So you want to be a Celta trainer? Part 2: getting your feet in the starting blocks…

image of Cambridge Assessment Celta Trainer in training Handbook coverThis is part two in a series of posts describing and giving advice on the process of training to become a Celta trainer.  You can catch up with Part 1 here.

The training process?

How you are trained will be the same whichever centre you train at.  There will be a difference in how this training is assessed and how your work during the training process is moderated depending on at which centre you complete it.

Cambridge Assessment allows training that is either internally or externally moderated.

Internal moderation may be offered by long-established centres with a proven track record for TinT training and which also have at least one Celta assessors on staff.  Internal moderation means that your training supervisor is directly responsible to Cambridge for confirming that you have successfully completed the training, have displayed the necessary competences and have standardised your view of teaching performance to be in line with Celta standards.  You will need to compile a portfolio of training notes and tasks, but this will not be inspected by a visiting assessor, and you will not be observed conducting input and TP observation and feedback by a visiting assessor.

External moderation is required when the training is being conducted at a centre that has not conducted TinT training before, is a relatively new centre, and which does not have assessors on staff.  Yourprogress in training will be assessed by a visiting assessor and both they and your training supervisor will complete independent reports on your performance and progress.

Whether or not your training will be internally or externally moderated is up to Cambridge, and centres will be assigned a moderation status if they do not currently have one.

Cambridge assessment recognises three types of training programme: Full, Refresher, and Induction.

Refresher training is for previously approved Celta trainers who have let their status lapse (by, for example, not working on a course within two years).

Induction is for prospective Celta trainers who already have extensive pre-service teacher training experience (perhaps for other providers such as Trinity).

Full training is described by Cambridge as follows:

Full training

Most applicants for CELTA trainer training will need to follow a full training course. This involves following a programme of structured and guided activities on a CELTA course. The training may take place intensively over one course or extensively over a number of courses. New trainers who have followed an intensive programme are likely to need considerable support on their first course.

(quoted from the Cambridge Assessment Celta Trainer in Training Handbook V4.0)

For the rest of this series of posts, let’s focus on Full training, as this is the most common pathway.  Let’s further assume that your course of training will be externally moderated.

In coming posts, I will outline the training process in depth, but here are the basic steps in the process:

  • You get chosen by a centre to train as a Celta tutor
  • The centre sends a Trainee Nomination Form about you to Cambridge.  They also send a letter of recommendation for you from the Head of Teacher Training or Centre Manager
  • The centre designs a training programme for you and submits it to Cambridge Assessment for approval.
  • When Cambridge gives their approval, you can start the training programme
  • During the training programme, you complete the designated tasks and compile a portfolio of work
  • Towards the end of the training programme, you are assessed by an external assessor during a running Celta course. The external assessor observes you conducting input and supervising TP and reads your portfolio (let’s go into what this should include in a later post)
  • The assessor will have a discussion with you about your training, and will also discuss your training with your training supervisor
  • The external assessor writes a report on you and sends this to Cambridge assessment and your centre’s local Joint Chief assessor (or JCA)
  • When the training programme has finished, you write an evaluative piece of written work and the centre sends this to Cambridge and their JCA together with a report on your performance
  • The JCA considers the evaluative piece that you wrote, the reports from the training supervisor and the external assessor and reports to Cambridge English. The JCA may ask to scrutinise your portfolio before completing the report. Trainers-in-training should retain their portfolio intact for a minimum of two months in case it is requested by the JCA.
  • The JCA confirms with Cambridge English any recommendations relating to the trainer-in-training and any need for continued training.
  • Cambridge English informs the centre of the status of the trainer-in-training – which hopefully means they approve you

And that’s it.  Sometimes you can complete this over one intensive course (4 weeks).  It is probably more common to spread this work out over two or even three consecutive courses.

During the training period, you will have – or should have – regular meetings with your training supervisor and others involved in your training to allow you to discuss and reflect on what you are observing, and how this relates to your beliefs about teaching and learning.  You can – and probably should – expect your beliefs to be confronted and challenged by what you observe.  You will need to be well organised and prepared for these meetings because everyone’s time is limited during a Celta course.

In the next post, we will look at training plans and getting to grips with pre-course documentation and reading


  • Thank you Anthony for the clear descriptions/explanations of the training process. I’m just about to begin training, and the 4 entries in your blog answered many of the preliminary questions I was ready to bombard the Head of Training at my center with!

  • Hello Anthony,

    Thank you for the detailed information and tips!

    Could you please tell me where I can find a “Trainee Nomination Form”? This is the application form the centre that agrees to enter into a training agreement with me needs to complete and send on my behalf, correct?


  • Hey Anthony,

    Thank you for the blog, it’s really helpful.

    I wonder if you have a direct link to the handbook you referred to (or have it emailed to me if possible). I have tried searching for it through the link you provided, there was no luck.

    And, if I interpreted your blog correctly, it would mean that as long as there was a center and a qualified trainer that was happy to train me up, then there were no regarding standard that the center needed to meet – it could be a new center.

    Thank you!

    • Hello Peter, apologies for the delay in approving your comment and getting back to you. I suggest contacting Cambridge directly to request a copy of the handbook you require. In principle new centres can be the venue for training but a) there would already need to be a suitably experienced tutor working on the course who was eligible to train you, and b) the training would obviously need to be externally moderated. Full details would be in the TinT Handbook.
      Hope this helps

  • I am a freelance English language teacher, with over 20 years of classroom experience. I really enjoy being in the classroom. However when a local language school offered me the chance to be a trainer in training on a 4 week intensive CELTA course I was delighted with the offer. It meant being still in the classroom but ina different role, it meant handing on my years of experince, it meant updating my own theory of teaching knowledge. Since I have no professional contact with the centre they said I would be supported by them, but would not get paid during the 4 weeks. However now, just before the 4 week CELTA course is about to start the centre has said I must pay 300 euros. Is this normal? They have also said that I would be required to teach a few hours during the course, in order for the trainees to see an “experienced teacher”. Is this how the course works? If I had known this from the beginning I would very likely have agreed. However it makes be feel that the school isn’t being upfront. The school’s justification is that I am external.
    Any comments would be appreciated.

Leave a Reply to AnthonyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.