IELTS Writing and Speaking assessments are carried out by trained and certificated examiners, all of whom are qualified and experienced English language specialists. The examiners work to clearly defined criteria and are subject to extensive and detailed quality control procedures.
Each IELTS test centre is responsible for recruiting and training a pool of examiners. Applicants must have:
a) An undergraduate degree or Master’s degree or qualification(s) that can be demonstrated to be equivalent to an undergraduate degree or Master’s degree (3 years’ full-time academic study, or a minimum of one year’s full-time academic study in the case of a Master’s degree).
b) A TEFL/TESOL qualification from a recognised institution (certificate level or above)
A degree in education (if supported by an undergraduate degree which includes studies focused on English Language)
c) Substantial relevant teaching experience, the majority of which must relate to adult students (16 years and over).
Applicants must then be approved by a qualified examiner trainer. After approval, the applicant undertakes face-to-face training conducted by an accredited IELTS examiner trainer and a certification assessment.
All applicants for the post of examiner must have the qualifications and experience outlined above. Shortlisted applicants are invited to interview. The applicant’s professional attributes and interpersonal skills are assessed at three stages in the recruitment process: application form, interview and training.
Following an interview, successful applicants complete an induction process.
Applicants who successfully complete induction proceed to training in Writing and Speaking assessment, which is carried out by an examiner trainer and lasts four days.
Applicants then complete a certification set to demonstrate that they can apply the assessment criteria accurately and reliably. If successful, they become qualified examiners.
Examiners are monitored by examiner trainers up to four times a year and at least once every two years. New examiners (and those who have not recently worked as IELTS examiners) are monitored at least three times in their first year. All examiners receive written feedback on their ratings and also on the delivery of the Speaking test. They may be required to take corrective action if any issues are raised about their performance.
6. Standardisation and re-certification
Standardisation is completed at the centre and takes place as close as possible to the 2-yearly re-certification of the examiner. After the standardisation session, the examiners then complete a new certification set to demonstrate they can apply the assessment criteria accurately.