When is a UK TEFL not a UK TEFL?

When legalising TEFL and TESOL certificates we see many different types of TEFLs issued by many different organisations. However, whilst many TEFL courses follow similar learning modules, not all certificates will be recognised as a UK qualification.

Over recent years, we have seen a large increase in the number of applications for TEFL documents to be legalised with the apostille and sometimes attested by an embassy in London. More people are now moving overseas for teaching jobs or positions in training companies where they may need to teach English.

There are several different qualifications, but the main two are Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The increase of people working abroad has seen an increase in TEFL service providers.

Search for TEFL online and you will find lots of service providers. Many of these claim to be UK based issuing a ‘UK’ TEFL. Unfortunately not all TEFLs are from UK service providers.

If you want to get your document legalised in the UK your TEFL will need to meet the guidelines provided by the FCO.

The certificate must be issued by a UK based TEFL service. They should be actually located in the UK. Many TEFL websites promote UK phone numbers, some have a UK address on the contact page and others even register UK companies. However, this does not make them a UK based service. They should have a physical location in the UK. Ask your TEFL service provider one question. ‘Can I visit you in the UK to discuss the best course for me?’ – That should help you determine if they are really in the UK or hiding behind a virtual office.

The second point to check is the details of the certificate. It cannot call the qualification a degree, masters, diploma or graduate certificate. TEFL certificates are issued after completing a training course. If the document appears to represent a college or university it will be rejected by the FCO.

If you have obtained your TEFL from an overseas TEFL agent, then you need to get the document legalised in the country where they are based. The UK FCO will not issue the apostille on non-UK TEFL awards.

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The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.