CTESOL Certification

CTESOL certification acknowledges that a certificate holder has the knowledge and skills required for teaching English to adult learners 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 is officially registered as a professional designation and a certificate trademark.

Please note that TESL Ontario members may hold either OCELT & ICTEAL certification or CTESOL certification. One cannot be certified at both levels simultaneously.

Application Requirements for CTESOL

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 go to https://applications.teslontario.org/, and click on “JOIN” or “RENEW”, as appropriate.

University Degree

Applicants are required to hold 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

  • World Education Services (WES), Ontario
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS), Ontario
  • Comparative Education Service (CES), Ontario

Required proof: university degree or official transcript from Canada OR equivalency report if earned outside Canada

English Language Proficiency (ELP)

ELP must be demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Holding one or more degrees (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD) that meet the following criteria:
    • Completed degree program/s comprised at least three years of full-time in-person education or an equivalent of that in part-time mode.
    • Degree program/s were completed in one or more English-speaking 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
    • Language of instruction was English.

    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.

  2. Minimum acceptable scores/bands from a TESL Ontario recognized ELP test taken within three years of the TESL Ontario Certification application date:
    • Michigan English Test (MET): Listening 64 , Reading: 64 , Speaking: 64 , Writing: 64
    • IELTS-Academic Test: Listening: 7 Reading: 7 Writing: 7 Speaking: 7
    • CAEL-At a Test Centre: Listening: 70 Reading: 70 Writing: 70 Speaking: 70
    • CAEL Online: Listening: 70 Reading: 70 Writing: 70 Speaking: 70
    • TOEFL iBT: Listening: 24 Reading: 24 Writing: 27 Speaking: 26
    • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition: Listening: 24 Reading: 24 Writing: 27 Speaking: 26
    • Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE): Level: C2

    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.

  3. Evidence of grades 6-12 completed with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed in paragraph a.
    Required proof:
    • For ELP option (a): official transcript/s
    • For ELP option (b): language proficiency test report/s
    • For ELP option (c): report cards or confirmation letter from school board
Education in TESL

Applicants are required to complete a TESL Ontario accredited CTESOL training program 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 proof: TESL certificate or official transcript from a TESL Ontario accredited CTESOL training program

Proof of Name Change

Proof of name change (e.g., marriage certificate, Legal Name Change document) in English or a certified translation is required only if any of your documents is under a different name than the one you are applying under.

How to Apply

To apply for CTESOL Certification, fill out Form A-3 CTESOL Certification Application and upload your documents at https://applications.teslontario.org/

All required supporting documents must be in English. Official English translations are required for documents that are not in English.


Non-refundable Administration fee: $125.00 + HST ($141.25)
Pro-rated certification fee: a maximum of $84.00 + HST ($94.92)

Accredited CTESOL Training Programs

CTESOL Certificate Renewal

CTESOL Certificate Renewal

CTESOL Certificate and Professional Designation is valid for 12 months from the date of approval. At the end of this period, you should renew your certified membership to maintain your certificate and designation. The renewal due date is recorded on your certificate. Also, TESL Ontario emails you a renewal reminder with detailed instructions approximately 6 weeks prior to your renewal due date.

To be eligible for annual renewal, you are required to do 10 hours of professional development (PD) activities during every certification year (by your certified membership renewal date) and keep the proof on file. For more information, please click on the Professional Development Requirements section.

If you receive a PD Audit Notice from TESL Ontario, you will be required to submit your proof of PD.

Annual Renewal Fee

The annual renewal fee is $160.00 (plus tax).

How to Renew

Submit your renewal application at https://applications.teslontario.org/

TESL Ontario processes renewal applications and sends out renewed CTESOL Certificates by email in 5-10 business days.

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

Professional Development Requirement for Renewal

CTESOL Certification Reinstatement

Professional Development Requirement for Renewal

CTESOL Certification holders are required to complete 10 hours of PD activities each year by their annual renewal due date and keep the proof on file. Documents such as PD certificates, PD event registration slips, course transcripts, PD confirmation letters (on letterhead and signed), and PD confirmation emails are recognized as proof of PD.
Additional PD hours completed in any given certification year cannot be carried over to the following certification year. 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

  • TESL Ontario Conference
  • TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Conferences
  • Post TESL Certificate Training courses (PTCT)
  • TESL Ontario Live Webinars
  • TESL Ontario Archived Webinars
  • Tutela Live and Recorded Webinars
  • Contact North Webinars
  • Volunteering for TESL Ontario Working Committees
  • CCLB E-learning Portal
  • BC TEAL Events
  • Alberta TESL (ATESL) Events
  • TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo
  • IATEFL Conference and Exhibition
  • IATEFL Webinars

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.

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

CTESOL Certification Reinstatement

Expired CTESOL Certification can be reinstated at any time.

Applicants are required to submit proof of 10 hours of PD completed at any time during the past 12 months. Detailed information about recognized PD is available under “Professional Development Requirement” at https://teslontario.org/certification/teacher-certification/ . Documents such as PD certificates, PD event registration slips, course transcripts, and PD confirmation letters (on letterhead and signed) or emails from employers are accepted as proof of PD.

If you have maintained your standard membership or have it renewed now before submitting a reinstatement application, you will be able to access recordings of TESL Ontario webinars on Tutela.ca or participate in live webinars to earn PD. If you are not part of the TESL Ontario Group on Tutela yet, you can follow this link and request to join: https://tutela.ca/GroupHome?organicgroup=8594 Requests may take up to three business days to get approved.

After you watch a webinar recording, Tutela will allow you to download a PDF of your PD certificate. Please note that Tutela.ca is not a product of TESL Ontario but an external service provider that TESL Ontario uses for its webinar viewing and storage. If you encounter technical difficulties with viewing webinars, downloading PD certificates, etc., please contact info@tutela.ca directly for assistance.

To apply for CTESOL certification reinstatement:

  1. Print and fill out the Application Form A-7.
  2. Email or mail the completed form and your proof of PD to TESL Ontario:

Email: administration@teslontario.org
Mailing address: TESL Ontario, 27 Carlton Street, Suite 405, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1L2.