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A crucial element of the candidate phase is the consultation period. The school will be assigned a trained IB educator to serve as the school’s consultant.


The consultant’s role is that of an advisor and they will work with the school throughout the consultation period as they prepare to submit their application for authorization by:

  • building an initial understanding of the school’s status in relation to the requirements for authorization
  • guiding the school in creating and refining an action plan.

In the meantime, the school will work on:

  • developing or updating the required school policies
  • planning and documenting the school’s IB curriculum and plans for implementation
  • making any additions or refinements to the school’s facilities and resources to ensure they meet the IB’s programme standards and practices
  • planning for, and completing, the professional development (PD) required for authorization
  • reviewing and revising the school’s projected timeline for authorization.

Consultants provide 20 hours of remote support each candidacy year, conduct a two-day consultation visit during the candidacy period, and provide both a consultancy visit and end-of-consultancy report. 

Professional development

By the end of candidacy, schools will need to provide evidence that it has met all PD requirements as outlined in the programme-specific Guides to authorization.


There are several IB costs the school will incur during the candidacy phase, including costs related to the consultation visit (schools are expected to provide ground transportation and breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks for the consultant during the visit).

Candidate schools in Africa, Europe and the Middle East (AEM) and Asia-Pacific (AP) will incur costs for the accommodation of their consultant during the consultation visit, as the IB fees do not cover those costs in those regions.


The following milestones must be reached during the consultation period for the school to move on to the next phase in the process: 

  • the school and the consultant agree upon dates for the consultant visit
  • the IB schedules the consultant visit at the school’s request
  • the IB issues the consultant visit report
  • the school determines that it meets the requirements for authorization, including completion of required PD
  • the school informs the IB that it plans to apply for authorization
  • the consultancy ends
  • IB issues the end of consultancy report.

Points of contact


During candidacy, the school’s day-to-day point of contact will be the IB educator assigned to serve as the school’s consultant and the school will continue to work with the programme relationship manager.

Next steps

When the school informs the IB it is ready to apply for authorization, the consultation period ends, and the school can move on to the next phase: request for authorization.