CORU Language Requirements

The CORU Language Requirements as set down below apply to all persons seeking registration under the standard registration route (provided for under section 38 of the Act). They also apply to persons who have had their international qualifications assessed and recognised by CORU and subsequently seek registration.

As all of the professions under CORU have patient safety implications, all CORU Registration Boards are entitled (under S.I. No. 8 of 2017) to carry out language controls to ensure that each applicant has sufficient knowledge of the language necessary to practise their profession in Ireland.

The ability to communicate safely and efficiently in a language of the State is critical to working effectively in Ireland. All applicants shall therefore be subject to the requirement of successfully completing a language test to assure language competence unless:

I. The applicant has completed a CORU-approved qualification which is listed on the Approved Qualifications Bye-Law relevant to his/her profession; OR
II. The applicant can provide evidence that his/her professional qualification(s) (on the basis of which he/she is applying for registration) was/were acquired through the medium of English or Irish and that practice placements in that/those qualification(s) were undertaken and supervised through the medium of English or Irish; OR
III. The applicant can provide evidence that he/she has lived in and practised his/her profession through the medium of English or Irish in a country that has English or Irish recognised as the official language of that country for a period of not less than 2 years in the past five-year period. 

 

Evidence of II above will normally be in the form of a letter from the college or university that awarded the qualification. Evidence of III will normally be in the form of a letter from one or more employers covering the two-year period.

If an applicant cannot provide evidence of meeting any of the items (I), (II), or (III) above, then he/she will be required to take a CORU-approved test of English language proficiency and meet the minimum score for the relevant profession in order to be eligible for registration to the appropriate register. The language requirements for each registration board is presented below.

Linguistic Competence Standard

The general linguistic competence standard for CORU registration boards is set at C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The minimum standard is higher for Speech and Language Therapists due to the requirement for enhanced knowledge of the structure, syntax and grammar of language necessary for the practise of the profession.

The standard is also higher for Radiographers and Radiation Therapists as there is a greater risk to public safety due to the nature of ionising radiation.

Further information about the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is available at: https://www.coe.int/lang-CEFR

Language Requirements for each Registration Board

The language requirements have been considered by each registration board and the minimum test scores required for each profession in order to be eligible for registration are set out in the grid below.

Language Requirements by Registration Board
Registration BoardMinimum score IELTS (Academic)*Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) Minimum Grade*

Occupational English Test (OET) relevant to the profession*

Numerical score to be used alongside OET Grade to report performance from 9 September 2018

Social Workers Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 6.5)
Minimum of Grade C on the Cambridge
CEFR C1 Test
No OET test specified for this profession
Dietitians Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 6.5)
Minimum of Grade C on the Cambridge
CEFR C1 Test
Occupational English Test (Dietetics)
A minimum of Grade B (350) in three components and a minimum of Grade C+ (300) in one component (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
Physiotherapists Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 6.5
Minimum of Grade C on the Cambridge
CEFR C1 Test
Occupational English Test OET (Physiotherapy)
A minimum of Grade B (350) in three components and a minimum of Grade C+ (300) in one component (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
Occupational Therapists Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 6.5)
Minimum of Grade C on the Cambridge
CEFR C1 Test
Occupational English Test  OET (Occupational Therapy)
A minimum of grade B (350) in three components and a minimum of Grade C+ (300) in one component (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
Optical Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 6.5)
Minimum of Grade C on the Cambridge
CEFR C1 Test
Occupational English Test  OET (Optometry)
A minimum of Grade B (350) in three components and a minimum of Grade C+ (300) in one component (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
Radiographers Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 7.0)
Minimum of Grade C (Minimum Score of 185) on the Cambridge CEFR C1 Test

Occupational English Test OET (Radiography)

A minimum of Grade B (Minimum Score of of 350) in all components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

Speech & Language Therapists Registration BoardIELTS Academic Overall score 8.0 (no element below 7.5)Minimum of Grade B
Cambridge CEFR C1 Test

Occupational English Test  OET (Speech Pathology) 

A minimum of grade B (400) in three components and B (350) in one component (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

Medical Scientists Registration Board IELTS Academic Overall score 7.0
(with no element below 6.5)
Minimum of Grade C
Cambridge CEFR C1 Test
No OET test specified for this profession

All language test certificates must be dated within two years of the date you submit your application for registration.

Please contact CORU if you wish to take a language test in the Irish language (Gaeilge).

Repeat Language Tests

In circumstances where an applicant provides the results of two tests, where the combination of test results demonstrate meeting the test requirements specified above, please note that CORU will accept results from a maximum of two test sittings.

The repeat test:

  • must be taken from the same provider as the previous/initial test and;
  • must be taken within six months of the initial test.

In circumstances where the results of two sittings are provided, the overall minimum score must be met on both test sittings and:

  • If the test taken is the IELTS, no component score (listening, reading, writing or speaking) can fall below 6.5 or;
  • If the test taken is the OET, no subtest score (listening, reading, writing or speaking) can fall below grade C.
Providing details to CORU to enable the verification of your results

In addition to providing your certificate of results from an approved language test, you must provide the additional details from your test specified below to enable CORU to verify your results online as provided below.

Language TestRequired Information to verify your results online
IELTS
International English Language Testing System
Please provide your Test Report Form (TRF) Number/OET Candidate Number when submitting your application for registration. Your TRF Number is the 15-18 characters (alpha/numeric combination) which you will find on the bottom right hand corner of your Test Report Form.
CAE
Cambridge English Advanced
Please provide your Candidate ID. This is a combination of letters and numbers (e.g. SIR094701) and the Secret number is a 4 digit PIN number (e.g. 8482). Both numbers can be found on the Confirmation of Entry which you should have received when you registered for your exam. If you no longer have your Confirmation of Entry, please contact your exam centre as they will be able to reissue the details for you.
OET
Occupational English Test
Please provide your OET Candidate Number which is the 9-digit number noted under your name on your OET Statement of Results sheet.