Take the leap to accreditation with
why people choose to work with US
Choosing the right accreditation partner for your TESOL course is an important decision. There are many different accreditation bodies available to consider and it may be daunting to know who to choose and why. It can also be a little unclear what accreditation bodies actually do. After speaking to four or five accreditation providers, I eventually whittled down my choice and went with ACTDEC. I could not have made a better choice!
The ACTDEC team is small, approachable, and highly professional. They gave me advice at every turn about how I could improve my course to give the very best offering to TEFL trainees. It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that your course is the finished article (especially after putting so much time and thought into writing it!), but ACTDEC's A&A Panel helped me to critically examine the course and reflect on how it could be improved. With their patience and expert advice, they have turned a good course into a very strong online TESOL programme.
ACTDEC accreditation is difficult to achieve and is the hallmark of quality that TEFL trainees should encounter on their TESOL courses. Thank you for all of your help, ACTDEC.
Our Accreditation Process
6 Steps to Accreditation
Our accreditation process enables us to assess the quality of the training you provide (or aim to provide) and to ensure that you meet the standards outlined in our Code of Practice and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). We want you to offer your trainees a learning experience of outstanding quality, both in terms of the course itself and the support and service you provide. When you're ready to start the process with us, just get in touch!
choose actdec & Pay initial organisational audit fee
Read carefully through our Information Kit and decide whether ACTDEC is a good fit with your organisation's aspirations. When you are ready to proceed contact our Administrator for instructions on payment of the Initial Organisational Audit Fee. This payment is non-refundable, so make sure you are committed to the accreditation process before paying. On receipt of payment, we will send you a New Applicant Folder, and a member of our A&A Panel will contact you to organise a face-time meeting and answer any questions you may have.
audit & accreditation panel report
Both your submissions are reviewed by two A&A Panel members, after which you will receive our reports. We estimate that you should receive the Organisational Audit report within 3 weeks of submitting. Course Accreditation may take longer, depending on the level and length of the course submitted, but we aim for the same timeframe. The review by the A&A Panel will allocate one of three possible ratings: A) Successful; B) Pending Required Changes; C) Unsuccessful. Rest assured that an "unsuccessful" rating happens extremely rarely and only in cases where the information and evidence submitted is largely incomplete or incoherent. It is almost impossible to receive an “unsuccessful” rating provided you have completed the forms diligently and clarified any doubts or questions with your A&A Panel contact. In this unlikely event, an applicant may either drop out of the accreditation process, or pay the full fees again and reinitiate the process.
complete forms in the new applicant folder
Within the New Applicant Folder, you will find instructions for completing two forms and their respective attachments: (1) Initial Organisational Audit Submission; and (2) Course Accreditation Submission. As you are working through the forms, feel free to clarify any doubts with your contact from the A&A Panel. We are happy to provide advice and answer questions at this stage, but we will not review actual materials. There is no time limit for submitting these forms, so you should take as long as you need to ensure that you provide all the information and evidence required. This may imply setting up new procedures and/or writing up policies that you did not have previously, as well as implementing changes to your course.
(possible) 2nd submission & review
If your submission(s) are classified "Pending Required Changes", you will need to re-submit. Both reports will provide you with constructive feedback and instructions on how to respond. You may request any clarifications from your A&A Panel contact within up to two weeks of receiving the report. You will have a maximum of three months (from the date the report is sent) to implement required changes and respond to recommendations. Changes submitted after this date or incomplete responses will incur an additional charge. The A&A Panel will emit a Second Report after reviewing to ensure that required changes have been implemented and recommendations have been satisfactorily addressed. However, if the changes you have implemented are unsatisfactory, incomplete, or delayed, you may have to pay an additional charge and/or submit to a third review.
submit forms & pay course accreditation fee
When you are ready, send an email to your A&A Panel contact and attach the documents. You may submit both forms simultaneously or submit the Initial Organisational Audit form first in order to speed up the process. In either event, the A&A Panel will only begin review of the Course Accreditation Submission once (a) the Organisational Audit is deemed successful, and (b) the Course Accreditation fee has been paid.
Become an ACTDEC "Accredited Member"
When your Organisational Audit and Course Accreditation submissions meet all ACTDEC standards and Key Performance Indicators, it's time to celebrate - you have achieved accreditation! You will receive an ACTDEC Accredited Member Certificate, along with our Member Pack. This includes instructions on how to use our company logo and accredited level stamp in your publicity materials. Simultaneously, we will change your status on our website from “Applicant Provider” to “Accredited Member”.
ACTDEC code of practice
The ACTDEC Code of Practice specifies what we are looking for from our Course Providers both in terms of organisational set-up and procedures and the course itself. Hover over each of boxes below to see the complete standard. Each standard is then clarified further through our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If you would like to see this more detailed version, download a full copy of our Code of Practice & KPIs.
administrative / organisational
All website information is user-friendly and reflects the ACTDEC provider's commitment to transparency and professionalism.
