What is TESDA? Technical Education And Skills Development Authority

In line with the increasing demand for developing human resources in the country, the Philippine government and former President Fidel V. Ramos, in 1994, signed into law the Republic Act No. 7796 or the “Technical Education and Skills Development Act of 1994.” The law integrated and merged into one agency the functions of the National Manpower and Youth Council (NMYC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Bureau of Technical and Vocational Education (BTVE) of the Department of Education, formerly Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), and the Apprenticeship Program of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) of DOLE, giving birth to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as we know it today. 

Since it launched, TESDA has been mobilizing both the public and private sector, encouraging the participation of the labor industry, local government units, and technical-vocational institutions in the skills development field to develop the state of Philippine education and manpower development. If you are interested in learning more, this article looked into TESDA as a government agency, along with its functions, purposes, benefits, and program and service offerings to the Filipino masses.

What is TESDA?

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is an agency launched as a manifestation of the government’s attempt to be ‘the transformational leader in the technical education and skills development of the Filipino workforce.’ Its mandate has always been to manage, supervise, and implement plans for manpower and skills development, set up skill standards, oversee skill tests and assessments, and coordinate technical-vocational educational programs and resource allocation. 

Technical-vocational education has an extremely long history, dating back to 1927, when the Vocational Act of 1927 (Commonwealth Act No. 3377) was introduced. Subsequent laws created trade and agricultural schools leading to the establishment of the tech-voc schools and the Bureau of Vocational Education in 1963. Later on, the Manpower Development Council (MDC) was created then replaced with the National Manpower and Youth Council (NMYC). The government also later created the Bureau of Technical and Vocational Education (BTVE) and merged it with NMYC, forming what we now know as TESDA.


To be the transformational leader in technical education and skills development of the Filipino workforce, this is what TESDA’s vision has been about all along.


As an agency, TESDA’s mission has, and will always be, to ensure that Filipino workers have access to technical education and skills development by setting the direction and relevant standards and certification systems and implementing programs towards this goal.

Values Statement

In carrying out its mandate, TESDA believes in the value of demonstrated competence, institutional integrity, personal commitment, culture of innovativeness, and a deep sense of nationalism.

Quality Policy

TESDA continually develops and improves, gauging the quality of the services they offer by the satisfaction of their customer. To ensure that improvement is always the name of the game for TESDA, they continuously practice strategic decisions, effectiveness, responsiveness, value added performance, integrity, citizen focus, and efficiency.

To date, TESDA continues to keep up with its multi-pronged mission which involves the formulation of strategies, policies, and program directions geared toward the national development of the technical-vocational education and training (TVET) system and manpower in both public and private areas and institutions in the country.

Purpose of TESDA

TESDA’s primary initiative and purpose involves the establishment of a comprehensive development plan to avoid skill development program duplication in accordance with the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan. 

In addition, TESDA’s establishment is meant to achieve the following purposes:

  • Integration, coordination, and monitoring of skills development programs;
  • Restructuring efforts to promote and develop middle-level manpower;
  • Approval of skills standards and tests;
  • Development of an accreditation system for institutions involved in manpower development;
  • Funding programs and projects for technical education and skills development (TESD); and
  • Offering assistance to trainers of TESD training programs.

Functions and Responsibilities

To achieve the purpose by which the establishment of TESDA as an agency is based, the agency 

  • Formulate a skills development plan
  • Involve industry/employers in skills training
  • Reform the apprenticeship program
  • Devolve training functions to local governments
  • Develop and administer training incentives
  • Organize skills competitions
  • Manage skills development funds

Benefits from TESDA Establishment

Other than being the governing body in charge of establishing and providing policies, promulgating applicable standards, and conducting programs aimed at ensuring the quality and accessibility of technical education, skills development, and certification, some other benefits that the Filipinos can get from TESDA include:

  • Learning a variety of skills for little to no cost
  • The option of studying at the learner’s pace and comfort.
  • Reduction of your learning costs and other relevant expenses
  • The option to study in a stress-free environment.
  • Self-discipline can be improved.
  • Getting a National Certificate (NC) from TESDA Assessments—a guarantee that the graduate has successfully completed quality education which means:
    • Acquiring proper knowledge and firsthand experience in doing the task  
    • Having undergone a series of practical and hands-on demonstrations  
    • Actual interactions with people in the field
    • Acquiring the values to complement the skills needed for the projects

TESDA Program Offerings

Since it launched, TESDA has set up various program offerings that interested applicants can look into and take advantage of. These programs are all geared towards the improvement of technical skills and its service delivery so that it may reach the intended target—the Filipino students and workforce—wherever they may be.

