Translators, interpreters, teachers, academics and other language professionals for whom using two or more languages interchangeably is the core of their job will usually be expected to demonstrate very high and effective Professional Level proficiency (at least C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or CEFR below).
Some business people, professionals or those working in government - including diplomats and members of the Armed Forces - may require the two highest ‘Proficient User’ levels of linguistic ability (C1 and C2) particularly the skills of listening, speaking and reading.
However, many people also use languages in a working context, as a part or enabler of their job in business, the professions and government; typically to work/liaise with international partners, stakeholders, customers, subsidiaries etc. For people liaising with international customers, suppliers and officials, supporting inbound and outbound delegations and taking up international assignments or postings (and for whom translation and interpreting is not part of their role) CEFR ‘Independent User’ can be a useful level of linguistic competence, which will only improve over time and become more valuable and advantageous with use.
Those using languages as part or an enabler of their work, may make significant positive contributions to their organisations as ‘career linguists’ via regular or periodic interventions. Both individuals and organisations would, therefore, be well advised to recognise and formally capture B1 and B2 level language skills as a linguistic resource which is worth recording, developing and deploying; hence the Chartered Institute of Linguists also setting out this Working Level framework.
CIOL Language Level Frameworks