The ACTDEC provider makes every effort to ensure that pre-course information and course description is accurate and fully informative, enabling candidates to make the best possible decisions regarding which course to choose.
ADVERTISING, COURSE FEES & DISCOUNTS
The ACTDEC provider follows UK advertising guidelines and ensures candidates are fully informed of their rights and any conditions before buying.
The ACTDEC provider ensures that entry requirements are clearly specified, that only candidates with sufficient qualifications and experience to benefit fully from the course are allowed to enrol and that equal opportunities are afforded to all candidates.
The ACTDEC provider's administrative procedures and communication systems are clear, highly effective and enable staff and student voices to be heard.
The ACTDEC provider only recruits tutors with appropriate qualifications and experience and consistently improves the training offered by providing opportunities for continuing professional development.
ORGANISATIONAL MONITORING & QUALITY ASSURANCE
The ACTDEC provider continuously makes every effort to improve the service they offer by collating and acting on feedback from all relevant stakeholders.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The ACTDEC-accredited course has a clearly defined achievable and assessable goal which is communicated to all stakeholders.
COURSE STRUCTURE, CONTENT & LENGTH
The ACTDEC-accredited course has been designed in line with current best practice in syllabus design and consists of a reasoned and methodical plan for teaching and learning, coherent with the goals of the course.
Students are nurtured and challenged throughout the course which incorporates appropriate, up-to-date distance and online learning methodological principles.
PROGRESS & ASSESSMENT
There are measures in place to provide regular constructive feedback and support and to undertake effective assessment based on appropriate and up to date formative and summative assessment principles.
COURSE MONITORING & QUALITY ASSURANCE
The ACTDEC provider continuously makes every effort to improve the course(s) they offer by collating and acting on suggestions and feedback from all relevant stakeholders.
actdec qualifications & levels framework
ACTDEC accredits courses at the levels outlined below, starting with a Level 2 course which can be considered an introductory or pre-certificate level course. Click on a row for more detail about each level, including a downloadable document outlining the Domains, Standards and Learning Outcomes.
UNDERSTANDING OUR FRAMEWORK AND ALIGNING YOUR PROGRAMME
From syllabus to standards
In 2020, we reviewed our requirements for accreditation of courses at different levels. We used to offer guidance in the form of sample syllabuses for each level but now, reflecting a general move in education towards standards-based assessment, our guidelines specify five clear domains of learning, with corresponding standards and learning outcomes. These domains are adopted from TESOL International Association’s (2015) Standards for Short-Term TEFL/TESL Certificate Programs.
domains of learning
As can be seen in the diagram above, the first four domains: Language, Culture, Instruction and Assessment all overlap, demonstrating the interconnected nature of the areas covered. The fifth domain, Professionalism, is at the intersection of the first four; in other words, the theme of professional growth and development runs through the entire programme.
kud learning outcomes
Each domain is explored through standards and KUD (KNOW, UNDERSTAND and DO) learning outcomes. It is important to understand that for each ACTDEC level, the domains of learning and standards remain the same. However, each level has been carefully calibrated according to what a trainee should know, understand and be able to do by the end of the course, based on the depth of learning that should take place at each level.
map out learning outcomes
The KUD learning outcomes are what differentiate each level and these are what you must map into the design of your course. To accredit your course, you need to demonstrate that trainees in your programme are able to achieve the KUD learning outcomes for the level they are studying.
changes you may need to make
It is likely that the topics your course presents (the syllabus) will not need to change greatly. However, you may need to adjust your assignments and assessment to ensure careful demonstration of the knowledge, understanding and abilities of your trainees in line with the learning outcomes.
where to start
A good start would be to read carefully through each of the KUD outcomes for the level you wish to accredit and map them onto your existing programme. The “know” and “understand” outcomes are largely based on content, so check to make sure you are not missing any vital topics. The “do” outcomes (skills and abilities) will mostly relate to performance-based assignments, which you may need to (re)design.
Click on the buttons below to download the detailed course level outlines which include the domains, standards and KUD learning outcomes.
You can download our complete fees schedule below, but the following figures should give you an idea of how much it costs* to become an accredited ACTDEC member.
* Accurate for 2023
Initial Organisational Audit Fee
You should note that this fee is non-refundable. Make sure that you are happy to proceed with the accreditation process before paying. On receipt of payment, you will receive our audit and accreditation forms that will enable you to proceed.
Other (potential) costs
For both the initial organisational audit and the course accreditation, we allow you up to three months to implement any Required Changes and to respond to our recommendations. Delayed and/or incomplete responses can incur a £100 fee. In second and subsequent reviews, delayed or incomplete responses will incur stepped fees with increments of £50.
Course Accreditation Fee
This fee varies according to the level of the course you are looking to get accredited, starting at GBP £460 for a Level 2 course. For more precise information, download our New Applicants Fee schedule.
Annual Membership Fee from 2nd Year
Once you are an accredited member of ACTDEC you are required to pay an annual membership fee. This is due in two instalments from the date of official recognition of your successful accreditation.