There is currently NO independent, international board of accreditation or assessment for TEFL certificate providers.
This means that each institute, school, or organization recognizes their own certificate and accreditation comes from good practice, professional standards and reputation.
There are a number of organizations which have been set up nationally. And there are a number of organizations which have been set up by schools as supposedly independent accreditation agencies to accredit their own courses. These latter fall under the banner of TEFL Scams.
The simple truth is that unfortunately, many TEFL courses which claim to be accredited are not and when taking a course, great care should be taken in checking out accreditation credentials which are often claimed but also often faked.
Right now, TEFL accreditation has a bad reputation and whilst there may be one or two straight players, many are simply charlatans. As they say: Caveat Emptor – buyer beware!
The following are commonly cited as accreditation agencies by course providers. Not all of them are reputable, trustworthy, international and independent.
- ACCREDITAT – private agency.
- ACTDEC – accredit a small number of schools and were originally set up to accredit their own school; their independence is often called into question.
- Cambridge Assessment UCLES – they accredit their own CELTA course and franchise schools running the CELTA course.
- CEA – this is an American accreditation which accredits schools teaching English; it does NOT accredit TEFL courses
- College of Teachers – currently accrediting 1 TEFL provider.
- IATEFL – this organization does NOT accredit any school; if a school says they’re IATEFL accredited they are lying.
- IATQuO – currently accrediting 6 TEFL providers. Possibly defunct.
- ODLQC (Open & Distance Learning Quality Council) – private organization which accredits different courses (not just TEFL). They currently accredit 3 TEFL schools.
- QCDA (Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency) – former UK agency; closed now and no longer operates.
- SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) – for Scottish based courses only; they do not accredit international courses. .
- Trinity College – they accredit their own courses internally and franchise schools running Trinity courses.
Accreditation & Recognition for TEFL Courses – more on accreditation
Beware of TEFL Scams – what you should be careful of when choosing a TEFL course