TEFL Board accreditation: what is it?

The TEFLboard has a dual mission:

  1. To help those interested in starting, or furthering a career Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language.
  2. To assist language schools and educators in identifying TEFL qualification holders of a generally accepted international standard.

For this reason, schools which meet our high quality standard are recognised by the TEFLboard with our TEFLboard accreditation certificate. To qualify for this certificate, schools must meet the TEFLboard criteria, and maintain the quality standard. Accredited TEFLboard schools are listed as such at the bottom of the TEFLboard accreditation page, and also marked as such on their TEFLboard school curriculum pages. These schools are also in possession of the TEFLboard accreditation certificate and accreditation identification number. Accredited TEFLboard member schools have the right to use their TEFLboard accreditation in their advertising campaigns, and on their TEFL certification documents. Schools which are not accredited by the TEFLboard do not have the right to use the TEFLboard accreditation seal, certification or identification in any way shape or form. Direct or indirect (implied) misuse of the above will result in legal action by the TEFLboard.

Unlike many accreditation schemes in the TEFL world, The TEFLboard does not sell its accreditation certificate, and only requires that the schools interested in receiving it submit the necessary documentation, as outlined below, and additionally, welcome on-site visits from the TEFLboard staff. Our accredited schools are re-assessed annually, and accreditation is renewed if the school's program continues to offer the same quality curriculum.

Every TEFL teacher- training center may apply for TEFLboard accreditation, but generally only on-site programs are awarded this distinction. Though there are many high-quality online programs on the market today, and we have many excellent online member schools here at the TEFLboard, due to the importance of classroom skills in the EFL teaching profession, the TEFLboard can only accredit online or distance entry-level programs which include observed and assessed teaching practice as part of the criteria for TEFL certification. In addition, we also recognise advanced TEFL qualifications done online, or by distance learning, provided that the Training Center meet the TEFLboard criteria for advanced qualifications. (See below).

The TEFLboard recommends the Accreditation Council for Distance Education Courses (ACTDEC) as an accrediting organization which ensures a high quality standard for distance and online TEFL courses.

The TEFLboard believes that there are several aspects to a quality TEFL training program;

  1. Will the curriculum prepare the trainee for entry into, or (for advanced qualifications) further a career in, the EFL/ESL teaching profession?
  2. Is the personnel suitably experienced and qualified?
  3. Does the program offer adequate observed teaching practice and individual attention for each trainee?
  4. Are the trainees graded and assessed at the end of the program, or does everyone who pays graduate?
  5. Is the school accepted as an educational institution, or legal business entity, and is it operating legally in its location?
  6. Are the school's graduates in demand and respected in both its home country and abroad?

TEFLboard accreditation requirements for various qualification categories:

I. Introductory TEFL Certificates

  • Introductory or 'taster' certificates ranging from 10 to 100 hours are meant to function as an introduction to the TEFL field. The TEFLboard does not accredit introductory courses and programs of this type.

II. TEFL Certificate or Diploma entry-level programs:

  • 120 or more hours in a minimum four-week program,
  • Group size no larger than 6:1 trainee: trainer ratio,
  • At least 6 hours of observed and evaluated teaching practice with real students,
  • Curriculum includes:
    grammar,
    methodology,
    phonology,
    classroom management,
    activities,
    practice working with at least three different EFL/ESL textbook series,
    practice working with ESL/EFL audio-visual aids and materials (cassettes, videos, etc.),
    introduction to one of the following: at least two different international exam series, or one business English textbook series,
  • Qualified trainers holding a university degree and TEFL Certificate as the minimum educational qualifications, and a minimum of 8 years of international teaching experience in at least two countries,
  • Native, or near-native English language fluency requirement for non-native speakers,
  • Written and teaching assessment of the trainees. The teaching qualification must be issued based upon a clearly-defined assessment standard. (Final exams, or proof of other assessment),
  • Local accreditation and/or permission to operate as a school in the training center's location/s,
  • Local business or operating license,
  • Recommendation from three schools which have hired graduates of this school's program. Each school must be located in a different country.

III. TEFL Advanced Certificate or (Advanced) Diploma programs:

  • 120 or more hours in a minimum four-week program
  • At least 2 hours of peer grammar teaching or peer grammar point presentation practice (trainees hone their skills by teaching their training peer group)
  • At least 10 hours of observed and evaluated teaching practice with real students
  • Maximum group size of 8:1 trainee : trainer ratio
  • Curriculum includes:
    teaching advanced grammar,
    methodology overview and comparison,
    level placement ,
    classroom management, and country/cultural comparisons of differences,
    practice teaching and principles for large and small groups of students,
    English for public/state versus private schools,
    activities, role plays,
    games: creation, focus and presentation
    practice working with at least three different textbook series
    practice working with audio cassettes and videos,
    focused concentration on at least two different international exam series and corresponding textbooks ,
    introduction to at least one English for special purposes textbook series (business, medical, banking etc.)
    introduction to C.A.L.L (computer assisted language learning)
  • Qualified trainers holding at least a university degree and Advanced TEFL Diploma, and a minimum of 15 years of international teaching experience in at least three countries.
  • Written and teaching assessment of the trainees using a clearly-defined standard. (Final exams, or proof of other graded assessment)
  • Local accreditation and/or permission to operate as a school in the training center's location/s
  • Local business or operating license
  • Recommendation from three schools that have hired graduates of this school's program. Each school must be located in a different country.

IV. Master's degree programs

  • The TEFLboard does not offer accreditation of such programs. Master's programs should be accredited by the qualification-issuing institute of higher education with which the program is affiliated.

The following schools have met the TEFLBoard accreditation standards: