Membership Terms and Conditions

Membership criteria

Membership of ICDE is available to:

  • Teaching institutions offering post-secondary and/ or adult education, research institutions, educational authorities and agencies, educational service companies ('institutional membership')
  • Individuals engaged in education and training throughout the world ('individual membership').

ICDE welcomes membership applications both from educational institutions which do and do not offer predominantly open and distance or online courses. 

Admittance to membership for institutions, educational authorities and agencies and companies seeking membership is subject to approval by the ICDE Executive Committee. These must be recognized in their own country or region and in good standing with ICDE, and must conduct educational operations in accordance with codes of ethics in distance learning. Documentary evidence of this must be provided to ICDE upon request, and can be asked for at any time.        

Note regarding bogus institutions

ICDE is a membership organization and does not provide accreditation for institutions.

For an institution to be accepted as a member of ICDE, certain criteria must be fulfilled. These, and a complete list of ICDE institutional members, can be referenced on the membership section of the ICDE website. 

Unfortunately, there are many bogus institutions - so called degree mills or diploma mills - in existence around the world. Individuals seeking further information on this topic, or hoping to find out whether or not an institution or a course of study is legitimate are directed to the following resources:


Institutional membership - By completing and submitting the Institutional membership application form, the applicant enters into a commitment to pay the appropriate membership fee for one year.  

Individual membership - Individual membership is activated when ICDE has received payment of the membership fee. Payment can be made by credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.

Approval process for institutions

Applications from institutions, educational authorities and agencies, and companies will be reviewed by ICDE's Executive Committee. Supporting documentation may be requested before the application is accepted and an invoice for the fee is sent. This process normally takes up to one month.

University or department membership?

Universities and other teaching institutions will be recorded in membership lists with the name of this entity. Where the department holds the main responsibility for open/ distance/ online courses in the institution, the name of the department should be entered in the Department field in the application form. The applicant may determine whether the details of the university or departmental Head should be entered. (See also How to calculate the fee for teaching institutions which do not offer predominantly open and distance or online courses.

Membership fee invoicing

All members are invoiced in October to pay their membership fee for the upcoming year by the end of December.


Applications for institutional membership received during the period 1 April - 31 December are eligible for an additional discount in that calendar year equivalent to the number of months of the year already passed. The date of receipt of an individual application, or of approval of an institution's or educational authority's application will apply, and discount will be given for complete months only.

Withdrawal from membership

An existing member which does not pay the renewal fee within one year of invoice will be removed from all membership lists and will be liable to pay the unpaid fees. To withdraw from the membership of ICDE, a member must notify ICDE in writing of their intention to do so by the last day of June of the year preceding the new calendar year. Otherwise, the membership fee becomes a debt to ICDE. ICDE reserves the right to expel from membership without any refund in membership fee already paid, or to refuse membership, to institutional members not meeting the membership criteria. Claims that ICDE provides institutional accreditation will result in immediate withdrawal of membership.                         

Last Updated on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 10:37 AM