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Level 5 TEFL Courses

Every TEFL Certification course offered by International TEFL Academy (ITA) is recognized by employers worldwide at the highest level for TEFL certification. Our certificates meet or exceed international standards, and are accredited by sanctioned bodies in the field:

  • All ITA-operated classes are externally monitored and approved at a Level 5 Ofqual (British Government) accreditation by TQUK (authorized accreditor of Ofqual).
  • All ITA partner-operated classes are externally monitored and meet or exceed all accreditation standards.

Accreditation is a crucial element for any high quality, professional-level TEFL certification, but we understand that it can be challenging to navigate and make sense of the various official bodies and organizations that are often referenced, as well terminology and jargon. Here we attempt to explain the complexities of accreditation for TEFL certifications, including the ins and outs of the British educational system, which regulates and maintains standards for many of the most recognized professional level TEFL TESOL courses around the globe. 


Why Accreditation for TEFL Certification is Critical

As a global leader in TEFL TESOL training that certifies more than 5,000 people a year to teach English in over 80 countries worldwide, International TEFL Academy places the highest priority on ensuring that our students receive the very best training and a qualification that is recognized and respected.

For our Online, Costa Rica, & Barcelona, Spain TEFL courses, we proudly use a brand new modern curriculum written and developed by International TEFL Academy highly experienced instructors and experts in the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). 

To ensure that our TEFL certification meets international standards in quality and delivery, this curriculum has been externally monitored and approved for accreditation by TQUK, an officially Awarding Organization that is recognized and regulated by Ofqual, the British Government organization responsible for monitoring and maintaining educational standards in the UK.

The curriculum also meets internationally recognized requirements of a minimum of 100 hours of academic work and 6 hours of practicum (student teaching/observation) for a professional level TEFL certification.

Read More: TEFL Levels Explained
Watch More: What Are International Standards for TEFL Certification?

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Why Does ITA Use a British-Based Accreditation?

All ITA-run TEFL courses have a Level 5 regulated* status on the Ofqual RQF Rating.

* The British system (Ofqual) uses the term "regulated" which is synonymous with the TEFL industry term "accredited". These certifications are also on the RQF platform. Not to be mistaken with another popular industry term - "endorsed" - which is a lower level of oversight but is not what would be considered "accredited". These "endorsed" certificates are not on the RQF platform. 

ITA uses a British-based accreditation for its TEFL Certification for a few reasons:

  • Worldwide acceptance: Since the heyday of the British Empire in the 19th century, the British have been the leaders in English language teaching worldwide with many language schools using the British system and/or understanding the strict regulations of the TEFL certification industry. While ITA is headquartered in Chicago USA, we believe our certification needs to have the widest global acceptance. Unfortunately, the US government does not regulate the English teaching market or TEFL certifications and has little relevance to employers abroad.
  • Comparison of coursework & quality: The RQF Level 5 qualification provides the “apples to apples” comparison for an ITA TEFL course and a CELTA /Trinity TEFL course, which is also a RQF Level 5.

Read More: 7 Key Tips to Choosing the Best TEFL School
Read More: Is ITA's Online TEFL Certification Course Valid and Accredited?

ITA student with his level 5 accredited TEFL Certification

ITA grad with her level 5 accredited TEFL Certification

TQUK & The Role of The Awarding (Accrediting) Organization

International TEFL Academy’s accrediting body, TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) is recognized as a leader in providing vocational and professional qualifications to colleges and private training providers in Education & Training, Social Care, and Health. Regulated by Ofqual, TQUK enjoys official recognition from the British government as a provider of accreditation and quality assurance for professional training and certification.

All certificates awarded to International TEFL Academy learners who are undertaking a regulated qualification are externally monitored and reviewed by highly qualified experts. In addition, all training centers are visited by an External Quality Assurer, an expert in the field, who assesses the quality procedures and administration prior to recognizing a training provider. This ensures that International TEFL Academy TEFL courses and curriculum are thoroughly and personally vetted by independent experts.

Learn More: Check TQUK’s status as an Awarding Organization here and their approval to certify Level 5 courses here.

Awarding Organizations (AO - as accrediting bodies are officially known in the UK) are responsible for the award of qualifications (accreditation), and working with training centers such as International TEFL Academy to ensure that quality standards are maintained at all times. AO responsibilities, as part of the overall awarding of qualifications include:

  • Registration and Certification of candidates undertaking regulated qualifications
  • Ongoing support for centers teaching learners with an aim of achieving a qualification
  • Maintaining the validity and quality of qualifications throughout the qualification lifespan
  • The International TEFL Academy TQUK Center number is 1709166

Learn More: Click here for a validation statement of ITA as an approved center on the TQUK website.
Read More: Guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland.


The Truth about TESOL / TEFL Course Qualifications

  • Potential employers seek out teachers who have been trained to a high level.
  • Potential employers seek out teachers whose course has been accredited by an awarding organization.
  • There is no single internationally recognized TEFL / TESOL qualification. To address this problem we chose to work with TQUK to gain a regulated qualification to ensure that our TEFL / TESOL certificates are among the most widely recognized anywhere in the world.

Typical International TEFL Academy Students:

  • Are serious about earning a quality TESOL / TEFL Certification.
  • Are seeking a regulated qualification from an awarding organization.
  • Decide on quality rather than price alone because they realize that they are investing in their education and their future.
  • Understand that a highly qualified, experienced instructor, an exceptional curriculum and excellent accreditation are absolute necessities in TESOL / TEFL Certification training.
  • Want a qualification that is from a course provider recognized throughout the world.
  • Need to be able to successfully apply for any teaching position throughout the world and not just for the company that trained them and not just in volunteer positions!
  • Know the value of a qualification awarded by an awarding organization.

