costs.

  • Fees for professional development workshops
  • Fees required to submit the Application for candidacy

 Schools may also wish to consider the costs they may incur relating to their planned approach to the activities that take place during the consideration phase

Documents and resources

The programme-specific Guides to authorization lists the relevant documents and resources to support you through this stage of the authorization process. 

You can also watch our short Authorization videos for more information about the authorization process.


If the school decides to start the authorization process, there are several milestones it must achieve before it can apply for candidacy.

Before applying for candidacy, the school must:

  • submit an indication of interest and begin work with the IB Development team
  • determine that it meets the requirements for candidacy (including PD requirements) found in the Requirements for candidacy for the relevant programme and the programme-specific Guides to Authorization
  • inform the IB of its intent to apply for candidacy
  • pay the appropriate non-refundable fee.

Points of contact

During the consideration phase, the school will work closely with a member of the IB Development team, who will contact the school once it has submitted its indication of interest.

Next steps

Once these milestones have been achieved, the school’s contact on their regional IB Development team will provide access to the IB’s online platform (My School) and instructions for establishing an account and beginning the Application for candidacy. The school can then begin the next phase: request for candidacy.