Such programs include:

  • Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Programs

TESDA’s Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Programs were launched in an effort to provide equitable access to quality TESD education and direct training provisions. Under the program, TESDA offers their target clientele—high school graduates, secondary school dropouts, college graduates and  undergraduates, those who are unemployed but actively looking for work, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), returning OFWs looking to stay in the country for good, and those who are currently employed but are looking to upskill—the chance to get the training they need to develop further in their chosen fields.

TVET is classified into two main systems: 

  • Formal system 

The formal system is a six-month to three-year post-secondary education delivered through private and public technical-vocational schools. Under this system, student trainees can get certificates in their specialized fields.

  • Non-formal system

Under the non-formal system, a special group of TESDA clientele—including those seeking employment in the government, special-interest organizations, services and salesmanship, farming, and forestry and fishing—gets access to various short-term programs that lasts for only up to six months.

These TESD programs are carried out in 57 TESDA-administered schools—19 agricultural schools, 7 fishery schools, and 31 trade schools—and in TESDA Technology Institutes (TTI)—125 schools, regional, provincial and specialized training centers—delivered in four different training modes:

  • School-based

TESD programs are delivered formally via TVET schools in various duration, from six months to at least a year, but not exceeding three years.

  • Centre-based

Short non-formal TESD training programs are also offered in TESDA Regional and Provincial Training Centers.

  • Community-based

Some training programs are specifically designed to carry out community-based skills training to facilitate self-employment.

  • Enterprise-based

Some TESD programs are carried out with emphasis on actual enterprise-based training via apprenticeship, learnership, and dual training within the firms or industries.

In view of the need for equitable access to tech-voc programs, TESDA also created specialized training centers to serve as venues for training schemes and activities. 

Some of the specialized training centers established by TESDA include:

TESDA Women’s Center (TWC)

TESDA Women’s Center (TWC) is a center established with the grant from the Japanese government in an effort to help women through training, entrepreneurship development, gender sensitive policies, programs and projects, and research and advocacy. 

Language Skills Institute (LSI)

Language Skills Institute (LSI) is TESDA’s facility for language programs for workers to work overseas. To date, there are 35 LSIs in the country, reserved for training on workplace communication. These LSI offers various language courses, including English, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish.

Korea-Philippines IT Training Centers

Korea-Philippines IT Training Centers (KPITTC) are established from grants from the government of the Republic of Korea. These centers are located at the Polytechnic University in Novaliches and Quezon City and at the Regional Skills Development Centers in Guiguinto, Bulacan and Tibungco, Davao City, respectively.

  • Competency Standards Development

Competency Standards Development is yet another TESDA program specifically established to set up acceptable standards for work-performance of mid-level skilled workers. The program is carried out in the form of units of competency with packaged qualification standards aligned with the Philippine TVET Qualifications Framework (PTQF) per critical job and occupation in the priority industry sectors.  

These competency standards and qualifications, when combined with training standards and assessment arrangements make up the national training regulations (TRs)—the basis for registration and delivery of TVET programs, competency assessments, and curricula certification and development for specific qualifications.

  • Promulgated Training Regulations (TR)

Training Regulations (TRs) are the basis by which competency-based curriculum and instructional materials and competency assessment tools are developed. It defines the competency standards and national qualifications and how such qualifications can be gained, assessed and be recognized.

  • Competency Assessment and Certification

TESDA carries out the assessment and certification of the competencies of mid-level skilled workers through the Philippine TVET Competency Assessment and Certification System (PTCACS). The assessment process defines the standards by which the graduates or workers can perform according to the workplace standards and provides certifications regarding the productivity and quality and global competitiveness of the workers.

TESDA also keeps a Registry of Certified Workers for certain occupations nationwide and maintains accredited assessment centers complete with competency assessors who conduct the assessment processes for persons applying for certification.

  • Program Registration and Accreditation

Program registration in Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) is the mandatory registration of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs meant to ensures compliance of Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) with the minimum requirements as prescribed by the TRs. This includes compliance to the standards of curricular programs, faculty and staff qualifications, physical sites and facilities, tools, equipment, supplies and materials and other requirements prior to the issuance of the permit to offer said technical-vocational courses. Once the TVI is deemed compliant after the audit, the institution will receive a Certificate of Program Registration (CoPR) and the accredited program will be included in the TESDA Compendium of Registered Programs.

