BULATS is a Business Language Testing Service - a multilingual test which was developed by the University of Cambridge English Language Assessment, the Universidad de Salamanca, the Alliance Française, and the Goethe Institut. BULATS is designed to test candidates’ ability to work and communicate in an international business environment.


BULATS is now used by companies, schools, universities, and immigration services worldwide to assess language ability. This may be for benchmarking language competence, recruitment, on-going professional development, or entry to business-related training and study programmes.

For companies, BULATS can provide an excellent snapshot of the Business English skills and level of their workforce. BULATS has been used by the United Nations, Tesco, Hitachi, and GlaxoSmithKline among many others.

A candidate’s BULATS result is valid forever. However, as an individual’s English level may improve or decline over time, employers and institutions may require an up-to-date score. Learners can re-take the BULATS after one month of their test, if they did not achieve the score they required. However, a minimum of 3 months is recommended, in order to allow sufficient enough time to further prepare.

Why use BULATS?

Language skills are essential to any company working in today’s global economy. The following are just a few of the ways BULATS can provide an indispensable tool for measuring and developing these skills:

Evaluating the language skills of staff within a company: a company decides it wants a complete language profile of its staff. BULATS can be used to test some or all employees. The service can also be used at regular intervals to monitor the company's language profile.

Evaluating the language skills of job applicants: a company is recruiting staff to work in its international sales department. BULATS provides a simple way of testing prospective employees and providing the company with an up-to-date and accurate assessment of language ability.

Placing learners on suitable courses for language training: a business college provides language training courses for its students and needs to place them in courses at the right level. BULATS can be used to place the students in suitable courses.

Screening learners who are unsuitable for the training courses provided: a company wants to concentrate its language training on employees who are already close to the level of language required. BULATS can provide a test to screen off unsuitable candidates and so help make best use of resources available.

Evaluating language training given: the training division of a company needs to assess the quality of language training being provided by an external training organisation. BULATS can be used to test people at the beginning and end of the course to monitor progress.

Recommending suitable standard examinations for learners: an organisation would like to motivate its staff by sponsoring them to take standard examinations which provide a certificate with international currency (such as the Cambridge First Certificate in English). BULATS provides a test to help advise which standard examination would be most suitable.

To provide testing support for language audits: language audits are being used increasingly - BULATS can provide a valuable language testing tool in carrying out the assessment of a company's language requirements.

BULATS test can be taken at ELA any time with a prior time arrangement. The cost of the test is also relatively low - at £60. The certificate does not expire, however companies may ask for a test reset every few years.

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