Professional Development Requirement

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

PD Requirement of Annual Renewal
TESL Ontario certified members (holding OCELT & ICTEAL, or CTESOL) are required to complete 10 hours of PD activities during each certification year and keep the proof on file. Documents such as PD certificates, PD event registration slips, course transcripts, confirmation letters (on letterhead), and confirmation emails provided by employers, schools, settlement agencies, and TESL organizations are recognized as proof of PD.

Additional PD hours completed in any given certification year cannot be carried over to the following certification 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 certification year or the new one.

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

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

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

Also, content-based training, workshops, seminars, etc. where the focus is solely on a content area, such as Canadian law, health, banking, cooking, traveling, employment, safety at work, etc., and the application of the content to teaching ESL/EFL to adult learners is not established or practiced are not recognized as PD for the TESL Ontario annual renewal.

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. 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
  • Completing a TESL-related training course
  • Attending TESL-related in-service training sessions and PD events provided by employers
  • Mentoring practicum students from TESL Ontario accredited training programs 
  • Mentoring newly certified OCELTs and CTESOLs
  • Serving as a provincial TESL organization Executive Board member, Working Committee member, or Affiliate Chapter Executive Committee member
  • Conducting or participating in TESL-related 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 curricula or assessment tools for ESL teachers or ESL teacher training

A Few Examples of Recognized PD Events and Activities

PD Random Audit

Please be advised that 10% of certified membership renewals due in every given month are selected randomly and receive a PD Audit Notice approximately 6 weeks prior to their renewal due date. Selected members are required to email or mail their proof of PD to TESL Ontario by their renewal due date to be eligible for annual renewal. A one-month grace period is granted if the required PD is not received by the renewal due date. At the end of the grace period, certified membership lapses if PD is still outstanding.

Expired certified membership can be reinstated at any time. For information about OCELT & ICTEAL reinstatement application process and fees, please click here. For information about CTESOL reinstatement application process and fees, please click here.

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