International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying Organisations

IATQuO for TESOL/TEFL Training Courses

Becoming an accredited course

Why ensure your TESOL training course is validated/accredited?

IATQuO-teacher-&-studentsPotential teacher trainees look for a course which:

  • has the minimum essential content,
  • takes the minimum amount of time to complete at minimum cost,
  • is delivered by qualified and experienced professionals to the highest standard,
  • is recognised internationally by employers, and
  • can have its validity verified by referring to an external professional organisation.

Courses which can give evidence of such external scrutiny on a regular basis are the only courses in which potential teacher trainees should put their trust.

If your course is such a course, you will attract serious and committed trainees.

In addition, you will also help eliminate those many courses that offer substandard and inadequate training, and which bring the profession into disrepute.

Is your course such a course?

Yes –
if your course is regularly scrutinised by an external body, and if there is evidence of such scrutiny.

No –
if your course is not subject to external accreditation/validation and moderation.

What are Accreditation, Validation and Moderation?

Accreditation, or validation, is an initial process whereby a TESOL training course is scrutinised by an external body such as IATQuO employing highly qualified and experienced professionals to ascertain that it conforms to certain minimal internationally acceptable standards.

Subsequent, periodic scrutiny to ensure that those standards are being maintained is known as moderation.

Moderation Standards

What features should a valid training course in TESOL possess?

iatquo key featuresTraditionally, teacher training in any subject involves acquiring adequate knowledge of the subject to be taught, sufficient background in the theory and practice of learning and teaching the subject, and practice teaching which is observed. Your course should therefore exhibit the following features:

Content:

  • Tuition in the Grammar and Phonology of English
  • Tuition in the approaches to language learning, the techniques of language teaching and classroom management
  • Practical work in the preparation and adaptation of classroom materials
  • Lesson planning and preparation under supervision
  • Observation of experienced teachers and peers
  • Completion of practical assignments
  • Observed teaching practice with tutor feedback.

Assessment
of trainee work in the above areas.

External Scrutiny
by IATQuO, or other specialised body.

What standards should a valid training course in TESOL attain?

iatquo-standardsContent:

  • Tuition in the Grammar and Phonology of English should account for up to 30% (or 30 hours) of the course input.
  • Tuition in the approaches to language learning, language teaching techniques and classroom management should account for up to another 30% (or 30 hours).
  • The coverage of the above components should be as comprehensive and relevant to the classroom as time allows.
  • The remaining components will account for from 40 to 60 hours.
  • Practical assignments should include a Foreign Language Experience Journal, a Profile of an individual Student learning English and a Materials Preparation Project, and should be assessed.

Length:
Minimum of 100 contact hours with tutors. Minimum of 4 intensive weeks.

Observed Practice Teaching:

Minimum of six hours per trainee, teaching classes from 1 to 20 learners, at two or more levels.

Tutorial Staff:

Lead tutors should possess a post-Certificate qualification, several years of experience teaching English, and experience of teacher training.

Premises and resources:

Premises should be able to accommodate:

  • up to 16 trainees (or agreed maximum number) per group for input sessions,
  • up to 16 trainees (or agreed maximum number) per group for lesson and materials preparation,
  • sufficient classroom space and real learners for trainees to do their practice teaching.

Resources should include:

  • adequate photocopying facilities for course and teaching materials,
  • sufficient word processing and printing facilities for course materials production,
  • internet access,
  • DVD, video and sound cassette playing facilities,
  • one or more camcorders (for filming lessons if necessary),

 Assistance with finding lodging for those trainees not living locally.

What standards should a valid online training course in TESOL attain?

Content:

  • Tuition in the Grammar and Phonology of English should account for up to 40% (or 40 hours equivalent) of the course input.
  • Tuition in the approaches to language learning, language teaching techniques and classroom management should account for up to another 40% (or 40 hours equivalent).
  • Practical projects and practical experience in an English Language Teaching classroom should account for up to another 20% (or 20 hours equivalent).

The coverage of the tuition components should be comprehensive and relevant to the classroom.

Worksheets and tests should be provided for each of the major topics covered in the online material and should be submitted to the course tutors for assessment and feedback.

The practical projects, such as lesson plans, a learner profile, and observation of class teaching on video can be carried out during or immediately after completion of the online components.

Length:

The material studied online should amount to the equivalent of 100 hours of work. At 5 hours a day this should take someone a minimum of four intensive weeks of 25 hours’ work to complete.

Practical Experience/Practicum:

Practical Classroom Experience should include the writing of reports of live lessons trainees are able to observe, evaluations of class textbooks or other materials, working with real learners either as a teaching assistant or temporary teacher. A minimum of 10 hours should be spent on the practicum and a teacher in the institution visited must monitor and report on the trainee’s work.

Tutorial Staff:

Online tutors should possess a post-Certificate qualification, several years of experience teaching English, and experience of teacher training. There should be a coordinating tutor.

They should be available at set times, which should be communicated to the trainees, and should provide feedback on the assignments and worksheets that have been submitted. Ideally one tutor should be allocated to each trainee.

Premises and resources:

Premises will only be necessary for the administrators of the programme. Tutors can ideally work from home but should have conference coordination meetings periodically.

The online provider should possess email and internet facilities that make it possible to store and send course units and trainee work and grades that have been submitted.

Validation & Moderation Process

What does the accreditation/validation process consist of?

