IoL Educational Trust (IoLET), the Awarding Organisation of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), has secured a two year contract with two further one-year options to develop and deliver a new set of language examinations for Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel.
Linguists play a vital role in the work of the MoD and personnel are trained in languages and culture in order to enhance the UK's Defence and Security capability. The armed forces require abilities in a foreign language to carry out intelligence or liaison work, engagement with local civilian populations, or interpreting/translation in support of military operations.
400 candidates per year will sit exams in up to 53 different languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Dari, Farsi, Pashto and Korean with the first exams delivered in July 2016. Training and exams take place at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom in Shrivenham, Wiltshire.
In the recent tender for the contract (run by Capita – the Crown Commercial Service Wider Public Sector Framework Prime Provider – on behalf of the MoD), IoLET demonstrated how their in-depth experience in vocational language exams in a wide range of languages, including many rare languages, was able to meet the MoD's requirements. Defence personnel will be examined by IoLET in accordance with NATO STANAG 6001 Language Proficiency Levels.
IoLET has a long history of supporting government departments and other organisations in their development of staff language skills. They delivered exams for the MoD from 1988 to 1996 and have held the contract for language exams for the FCO since January 2015. Public sector experience also includes work with the Metropolitan Police, the UKBA and the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
IoLET also delivers their own suite of professional language qualifications for interpreters and translators worldwide.
Armed forces candidates preparing for language exams will automatically be enrolled into CIOL membership as IoLET Affiliate members offering access to a professional network and benefits to support them in their linguistic development.
CIOL and IoLET Chief Executive Ann Carlisle said "I'm delighted that the expertise and experience of the IoL Educational Trust in providing specialist language qualifications to government and the public sector has been recognised through the award of this contract. Working together with the MoD, we have an opportunity jointly to ensure that service personnel serving here and overseas have a relevant and appropriate linguistic capability matching the operational requirements of their work."
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