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Why is this list different to every other TEFL course list?
With the huge boom in ESL learning across the globe, new TEFL companies seem to be appearing almost by the day in order to meet demand. However, there are no central regulators who manage or accredit these companies and therefore, there are no set guidelines or checks performed when a new provider starts trading.
The result is that students spend their precious time and money on a course, only to find that their certificate is rejected as not fit for purpose when they’re ready to apply for positions abroad.
This is causing a nervousness amongst potential students, and we can fully understand why. What do you base your decision on when looking for the right course for you?
Many lists exist already which either include courses on an advertisement basis or are a collation of “accredited” courses. But an accredited course does not automatically mean a government-recognised course. This is a point which is causing most of the confusion for students.
With this in mind, we decided to create a single, up-to-date, government-verified interactive list of courses that those studying in the UK could use with confidence, knowing they wouldn’t be caught short later down the line.
Looking for a TEFL course in the UK?
Check out our easy to use list of government-recognised UK TEFL courses. You can easily filter the variety of courses to find what you’re looking for!
Remember that this list is constantly being updated; if you would like a TEFL certificate legalised which isn’t on the list we may still be able to help. Get in touch with our team who will be able to advise you.
What are the problems people are facing with TEFL certificates?
Problems are surfacing due to a process known as legalisation, also called attestation or authentication. To use documents outside of the UK, they must pass official checks and receive government stamps from at least the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for your work visa.
TEFL certificates were regularly being rejected for legalisation and there was a whole host of confusion from all sides. At Vital Consular, as specialist working with the London Embassy Network since 2006, we were best placed to see these issues arising at the very start.
We began working independently with some of the biggest TEFL providers in the business, as well as with the FCDO, and started to offer assistance in understanding the official requirements for legalisation.
Although this has seen a dramatic improvement due to our efforts, the rate at which new providers are appearing is difficult to manage.
What we’ve created is an easy-to-use, interactive list of TEFL companies we know issue certificates which will be accepted by the UK government. We have completed our expert checks on the courses on the list and can confirm their acceptance for legalisation within the UK.
If there are any preconditions for acceptance of a particular course, we have included these as notes, too.
This is an ever-growing list and as we investigate and process certificates from more providers, we will add them accordingly.
We hope that by providing this content, we’re able to help potential students avoid potentially choosing a course which will result in them losing their time and money.
So what is legalisation and why do I need it?
If you are planning on teaching ESL in-person once you complete your TEFL course, you will likely need to legalise your certificate for your work visa.
This process essentially verifies that the document is genuine and will be legally recognised in your destination country. The most popular ESL destinations this is required for is China, Thailand and Vietnam, though other countries may also request it.
Legalising a certificate often causes problems for students that are unaware that the process even exists before they start studying their TEFL course. Most teachers who are new to relocation are surprised when they’re asked to legalise their paperwork for a work permit and don’t know where to start.
The process also varies from country to country, often wildly, and is dependent on factors including:
- Document type
- Document content, length and level of the award
- Where it was issued
- Where it’s being presented
These many nuances make things even more confusing.
What are the issues I could face with my TEFL certificate?
By being aware of the possible issues from the start, you are best placed to avoid them. Most of the customers we help with their document legalisation fall foul of the same problems with their TEFL certificates, which all stem from the principle rules of legalisation:
- A document must be processed in it’s country of origin
- The document must be officially recognised by the government of the origin country
Processing a document in the country of origin
As most people study their TEFL course online these days, the first issue arises from a lack of checks on where a provider is based and officially registered. For example, if you studied online with a company based in the US, but you’re in the UK, when it comes time to legalise your document you will face a much longer, stressful and potentially more expensive process.
This is because even if you were based in the UK when you were studied, only the US government can verify the authenticity of your certificate.
Making the document recognised in the origin country
The second complication often arises when you submit the document to the government for legalisation. Even if you’ve located a UK-based TEFL provider and you are also resident there, the government may not recognise the award which has been issued to you.
There are many complexities around the use of the terms “award”, “qualification” and “certification”, as well as award levels. Any provider must be officially registered to issue their awards and, if they’re not, your certificate will be rejected when you come to use it.
If it’s accredited doesn’t this mean it will be accepted?
Not necessarily, no. An accreditation is offered by independent, usually global companies who perform checks on the course material itself. They do not undertake more in-depth research beyond the term of study, such as legalisation processes.