Update on IATEFL Associates and a review of the use of IATEFL branding by Associates

22nd July 2022


IATEFL Associates are an integral and valued part of the IATEFL community. They are all established teaching associations based in a particular country or region. IATEFL provides resources and support for new and developing teaching associations, and then a range of benefits for IATEFL Associate teaching associations. This includes facilitating networking, collaboration and discussion between the teaching associations, discounted membership of IATEFL for members of Associates, recognition for the teaching association as an IATEFL Associate, highlighting of Associate events on the IATEFL website and in a regular Associate eBulletin which also contains Associate and IATEFL news, opportunities to benefit from funding, projects and support, free registration for the IATEFL International Conference for a representative of each Associate and an additional, specific, Associates Day exclusively for them on the day before the conference as an opportunity for collaboration, networking and information sharing. This is all offered at no cost to these teaching associations, and is funded through IATEFL’s charitable initiatives and kind donations. It helps to create a wider, global family to the benefit of all.

IATEFL wishes to enhance and further develop this network, and the opportunities and benefits it can offer to teaching associations. In doing so it wishes to treat all teaching associations equally and fairly, giving them all the same opportunities, and support them all in the amazing role they play supporting English language teaching professionals in their area of the world. As part of this we announced at our conference in Belfast, at the Associates Day and then as part of the Annual General Meeting, a review of how we can support Associates, and also add clarity, in terms of use of logos and branding.


Following the Annual General Meeting, where the Trustees introduced as one part of the Strategic Development Plan, this review of the use of the IATEFL name and logo, concerns have been raised by some as to the implications of this. We wanted to provide you with the wider context for this proposal and how we plan to work with Associates to create a clear and inclusive guide for Associates’ use of the IATEFL name and logo. 

  1. The main remit of the Board of Trustees is to safeguard the Association and secure the fulfillment of its mission in the context of solid governance and management. This implies detecting potential risks and taking the necessary measures to avoid them.
  2. In our publication ‘A History of IATEFL’ and minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings show that in the mid-1990s, IATEFL branches in various countries, established to promote membership of IATEFL, became national teaching associations, and the relationship changed to them being affiliates, and then IATEFL associates.
  3. Since 2007, the IATEFL Associates Handbook has clearly stated that no Associate would be able to use the IATEFL name followed by the name of the country where the associate is located. In addition, for the last seven years, the IATEFL logo cannot be used by Associates and a specific ‘IATEFL Associate’ logo is provided. Currently, there are six national teaching associations who use the acronym IATEFL in their name.
  4. The word IATEFL in a name could be seen as preferential and an advantage given to an association which may not be the only association in the country and would, therefore, be discriminatory to other associates. The presence of an IATEFL-named association might also dissuade other associations from the country from joining IATEFL. This goes against the strict IATEFL policy which ensures anti-discriminatory and pro-inclusive decision-making including treating all IATEFL Associates equally.
  5. IATEFL Head Office receives enquiries on a regular basis from people confused that, in joining one of these six IATEFL Associates, they believe they have joined IATEFL itself. Some want to book for an event at the member price, some wish to submit a proposal to present at conference, some wish to join an IATEFL Special Interest Group, some wish to volunteer.
  6. If an English teacher sees an association in their country with the name IATEFL in its title, perhaps sees a similar logo and the same association colours, may not see reference to any other IATEFL on that website or sees reference to IATEFL as a national association such as “IATEFL UK” or “IATEFL WORLD”, then this does cause real and understandable confusion. This confusion often extends to social media.
  7. An added complication arises when an association bearing the IATEFL name and logo does not renew their agreement yet continues to use IATEFL branding.
  8. IATEFL does not have any involvement in associations’ membership, decision-making, policies and financial management, or even in their decision to maintain IATEFL associate status.
  9. IATEFL will be consulting with concerned parties over the next three months. Following this, IATEFL will be working closely to facilitate the mutually agreed adjustments which can resolve these issues. IATEFL aims to have completed this process by May 2024.
  10. IATEFL counts on the respectful and active participation of all interested parties involved as we all move forward towards the next chapter in the relationship between IATEFL and its valued Associates.

How can you get involved?

  • If you are a member of an IATEFL Associate, we encourage you to contact them with your thoughts which will then be fed into the consultation process.
  • If you are a current member of IATEFL and would like to share your thoughts, please click here. This member consultation will run until Friday, 30 September 2022.