Here at Opportunity China we’ve recently returned from not one, but two extended due diligence ‘tours’ to meet with long-standing partner schools and prospective new partner schools. These visits are always a real highlight for the OC Management Team. This week’s blog post considers how Opportunity China choose new partner schools and monitors existing ones.
What is due diligence, and what does this mean in practice?
Opportunity China believe in conducting a thorough and ongoing due diligence process with all prospective and existing partner schools or organisations. This process aims to ensure the suitability of a partnership, to screen potentially unsuitable partner schools/ organisations, and ultimately underpins our company ethos of providing an excellent service to our teachers!
For over half of the teachers we recruit, their school placement via Opportunity China will be their first time in China (and for many their first significant time living abroad) – regardless of whether they’re a recent graduate or experienced teaching professional. For those with no prior in-country experience, they place trust in Opportunity China that a school we recommended is of high quality, and provides an excellent level of orientation and ongoing support. Our key aim to to ensure that every teacher has an excellent and fulfilling experience in China, and receive all the support they need both pre and post-arrival.
It is for these reasons that Opportunity China places a great deal of importance on having a rigid and selective process in place for approving prospective partner schools and ongoing quality assessments through in-country visits and continuous teacher feedback.
We have a rigid approval process in place to ensure quality with prospective partner schools. New organisations must complete an initial paper-based screening process, where evidence of the legal right to hire foreign nationals, standard contract templates, teacher handbooks, teacher on-boarding processes, pictures of schools, campuses and pictures of teacher accommodation must all be provided for review by Opportunity China.
If we’re satisfied with the initial screening process, we will look to conduct an interview with a member of senior management staff, with the aim of learning more about the training processes and support structure in place for teachers at the institution, as well as the history of the school and gain more of a personal perspective on what makes the organization unique and worth working with.
If the interview is a success, we request confidential references from some current and former teachers.
Where suitable, a senior member of Opportunity China staff will visit the school’s headquarters and campuses in China, speaking with senior management, teachers and observing the operation first hand, before we get down to signing contracts and setting up formal arrangements.
School Visits and Ongoing Feedback
School visits are always a highlight for the our team as they allow us to meet with school management and HR staff in person and to asses their training and support structures for new teachers in China.
Gathering feedback from current teachers really helps us grow and improve our services. It also gives an opportunity to learn about the great food they’ve been eating, the amazing places they’ve visited and the friends they’ve made.
For us, there’s no greater reward than knowing we’ve helped a teacher in China achieve an amazing, life changing experience!