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Monitoring fairness in third-party language proficiency assessments

Classification: Non-Health

Regulatory Body

Ontario College of TEACHERS

Ontario College of TEACHERS


This practice provides an approach to monitoring transparency, objectivity, impartiality and fairness in assessments of language proficiency by third-parties.

The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) accepts the following language proficiency tests:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test pour étudiants et stagiaires au Canada (TESTCan).

To ensure fairness in the assessments, the OCT reviewed the administration of these tests. It used an external consultant to ensure unbiased research.

The research considered issues such as:

  • accessibility of tests
  • availability of information about the testing process
  • objectivity and fairness of test design and administration
  • appeal process

The consultant conducted a survey, an interview and a site visit for each test provider. The consultant indicated that the providers' processes were fair, transparent and clear and shared the findings with the OCT.

Value to Regulator

  • Helps to ensure adherence to published criteria, policies and procedures.
  • Helps to ensure quality of qualifications assessment decisions. Assessment tools and processes measure what they intend to measure and yield consistent results.
  • Helps to prevent potential for unintended or differential impact on non-traditional applicants.

Value for Applicants

  • Provides applicants with valid and reliable assessments

Duties from Registration Practices Assessment Guides

This practice falls under the following duties from the Registration Practices Assessment Guides:

  • Assessment of Qualifications
  • Fairness

Profession's Membership Size

Large (more than 10,000 members)

Date of publication:

May 31, 2013