The Role of your Professional Association 

English language education has a long history and has evolved from volunteers supporting newcomers in small community spaces to the recognized profession that is today. TESL Ontario is committed to improving outcomes for learners by contributing to the certification, professional development and career growth of the educators who work with them. 

The factors of a recognized profession 

Any established profession requires three key factors to strengthen the reputation and authenticity of the work of those involved in that profession.  Professions need standards, code of ethics and professional designations to help establish the validity and necessity of the services offered by those employed in that sector.  These factors create a consistent expectation for service delivery in a given field and are often facilitated by a professional association. 

Ultimately, the role of a professional association is to uphold the professional creditability of the membership they support.   

TESL Ontario’s role as your professional association  

As a professional association, TESL Ontario has helped to establish the field of English language training as a recognized profession in Ontario and across Canada. Our continuous work on the professional standards for TESL training programs, the development of the code of ethics for TESL educators, along with the introduction of the professional designations for certified teachers in our field, have provided members of this association with fundamental professional integrity.   

TESL Ontario supports the needs of English language educators.  While a union focusses on relations with the employer, we as your professional association exist to cater to your professional and career development needs.  We establish professional credibility through access to certification and professional designations, learning opportunities, information, resources and a community of practice.  

We offer three pillars of service: 

Certification Services 

We establish, maintain, and enhance professional identity, integrity and credibility of the TESL education field through certification, a code of ethics, educational criteria and certification standards.

Professional Development 

We serve the professional development needs of TESL Educators, through conferences, webinars education programs and industry specific resources. 

Career Development 

We support career development through employment listings, career resources, mentorship programs, career fairs and events. 

The Impact of a professional association 

Certification offered through TESL Ontario formally recognizes your knowledge and skills, enhancing your employability within your chosen profession.  In addition, your professional association supports and serves you and your peer community to navigate the evolution in adult ESL instruction.   

TESL Ontario brings together a collective membership with common interests and goals who work together as a community to improve teaching practices and learning outcomes for all involved with English language education.   


Allison is the Executive Director of TESL Ontario, and has been supporting the TESL community for more than 12 years through her role within the organization. She is passionate about engaging with TESL Ontario members and volunteers and working with the community for the betterment of the TESL profession. She has focused her career in not-for-profit management for the past 20 years, building diverse, member-centric, supportive professional communities.


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