Chartered Institute
of Linguists

CIOL Language Level Assessments Frequently Asked Questions


What is the format of the assessment?

Following completion and submission of a self-assessment questionnaire by the candidate, the assessment is conducted online during a live session with a CIOL assessor. Speaking skills are assessed during a live Q&A session, which will cover a variety of topics. Each assessment is marked live by a CIOL registered and trained assessor.

You will be assessed in your chosen language against the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) for effective interpersonal and intercultural communication.

What languages can I be assessed in?

CIOL Language Level Assessments are available in a very wide range of languages including, for example, French, German, Spanish and Italian, but also a wide range of UK Home and Heritage Languages and a great many languages from around the world. If you want a less common language, tell us, and we will try to accomodate you. Please let us know what you are looking for by completing the expression of interest form here

Do I need to prepare?

There is no specific preparation required for the assessment, although you may want to brush up on your selected language skills. You will need to show photo ID, such as passport, identity card or driving licence at the beginning of the assessment.

What are the technical requirements?

The assessment is conducted on the Microsoft Teams platform. You do not need to have Microsoft Teams installed on your device; you can also log on online via a link. The platform has been tested successfully for assessment purposes. Please ensure that you take the assessment in a suitable quiet location. The use of blurred or custom Teams backgrounds is not permitted.

You need a stable internet connection and camera, as well as good audio (for speaking and listening) in order to take the assessment successfully. We recommend using headphones or a headset with a built-in microphone.

How can I book an assessment?

After you complete the online LLA Registration and Payment form, you will receive a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) to fill out and send back to Then, an allocated assessor will contact you directly to agree on a date and time for the assessment to take place.

How long do I wait for the results?

You can expect to receive the assessment outcome approximately 10 working days after the assessment date.

How much does a Language Level Assessment cost?

The cost of a speaking Language Level Assessment is £125.

Do I get a certificate?

Yes, if you achieve any level between A2 and C1 of CEFR in your selected language, you will receive an electronic certificate from the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

What if I am not satisfied with the result of the assessment?

The purpose of the CIOL Language Level Assessment (LLA) is to assess and confirm the level of language already acquired, in line with the CEFR. The LLA is not a formal qualification, it is an assessment of practical language skills and the assessment outcome is confirmation of skills demonstrated on the day.

Our assessors are recruited against clearly defined criteria and trained for the specific purpose for which they are commissioned. We are committed to ensuring that all decisions made are reliable, fair and provide accurate and comparable results.

What may I add to my LinkedIn profile? 

You may add your certification to LinkedIn via your own profile and by choosing “Licences & Certifications”. For "Issuing Organization", list Chartered Institute of Linguists: Manage Licenses & Certifications | LinkedIn Help. You can also add your language under “Skills” in LinkedIn: Add and remove skills on your profile | LinkedIn Help

For example, if you meet the A2 level, you can add your language under “Skills” as “Elementary proficiency”. If you meet the B1 level, you can also add your language under “Skills” in LinkedIn as "Limited working proficiency" and for the B2 level - "Professional working proficiency". If you meet the C1 level, it will be “A full professional proficiency” respectively.

Can I take the assessment more than once?

There is no limit on the number of times you can be assessed. For example, if you were originally assessed at B2 level, but you would like to achieve C1 level, you can take another assessment at a later stage when you feel confident that you have worked on your language skills and developed them to the next level.

Can I use the CIOL Language Level Assessment to test my employees or for recruiting?

If you employ or would like to recruit and assess your future and/or current employees’ communicative skills within a working context and you would like to discuss whether the CIOL Language Level Assessment could be of value to your organisation, please contact our Client Services Team at