TEFL Accreditation Guide.
Accreditation status is defined by three main categories: Unaccredited, Accredited, and Fully Accredited.
‘Fully Accredited’ status is the highest level of accreditation.
This guide consists of three sections:
1. Institutional bodies providing Online TEFL/TESOL programs with Fully Accredited status.
2. The list of Fully Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL certification programs.
3. A warning about Ofqual and TQUK-regulated courses.
1. TEFL Accreditation Guide | Institutional bodies providing Online TEFL/TESOL programs with Fully Accredited status:
ACCET – Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training | https://accet.org/
ACTEFLC – Accreditation Council for Teaching English as a Foreign Language Courses | https://www.acteflc.com/
OISE – University of the Toronto Faculty of Education | https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/
TESL Canada | https://tesl.ca/
University of Cambridge’s English Language Assessment | https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/
Online TEFL courses that are directly accredited by a Ministry of Education also enjoy Fully Accredited status.
2. TEFL Accreditation Guide | There are 53 Online TEFL/TESOL certification course programs currently listed on Trusted TEFL Reviews.
Out of these 53, just 7 are Fully Accredited.
In current review-ranked order, these Fully Accredited programs are:
1. TEFL Online Pro | ACTEFLC Fully Accredited
Program website: https://teflonlinepro.com/
Teachers’ Choice Award | TEFL Online Pro has won the prestigious Teachers’ Choice Award for the past five consecutive years: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.
TEFL/TESOL online programs that win the Teachers’ Choice Award are granted the ability to enjoy a whole year’s free exposure on Trusted TEFL Reviews, where they may post, for example, any current course discounts or promotions.
tefl online pro is currently running a Limited-Time Offer on all three of its Fully Accredited TEFL/TESOL online certification courses:
2. OISE University of Toronto TEFL | OISE – University of the Toronto Faculty of Education Fully Accredited
Program website: https://teflonline.teachaway.com/
Verified reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/oise-university-of-toronto-tefl/
3. CIEE TEFL | ACCET Fully Accredited
Program website: https://www.ciee.org/
Verified reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/ciee-tefl/
4. Maximo Nivel TEFL | Ministry of Education Fully Accredited
Program website: https://maximonivel.com/
Verified reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/maximo-nivel-tefl/
10. Bridge TEFL | ACCET Fully Accredited
Program website: https://bridge.edu/tefl/
Verified reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/bridge-tefl/
29. TEFL Iberia | University of Cambridge’s English Language Assessment Fully Accredited
Program website: https://tefl-iberia.com/
Verified reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/tefl-iberia/
35. ontesol | TESL Canada Fully Accredited
Program website: https://ontesol.com/
Verified reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/ontesol/
The remaining 47 programs mostly claim to be Fully Accredited but are either only Accredited or Unaccredited.
You can check to see whether an Online TEFL/TESOL Program is Unaccredited, Accredited, or Fully Accredited by clicking on their category in the sidebar. The mention of which accreditation status they hold is clearly stated at the top of their category page, above the program’s review(s).
Unaccredited courses are identified with the statement, ‘Is [Online TEFL Program] accredited? No.‘
Accredited courses are identified with the statement, ‘Is [Online TEFL Program] accredited? Yes. The certification awarded is Accredited.’
Fully Accredited courses are identified with the statement, ‘Is [Online TEFL Program] accredited? Yes. The certification awarded is Fully Accredited and internationally recognized.‘
If you are having difficulties locating a program’s category page, you can easily locate it by clicking on their live link in the TEFL Course Directory: https://trustedteflreviews.com/tefl-course-directory/
3. Important information about Ofqual and TQUK-regulated courses:
Ofqual and TQUK are often (incorrectly) claimed to accredit Online TEFL programs offering a ‘Level 5’ certificate. Some Level 5 programs even go as far as to claim that the Level 5 TEFL certificate is the same as the CELTA certificate. ‘Level 5’ refers to one of the levels on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In other words, it’s a United Kingdom qualification that means very little to anyone outside of the UK. Furthermore, a qualification assessed at Level 5 doesn’t mean that it is “equivalent to the CELTA qualification”. Instead, it means that the level of education, knowledge, and skills required to complete the course is the same as that required to complete the CELTA, i.e., to be over 18, and to have a level of English and education that is equivalent to the average UK high school graduate
Ofqual and TQUK are regulatory bodies, not accreditation bodies.
A TEFL program can be regulated by Ofqual and be accredited or fully accredited by an external accreditation body, but this is not always the case.
A number of Ofqual-regulated TEFL programs blatantly lie to their customers by claiming that they are Ofqual accredited, or lie and claim that they are Ofqual regulated and fully accredited by another body that only regulates courses.
Ofqual and TQUK-regulated courses should provide you with a high level of TEFL training (although this is by no means guaranteed) but Ofqual and TQUK are by no means of the stretch of the imagination accreditation bodies.
Accreditation is a commonly-asked question and a subject that is often opaque and muddied. Because of the importance that is placed on accreditation, it does create a space within the industry for misrepresentation and outright scams.
With so many Online TEFL/TESOL programs now competing for customers in a crowded marketplace, it logically follows that some Online TEFL/TESOL providers will do, say, and write pretty much anything to get you to enroll in one of their courses.
This TEFL Accreditation Guide was created for you so that you can understand the truth about which accreditation matters and so that you can avoid investing in a course program that is not upfront about its accreditation status.
Further TEFL Accreditation Guide info can be read here, in the Accreditation 101 section of Trusted TEFL Reviews: https://trustedteflreviews.com/2020/01/09/tefl-tesol-accreditation-101/
Mia Williams – Co-owner of trustedteflreviews.com
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Verified Online TEFL/TESOL certification course program reviews, ranked in order of customer satisfaction: TEFL Course Directory