OCELT Certificate of Accreditation and Professional Designation


TESL Ontario is accepting only online submissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mail, courier, and in-person deliveries  cannot be received at this time.

Please submit scans of your application form and supporting documents by email at accreditation@teslontario.org.

Accredited applicants will be required to mail or deliver to TESL Ontario the original supporting documents or their authorized photocopies once the TESL Ontario Office reopens.

I. Introduction

OCELT stands for Ontario Certified English Language Teacher. The OCELT Certificate of Accreditation and Professional Designation recognizes that a certificate holder has the knowledge and skills required for teaching English to adult learners in all publicly funded and private programs in Ontario, other Canadian provinces and territories, and abroad.

Approved applicants are awarded the TESL Ontario OCELT Certificate of Accreditation and Professional Designation, and the TESL Ontario International Certificate in Teaching English as an Additional Language (ICTEAL)

Please note that adult ESL teachers may be accredited at either the CTESOL level or the OCELT level. One cannot hold both designations at the same time.

Applicants are not required to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

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II. Required Qualifications

1. University Degree:

Applicants are required to hold a minimum three-year bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree, from an accredited institution located in Canada or a basic, general, or document-by-document Canadian degree equivalency report for degrees obtained from accredited institutions located outside Canada. The equivalency report must indicate that the evaluated international degree is equivalent to a minimum three-year bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree from an accredited institution in Canada.

TESL Ontario considers Canadian degree equivalency reports prepared by any one of the following agencies:

2.  Proof of English Language Proficiency (ELP): 

Applicants are required to meet one of the following four ELP options:

Proof of ELP Option 1: a minimum-three-year full-time in-class bachelor's degree program completed with English as the language of instruction in one of these countries: Canada, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cameroon, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat,  Nigeria, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Seychelles,  Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, United States, Uganda, US Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Proof of ELP Option 2: a recognized ELP test report indicating the scores specified below:

Please note that TESL Ontario accepts a combination of two test reports (for the same ELP test taken twice or for two different ELP tests)
indicating that all required scores have been met. Also, TESL Ontario accepts ELP test reports up to three years after the test date. Test reports older than three years are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Proof of ELP Option 3: proof of completion of grades 6-12 with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed in Proof of ELP Option 1 (above).

Proof of ELP Option 4: a minimum-three-year online/distance bachelor's degree program completed with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed in Option 1 and an ELP test report indicating the required levels on speaking and writing skills (as shown in Option 2)

3. Adult ESL Teacher Training and Practicum: 

Applicants are required to have completed a TESL Ontario accredited OCELT training program  consisting of at least 250 hours of instruction in theory and methodology courses, at least 30 hours of observation, and at least 20 hours of supervised practice teaching. For information about the OCELT training program admission requirements, fees, start dates, end dates, weekly schedules, financial assistance, etc., applicants should contact the training providers directly or visit their websites. To access a list of the accredited OCELT training providers, their website addresses, and their contact information, please click here.

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III. Getting Copies Authorized

The individuals/parties listed below may authorize copies of your original documents:

In Canada: a TESL Ontario staff member (when submitting your application to the TESL Ontario Office in person), notary public, commissioner of oath, lawyer, senior university/college officer or professor, public school principal, signing officer of a bank, medical doctor, minister of religion, or police officer.

Outside Canada: the Canadian Embassy or the Consulate

Authorization by other officials may be accepted.  Please contact TESL Ontario

Please provide the authorizing party with an accurate photocopy when you show the original document. The authorization should include: full name, title, address, telephone number, signature, date, and a statement to this effect: "This is a true copy of the original."

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IV. Required Documents

  1. Completed and signed Application Form A-1: Language Instructor Accreditation
  2. Original or authorized copy of your degree OR official degree transcript (indicating that the degree has been conferred)  from  a university located in Canada or your Canadian degree equivalency report
  3. Original or authorized copy of  your proof of English Language Proficiency
  4. Original or authorized copy of  your TESL certificate OR official transcript from one of the TESL Ontario accredited TESL training programs
  5. Original or authorized copy of documentation to support a legal name change if all documents are not in the same name
  6. Proof of successful completion of practicum, as outlined below:
TESL Ontario Accredited Program Proof of Practicum  Required
                                  (original or authorized copy)                                    
B.A. (Hons.) Applied Linguistics/Teaching English as a Subsequent Language OR TESL Certificate (post B.A. or B.Sc.) Brock University Transcript showing completion of LING4P80 (not 4P81) or LING0P80/LING4N80.  A confirmation letter may be required in some cases.
CERTESL                                                                       University of Saskatchewan Transcript showing TESL 42 - Supervised Practicum AND letter from the Certifications Admin Office documenting the practicum additional hours module
M.A. Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies Carleton University Transcript showing completion of ALDS5205 and ALDS5806, OR ALDS5215; OR confirmation letter indicating the completion of the practicum
All other TESL Ontario accredited programs TESL certificate, OR transcript showing the completion of the practicum course (s)

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V. Fees*

For current TESL Ontario standard members applying for accreditation

  • Administration Fee: $125.00 + HST
  • Pro-rated Accreditation Fee** - maximum $82.00 + HST

For all other accreditation applicants:

  • Administration Fee: $125.00 + HST
  • Annual Accredited Membership Fee: $158.00 + HST

*All fees are non-refundable.

**The pro-rated accreditation fee covers the period starting from the accreditation approval date to the existing standard membership renewal month.

Method of Payment: Please provide your phone number on the application form, and a TESL Ontario staff member will reach you during the regular business hours for payment information. We will complete processing your application after receiving payments.

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VI. Application Process Steps

  1. Print and fill out the Language Instructor Accreditation Application Form A-1.
  1. Mail or deliver the completed Application Form A-1, the required documents, and your payment to TESL Ontario (27 Carlton Street, Suite 405, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1L2). We suggest you do not mail original degrees, certificates or other irreplaceable documents, but submit authorized photocopies instead. Alternatively, you may bring originals to our office in person along with photocopies to be authorized.
  1. In a maximum of four to six weeks from the date your application form, all required documents, and payment have been received, your file will be reviewed and you will be informed of the result by email.

Please Note! For operational reasons, TESL Ontario reserves the right to extend the application processing time, as necessary. TESL Ontario may request additional documentation beyond the requirements described above. All submitted documentation and information will be kept confidential. We strongly recommend that you keep photocopies of all submitted forms and documents for your own records. The requirements of the TESL Ontario Language Instructor Accreditation may change without notice. If you do not meet all of the requirements for accreditation, TESL Ontario will send you an email specifying the additional steps you need to take.

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Questions? Please contact TESL Ontario by email at accreditation@teslontario.org or by phone at 416-593-4243, Ext. 205.