Ofqual & Understanding Level 5 Certificates

TQUK is an Ofqual-recognized Awarding Organization, ensuring that our accreditation meets the highest standards as set by the British Government. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, Ofqual, is the governmental department in the UK responsible for maintaining and regulating educational standards, exams and certifications. As an Ofqual-regulated awarding body, TQUK takes every step necessary to ensure that accredited qualifications conform to a high standard; and that all centers, offering a TQUK-recognized qualification, including International TEFL Academy, meet or exceed recognized standards in the quality of the curriculum, instructors, and services provided to students.

The purpose of Ofqual is to maintain standards and confidence by ensuring that regulated qualifications and accreditation are only offered by recognized awarding organizations, which have demonstrated their commitment and ability to maintain exceptionally high standards of quality when developing, delivering, assessing and awarding qualifications.

TQUK is Authorized by Ofqual to Issue a RQF Level 5 Certificate

The relevance of a RQF Level 5 TEFL certification:

  • Both CELTA certifications and Trinity certifications (both of which are brand names of TEFL course providers based in the UK) are listed as a RQF Level 5. The International TEFL Academy TEFL certification is approved at the same Level 5, which makes it easier for an employer to verify the equivalence of training hours if they are listing a CELTA course or an equivalent TEFL certification.
  • There are many TEFL schools around the world that do not have enough course hours (120 hours is the standard) and not at the scrutiny of a university level course. This RQF Level 5 authorization makes it clear that International TEFL Academy’s TEFL certification courses meet or exceeds these standards.

The enclosed chart provides some context for the level of content and difficulty of a Level 5 certificate, such as International TEFL Academy TEFL certification.

Read More: What's the Difference Between TEFL, TESOL & CELTA?
Read More: Why ITA offers The Best TEFL Certification



What is RQF & What is Their Significance?

RQF stands for “Regulated Qualifications Framework” (formerly known as Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)).

Ofqual regulates and recognizes qualifications such as International TEFL Academy’s accreditation with TQUK through the Regulated Qualifications Framework. RQF qualifications are regulated within a framework for flexible learner achievement and represent one of the most common types of professional level qualifications accredited by Awarding Organizations in the UK. Qualifications and units are assigned a credit value to indicate the length of time required for completion and a level to indicate difficulty. And since each unit has a credit value and the credits can be transferred, the system gives the learners the ability to get qualifications at their own pace. The RQF is jointly regulated by England’s regulator Ofqual, Wales’ DCELLS and Northern Ireland’s CCEA.

How Does the RQF System Work?

The RQF system is based on units which have credit value and levels (from Entry Level to Level 8). One credit roughly equals 10 learning hours which allows the learners to evaluate how much time they will need to gain the desired qualification. According to the RQF system, the learners can gain three types of qualifications:

  • Awards
  • Certificates
  • Diplomas

How are Credit Points Awarded?

To gain an award, it is necessary to have 1 to 12 credit points, which equals 10 to 120 hours of learning. Learners who have 13 to 26 credits (130 to 260 hours) are awarded certificates, while those who have 37 credits or more are awarded diplomas. The RQF system gives awards at any difficulty level from 1 to 8 which is due to the fact that it reveals the size of qualification and not its difficulty level. The latter is indicated by the title of qualification which, however, also reveals the size of the qualification and its subject.

How is Quality of Units and Qualifications Ensured?

In addition to developing units, developing and accrediting qualifications, and awarding credits and qualifications, the regulators of the RQF are also responsible for maintaining a unit data bank and monitoring the organizations that operate within the RQF in order to ensure that all awarded qualifications meet the regulatory requirements. These are specified in the Regulatory arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework that has been developed jointly by the regulators in the United Kingdom.

ITA Partner Schools & Accreditation

In addition to the courses listed above that are administered by International TEFL Academy, we partner with other TEFL courses that are accredited. We work together to register the students and provide lifetime job guidance assistance after graduation. In some countries, job placement can also be provided. Some of these centers are accredited by IATQuO, Learning Resource Network, Cambridge University, AICOL, SIT and more.

Learn More: International TEFL Academy Partner Schools

IATQuO - The International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying organizations (IATQuO) exists to promote and maintain internationally acceptable standards in the training of teachers of English to speakers of other languages. It wishes to encourage organizations dedicated to professional standards in training teachers for TESOL, wishing to maintain their professional independence and who in many instances may not have substantial financial resources.

  • IATQuO is an accreditation organization for TESOL training centers who subscribe to the aims expressed above and who are prepared to undergo and pay for external scrutiny.
  • It is secondly a not-for-profit organization dedicated to implementing the aims and objectives expressed in the mission statement at the beginning of this website.
  • Some of our partner courses in Toulouse, France; Prague, Czech Republic; and Madrid, Spain are accredited by IATQuO.

Learning Resource Network -  Our TEFL Courses in Crete, Greece; Florence, Italy; Sardinia, Italy; & Istanbul, Turkey are accredited through the Learning Resource Network. These TEFL courses are officially endorsed as a Level 5. In addition to the Level 5 certificate accreditation through Learning Resource Network, most of these courses also have additional partnerships and recognition agreements.

Australian International College of Language (AICOL) - Our TEFL Courses in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia are all accredited by AICOL.

World Learning's SIT Graduate Institute (formerly the School for International Training) - This certification meets or exceeds the highest standards for TEFL training as set forth by international organizations like the British Council, and required by thousands of language schools and institutes around the world seeking to hire newly trained English teachers.

Our Chiang Mail, Thailand TEFL Course is accredited by TQUK in the UK and also by the Thai Ministry of Education.

Our Guadalajara, Mexico TEFL Course is accredited by the Mexican Department of Education.


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