Professional Development Requirement

Ongoing professional development (PD) is an important aspect of adult ESL teacher accreditation. It stimulates circulation of creative ideas, innovative techniques, and new research among accredited teachers. A record of PD activities signifies academic currency and depth embedded in accreditation and lends weight to our advocacy of recognition and regulation of professional standards for "adult ESL teacher profession".

PD Requirement of Accreditation Renewal
To be eligible for accreditation renewal, accredited teachers (OCELTs and CTESOLs) are required to complete 10 hours of PD during each accreditation year and keep the proof on file. Additional PD hours completed in any given accreditation year cannot be carried over to the following accreditation year, with the exception of hours completed during the renewal month. PD hours completed during the renewal month can be considered for either the current accreditation year or the new one.

PD Recognition Standard
To be recognized as PD, an activity must meet the following criteria:

  •  It increases the participants' knowledge of the theories, methods, or techniques of teaching English as a second/foreign language or their knowledge of a subject closely related to TESL/TEFL such as principles of adult learning, classroom management, diversity training, culture, multiculturalism, assessment, and technology in the classroom.
  • It augments participants' teaching English as a second language skills and classroom performance.

PD is above and beyond the day-to-day requirements of the applicant's professional duties. Therefore, an activity (or a component of an activity) the applicant is required to carry out as part of their daily professional responsibilities does not count towards the PD hours required for accreditation renewal.

As proof of PD, the TESL Ontario accredited members are required to keep on file documents such as PD certificates, PD event registration slips, course transcripts, and confirmation letters (on letterhead) issued by employers, schools, settlement agencies, and TESL organizations.

Activities Recognized as PD
Every hour of participation in any of the activities outlined below counts as one PD hour. Every hour of presentation is recognized as five PD hours. Documents such as PD certificates, registration slips, course transcripts, and confirmation letters from event organizers are accepted as proof of PD. Activities recognized as PD are as follows:

  • Participating in TESL-related workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars and other similar events in Canada or abroad
  • Presenting in TESL-related workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars and other similar events in Canada or abroad
  • Attending a TESL-related training session, course, or program
  • Attending TESL-related in-service training sessions and PD events provided by employers
  • Mentoring practicum students from OCELT and CTESOL training programs accredited by TESL Ontario
  • Mentoring newly accredited OCELTs and CTESOLs
  • Serving as a provincial TESL organization Executive Board member, Working Committee member, or Affiliate Chapter Executive Committee member
  • Participation in TESL research
  • Volunteering as a teacher, a teacher assistant, or a tutor in an on-site or online adult ESL program run by a recognized school or settlement agency in Canada
  • Pilot testing adult ESL or TESL-related curriculum or assessment tools

A Few Examples of Recognized PD Events and Activities

PD Random Audit


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

If you have received a PD Audit Notice from TESL Ontario. please submit images/scans of your proof of PD by email at

Please be advised that 10% of renewals due in every given month are selected randomly and receive a PD Audit Notice approximately 6 weeks prior to their renewal due date. The selected individuals are required to submit (mail, fax, email, or deliver) their proof of PD to TESL Ontario by their renewal due date to be eligible for accreditation renewal. A one-month grace period is granted if the required PD is not submitted by the renewal due date. At the end of the grace period, CTESOL accreditation lapses if PD is still outstanding. Expired accreditation can be reinstated at any time.
For information about OCELT  reinstatement, please click here.
For information about CTESOL resinstateemnt, please click here.

Questions? Please contact TESL Ontario at or at 416-593-4243, Ext. 205.