Is it really necessary to get my TEFL certificate through an accredited institution?

Yes it is. The TEFL industry has no centralised body to recognise certification or monitor standards and is noted for the many TEFL courses on offer that lack legitimacy. While it’s ultimately the course, trainers and instruction that turn you into a good teacher, the certification you get will determine how easily you can find work internationally. TEFL graduates qualified with a certificate from CELTA, TEFL International or Trinity are much more likely to get hired since these organisations have an established international reputation. TEFL courses offered in the name of a local university often carry little weight in the worldwide TEFL industry.