English UK to launch new TEFL qualification
1 March 2024

English UK to launch new TEFL qualification

AccessTEFL is a new qualification which will provide an alternative access route to English language teaching careers in the UK. 

Teachers will train on the job through a guided CPD programme.

The qualification will have TEFL initiated (TEFLi) status and be accepted under Accreditation UK criteria for teacher recruitment.

'Apprentice teacher' approach

The initiative grew out of Accreditation UK's four-yearly review of its inspection criteria, requirements and guidance.

The working group responsible for reviewing the Accreditation UK qualification requirements recommended taking an 'apprentice teacher' approach.

In response, English UK has created a low-cost, in-service qualification route that aims to increase the overall number of qualified teachers. It will improve access to English language teaching careers and the level of support offered to new teachers.

Candidates will acquire crucial skills and knowledge within a UK ELT teaching and learning context. Their school will provide mentorship and professional development.

Who will moderate the programme?

The scheme will be run by English UK with day-to-day support, oversight and moderation from NILE. 

Why are we launching ATEFL?

The aim is to increase the accessibility of UK ELT to new entrants with a low-cost, in-service route, providing a training route for people with non-standard or no EFL qualifications.

Other aims are to increase the pipeline of EFL teachers and to provide moderated and certificated qualifications those teachers can use to find work in the UK.

ATEFL: knowledge and skills, on the job

"We are delighted to launch ATEFL after many months' planning. Many ELT centres have been struggling to hire enough qualified teachers to meet increasing student demand, and that could impede the continuing growth of UK ELT," said Jodie Gray, chief executive of English UK.  

"We believe ATEFL is a great way for centres to grow and develop their own staff, supporting people who are keen to teach English in the UK but who did not have a conventional TEFLi qualification. This is an affordable and accessible way for centres to train high-quality staff as part of their staff CPD, and we hope that as many as possible will be able to take advantage of it." 

Thom Kiddle, Director of NILE, said full details on the scheme would be available soon: "We are excited to be working on a new project with the team at English UK – developing and managing a situated and supported CPD scheme, AccessTEFL, for new teachers joining English UK schools.  

"The scheme, to be launched later this year, will ensure new entrants to the profession are supported with structured, focused development activities, observation and feedback while they learn their craft; and help accredited English UK members recruit teachers in combination with the traditional TEFLi routes." 

Who can take part?

Candidates joining the programme will have a first degree or be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of skills and competencies.

They should also have at least 30 hours previous study of ELT such as an introduction to TEFL programme. Candidates will have a B2 English qualification if their first language is not English.

The qualification covers four modules:

  • The English language
  • The English language learner
  • The English language classroom
  • Reflective practice

It will take 40 hours of work to complete the portfolio and 80 hours of teaching must be completed before its submission.

The candidates will be observed teaching by their mentor, will observe other teachers and take part in a number of reflective tasks. They can work in more than one language centre if the employers work together to co-ordinate the programme.


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