?Is EduTrust difficult to attain





12 May 2021



In this final part of our two-part series about starting a private school in Singapore, we discuss what EduTrust is and share some of our expertise. As a pre-requisite to obtain EduTrust is 4-Year Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) PEIs, we recommend you also read our previous article about ERF.





What is EduTrust?

EduTrust Certification Scheme (EduTrust) is a Quality Assurance (QA) assessment for 4-Year Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) Private Education Institutions (PEIs) that is regulated by the Committee for Private Education (CPE). These PEIs either run degree programmes, pathway programmes or teach foreign students with international curriculum. This certification is an indicator of PEIs that consistently maintain a high standard of quality in the overall provision of education services and make continual improvements that lead to positive student outcomes. The assessment evaluates the PEI’s strategies, policies, systems and processes, infrastructure, delivery, and staff retention. There are 3 tiers of EduTrust certification awards - EduTrust Provisional, EduTrust and EduTrust Star.





What does the EduTrust application process look like?

There are 4 types of EduTrust application – new, renewal, guided interim and ad-hoc.


1) New application for newly set-up PEIs or PEIs does not have EduTrust certification.





2) Renewal application to be submitted at least four months before the end of its existing EduTrust certification.





3) Guided Interim application for PEIs with 4-year EduTrust award have to apply for this assessment at least 4 months before the end of its second year of certification. This assessment focuses on supporting PEIs in improving their performance. This will be followed-up with a site assessment.





What is the difference between EduTrust and ERF?





Common misconceptions PEIs face with EduTrust

In EduValue’s experience as an EduTrust consultant, we have noticed some misconceptions and issues that PEIs face with EduTrust applications that we would like to point out to the industry so that corrective and preventative action may be taken.


Some common misconceptions that PEIs have about EduTrust is that to attain the award, their organisation must be a large, profitable school with lots of resources. We have noticed that these misleading perceptions are often reasons that are given by the PEI’s employees and/or consultants when they fail to meet EduTrust objectives or outcomes because they are not current with regulations and assessment criteria. As a result, the PEI may receive a downgraded EduTrust or lose the certification. So why are they not up-to-date with the latest EduTrust information?


In our opinion, Singapore’s PEI regulator, CPE, is relatively young compared to its established counterparts in Asia, UK and many developed nations, and is continuously evolving their regulations and assessment mode to further the industry standards. Viewed in context, PEIs usually renew their EduTrust certification every 1 to 4 years (depending on the EduTrust they were awarded) and their experience in the previous successful application may no longer be accurate or relevant. So, while they were inaccurate to attribute it to a PEI’s size and profit, they were not entirely wrong when they mentioned resources – specifically in areas of training and upskilling.


While the EduTrust process is more lengthy and tougher than ERF, it is not impossible to attain the certification. EduValue has many clients that have successfully renewed the EduTrust certification over the years. Due to our volume of clients, we are regularly providing EduTrust consulting and this keeps us up-to-date with any changes in assessment criteria and how to adapt to them. Subsequently, our research team is attentive to operations on-the-ground and consistently seeks and evaluates new improved workflow processes.


EduTrust applications are not daunting if PEI employees and consultants are up-to-date with changes in regulations, how to apply it to applications, and understand the PEI’s operations and how to balance it with regulations and costs. Moreover, PEIs should not worry too much if their EduTrust certification gets downgraded but rather, they should focus on maintaining the certification and working on improving their processes to sustain their business.


For full details on EduTrust, visit CPE’s website


Read our previous article on starting a private school in Singapore and Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF)


Find out more in the Market Analysis of Singapore's PEI Sector (2015-2020)


Original article on LinkedIn


Written and graphic design by Gillian Koh, Industry Research Team at EduValue Global