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Many Blue, Green and White Badge Tourist Guides are qualified to guide in more than one language. Their high-level language proficiency is renowned globally and reflects rigorous language assessment, details of which may be found in this section of the website.

The IoL Educational Trust (IoLET) – the associated charity of the Chartered Institute of Linguists– currently provides specifically-tailored language exams for our members.

The exams remain in the format introduced in 2015 but will be handled entirely by IoLET.  This arrangement has a number of advantages both to candidates and the Institute as a whole, namely:

  • we are able to call on the recognised expertise of the IoLET, which already runs exams for a number of other prestigious UK clients;
  • the exams will be more robust, with improved consistency across languages;
  • there will be increased flexibility as to exam timings and locations;
  • there will be an increased range of language options; and
  • the exams will be completely independent.

As stated above, the exams will be in the same format as in 2015 and candidates will still have to meet the same standards (C1 for non-English, and C2 for English on the CEFR scale).  As before, the exams will be entirely oral and will reflect the way guides need to use language skills in their day-to-day activities.  These standards are deliberately very high (equivalent to university proficiency levels), reflecting the need for guides to be fluent in their chosen languages.


2019 Language Workshops

The language examination workshops are now open for registration and are scheduled for Wednesday 26th June 2019, at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College (Richmond campus).


  • 1:30 – 3:30pm for non-English
  • 4:30 – 6:30pm for English

The workshops aim to give prospective candidates an understanding of the standards required, the marking criteria, and what to expect in the actual examination, as well as an opportunity to practise.


Delegates will work in pairs in the target language, practising the skills required for the examination; this will include delivering a 3-minute presentation in the target language on one of two topics that the delegates will have prepared prior to the workshop. This workshop will help delegates ascertain whether they are at the required standard for the examination – or not – thus saving time and money. 

Cost, registration and closing date:

  • The cost will be £40 per delegate. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
  • If you would like to apply for this workshop, please complete the registration form and return to the Institute of Tourist Guiding at office@itg.org.uk by friday 7th June 2019. Alternatively, it can be posted to the office using the address at the bottom of this page. The delegate fee will payable once registration acceptance is confirmed.


2019 Language Examinations

The registration for language examinations will open on Monday 1st July 2019.

The language examinations will take place in London on week commencing 11th November 2019, additional days may be added to accommodate application numbers exceeding expectation.  The precise schedule and location are still being finalised and will depend on the number of candidates.  All arrangements are handled by the IoLET, although they naturally provide us with details of the candidates and their eventual results. The IoLET administer the exams, communicate results and handle any queries/appeals in accordance with their own procedures.

Candidates wishing to sit a language examination will need to register with the IoL Educational Trust by Friday 13th September 2019 (for non-core languages) and by Friday 11th October 2019 (for core languages).


The format of the Language Examinations for both 'English' and 'Non-English' examinations was revised in 2015, and the standards required were clearly defined in terms of the CEFR – the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (for details please see http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Cadre1_en.asp).

To register for a language examination please follow the link to the Chartered Institute of Linguists web page – which can be found here: https://www.ciol.org.uk/search/node/ITG

Further information about language examinations can be found here

ITG Language Examinations - Handbook for Candidates 2018

English Exam Summary

Assessment Criteria English


Non-English Exam Summary

Assessment Criteria Non-English Languages


Language Exam Topics for Discussion