CTESOL Certificate and Professional Designation


CTESOL stands for Canadian Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages. CTESOL Certificate and Professional Designation recognizes the certificate holder’s knowledge and skills to teach English in non-publicly funded programs in Ontario, in both private and publicly-funded programs in other Canadian provinces and territories, and in a variety of contexts abroad. CTESOL Certificate holders have access to all benefits of the TESL Ontario membership including all professional development opportunities and member discounts.

Please note that you can be certified at either CTESOL level or OCEL & ICTEALT level. It is not possible to hold both levels of certification at the same time.

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

Required Qualifications

To qualify for CTESOL certification and professional designation, interested individuals should meet the following requirements:

1. Valid TESL Ontario Standard Membership: Applicants are required to hold valid TESL Ontario standard membership prior to submitting their CTESOL certification application. If you are not a standard member yet or your standard membership has expired, please take the following steps:

To apply for new standard membership:

  • Go to https://applications.teslontario.org/
  • Click on "Join".
  • Click on "New Membership Application".
  • Select "New Membership Type".
  • Fill out all sections of the form (N-1, N-2, N-3, or N-4).
  • Submit the form.
  • Pay the fee.

To apply for standard membership renewal:

  • Go to https://applications.teslontario.org/
  • Click on "Renew".
  • Click on "Standard Membership Renewal".
  • Select "Membership Renewal Type".
  • Fill out all sections of the form (R-3, R-4, R-5, or R-6).

2. University Education: A three or four year bachelor’s degree or a master's degree, or a PhD from an accredited institution located
in Canada, OR
 a degree deemed equivalent by a member agency of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC), such as

3. English Language Proficiency (ELP) demonstrated in one of three ways:

     a) Completion of at least three years of full-time in-person instruction (or equivalent of that in part-time mode) leading to one or more   
         completed degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, PhD) with English as the language of instruction in an English-speaking country:

         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.

         Online courses and research-based courses do not count as in-person instruction. Also, completion of non-degree programs, i.e., one
         or more certificate or diploma programs, does not count as proof of ELP. 

     b) Minimum acceptable scores/bands from a TESL Ontario recognized ELP test taken within three years of the TESL Ontario Certification 
         application date:

         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/bands have been obtained. 
         Test reports older than three years are considered on a case-by-case basis.

     c) Evidence of grades 6-12 completed with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed in (a)

4. TESL Training: TESL Ontario accredited training consisting of at least 100 hours of instruction in TESL theory and methodology, at least 10 hours of observation, and at least 10 hours of supervised practice teaching. 

Required Supporting Documents 

  1. A university degree or official transcript in any discipline from Canada OR equivalency report if earned outside Canada
  2. A language proficiency test report and/or evidence of education in English (as outlined above)
  3. TESL certificate (or official transcript from a TESL Ontario accredited CTESOL training program
  4. If applicable, proof of legal name change (e.g., marriage certificate, Legal Name Change document) in English or
    a certified translation. This is only required if any of your documentation is under a different name than the one
    you are applying under.


  • Administration Fee: $141.25 (tax included)
  • Pro-rated Certification Fee** - maximum $92.66 (tax included)

         *All fees are non-refundable.

         **The pro-rated certification fee covers the period starting from the certification reinstatement approval date to your current standard         
renewal due date.

Submitting Your Application Package (application form, supporting documents, and fee)

  1. Go to https://applications.teslontario.org/
  2. Click on “Apply”.
  3. Click on “Form A-3: TESL Ontario CTESOL Certification Application”.
  4. Fill out all sections of the form and upload your supporting documents.
  5. Submit your application form.
  6. Pay the application fee.
Please note that you may be requested to submit the original supporting documents or their authorized photocopies to TESL Ontario by mail or in person at a later date.
Applications are reviewed and applicants are notified of the results by email in 20-30 business days from the date of receipt of the application form, all required supporting documents, and the applicable fee. 
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.
  • The standards and requirements of certification application are reviewed by the TESL Ontario Accreditation Standards Committee on a regular basis and are updated, as necessary.
  • Any applicant who is denied the TESL Ontario certification shall have the right to appeal the decision to the TESL Ontario Appeals Committee within three months from the date the decision has been made. For details about filing an appeal, please go to Appeals.

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