A Speaking Examiner (SE) has a key role in assessing a candidate’s English language ability. The mark for speaking skills ordinarily constitutes at least 20% of the overall score of a candidate. Accurate, standardised assessments contribute to the validity of the results.
Minimum Professional Requirements
All SEs must meet the minimum professional requirements (MPRs) of the role.
- Education to first degree level or equivalent
- A recognised language teaching qualification
- Proof of substantial, relevant, teaching experience within the last 2 to 3 years, ideally equivalent to at least 1800 hours
- An applicant can be exempt either from the formal teaching qualification or from the first degree/equivalent requirement (but not both) if they have considerable relevant teaching experience (i.e. ideally 3000 hours or more). References to support this experience are mandatory.
As our Centre runs exams for candidates under the age of 16 (including Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers, and any for Schools exams), applicants must have recent experience of dealing with children, ideally in a professional capacity, and must show that they can work with children in line with local legislation. They must also be willing to sign a declaration that they are suitably responsible to conduct exams with children.
English language competencies
In order to examine effectively, SEs must be able to demonstrate:
- Overall language proficiency, including linguistic accuracy: C2 or C1 level at least
- Clear diction, including intelligibility outside the region/country where examining takes place
- The ability to assess the accuracy, acceptability and appropriateness of spoken English at the relevant examination level.
All prospective SEs, whether English is their first or additional language, must meet the same professional requirements.
Professional attributes and interpersonal skills:
All prospective SEs must:
- be responsible, conscientious, meet deadlines, and have good attention to detail for filling in mark sheets correctly
- accept and follow guidance and feedback
- have access to a PC/laptop and broadband for online certification
- be available to attend annual Certification of Procedure meetings
- be available to examine during a substantial proportion of the examining period
- dress appropriately and are sensitive to local cultural norms and able to interact appropriately so that candidates can provide an adequate sample of English, representative of their speaking ability.