It is so essential that it should be the first consideration when selecting a TEFL course. But the truth is that there is no regulation in the TEFL industry, which means that anyone – regardless of qualifications or experience – can create and sell a course. There are so many TEFL courses out there, and you need to spot the good from the bad – which is where accreditation comes in.
Understanding how the TEFL industry’s accreditation works are critical to selecting the best TEFL course. It can be a complex topic to grasp at first because there is a lot of misinformation and obfuscation surrounding accreditation, so we’ll make it as straightforward as possible in this article! Everything you need to know about TEFL certification is right here.
What is accreditation?
First and foremost, what is accreditation? Simply put, accreditation is concerned with quality control. An external body evaluates a course provider and awards accreditation if its standards are met. Accrediting bodies will continue monitoring a provider to ensure these standards are met.
What’s crucial to understand about TEFL accreditation is that there needs to be an overarching accrediting body for TEFL courses and providers. Because you do not require certification from a specific body to create and sell TEFL courses, the industry needs more regulation.
Reputable TEFL course providers will seek accreditation from established bodies with high standards and a rigorous assessment process. Less reputable providers will either not be accredited, will mislead you about their accreditation status, or hold accreditation from organisations with low standards. This may sound like a minefield, but keep reading; we’ll help you navigate it!
Before we go any further, accreditation is not:
Accreditation from reputable, established bodies guarantees quality, so proceed with caution.
A guarantee that your qualification will be recognised internationally – once again, this depends on the accrediting body.
A one-time assessment – reputable accrediting bodies will continue to assess a provider regularly to ensure that standards stay intact.
The accredited provider or accredited course?
Another thing to remember is that course providers, not specific courses, are accredited. Individual lessons, such as our Level 5 course, can be regulated by Highfield, an Ofqual-accredited awarding body. Because Ofqual regulates qualifications rather than providers, be wary of providers falsely claiming to be accredited/regulated by Ofqual.
It may all seem like semantics, but it matters! Because of the lack of regulation, TEFL accreditation is a murky topic, making it very easy for dubious providers to mislead. This article aims to help you understand precisely what accreditation is, why it matters, and what to look for when choosing a course.
Why you should care about accreditation
When selecting a TEFL course, your top priorities are learning how to teach effectively and finding work once qualified. We cannot emphasise enough how vital accreditation is in both areas.
First, you should ensure that a TEFL course will prepare you to teach English. A good accreditation is your guarantee that the course will do exactly that. An accrediting body will determine whether a provider can deliver quality courses that meet this promise by thoroughly evaluating the provider.
Second, you want to know that your TEFL certification will land you a job. Why? Because accreditation serves as a quality indicator for you as a customer and shows employers that you’ve completed adequate job-related training. If you took a TEFL course from an unaccredited provider, or if their accreditation could be better, you may be at a significant disadvantage when looking for work.
“Good” vs “bad” TEFL accreditation: how do you tell the difference?
Some course providers even establish accrediting bodies to accredit themselves and create a quality veneer. Fortunately, these are easy to find with a bit of digging. If you look up the accrediting body, you should be able to find information about the other providers they accredit and their processes and standards. You should avoid this if you don’t see a list of accredited providers or information about their operations. Reputable organisations will always list the courses that they accredit. If you can find a list, look at the other providers listed to see if they look reputable.
Remember that there is no centralised accrediting body for TEFL courses; if you come across one that claims only to accredit TEFL courses, proceed with caution.
So, how do you identify good TEFL certification? Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
They provide a list of all the providers they accredit.
You can quickly learn about their processes and how they award accreditation status.
Other reputable course providers are certified by them.
The TEFL Institute accreditation
The TEFL industry’s lack of regulation is undeniably a problem. We recognised this early on, which is why The TEFL Institute has always prioritised accreditation so that our students can be confident in the training they receive.
We are the industry’s most accredited TEFL course provider, which means we have accreditation from various established bodies.
The TEFL Institute of Ireland’s Level 5 accrediting body is the (Highfield Qualifications). This qualification is aimed at those with little or no experience teaching English or those with previous experience seeking a recognised qualification to validate their knowledge. This qualification provides learners with a certificate/diploma recognised worldwide and can be used to secure teaching positions, visas, and other employment-related to English language teaching. We recommend Highfield Level 5 Certificate in Teaching as a Foreign Language (TEFL). To learn more about Ofqual or verify Highfield’s status, visit their website: Ofqual.
An is accrediting body specialising in distance learning courses. Their ethos promotes the utmost standard of excellence among providers bearing a seal of approval assures students that ACDL-accredited educational providers offer the best in certified quality standards. The accreditation number is 2854-2540.
What is this verification seal, and why is it different from accreditation? The TEFL Institute is a verified UK TEFL provider. This means that you can study any of our courses with the knowledge that they will fit your purpose when you need to use them overseas for your new teaching role. The Vital Consular verification scheme ensures that the members are all recognised by the UK Government. All certificates they issue can be used for an overseas work permit. Not all TEFL providers meet these requirements!
This is extremely important if you’re travelling to China, Vietnam, Taiwan and other destinations where your documents will need to be legalised for your visa. If your certificate doesn’t get past the first stage of legalisation by the UK Government, you’ll likely have to start a new course, costing you extra time and money before you can even get things moving.
As a globally recognised TEFL provider, our academic team are responsible for developing and delivering a comprehensive range of accredited and government-regulated courses with extensive course material. The TEFL Institute of Ireland has a reputation within the TEFL industry for its high calibre of training and for producing TEFL teachers of the highest standard.