To deliver more impact for the UK, the British Council provides a range of services funded from charges paid by clients or customers.  These include English teaching, access to UK examinations services, subscription services such as education intelligence and promotional support for the UK Higher Education sector, and a wide range of contracts which we compete for and win to improve education systems or support development globally. 

These paid-for services all build trust and influence for the UK and cover core areas of the British Council’s role and Royal Charter objects. 

Fair competition

In developing our paid-for services, the British Council recognises the importance of always competing fairly with other service providers and ensuring that other UK competitors are not unfairly disadvantaged.  Our aim is to secure the optimum outcome for the UK. Sometimes this involves us providing services ourselves or facilitating market access and insight to others.  Sometimes this involves us partnering to offer services in our core areas of expertise alongside the services of others.  In all we do, we are clear that we must be consistent in our policies and action, and that we do not distort competitive markets. 

Our Fair Competition policy sets out the approach that underpins our paid-for work. This policy is guided by the following seven overarching principles listed on this page below.

Procedures and statements

The procedures and statements accessible on this page support the Fair Competition policy and guide the decisions and actions of British Council staff around the world, to ensure consistent, high-quality interaction with external partner organisations.

Our seven guiding principles