Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Take the CertTrans



How can I prepare for the CertTrans?

The CIOL Qualifications Certificate in Translation is a working-level qualification, set at degree level (Level 6). It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared for the exam, competent in both the source and target languages, have good writing skills and the ability to translate at a professional level.

It is essential that you read the full Qualification Specification which will provide you with detailed information about the qualification purpose and objectives, recommended level of linguistic proficiency, progression, unit format and assessment marking criteria. 

CertTrans Study Guide

For current CertTrans candidates we are offering our CertTrans Study Guide free of charge which provides further information and advice. To download the CertTrans Study Guide to help with your preparation and self-study click here.

CertTrans Courses and Support

It is good practice to prepare for a professional qualification by following a course of study. Courses in translation are available in different institutions and regions of the UK as well as at international study centres and universities. Please note that as the Awarding Organisation for the CertTrans, we are unable to endorse or recommend any particular course and selection is at your own discretion.

There are a growing number of course providers offering training and support for CertTrans candidates. Whether for an extensive period of study or a short intensive burst of final preparation, it is worth looking at the many online resources, as well as the tuition and online course options these providers offer. For more see the CertTrans Courses & Support page. 

We have also provided answers to a number of frequently asked questions here

Past Papers

The best advice from course providers and tutors, and the most consistent demand from CertTrans candidates, is to be able to practise using past papers.

We are obliged to complete each exam cycle before we can release past papers, but it has always been our wish to support CertTrans candidates with past papers to help you, course providers and tutors to assess the difficulty level and better enable exam practice. CertTrans texts and papers are commissioned in a way which enables us to share them - this is part of the qualification design. A selection of past papers is available here.

What set-up do I need to take CIOLQ online assessments?

Our Candidate Information will support and guide you in preparing and ensuring that your equipment, connection, software and settings are adequate to be able to successfully access our fully-invigilated online assessment platform.

Demo Text and Test

An example of the type and difficulty of text used in the exam is available here as well as an online demo test (click the image above) which enables candidates to test their settings and practise on the CertTrans assessment platform. 

The Online Exam Delivery Platform

This YouTube video guide (click the link or the picture below) offers advice on joining the CIOLQ Online Exam Delivery Platform for written units. 


The CertTrans is composed of three units. Unit 01 is the mandatory core unit which must be selected, then you need to select one other mandatory option unit from either Unit 02 or Unit 03.

Unit 01 - General Translation Skills

Unit 02 - Business and Commercial Translation Skills

Unit 03 - Government and Public Service Translation Skills

Both units that comprise this qualification must be successfully completed within a three year period for candidates to be awarded the full qualification. The three year full exam completion period applies from the first year that a candidate receives a unit certificate. Once a candidate has received a ‘pass’ in any unit, they have two more years to successfully complete the outstanding part of the qualification. Candidates successful in both units will be awarded full electronic qualification certificates.

2024 Exam Sessions 


To take the exam the following fees apply:

Individual Unit Fees (if taken separately): 

Unit 01 - £300 

Unit 02 - £270

Unit 03 - £270

Full exam entry (Unit 01, plus one of Unit 02 or Unit 03) - £545

For more information, please check our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy on our Policies page.​​​​​​​


Registration for the CertTrans in July 2024 is now closed. You will be able to register and pay for the CertTrans November 2024 exams soon.

If you are interested in other languages or in taking the CertTrans in November 2024 or in 2025, please express an interest here

For help and support with registration and payment contact us at