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 submiting their CTESOL certification application. You can apply for "New Standard Membership" or "Standard Membership Renewal" at https://www.teslontario.org/members/signup 

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 four ways:

     a) A three or four year full-time in-class bachelor's degree completed with English as the language of instruction in one of the following     
         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.
     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. 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.
     c) Evidence of grades 6-12 completed with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed in (a)
     d) A three or four year online/distance bachelor's degree completed with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries     
         listed in (a) and an ELP test report indicating speaking and writing results as shown in (b)
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. 

Application Form A-3 and Required Documents

Please email a scan of the completed application form and scans/images of original supporting documents to accreditation@teslontario.org.
Approved applicants may be requested to mail or deliver the original supporting documents or their authorized photocopies to TESL
Ontario at a later date.
  1. Application Form A-3 (Print and fill out.)
  2. university degree (or official transcript) in any discipline from Canada OR equivalency report if earned outside Canada
  3. language proficiency test report(s) and/or evidence of education in English (as outlined above)
  4. TESL certificate (or official transcript) from a TESL Ontario accredited TESL training program
  5. 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.

Fees* and Method of Payment 

•    One-time 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 approval date to your current standard membership renewal due date.

Method of Payment: Please provide your phone number on the application form. A TESL Ontario staff member will reach out to you during regular business hours to collect your payment information and process the applicable fees. 

Application Process Steps

  1. Print and fill out  Application Form A-3
  2. Email a scans/images of the completed Application Form A-3 and the required supporting documents to accreditation@teslontario.org
  3. TESL Ontario sends you an email confirming the receipt of your electronic submissions in one to two business days.
  4. In four to six weeks from the date of the receipt of your documents:
    a) Your application package is reviewed, and you are notified by email if any required documentation or information is
    missing. If/Once your application package is complete, it is approved.
    b) Next, a TESL Ontario staff member calls you for payment information, processes the applicable fees, and sends
    you confirmation of payment by email.
    c) TESL Ontario notifies you of your certification approval by email. 
  5.  Your CTESOL Certificate is issued and mailed to your address. 

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.

Annual Renewal and Professional Development (PD)
For information about annual renewal application process, PD requirement, and PD Audit, please go to https://www.teslontario.org/renewal-ctesol

Any applicant who is denied certification shall have the right to appeal the decision within three months from the date the decision is made. Please be aware that the degree and English language proficiency (ELP) requirements of certification are "non-appealable" requisites. 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.