Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Take the CertTrans

​​​​​​How can I prepare for the CertTrans?

The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Certificate in Translation is a working-level qualification, set at degree level. 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.

An example of the type and difficulty of text used in the exam is available here

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 the November 2022 cohort of CertTrans candidates we are offering our CertTrans Study Guide free of charge (normal price £20) which provides further information and advice. 

To register for and download the CertTrans Study Guide to help with your preparation and self-study click here.

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.

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.


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.

Exam Dates

9 November 2022 - Unit 01 (both English into Other Languages and Other Languages into English)
10 November 2022 - Unit 02 or Unit 03 (both English into Other Languages and Other Languages into English)

Fees (Reduced for CertTrans Launch)

To register for the CertTrans two sets of fees are normally payable - Exam Fees which cover the costs of setting, marking and moderating units, plus mandatory CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees, which cover the costs of invigilation and online assessment.

To celebrate the launch of the CertTrans and to support early career linguists and those wanting to prove their translation skills in November 2022, we will waive the normal CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment fee for registrations before the end of July 2022. 

Exam Fees

CertTrans Full Registration (Unit 01 plus one of Unit 02 or Unit 03) - £485
Individual Unit Fees (if taken separately) 
Unit 01: General Translation Skills - £275 
Unit 02 - Business and Commercial Translation Skills - £250
Unit 03 - Government and Public Service Translation Skills - £250

CIOLQ Virtual Centre enrolment fees (waived until end July 2022)

The normal Virtual Centre enrolment fee is £120 for the full CertTrans (two units) or £60 per unit taken. To celebrate the launch of CertTrans we will waive this fee until end July 2022. For more information, please check our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy on our Policies page.​​​​​​​


Registration is now open for the November 2022 exam session; book and pay via our online assessment platform to take advantage of the discount available until July 2022.



If you have any questions or would like help and support with registration, please email Please note that you are only fully registered when payment of the exam fee has cleared.


The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Certificate in Translation (CertTrans) is a benchmark qualification for anyone wanting a career working for language services companies, as a freelance translator or to work for international organisations worldwide. It meets the need for a working-level translating qualification. CIOL Qualifications (CIOLQ) serves professional linguists, sets professional standards and provides qualifications for translators and interpreters which are recognised widely in the UK and around the world.

The CertTrans is an Ofqual UK-regulated qualification from an internationally recognised Awarding Organisation. It will improve your employability and career prospects. With it you will be entitled to:

  • Use the post-nominals, CertTrans after your name, in your email and online
  • Apply for professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists

Quick Links

Read the full CertTrans Qualification Specification (PDF)
CertTrans Frequently Asked Questions (link)
Join CIOL as a Study Affiliate member (link)
Questions or queries? Contact us by clicking here (web form)
Want to email the CertTrans team directly? Click here (opens in your email client) 
After the Exam (link)
Key Dates (link)
Back to CertTrans Home