Boosting your Career with the OCELT Designation – Growth. Recognition. Community.

TESL Ontario Certification
Image source: TESL Ontario

Written by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager, TESL Ontario

Hi there. My name is Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy. I am the TESL Ontario Accreditation Services Manager. I am also an OCELT. Do you know what OCELT stands for? We see OCELT in email signatures, resumes, title slides of presentation decks, and presenter biographies quite often these days, which is excellent for our profession! The OCELT professional designation acknowledges the professional status of certified practitioners and enhances their professional prestige as members of a dynamic ESL community. If you are an OCELT but haven’t started using your professional designation yet, or if you are not an OCELT but are planning to start the application process soon, this blog post may encourage you to start today!

Career Growth with OCELT

OCELT stands for Ontario Certified English Language Teacher. This professional designation and certificate trademark was officially registered with the government of Canada in 2017 by TESL Ontario. OCELT is awarded to TESL Ontario members who meet the university education, English language proficiency and TESL training requirements of OCELT certification application.

OCELT is a professional asset designed for individuals who are teaching or would like to apply to teach

  • English to adult learners in publicly funded programs, such as LINC and funded Adult ESL, in Ontario
  • ESL in the private sector (e.g., private language schools, private career colleges, community colleges, universities, tutoring agencies) in Ontario
  • private and publicly funded programs in other Canadian provinces and territories
  • ESL/EFL abroad

When you are approved for OCELT, you automatically qualify for the ICTEAL certification and designation as well. ICTEAL stands for International Certificate for Teachers of English as an Additional Language. Just like OCELT, ICTEAL is officially registered as a certificate trademark and a professional designation with the government of Canada. TESL Ontario certified members use ICTEAL to apply for jobs in other countries. If you are an OCELT, use both OCELT and ICTEAL as your professional designations wherever you put down your name, like this: John Smith, BA, OCELT, ICTEAL.

Professional Recognition with OCELT

OCELT recognizes the certificate holder’s professionalism and integrity. It enhances respect for English language educators in Canada and international settings. It also signifies the educator’s distinct knowledge and specialized teaching skills. In addition, OCELT highlights the TESL Ontario certified members’ commitment to excellence through continuous professional development. Moreover, OCELTs belong to a community of highly educated, responsible and dedicated professionals who strive to further the best interests of English language learners.

OCELTs are listed on TESL Ontario’s online Registry of Certified Teachers. The Registry allows you to access your certification record online and print your OCELT and ICTEAL certificates at any time. Certificates that are produced through the Registry are original and authentic. Furthermore, the Registry enables employers to verify your certification status and the authenticity of your certificates online whenever they need to; they don’t have to contact the TESL Ontario Office for that purpose.

OCELT certificate holders have access to all TESL Ontario professional development events and membership benefits.

Strength of Community with OCELT

The OCELT designation is backed by an innovative professional association that is a leader in certification services in Ontario and beyond.  TESL Ontario continuously promotes the value of the language training profession, the power of hiring OCELTs, and endorses the professionalism and integrity of the TESL Ontario membership.  This vast community of practitioners collectively strengthens and advances the profession through their dedication and commitment to excellence in language education.

For more information about OCELT or the application requirements, please visit the TESL Ontario website at or contact me by email at or by phone at 416-593-4243, ext. 205.


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