Here at i-to-i we’re thrilled to announce that both our TEFL certificates and TEFL diplomas have got an official stamp of approval from the highly regarded US accreditation body, DEAC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission).
DEAC is formally recognised by both the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as an authority on quality assessment of distance education – so they definitely know their stuff when it comes to evaluating online courses! This means we’re particularly proud that i-to-i is one of a very select group of course providers across the world to achieve the status of DEAC approved AQC (Approved Quality Curriculum) provider. Hurrah to us!
Why are quality marks important for TEFL courses?
Gaining a quality mark like DEAC approved AQC provider status isn’t simply about a lovely new logo for our website – although we do love seeing DEAC on our accreditation page.
i-to-i is a strong believer in pushing forward the professionalism and high quality of TEFL courses. In our view, it’s super-important for TEFL teachers to have excellent training that gives them the skills and knowledge they need to teach effective English lessons and leads to a qualification respected by TEFL employers around the world. Recognised quality marks are a key part of this approach. They provide an objective, external evaluation of how we’re doing, plus give us a brilliant opportunity to review our own delivery in a really structured way.
In other words, achieving a stamp of approval from an organisation such as DEAC means that both you and TEFL employers can be confident you’re training with a TEFL provider that puts quality at the heart of everything they do. Pretty important, eh?
How did you achieve DEAC AQC status?
To achieve our DEAC AQC provider status, i-to-i had to go through a rigorous, nine-month process, where everything from our policies to our support for students to our courses themselves were submitted for scrutiny. This included two separate rounds of providing evidence, a thorough evaluation against in-depth quality standards by an appointed assessor and two stages of committee meetings reviewing our courses. This was definitely not a tick-box exercise!
All of this made it even more exciting to read our approval letter from DEAC’s executive director confirming that: “DEAC expressed its confidence that the courses meet the academic quality standards the Accrediting Commission has established for distance education.”
And we must admit we were particularly delighted that we passed each stage of the process at our first attempt!
Why does DEAC AQC matter on top of Ofqual?
From our very early days, i-to-i has been accredited the UK’s Open and Distance Learning Quality Council, undergoing a regular review of our processes to make absolute sure we’re doing our very best to deliver quality to our students.
In 2016, we took this a step further and became the very first TEFL course provider to have our TEFL qualifications regulated by Ofqual (the UK government’s body responsible for regulating qualifications in England). This means that our assessment processes and standards are thoroughly reviewed on a continuous basis and the TEFL qualification you receive is officially recognised by everyone from UCAS to TEFL employers across the globe.
We are super happy to have both these official stamps of approval – but we’re never one to rest on our laurels. With our ever-growing number of TEFL students in the US, we felt it was important for a recognised US accreditation body to also thoroughly evaluate the quality of our courses. Plus, we knew that going through a new, rigorous review process would be another fabulous opportunity to check we’re continuing to deliver to high standards across the board.
DEAC specialises in accrediting distance learning, from primary school to doctoral degree level. Their expertise, alongside their official recognition as a national accreditation body by the US Department of Education, made them a perfect fit to assess the quality of i-to-i’s flexible TEFL certification and diploma courses. So, we were super-proud when the DEAC’s Academic Review Committee formally recommended our courses for AQC (Approved Quality Curriculum) status. Yippee!
We told you we believe in high standards! Now, what’s next?