What’s new? What’s changed? How can I prepare?

In this blog, we take a look at the new IB Standards and Practices (accessed via MyIB) and highlight key changes for schools preparing for evaluation. 


  1. A preliminary review step has been introduced, which means schools submit documentary evidence for feedback 4 months before the site visit. Although schools need to have their documents organised earlier, it also means schools can take action earlier too!
  1. The action plan has become more interactive, guiding the self-assessment process as schools note and check off the actions they take to better align with the Standards and Practices. The IB can also add to your action plan after the preliminary review, allowing you to act quickly to make the necessary changes ahead of the site visit.
  1. The self-study questionnaire has been split into two parts, self-assessment and programme development. The self-assessment is similar to the old self-study, but the programme development is new. For this, schools produce a case study that shows how they have developed, analysed and reflected on an aspect of the DP. A template for this is found in the 2020 Guide to Programme Evaluation (accessed via MyIB).
  1. For DP schools, a major change is the submission of DP unit plans that show how the courses meet IB requirements, including how theory of knowledge (TOK) and creativity, activity, service (CAS) are addressed. While the IB does not mandate a particular unit planner structure, there are examples on the Approaches to Learning website. 

Watch our video on the ManageBac unit planner template for the IB DP.


MegaphoneComing soon: Built-in planner guidance for MYP and DP to complement our current PYP support.

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  1. The descriptors used in the self-assessment are reduced from four to three. Schools will determine for each practice whether the school implementation can best be described as highly developed, developed or developing in recognition that schools will continue to implement, understand and integrate practices more explicitly and consistently over time.
  1. Schools will submit evaluation documents through IB Concierge, a new platform commissioned by the IB to replace IB Docs. Within IB Concierge you will be able to drag and drop evidence directly from ManageBac, including the PYP programme of inquiry, selected unit plans and more!


  1. Practices are more explicitly aligned to the Approaches to Teaching & Learning:

Lifelong learners 1: Students actively develop thinking, research, communication, social and self-management skills. (0402-01)
Lifelong learners 1.1: The school implements and reviews the development of the IB’s approaches to learning. (0402-01-0100)


  1. Conceptual understandings become the cornerstone of assessment practices across all programmes:

Approaches to assessment 2.2: The school demonstrates that assessment practices are formed around conceptual learning. (0404-02-0200)


  • Read this blog post by Rachel French on why it makes sense to use a concept-based approach to teaching and learning.
  • Take a look at how AssessPrep can support the development of meaningful assessments in a remote learning environment.
  1. There is increased focus on facilitating personal inquiry through personalised learning opportunities and student choice:

Lifelong learners 6: Students take ownership of their learning by setting challenging goals and pursuing personal inquiries. (0402-06)


  1. Affirmation of personal and cultural identity becomes increasingly important through the development of language profiles and the exploration of cultural identity.

Lifelong learners 7.1: The school provides opportunities for students to explore and develop their personal and cultural identities. (0402-07-0100)
Lifelong learners 7.3: Students take opportunities to develop their language profiles. (0402-07-0300)


  1. A particularly important message in the times of COVID-19 – community well-being is emphasised as a key responsibility of IB schools:

Student support 3: The school fosters the social, emotional, and physical well-being of its students and teachers. (0202-03)


  • This series of three webinars discusses the process and importance of developing a wellness programme in international schools. 
  • CASEL has produced a comprehensive guide on supporting student social and emotional learning and well-being as schools re-open following the pandemic school closures. 
  1. There is more guidance and increased scrutiny about how the school uses and communicates its policies, and how they connect to the IB philosophy (the IB learner profile and international mindedness).

Culture 6: The school implements, communicates and regularly reviews its IB-mandated policies to ensure they are cohesive and reflect IB philosophy. (0301-06)


  • The IB provides guidance on the process for schools auditing, reviewing and updating their policies, for example the IB academic integrity guidance can be found here (access via MyIB). 
  • Implementing a new policy is challenging! Use our change management guide to support the process.

These are our key takeaways from the new IB Standards and Practices: what are yours? Share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!