IELTS welcomes sentencing of offenders

The IELTS partners today welcomed the sentencing of four individuals convicted of offences related to conspiring to obtain false IELTS scores at the Curtin English Language Centre (CELC) at Curtin University.

“The sentences handed down in the District Court of Western Australia are clear demonstration of what IELTS has been saying for some time – that any attempt to cheat or commit fraud at an IELTS test will be identified and sanctions will be imposed,” John Belleville, Director of IELTS for IELTS Australia said.

IELTS security systems originally detected the anomalous results at CELC, leading IELTS to brief the findings to Curtin University for immediate attention. The charges followed an extensive investigation supported by IELTS that was led by the Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia (CCC) due to the university’s status as a public institution.

“As evidenced in this matter, IELTS has sophisticated security procedures in place to protect legitimate test candidates and the organisations that use IELTS results,” Mr Belleville continued.

Mr Belleville advised that investigations by the CCC into alleged misconduct at Curtin University have concluded. “Importantly, as part of this work, no instances of wrongdoing have been identified at other test centres by either IELTS or the CCC,” he said.

“Given the high stakes involved, IELTS recognises the significant responsibility we have to ensure that organisations are issued with a result that reliably reflects a candidate’s English language proficiency.

“Around the world, we work closely with relevant authorities, including immigration and law enforcement agencies, to prevent, identify and where appropriate prosecute any cheating or fraud attempt in accordance with local jurisdictions.

“IELTS will continue vigorously pursuing instances of alleged cheating or other fraudulent activity to protect the integrity of the IELTS test and the interests of legitimate test candidates,” Mr Belleville concluded.