A young man uses a laptop while using headphones

Country: Sri Lanka
Client: Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) – Ministry of Foreign Promotion and Welfare, Government of Sri Lanka
Test takers: Migrant workers
Purpose of the test: Benchmarking of spoken English language skills
Skills package: Core + Speaking
Mode of Delivery: Computer-based testing
Administration: Headway School of Languages

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment is using Aptis as a summative assessment for a migrant workforce language development programme.

The programme focuses on speaking skills of domestic workers and is run in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Headway School of Languages and the SLBFE.

The SLBFE, under the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Promotion and Welfare, is using Aptis (computer based test) to benchmark the level of English language for migrant workers. This means that all migrant workers who engage in this programme are assessed by the British Council using a global standard test for English.

Through setting standards and supporting the learning process, Aptis helps the migrant workforce to become better prepared for the expectations of work and life overseas.


The SLBFE have worked with the British Council to use Aptis for over a year and has expanded the use to its two established centres. One more centre in due to be set up and use Aptis in 2015.

Summative benchmarking using the Aptis assessment is viewed by the Ministry as driving up quality standards in English for the Sri Lankan migrant workforce. The hope is that these migrant workers will be able to secure better jobs and contribute to higher foreign exchange remittance in the years to come.

In support of this initiative with the British Council, Amal Senalankadhikara, Chairman, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, said: “I am confident that this project would benefit migrant workers enormously, providing them with improved English language skills to increase their employability and earn a higher remuneration.”