  • National TESD Plan

Under TESDA’s National TESD Plan, TESDA is mandated to create a six-year plan to guide the government, industry, academe, local and international organizations, students, and the public in the development of mid-level workforce.

TESDA Course Offerings

As the prime agency in-charge of technical resource allocation and manpower development, TESDA offers the following program offerings:

  • Digital Courses
  • Automotive Courses
  • Business and Management Courses
  • Driving Courses
  • Hotel-Restaurant-Culinary and Food Management Courses
  • Advance Eskrima Language Courses
  • Aircraft, and Aviation Courses
  • Cosmetology and Beauty Care Courses
  • Electronics and Electrical Courses
  • Caregiver Courses, Computer Related and Software Development Course
  • Building Construction and Welding Courses
  • Call Center and Contact Center Services Courses
  • Dental Technology Courses
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management Courses
  • Health Care and Medical Related Courses
  • Heavy Equipment Operation Courses
  • Household Services, and Housekeeping Courses
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Courses
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Trainer Qualification Courses

Other than the courses, TESDA also offers technical education and skills development, conducts skill assessments, grants National Certificate (NC) and Certificate of Competency (COC) Certifications, and reforms industry-based training programs to include apprenticeship, dual training system, and other similar schemes.

  • TESDA Online Program (TOP)

TESDA Online Program (TOP) is yet another initiative meant to widen the scope and improve the efficiency of the service delivery capabilities of the agency. This web-based platform was designed to offer free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for the technical education and skills development of Filipino workers with the help of information and communication technologies. 

Some tech-voc fields offered under the TESDA Online Program (TOP) include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Tourism
  • TVET
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Health / Health Care
  • ICT
  • Automotive
  • Maritime
  • HVAC
  • Process Food and Beverages
  • Social, Community Development and Others

TESDA Scholarship and Student Assistance Programs

TESDA also offers direct financial assistance programs  to deserving TVET enrollees to address equity and access to their educational programs across all regions in the country.  

Some of the currently available scholarship programs include the following:

  • Universal Access To Tertiary Education 

Thanks to the Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA), students can enjoy free tuition and other fees in all state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines. For TESDA student grantees, this include free competency assessments, allowances, and toolkits so long as the availees meet the standards stated in the TRs.

  • Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA)

The Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) is one of the key programs of TESDA established through Republic Act No. 8545 or the Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) Act. The program offers assistance in the form of educational grants to incoming college freshmen in selected degree and non-degree courses with in-demand jobs in the labor market.

  • Special Training for Employment Program (STEP)

The Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) is a community-based tech-voc specialty training program offered by TESDA since 2014. It was meant to provide short-term or modular skills and training programs to promote employment and entrepreneurship to beneficiaries at the grassroots. 

Under the program, public and private tech-voc providers, local government training centers, and TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIs) offer free training and assessments, starter tool kits, and training allowances to help workers in the barangays and communities become more employable and productive.

  • Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP)

Yet another TESDA program developed and launched in 2006 is the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). It was designed to address the country’s problems on ‘job-skill mismatch’ as well as fulfill the labor force requirement due to critical skills shortage by providing the necessary interventions. 

Under the program, learners can get quality, efficient, and relevant training in highly critical skills that meet the job requirements in priority sectors. The program also offers incentives, free training and assessment, and direct access to existing jobs for immediate employment, both locally and abroad. 

Some sectors that are in dire need of highly skilled talents include business process outsourcing (BPO), metals and engineering, and construction and tourism, among others.

Video: TESDA Through the Years

After over 20 years since it launched, TESDA remains steadfast in its desire to upgrade the quality of tech-voc education in the country. Not only that, the agency has continuously improved and designed systems and programs to help carry out their mandate to support the tech-voc and human resources development in the country and address any form of shortage in terms of technical skills, particularly in priority sectors. To share what TESDA has been up to throught he years, here’s a short video highlighting the best efforts of the agency. Please watch:

If you wish to hear more about how helpful TESDA programs can be,you may actually hear about them from those who enjoyed them, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Watch this video:

To register for an account via TESDA Online Program (TOP) and enjoy the benefits, then this is the video for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most common FAQs about TESDA—the prime government agency in charge of technical-vocational and manpower development in the country:

1. What is TESDA?

TESDA stands for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the primary governing body set up by the Philippine government to develop manpower and skills plans, establish standards for skill assessments and tests, and create and implement policy directions and guidelines for resource allocations to both private and public TVET institutions.

