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Application process

The official information about the application procedure for the Diploma Programme can be found in the document Guide to School Application [257 kb, PDF] .

The notes that follow aim to provide additional information to assist schools through the process. 

Schools go through a number of steps prior to authorization. 

Step 1:   The school makes an initial enquiry to the regional office in Singapore or to the office of the regional representative about the Diploma Programme. Sub-regional offices are located in Sydney for Australasia, Beijing for China and Mongolia, Tokyo for Japan and Korea, Mumbai for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and Singapore for South-East Asia. The school will be directed to this website for initial information.

Step 2:   After examining the IB documents on this website, the school will conduct a feasibility study to determine whether their educational philosophy is consistent with that of the IB as expressed in the IB’s mission statement. The school will also examine its resources – human, physical and financial - in light of the Diploma Programme requirements. 

In order to do this, the school may do a number of things:

  • Acquire subject guides. This is essential in order to gain a clear understanding of the detailed requirements of each subject, as well as the ‘core elements’ of the Diploma Programme.  These can be purchased from the online store.
  • Staff should attend IB teacher training workshops.  A calendar of workshops is available on the IB Asia-Pacific website;
  • Key staff members should attend introductory workshops on the Diploma Programme;
  • Invite the IB regional representative or the Diploma Programme regional manager to visit the school and speak to the staff and/or governing board about the programme. The school will be expected to cover any travel and accommodation costs;
  • Arrange visits to authorized schools in the region to speak with staff experienced not only in running the Diploma Programme but also who may have experience with the application process itself.

Step 3:   The governing body of the school makes a decision to seek authorization and sends the Notice of Intent to the regional office in Singapore, addressed to the regional manager, and sends a copy to the sub-regional office. At this stage the school is designated a “candidate” school.

Step 4:   The school prepares its application on the official Application Form, which has two parts, and emails it (or sends it on CD), along with supporting documentation, to the regional manager at the Asia-Pacific Singapore Office. At this stage, the school also remits its application fee to the IB headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The application must be submitted by the appropriate date (see below) to ensure that authorization is achieved in a manageable time frame.

Where it is not possible to provide electronic copies, hard copies of documents should be provided.  Please ensure that the school is clearly identified in all correspondence.

Step 5:   The regional manager, or the regional representative, will then organize with the school a date for the authorization visit.

Step 6:   The authorization visiting team will write a report based on the school’s application and their two-day visit and submit this report to the director general via the regional director.

Step 7:   The director general grants either full or conditional authorization, or refuses authorization, and notifies the school.



From the time of submission of the application form, authorization can take up to six months. The feasibility study, and the process leading to the decision by the governing body to seek authorization, may take anywhere from 12 months to two years, depending on the individual circumstances of the school.

In undertaking the process leading to authorization, candidate schools need to take into consideration their own internal planning timeline for the developing for academic timetables - the development of subject documentation, subject selection procedures and resource allocation.  Therefore, schools wishing to become IB World Schools must submit their application forms to the regional office by no later than

  • 31 October for May session schools in the year preceding the anticipated commencement of the Diploma Programme; or
  • 30 March for November session schools in the year preceding the anticipated commencement of the Diploma Programme.