Summary of Action

The TEFL Institute, an Illinois company selling “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” training and certification, claimed to be accredited by NATEFLAC, a “leading TEFL accreditating organization based in the United States,” and ACCREDITAT, “a leading international accreditation body for TEFL training.”  However, prompted by a consumer complaint, TINA.org investigated these statements and was unable to find any organization by the name of NATEFLAC, and learned that ACCREDITAT cancelled the Institute’s accreditation back in October 2013. Briefly, the TEFL Institute also falsely claimed that it was accredited by another organization called WTEFLAC, but removed the statement from its Facebook page after WTEFLAC requested the change.

Following complaint letters from TINA.org to the company, the Illinois Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau, the company removed from its website the reference to NATEFLAC in February 2014, and then removed its website altogether in October 2014.  Also, since receiving TINA.org’s complaint, the BBB has changed its rating of the company from an “A+” to an “F.”

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A certification process and quality assurance method that’s designed to distinguish schools that comply with a set of educational standards.  But not all accreditation agencies are created equal.  Many are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as being reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions they accredit.  Those are the ones you want to see when you’re evaluating a school.  Others are unrecognized and some are completely made up, and scam artists will claim their school is accredited by such organizations to make it seem like their institution is legitimate and well-respected when, in reality, it’s a sham.

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