Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Candidate Information

CIOL Qualifications Candidate Assessment Regulations

All candidates who have registered for one of our exams must ensure that they have read and fully understood the information provided before sitting the exam. The information is also provided to reduce the risk of misconduct or malpractice on the part of the candidate. It is important that all candidates are aware of this. Please click on the link to read the Candidate Assessment Regulations.

CIOL Qualifications policies

CIOL Qualifications is a leading international Awarding Organisation for professional language qualifications. We seek to constantly improve all aspects of the quality of our processes and procedures in order for us to continue to offer qualifications of the highest standard backed by the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

To further ensure quality, we follow guidance issued by the UK’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual),  Qualifications Wales (QW) and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA)

The guidance we follow and the systems we employ are set out in our policies, which cover all aspects of assessment, quality assurance, our expectations of you and the candidate experience. Please visit our CIOLQ Policies section to read all CIOL Qualifications' policies and learn about the additional services we offer. Please direct all general enquiries about qualifications to

Exam completion period

All new applicants for our qualifications are required to complete the qualification within a three year period. The three year full exam completion period applies from the first year that a candidate receives a unit certificate. Therefore, once a candidate has received a ‘pass’ in any part of an exam, they have two more years to successfully complete all outstanding parts of a qualification. Candidates who registered and passed a unit of the qualification between 2017 and 2020 continue to have five years in which to complete the full qualification and are not impacted by this change.

Exam information retention and destruction

For all regulated qualifications CIOL Qualifications (CIOLQ) keeps assessment information until the period for an appeal has expired. After that, it keeps a sufficient store of archived material to monitor provision over time and to ensure that standards remain the same over the lifetime of a qualification.

All records and files are stored electronically to prevent hard copies getting damaged from flood, fire, theft or accidental damage. Data stored is reviewed regularly and deleted or destroyed as relevant.

Only limited assessment information is available for qualifications withdrawn in 2004 or earlier, and we will endeavour to provide a transcript only if we hold results for qualifications that were completed prior to 2004. There is a cost for each request received which goes towards administrative processing regardless of whether we are able to source the information to enable us to provide a transcript of legacy achievement. The cost of this service is detailed in our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy and is payable in advance.

CIOL Qualifications no longer provides course or qualification specification information relating to qualifications withdrawn in 2004 or earlier.


CIOL Qualifications retains the copyright on all its publications, but cannot give permission to reproduce any exam material (sample texts, source materials, news items) for which rights are held wholly or in part by a third party.

CIOL Membership

Successful candidates may be eligible to upgrade their membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) when they receive their examination results. To apply online click here or for more general CIOL membership enquiries please contact the Membership Team at

CIOL Awards

CIOL holds an annual awards ceremony and awards a number of cups and trophies to candidates for the best performance in an examination. Click here to find out more.