Criteria for designation as a language testing agency

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

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Language testing agencies are designated by the Director of Economic Immigration Policy and Programs Division, the Minister’s delegate. Testing agencies will only be designated if they meet the following criteria:

Expertise:
A test must be appropriate for CIC purposes by evaluating proficiency in the four skill areas (i.e., reading, writing, oral comprehension/listening, and speaking) in functional English or French at all levels from basic to high proficiency.
Reliability:
A test must produce consistently similar scores among candidates with similar language proficiency. The different versions of a test must be at the same level of difficulty each time the test is written.
Integrity/security:
A designated testing agency must meet security standards with respect to the logistics of preparing test sites, registering candidates, test writing and marking, sending out results, etc. Sufficient anti-fraud mechanisms must be in place for a test to be approved.
Availability:
A designated testing agency for CIC purposes should be able to make tests available to applicants in all parts of Canada where there is sufficient demand for third-party language testing.
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