2. What are the benefits of TESDA?

TESDA establishes, provides, creates, and implements tech-voc policies and assessments according to the shared standards created by the agency to ensure the quality and accessibility of technical education, skills development, and certifications.

3. Who is qualified for TESDA?

Individuals and OFWs who are at least 18 years old, has completed high school or ALS, and has completed all the pre-training evaluation are entitled to TESDA Programs and Scholarships.

4. Is TESDA free?

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) technical vocational education and training (TVET) programs are now available for free at all state-run technical-vocational institutions (STVIs). Those run in private institutions usually come with grants and assistance in the form of allowances.

5. Is it possible for me to apply for several TESDA courses at the same time?

It is, but it’s best for student grantees to take one and complete it first before enrolling in another. This way, they can focus and learn everything they need to learn well.

6. Are OWWA and TESDA connected?

No. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are two different government agencies with different purposes and mandates. They do, however, collaborate on certain projects, involving skill training and tech-voc education for OFWs and returning OFWs. 

7. Is TESDA available to OFWs for free?

Yes. Thanks to the provisions of UAQTEA, returning OFWs may take advantage of free training offered by the TESDA via public and government-led institutions or by registering online or through the agency’s mobile app.

8. Does TESDA give allowance?

Yes. According to the New Normal Scholarship Guidelines, all enrolled TESDA students, are entitled to a daily allowance or Training Support Fund (TSF) amounting to Php 160.00. According to the TESDA Circulars, the TSF can be paid in various ways.

9. Is it possible for me to get a job after TESDA?

TESDA graduates can get a National Certificate (NC) and a Certificate of Competency (COC) may apply for work at any local businesses. If they already have a lot of work experiences, they can apply directly to POEA-accredited manpower agencies and work abroad as a skilled worker.

10. How can I get an assessment and certification from TESDA?

The TESDA Training Regulations (TRs) sets the basic minimum requirements by which the evaluation and certification for all TESDA graduates are tested against. It serves as the starting point for all abilities and certifications of students, workers, and those who wishes to know their degree of qualification across all sectors.

11. Is TESDA assessment free?

No. There is an associated assessment fee depending on the TESDA program. Some scholarship programs make it possible to get the assessment for free, but the costs for assessments is determined by a list of fees established by the TESDA Board and approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

12. How to apply for TESDA scholarship?

To apply for a TESDA scholarship, you may go online to follow these steps:

  • Register for an account online.
    • Fill up the online application form available on the TESDA site or via this link: https://t2mis.tesda.gov.ph/Barangay.
    • Click Create.
    • Receive your Learner’s ID.

Note: For applicants who are already registered, skip the first three steps and proceed with the rest of the procedures.

  • Proceed with the application process.
    • Select your Qualification.
    • Key in your Last Name and Learner’s ID.
    • Verify your Profile
    • Complete the scholarship application.
  • Wait for the email from the TESDA Office and check for their feedback.


The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is a Philippine government agency launched and established in 1994, in an effort to centralize and aid the development of manpower and technical-vocational landscape in the country. The agency is mandated to create plans for tech-voc skill development, establish appropriate skills standards and tests, coordinate and monitor manpower policies and programs, and provide policy directions and guidelines for resource allocation for both private and public TVET institutions.

TESDA is also the agency in charge of creating and implementing programs and policies advocating for the same goals. They also established programs and assessment standards intended to ensure the development of quality and accessible technical education. This will also ensure that the certifications are offered only to those who deserve it.

TESDA also offers scholarship programs meant to assist students who might find it challenging to complete a tech-voc course without any assistance. The scholarship programs from TESDA offers assurance and support in the form of financial grants, free tuition and assessment fees, tool kits, allowances, and employment assistance. 

Contact Information

In case you need to learn more about what else TESDA has to offer or you simply have concerns or inquiries that you need TESDA to address, you may reach out to them via the following contact information:

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
Office Address: Bldg 8, TESDA Gate 2 TESDA Complex East Service Rd. South Superhighway, Taguig, Metro Manila
Email Address: contactcenter@tesda.gov.ph
Telephone Number: 8887-7777
SMS Hotline: 0917-479-4370 (text only)
Website: https://www.tesda.gov.ph/, https://e-tesda.gov.ph/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TESDAOfficial 

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