How to Assess and set English Language Skills for the Workplace


Businesses around the world rely on EnglishScore to provide accurate and trusted assessments of English language proficiency.

The goal is to help employers make better hiring decisions and to develop and assess the skills of their existing staff.

Every job role has its specific requirements and English proficiency is often one of them. Some roles may need the individual to be proficient in certain English skills like speaking, reading or writing. 

Businesses need to be clear on what the English requirements of their roles are and what English level is needed to succeed in the job. The last step is being able to accurately test the ability of staff and candidates.

This step-by-step guide is designed to help businesses decide the English level required for specific job roles, whilst helping them understand how EnglishScore results relate to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels and commonly used exams.


How to set required scores with EnglishScore


1. Identify which job roles require English language skills. Some job roles may have very similar requirements, so they can be grouped together for the levelling activity.

2. For each job role, identify the required English language skills. This can be done through a combination of:

  • Reviewing the role description
  • Consultation with HR
  • Surveys/discussion with the employees and their managers.

3. As part of this review, it is also important to identify which skills are required (reading, writing, speaking, listening) and the levels required for each one, e.g. some roles may require advanced speaking and listening skills, but comparatively lower reading and writing skills.

4. Use our Employee Levelling questionnaire to find out which CEFR level is required for a job. The column with the highest number of ticks indicates the most appropriate required CEFR level. 

5. Read the descriptors relevant for the indicated CEFR level in our How to assess and set required scores guide and check that it most accurately matches the job role or group. This will give you the recommended EnglishScore score range and associated CEFR level.

Where a job role overlaps two or more bands, the decision maker should use their best judgement. Other factors such as the talent pool available, language training available and other support for the role can also influence the decision.


Assessing the English proficiency of staff


Once you’ve defined the English levels needed for various roles, the next step is testing the English level of existing staff and potential new hires.

British Council EnglishScore’s mobile English Test and Certificate provides fast and accurate results, giving an effective measure of the individual’s English ability for the workplace – it’s also convenient and accessible for the test taker.

Find out more information about how you can accurately assess the English proficiency of your current staff or future candidates.