What Tools Do I Need to Teach English Online?
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Considering teaching English as a foreign language online? Welcome to the future! The next question you’re probably wondering is: what do I need to teach English online?
Teaching English online is a booming business right now and it seems its popularity is not going anywhere anytime soon. And there’s no reason it should. Online learning is convenient for both the teacher and the students because it can take place anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t matter if the teacher and the students live in different countries, on different continents, even in different time zones. Plus, there is the added convenience of not having to travel for lessons.
Even better, there is not much you need in order to be able to teach English online, which means it’s a viable career option for most people. Yes, even you!
Not convinced? Let’s answer the question: What do I need to teach English online?
A TEFL qualification
First things first, you’ll need to get yourself a TEFL certificate. Look online and you’ll find hundreds of TEFL courses on offer for you around the world or online. Do your due diligence and pick the TEFL course that suits you.
Read more: How Do I Choose the Right TEFL Course?
A computer and accessories
Yes, we know you know this but it’s worth repeating. You can no longer think of your computer as a means of communication or a way to stream Netflix. Your computer is now your livelihood. Make sure it is a decent computer or laptop and also that it has a good antivirus. Make sure it is regularly updated so that it can run smoothly.
Then, you also need a headset or a microphone. There are loads you can buy but try not to go for the absolute bottom of the range. You don’t need to break the bank but these will be used a lot so they need to be of good quality. Besides, cheap electronics have a tendency to break quickly so you’ll end up replacing a cheap pair soon anyway.
Depending on your “classroom” situation, it might make sense for you to invest in a laptop stand and a comfy (but ergonomic) chair. If you’re teaching for hours on end, this could save you loads of money in physical therapy later on!
Obviously, you need an internet connection but bear in mind it needs to be relatively fast and reliable. When you sign up with an online school they will ask you to do a speedtest to confirm the speed of your internet. The speed requirements vary from company to company but usually, they ask for an upload speed of 10 to 15 Mbps, though the higher the better. You can test your internet speed yourself at Speedtest.net.
Then, if you’re in an area where the internet connection or power supply is a bit unreliable (hello, South Africans!), you should consider investing in a UPS. A UPS is an Uninterruptible Power Supply. If there is a power outage, a UPS will power your computer and wifi for a few hours – hopefully until the power comes back on. There are different sizes available but you only need a small one for home use and thankfully, there are not overly expensive – and totally worth it since your livelihood relies on it.
Props and backgrounds
We have all learned through the last few months of Zoom meetings that we always need to be careful about what’s in the backgrounds of our screens. When you are teaching, this is understandably a big concern. To make sure you won’t suffer from any embarrassments, try to keep the wall behind you clear. But, if you would like to make your background a bit interesting, you could choose a few nice artworks or posters to hang behind you.
If you are teaching English online to Young Learners, then a bland background just won’t cut it. You’ll need a backdrop of some sort of posters to hang up behind you. You can also have a map, maybe a whiteboard, your name written somewhere, and even a calendar or the day of the week.
During your lesson, you want to introduce realia into your lessons. This could be something as simple as pieces of fruit if you are teaching fruit, or clothing if you are teaching clothing. Many teachers have a mascot in the form of a soft toy or puppet to “assist” them in their teaching.
While it’s possible to note everything down online, there is something to be said for the ease and convenience of a whiteboard. You don’t need a giant one. There are mini versions that will suit your purposes just fine. And don’t forget you’ll need a few different colour marker pens too.
Flashcards are also a good idea if you are teaching Young Learners.
Read more: Using Flashcards to Teach Vocabulary
A teaching platform
You might be wondering how you actually teach your students online. And the beauty of the internet is that you actually don’t need to worry about that. Most commonly, your online school will have its own teaching platform which you will have access to. This should have a classroom as well as an interactive whiteboard, a shared screen, and messaging capabilities. You will also use this platform to check your class schedule and bookings, give feedback on your lesson, and request payment. Each company will work differently but you will be provided with adequate training before you start teaching.
If your school doesn’t offer this, there are other options available to you. Skype used to be very popular, but Zoom is becoming more so these days, probably because it offers a lot more by way of interactivity. Either works fine, you’ll just need to check them both out and see which one suits your needs best.
If you’re lucky, your school might provide you with your lesson materials for teaching English online. This means you don’t need to worry about a thing besides showing up and teaching. Of course, you’ll look over the materials before the lesson but you won’t need to make time to plan your lesson or source materials.
If you do, there are tons of different sites to help you out. Some of them are subscription sites but there is still a lot of free materials available to you. Here are a few of our favourite sites:
A payment method
The easiest way to get paid from abroad is through a payment website, such as Paypal, Transferwise, or Payoneer. The majority of online schools pay through Paypal and it’s very simple to use. You’ll need to sign up and link it to your local bank account – but that’s it! Easy peasy.
