International TEFL Academy Nicaragua Class Accreditation
Editor’s note: This article was updated 3/27/2018.
Where to start?
Accreditation is a crucial element for any high quality, professional-level TEFL certification, but we understand that it can be challenging to navigate and make sense of the various official bodies and organizations that are often referenced, as well terminology and jargon. Here we attempt to explain the complexities of accreditation for TEFL certifications, including the ins and outs of the British educational system, which regulates and maintains standards for many of the most recognized professional level TEFL TESOL courses around the globe. Hopefully this will be helpful for you.
Why we are accredited:
As a global leader in TEFL TESOL training that certifies more than 3,500 people a year to teach English in over 80 countries worldwide, International TEFL Academy places the highest priority on ensuring that our students receive the very best training and a qualification that is recognized and respected. For our Nicaragua, Online and Chicago, TEFL courses, we proudly use a brand new (2015) modern curriculum written and developed by International TEFL Academy professors and experts in the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
To ensure that our TEFL certification meets international standards in quality and deliverance, this curriculum has been externally monitored and approved for accreditation by TQUK, an officially recognized Awarding Organization that is recognized and regulated by Ofqual, the British Government body responsible for monitoring and maintaining educational standards in the United Kingdom. The curriculum also meets internationally recognized requirements of a minimum of 100 hours of academic work and 6 hours of practicum (student teaching/observation) for a professional level TEFL certification. (Our course has 180 hours of coursework, and 10 hours of practicum.)
Why does International TEFL Academy use a British based accreditation?
A few reasons:
- Worldwide acceptance: Since the heyday of the British Empire in the 19th century, the British have been the leaders in English language teaching worldwide with many language schools using the British system and/or understanding the strict regulations of the TEFL certification industry. While ITA is headquartered in Chicago USA, we believe our certification needs to have the widest global acceptance. Unfortunately the US government does not regulate the English teaching market or TEFL certifications, and therfore little relevance to employers abroad.
- Comparison of course work & quality: The QCF Level 5 qualification provides the “apples to apples” comparison for an ITA TEFL course and a CELTA TEFL course, which is also a QCF Level 5.
International TEFL Academy’s accrediting body, TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) is recognized as a leader in providing vocational and professional qualifications to colleges and private training providers in Education & Training, Social Care, and Health. Regulated by Ofqual, TQUK enjoys official recognition from the British government as a provider of accreditation and quality assurance for professional training and certification.
Awarding Organizations (AO – as accrediting bodies are officially known in the UK) are responsible for the award of qualifications (accreditation), and working with training centers such as International TEFL Academy to ensure that quality standards are maintained at all times. AO responsibilities, as part of the overall awarding of qualifications include:
- Registration and Certification of candidates undertaking regulated qualifications
- Ongoing support for centers teaching learners with an aim to achieving a qualification
- Maintaining the validity and quality of qualifications throughout the qualification life span
The International TEFL Academy TQUK Center number is 1709166
External Review & Assessment
All certifications awarded accreditation by TQUK to International TEFL Academy are externally monitored and reviewed by highly qualified experts. In addition, all training centers, like ours at the beach in Las Penitas/Poneloya Leon, Nicaragua, are visited by an External Verifier, an expert in the field, who assesses the quality procedures and administration prior to awarding accreditation. This ensures that International TEFL Academy Nicaragua TEFL courses and curriculum are thoroughly and personally vetted by independent experts.
To check TQUK’s status as an Awarding Organization please use the following link here.
TQUK is an Ofqual-recognized Awarding Organization, ensuring that our accreditation meets the highest standards as set by the British Government. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, Ofqual, is the governmental department in the UK responsible for maintaining and regulating educational standards, exams and certifications. As an Ofqual-regulated awarding body, TQUK takes every step necessary to ensure that accredited qualifications conform to a high standard; and that all centers, offering a TQUK-recognized qualification, including International TEFL Academy, meet or exceed recognized standards in the quality of the curriculum, instructors and services provided to students.
The purpose of Ofqual is to maintain standards and confidence by ensuring that regulated qualifications and accreditation are only offered by recognized awarding organizations, which have demonstrated their commitment and ability to maintain exceptionally high standards of quality when developing, delivering, assessing and awarding qualifications.
QCF stands for “Qualifications and Credit Framework”.
Ofqual regulates and recognizes qualifications such as International TEFL Academy’s accreditation with TQUK through the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). QCF qualifications are regulated within a framework for flexible learner achievement and represent one of the most common types of professional level qualifications accredited by Awarding Organizations in the UK. Qualifications and units are assigned a credit value to indicate the length of time required for completion and a level to indicate difficulty.
Relevance of a QCF Level 5 TEFL certification:
Both CELTA certifications and Trinity certifications (both of which are brand names of TEFL course providers based in the UK) are listed as a QCF Level 5. The International TEFL Academy Nicaragua TEFL certification is approved at the same Level 5, which makes it easier for an employer to verify the equivalence of training hours if they are listing a CELTA course or an equivalent TEFL certification.
There are many TEFL schools around the world that do not have enough course hours (120 is the standard) and are not at the scrutiny of a university level course. This QCF Level 5 authorization makes it clear that International TEFL Academy Nicaragua’s TEFL certification courses meet or exceed these standards.
This chart provides some context for the level of content and difficulty of a Level 5 certificate, such as International TEFL Academy Nicaragua TEFL certification.
What is the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF)?
The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is a new credit transfer system which has replaced the National Qualification Framework (NQF). It recognizes qualifications and units by awarding credits. And since each unit has a credit value and the credits can be transferred, the system gives the learners the ability to get qualifications at their own pace. The QCF is jointly regulated by the England’s regulator Ofqual, Wales’ DCELLS and Northern Ireland’s CCEA.
How Does the QCF System Work?
The QCF system is based on units which have credit value and levels (from Entry Level to Level 8). One credit roughly equals 10 learning hours which allows the learners to evaluate how much time they will need to gain the desired qualification. According to the QCF system, the learners can gain three types of qualifications:
How are Credit Points Awarded?
To gain an award, it is necessary to have 1 to 12 credit points, which equals 10 to 120 hours of learning. Learners who have 13 to 26 credits (130 to 260 hours) are awarded certificates, while those who have 37 credits or more are awarded diplomas. The QCF system gives awards at any difficulty level from 1 to 8 which is due to the fact that it reveals the size of qualification and not its difficulty level. The latter is indicated by the title of qualification which, however, also reveals the size of the qualification and its subject.
How is Quality of Units and Qualifications Ensured?
In addition to developing units, developing and accrediting qualifications, and awarding credits and qualifications, the regulators of the QCF are also responsible for maintaining a unit data bank and monitoring the organizations that operate within the QCF in order to ensure that all awarded qualifications meet the regulatory requirements. These are specified in the Regulatory arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework that has been developed jointly by the regulators in the United Kingdom.