If you think the TEFL course industry is a bit confusing or misleading then well TEFL accreditation is just an extension of that. There is no one accrediting body for TEFL. In fact I counted at least 23 so-called TEFL accrediting bodies.

Accreditat is an independent accrediting body for TEFL and TESOL courses. Here you will find a review of their site and program.

According to their site:

They provide TEFL and TESOL accreditation and issue certified TEFL and TESOL certificates for face to face and online TEFL courses.

Why am I writing this article?

I saw that people were searching Google about whether Accreditat was legit or not. And I have considered accreditation for ESLinsider's courses so I looked into their site and program.

I first found out about Accreditat through some of the courses on Groupon. Courses on Groupon like TEFL Full Circle and TEFL Express are accredited by them.

According to another article on Reddit another Groupon course LearnTEFL looks like it might have been accredited by them at one time.

Who do they accredit?

At the time of publication of this article Accreditat currently lists 15 sites that they accredit on their clients page.

  • theteflcentre.com
  • tefl-madrid.com
  • tefluk.com
  • teflfullcircle.com
  • teflworld-koh-samui.com
  • enjoytefl.com
  • teflexpress.co.uk
  • teflink.co.uk
  • ndse.co.uk
  • linguaedge.com
  • teflcambridge.com
  • worldteach.org

Those are 12 and then there were 2 more...

Accreditation may be helpful, but it doesn't seem to be a guarantee

There were around 15 sites on their "clients" page that were said to be accredited.

I learned that 2 of those websites are no longer around.

  • isanenglish.ir
  • lpsgroup.co.uk

Did they go out of business? I don't know, but if business was good then they probably would still be around. That made me think that accreditation may help a TEFL course, but it doesn't seem to guarantee success by itself.

What some of those TEFL course providers said about Accreditat

I emailed 12 of the course providers that they accredit and... 

I got 3 replies.

"...We looked around for another organisation and after some research we decided that Accreditat was the best option because if their expertise and experience in TESOL/TEFL. It is an organisation with high standards and we are happy with our decision." - Paul Simmonds, Director Tesol-direct 

"...To answer your question, the accreditation we have acquired from Accreditat has helped us to be trusted by our students as they'll have a certification from an accredited course that is recognized worldwide." - Ailea, TEFL Cambridge

Recognized worldwide is mainly a marketing term. There is no certificate that guarantees you a job at any school. See the previous link for more on that.

"...We haven't run any courses yet - we're at the SEO promotion stage to get up onto the first page of Google. Until that happens we won't get any business. So far so good with Accreditat though. They are reliable and helpful." - Adrian Allen, New English Centre, Spain

Accreditat's fees?

According to the director:

"Our accreditation fees for one TEFL course, online or classroom-based are as follows:

  • Initial accreditation fee for one TEFL course = GBP 1500 ($2000) annual accreditation
  • Renewal Fee (due annually thereafter on initial accreditation acceptance anniversary date) for one TEFL course = GBP 750 ($1000)"

Accreditation costs money. It's a paid review.

Additional words from the director

"I have been in the Learning and Development arena, including non-TEFL and TEFL activities, for over 30 years. For me, accreditation has become one of the most critical factors that influences students and companies to buy courses. But you need to decide."

My thoughts

Sounds like he has a lot of experience. I am aware of the fact that many people are searching for "accredited" TEFL courses even though there is no one body for accreditation in TEFL. It seems like it would help sell a course. But as I mentioned previously there were 3 courses on the site that were said to be accredited but no longer around.

"We are an independent accreditation body and will remain so until we can find an overseeing body which has as much TEFL/TESOL experience as my team and I have had in these arenas – over 20 years’ experience individually. So far, we have not been able to find what we are looking for. The only one which comes a bit closer to this is ISO but still they don’t have a specific award.

Response to your question: Who accredits the accreditors? I wonder where this ends. Who then accredits those who accredit the accreditors? And so on."

My thoughts 

I saw an article on Harvard's website called, Who accredits the accreditors? I thought that that question brought up an interesting point especially in TEFL when some courses may use a fake accreditation.

"The Enjoy TEFL Course price is all down to Enjoy TEFL’s business approach. They choose to advertise from time-to time on low cost sites such as Groupon. It’s their decision and has nothing to do with us. Other Providers choose to sell at full cost all of the time."

My thoughts

I wasn't aware that Enjoy TEFL used Groupon as well, however I did know that TEFL Full Circle and TEFL Express consistently did.

"We have no affiliation with any of our TEFL Providers. But, of course, we support them with any advice throughout the accreditation period whenever we can."

My thoughts

It's probably a good sign that they accredit a number of courses. It is said in TEFL that some course providers create fictitious accreditations.

"We can complete the TEFL accreditation process faster than any other competent accreditation body we are aware of - within 5 weeks of receiving all course materials and information from you and assuming all is in order. If it’s not in order, then we would halt the accreditation process until you have put it right." - Tom Greenan, Director of Accreditat

Is accreditat legitimate?

I'll let you decide. It's good that they accredit a number of different courses. This looks more credible and official. Aside from the bureaucracy of accreditation a concern I had were the 3 sites that were no longer around.

I don't know why they are no longer around, yet like I said sites don't tend to close down if things are going good. And lastly $2000 is an awefully steep fee.

Critical articles about accreditation

"The accreditation of a TEFL certificate doesn't matter because no one cares about a 120 hour certificate. Governments and schools just want to see a minimal effort on your part to do something unrelated to your bachelor's degree.

Sure, some TEFL courses are way better than others, but that still doesn't mean much because 120 hours isn't enough to train you to be a proper teacher. You will learn on the job. So my advice to you is to stop worrying about the validity of your 120 certificate and apply to the jobs you want.

During the interview talk big about your TEFL course and how it was a valuable learning experience that has made you prepared to teach ESL - even if it didn't." - Timemachine2

Learn more about TEFL courses.