That’s it! You’re all set! With these tools at your fingertips, you’re ready to conquer the online world and teach English.
The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.
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- These are the terms and conditions upon which The TEFL Academy will provide one of the following TEFL
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert)
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- All students studying the combined course option must print their confirmation email and bring it to the first day
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- We are ELEARNING FUTURES LTD (trading as The TEFL Academy) a company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
- Our USA address is: The TEFL Academy, 954 Lexington Ave, #1135 New York, NY 10021, USA.
- You can contact us by telephoning our customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or by emailing us at [email protected].
- These Terms shall commence upon the date you receive a confirmation email from us to accept your order and
shall continue for the duration of the TEFL Course or until cancelled pursuant to these Terms.
- You will be obliged to comply with these Terms for the duration of the TEFL Course you are enrolled in unless
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- The duration of the TEFL Courses shall be as follows:
Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks
- If you need a course extension, this can be arranged at a fee. Please contact [email protected] or call +1 347 434 9694
for more details and information on how to apply for an extension.
- The fees for extensions are set out below.
Extension type Extension fee pre-expiry Extension fee post-expiry Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 30 day extension $66 $84 Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 90 day extension $96 $114 Top-up Course 30 day extension $36 n/a
- The prices for the TEFL Courses are as follows:
Name of course Price Combined Level 5 TEFL Course $ Online Level 5 TEFL Course $660 Online Level 3 TEFL Course $550 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course $192 Top-up courses $156
- The TEFL Academy reserves the right to change our course prices or other services on our website at any time
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- The fees for extensions or cancellations can be found at clauses 3.5, 6.2 and 7.
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- All payments can be made by credit or debit card through our payment processor WorldPay or through Paypal. The
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- If the date for your chosen course is more than two weeks away, you have the option of paying a
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- If for whatever reason you wish to change the date of your course, you must notify us of the change at least
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next three months from the original course date and must be at the same location. All changes are subject to
availability and only one change per booking will be accepted.
- Please note: Subject to clause 7, under no circumstances whatsoever will changes or cancellations be accepted
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- The exercise of the right of withdrawal shall terminate the obligations of the parties to perform the
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8. Course Cancellation by The TEFL Academy
- Where a course cannot take place due to trainer illness or other circumstances beyond our control, the course
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- In the event that a classroom course cannot take place as a result of, or connected with, delay or
interruption to travel services, adverse weather conditions, civil disturbance, industrial action, strikes,
wars, floods, sickness, pandemics, epidemics or any other commonly accepted event of force majeure, The TEFL
Academy will endeavour to offer a classroom course at an alternative date or will seek to transfer your booking
to the online course or failing these options will transfer your booking to the reserves list (where you will be
placed on a list until you select an alternative suitable classroom date and can continue with the online
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where applicable) will not be permitted in any of the above circumstances, unless the cancellation of the course
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- The 6-month enrolment on the online course starts from the date that full payment for the course has been
received by The TEFL Academy.
- All assignments must be submitted no later than 2 weeks before the enrolment end date. Students who wish to
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10. Assignments and Exams
- As part of some TEFL Courses you will be required to prepare and submit assignments. If you do not pass an
assignment you can resubmit an assignment in accordance with clause 10.2.
- You can submit each assignment up to three times. (i.e. after the first submission of an assignment, you may
re-submit the assignment a two further times up to a total of three submissions for one assignment).
- If you do not pass an assignment, you will not receive a grade, but you will be given feedback as to why you
have not passed and you shall be given the opportunity to re-submit your work up to a total of 3 submissions per
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awarded a pass grade in.
- If you have a basis to believe your work has not been fairly assessed, you can request a re-mark via the tutor
support ticket platform. Due to the high number of students we cannot look at any assignment in advance of an
- You should submit your final assignment 2 weeks before your end date to allow time for marking and the
possible need for re-submission.
- Please be aware that if you have not completed all required assignments and allowed sufficient time for
marking before your end-date, you will need to apply for an extension.
- You are entitled to sit exams as many times as you need to in order to pass the exam. If you pass the exam you
cannot thereafter seek to resit the exam.
11. Failing the Course
- The TEFL Academy offers a guaranteed pass, or your money back guarantee. You can retake the exams as many times as needed in order to pass. If you fail to achieve a pass on any assignments after your third attempt we will provide you with a full refund. A full refund will not be provided in accordance with clauses 11.4 & 11.5.
- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
- Students found not to have a C1 level of English will likely fail the course and not complete the
qualification. However, it is up to each prospective student to determine for themselves whether or not they
wish to commence a course even where they do not have a minimum of C1 level English. For the avoidance of any
doubt no refund will be provided for a student failing the course in any circumstances.
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- Where an assignment marker finds evidence that indicates that plagiarism may have occurred within a submitted
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the submitted assignment to the source it is believed to be plagiarised from. The Internal Quality Assurance
Manager will make an assessment as to whether they consider plagiarism to have occurred. In the event the
Internal Quality Assurance Manager decides that plagiarism has occurred, they will prepare and provide to you a
detailed report outlining the reasons for their decision along with a letter explaining your removal from the
course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with The TEFL Academy’s Appeals
policy for students which can be found here.
- If you do not pass an assignment after submitting it up to three times in accordance with clause 10.2 you will
be deemed to have failed the course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with
The TEFL Academy’s Appeals policy for students which can be found
here. If you fail the course due to not passing your assignments you will be provided with a full refund.
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connection with, any delay or interruption to travel services, weather conditions, civil disturbance, industrial
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Although we will endeavour to assist students, we accept no liability for the actions or conduct of any
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for any loss or other circumstances resulting or arising from such delays.
- The TEFL Academy accepts no liability, nor shall it have any liability whether in contract, tort, under
statute or otherwise, for any loss or additional expense arising for students where they fail the course whether
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13. Complaints Handling Policy
- If you have any questions or complaints about the TEFL Course, please contact us. You can telephone our
customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or write to us at [email protected] or The TEFL Academy, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL, United Kingdom.
- If your complaint is not dealt to your satisfaction with you may make a complaint to the course accrediting
body. You can find the contact details for the accrediting body in the The TEFL Academy’s Appeals Policy which
can be found here.
- Our staff have the right not to be subjected to aggressive, abusive or offensive language or behaviour,
regardless of the circumstances. Examples of this behaviour include but are not limited to; threats of physical
violence; swearing; inappropriate cultural, racial or religious references; rudeness, including derogatory
remarks. The TEFL Academy practises a zero-tolerance policy in relation to such behaviour. All students are
required at all times to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner including in their dealings with other
students, staff and external organisations. Disruptive or antisocial behaviour could result in being asked to
leave the course.
- Any student who fails or is removed from the course by failing to meet the academic standards or through being
found guilty of plagiarism will be removed immediately from the course without refund.
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- Any use which we make of your personal data which you may provide in using The TEFL Academy site will be in
Academy uses your personal information.
16. Governing Law
- This Agreement is governed by the laws of England & Wales.
- Any claims made in connection with these Terms shall be subject to Irish law and all proceedings shall be
within the sole domain of the Irish courts.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
Please read all of the following information carefully.
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD takes the security of and our legal responsibilities around your personal data seriously. This statement explains relevant information about our processing of your personal data collected via this website (“website” or “site”).We aim to always respect your data protection rights in compliance with the latest Data Protection Laws, including the GDPR.
Who we are
- This website is owned and operated by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD , (we) a limited company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
- This Policy sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us.
- Our Data Protection Officer (DPO) can be contacted by email at [email protected]
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Information Governance & Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
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In some cases, such as during an investigation or appeal, we may use public data such as social media accounts or review sites in order to ensure accuracy and fairness.
- In some cases, the collection of data may be a statutory or contractual requirement, and we will be limited in the services we can provide you without your consent, for us to be able to use such data.
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We collect and use personal information to offer people information, products and services. This policy will apply in all locations where we operate to all forms of information and to all systems used to collect, store, process or transfer information.
With your prior agreement, we may share your data, such as name, email and CV, with potential employers.
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- performing privacy impact assessments to protect the privacy and rights of its customers and employees
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- explaining why it needs personal information, only asking for the personal information it needs and only sharing personal information within the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD and with other organisations as necessary or where the person concerned has given their consent
- allowing people to request access to the personal information it holds on them and to complain if they believe their information has been mishandled
- not keep personal information for longer than necessary
- taking measures to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals whose personal information may be transferred to countries with differing data protection laws
- ensuring that actual or suspected breaches of information security are reported and investigated
- assessing and measuring the maturity of its information security controls annually
- applying these standards to its supply chain and delivery partners.
We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.
- We also use other organisations to process your personal information in order to carry out services on our behalf. We use them to:
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We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an ELEARNING FUTURES LTD event).
This means we’ll:
- create a profile about you to better understand you as a customer and tailor the communications we send you (including our marketing messages);
- tell you about other products and services you might be interested in;
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We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
- Your contact details. This includes your name, gender, address, phone number, date of birth and email address.
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- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
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- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.