Glossary of terms

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The process through which schools apply to become IB World Schools and within which their applications are considered, culminating with the IB’s decision on authorization.

Candidate school
A school whose submission of the appropriate application for candidacy has been accepted.

All aspects of the teaching and learning process for students in an IB programme, namely its design, implementation, assessment and review.

Consideration phase
Period during which a school examines the IB philosophy and specific programme structures and requirements, and compares them with the current state of the school to see if they are compatible. As a result, the school will decide whether to begin the authorization process by submitting an Application for candidacy. A school should complete the school information form to inform the IB of their interest when starting this phase.

Consultation process
A required part of the candidate phase, which includes a fixed number of hours of remote consultation per year of candidacy as well as an on-site visit (for all programmes except the CP).

Diploma Programme
IB programme that provides an academically challenging and balanced programme of education, preparing students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and in life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition from the world's leading universities.

Global Centre(s)
Each of the three IB regions—Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Americas—is administered by a Global Centre. The Global Centres provide services to prospective IB schools, IB World Schools, universities and governments.

Governing body
The duly constituted individual or group that has the ultimate legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the school.

Head of school (or director or principal)
The person who leads and supervises the daily operations of the school, ensuring that the policies of the governing body are put into practice.

IB Career-related Programme (CP)
IB programme that aims to extend access to an IB education by addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education.

IB educators/IB educator network (IBEN)
Education professionals and specialists who contribute to the successful delivery of core activities of the IB by acting as examiners, workshop leaders, school visitors, curriculum developers, examination paper authors, advancement service project consultants and readers of school applications. Collectively, IB educators are known as the IB educator network (IBEN).

IB learner profile
A set of ideals intended to inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose, and providing a set of learning outcomes for each IB student.

IB philosophy
The IB’s set of beliefs and values that guides the development and delivery of its educational programmes. It is reflected in the IB mission statement, the IB learner profile, What is an IB education? and the programme-specific documents that describe and explain each individual programme, all available in the resource and document library.

IB-recognized professional development
Activities listed on the IB workshops and events calendar or in-school professional development activities organized by the relevant IB office.

IB World School
A school that is authorized to offer one or more IB programmes.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)
IB programme that provides an academically challenging framework that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world and become critical and reflective thinkers. The programme serves students aged 11 to 16 and is typically offered over 4 or 5 years.

Programme Resource Centre (PRC)
A curriculum information and resources web application for all teachers involved in delivering one or more IB programmes.

Each IB programme includes a curriculum or curriculum framework and pedagogy, student assessment appropriate to the age range, professional development for teachers and a process of school authorization and evaluation. The four programmes offered by the IB are the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-Related Certificate (CP). A school may be authorized to offer one or more programmes.

Programme coordinator
Programme coordinators provide school-level leadership for the implementation of IB programmes and IB processes generally. They are key points of liaison with the IB.

Programme evaluation
Programme evaluation is a quality assurance process. Its main purposes are to assess the implementation of an IB programme in a school and to assist the school in developing and maintaining the IB programme. The first programme evaluation visit typically occurs between four and five years after authorization, depending upon the programme; subsequent evaluation visits occur every five years for all programmes.

Request for authorization
This is a formal request by a school to become an IB World School. The request is made when the school submits an Application for authorization, which includes specific documents that demonstrate the school’s understanding of the programme for which it is seeking authorization, as well as information about its planning and/or trial implementation, depending on the programme.

Request for candidacy
A formal request by a school for candidate status. The request is made by the school submitting the Application for candidacy, which shows that the school has carried out a preliminary analysis of the programme and the consequences of its implementation; and that, as a result, plans have been developed reflecting the commitment of the school to make the necessary adjustments to become an IB World School.

Elements needed to implement an IB programme, which might include people, time, materials and money.

School community
All stakeholders of the school—students, parents, school staff, school managers and the governing body.

Standards and practices
The general requisites established for schools to implement any IB programme. The standards provide the framework against which the school is measured at authorization and evaluation. Standards are attained by implementing the practices identified by the IB for each standard.

Verification visit
A visit by a team of IB educators intended to verify that the IB’s educational principles and required standards and practices are in place and that the school is prepared to become an IB World School.