Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Introducing Certified English

What is Certified English?

As the global professional body for linguists, we at the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) are excited to introduce Certified English. This speaking test is designed to provide advanced adult speakers of English as a second or additional language with an opportunity to demonstrate and certify their spoken English skills. 

CIOL has a long history and extensive experience in assessment and testing of language skills, including for the UK Government and other major employers, focusing on professional speaking skills required in diplomatic, trade, and military contexts. Our Certified English speaking test builds upon this experience, offering candidates and employers alike the assurance of CIOL's expertise in language assessments at the highest levels. 

English as a lingua franca

The importance of spoken English proficiency cannot be overstated in today's globalised world. English has become the lingua franca of business, academia, and global conversations, with around 1.6 billion people worldwide speaking the language to a useful level. Nevertheless, mastering spoken English can be tough due to its varied origins, complex grammar system, wide range of sounds, large vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms, and often baffling spelling. 

CIOL's Certified English Speaking Test is uniquely designed to assess high-level English speaking interaction skills with human interviewers and assessors evaluating a candidate's speaking, listening, engagement, and reaction in a real professional or working situation. This human-to-human test ensures that successful candidates can be trusted with critical liaison, representation, presentation, and negotiation roles that depend on excellent English communication skills. 

Who is Certified English for?

Aimed at over 18-year-olds with a high level of spoken English, the Certified English Speaking Test offers two certification levels: the "gold standard" CIOL Professional English Speaker (CEFR C1 or above) and the CIOL Working English Speaker (CEFR B2). By achieving these designations, candidates can unlock greater confidence and career opportunities, as employers and other stakeholders will recognise their ability to communicate effectively in English. 

So why should you take the CIOL Certified English Speaking Test?

Whether you're working for or hoping to work with international companies, organisations, universities, or NGOs, or looking for international leadership or senior management roles, the CIOL Certified English Speaking Test can help you prove your spoken English proficiency and open doors to new jobs, career growth, or credibility in international settings. 

In line with CIOL's Royal Charter, contributing towards international goodwill and providing means of recognising linguists worldwide, Certified English is fantastic for those looking to prove their English speaking skills. It supports adult speakers and learners of English, promotes language learning, and contributes to universal understanding, dialogue, and sustainable global development. 

You can read more about Certified English here, and see Explainer videos and case studies on our Youtube channel

Book your CIOL Certified English Speaking Test today, and unlock your full potential with the confidence and recognition that comes with being a CIOL Professional or Working English Speaker. 

Dom Hebblethwaite – Head of Certified English, CIOL 


Views expressed on CIOL Voices are those of the writer and may not represent those of the wider membership or CIOL.