Once an application for accreditation/validation of a course has been made to and accepted by IATQuO, there are three phases to the process.

Phase 1 – Scrutiny of course documentation

Course documentation includes:

  • Statement of course objectives and trainees for whom the course is designed,
  • Entry requirements for trainees,
  • Details of course content, component by component, including objectives, length and method of assessment per component,
  • Course timetable,
  • Copies of all handouts, handbooks, assignment instructions, proforma and tests which trainees will receive during the course,
  • Full details of teaching practice arrangements, to include location(s), type(s) of learner, likely age range of learners, likely levels of learner, expected numbers,
  • Assessment criteria for completion of the whole course, for assignments and for observed teaching practice,
  • Sample records of achievement of trainees,
  • Staff CV’s.

Phase 2  – Visit to Training Centre by IATQuO validator

iatquo-accreditationThe visit comprises:

  • Initial discussion with tutors re course documentation and conduct of course,
  • Inspection of premises,
  • Attending a limited number of Teaching Practice sessions,
  • Sampling trainees’ assessed work, e.g. tests and assignments, and Teaching Practice portfolios,
  • Obtaining feedback on the course from trainees in groups of approximately four,
  • Discussing work submitted for an assignment (usually the materials assignment) with each trainee individually,
  • Final round up discussion with tutors.

Phase 3  – Final report by IATQuO validator

The written report will contain the validator’s findings and recommendations and suggestions, all of which will normally have been discussed in the final round up session, together with IATQuO’s decision regarding accreditation/validation of the course.

The decision will normally be one of the following:
a)  Full accreditation/validation of the course, or
b) Provisional validation/accreditation until certain agreed recommendations or modifications are implemented. In these cases a time frame of two to four months is stipulated.

When does the accreditation/validation process take place?

Phase 1 generally takes place once a course is set up and running and may be carried out by correspondence using email

Phase 2 is normally carried out during the final week of a course when trainees are still present.

The written report, Phase 3, is sent within two weeks of the completion of the visit.

How long does the accreditation/validation process take?

This will vary. Phase 1 could take between four and eight weeks, depending on how many modifications or additional materials are required.

At a time agreed by the course provider, Phase 2 will take place and normally lasts 3 working days. The resulting  report will be submitted within two weeks following the visit.

The whole process could last as little as two and a half months, but the determining factor would be the gap between submission of the documentation for scrutiny and the timing of the validation visit.

What does subsequent moderation consist of?

This is very similar to the initial accreditation/validation process. The main difference is that Phases 1 and 2 are combined. Scrutiny of course documentation takes place at the beginning of the visit. It is not as thorough as the initial scrutiny, and the moderator is primarily concerned with any changes that have been made or new material that may have been introduced. The moderator will also wish to consult the records of achievement for trainees completing courses that have taken place between the validation visit and the moderation, or since the previous moderation.

The written report, Phase 3, will normally be sent within two weeks of the visit. Accreditation/validation will not be affected unless, in the opinion of the moderator, standards have been slipping. In this case, recommendations will have to be implemented within a specified time frame if accreditation/validation of the course is not to lapse.
Moderation visits should take place every sixth, seventh or eighth course.

Validation and Moderation Process for an Online Course.

What does the accreditation/validation process for an online course consist of?

Phase 1 – Scrutiny of course documentation

Course documentation includes:

  • Statement of course objectives and trainees for whom the course is designed,
  • Entry requirements for trainees,
  • Details of course content, component by component, including objectives, length and method of assessment per component,
  • Copies of all course materials and worksheets, assignment instructions, proforma and any tests which trainees will receive during the course,
  • Assessment criteria for completion of the whole course.
  • Staff CV’s.
  • Detailed arrangements for the conduct and control of practical work/practicum.

This scrutiny will normally be conducted via email.
Phase 2  – Contact with Training Provider by IATQuO validator

This contact will be primarily via email but may comprise a visit to the training organisation’s main office by the validator.

The contacts entail:

  • Initial discussion with tutors re course documentation and conduct of course,
  • Sampling trainees’ assessed work, e.g. tests and assignments.
  • Discussing trainees’ work submitted with each tutor individually,
  • Final round up discussion.

Phase 3  – Final report by IATQuO validator
The written report will contain the validator’s findings and recommendations and suggestions, all of which will normally have already been discussed, together with IATQuO’s decision regarding accreditation/validation of the course.

The decision will normally be one of the following:
a)   Accreditation/validation of the course, or
b)   Provisional validation/accreditation until certain agreed recommendations or modifications are implemented. In these cases a time frame of two to four months is stipulated.

What does subsequent moderation consist of?

This is very similar to the initial accreditation/validation process and will take place a few months after the initial validation/accreditation process. It is not as thorough as the initial scrutiny, and the moderator is primarily concerned with any changes that have been made or new material that may have been introduced. The moderator will also wish to consult samples of work completed by recent trainees.

The written report, Phase 3, will normally be sent within two weeks of the moderation. Accreditation/validation will not be affected unless, in the opinion of the moderator, standards have been slipping. In this case, recommendations will have to be implemented within a specified time frame if accreditation/validation of the course is not to lapse.

Application for Accreditaton/Validation

If you run or are planning a TESOL/TEFL course and would like to have your course accredited and validated by IATQuO, we have prepared a simple form for you to complete in order to start the process.

Apply Now