Assessment and certifications

The CIEP ensures the administrative and educational management of a range of French as a foreign language certifications on behalf of the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research: the DILF, DELF, DALF and TCF. Furthermore, it offers the Ev@lang placement test.


These certification programmes, which are harmonised within the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), are internationally recognised and frequently used by foreign ministries responsible for education. They reflect level of ability in the four language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing.
To guarantee fairness between the candidates when awarding qualifications, only examiners and trainers that are qualified to manage the content and standardised procedures set out by the CIEP are permitted to assess candidates. Furthermore, to guarantee the quality of examination sessions, compliance checks may be carried out within approved test centres, in line with the procedures and criteria made available to the heads of the centre, for the purpose of self-assessment.

The DILF (Diplôme initial en langue française) is for all non-francophone adults, aged 16 or over, with a minimum level of skill in French: absolute beginners and new arrivals in France. It validates level A1.1 of the CEFR.

The DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) has five versions:

It validates levels A1.1 (DELF Prim only), A1, A2, B1 and B2 of the CEFR.

The DALF (Diplôme approfondi en langue française) is for experienced users. It validates levels C1 and C2 of the CEFR.


The TCF (test de connaissance du français) is a certificate-based test. It accurately assesses listening and reading, as well as command of language structures. Candidates may also sit additional tests assessing speaking and writing.

The four versions of the TCF
The TCF is for:

  • those who want to assess their French skills for personal, academic or professional reasons (TCF for the “general public”) ;
  • students who wish to enrol in the first year of a bachelor’s degree in a French university or school of architecture (TCF for university admission - TCF for the DAP) ;
  • those who wish to obtain French nationality by decree or by marriage (TCF for French nationality - TCF ANF) ;
  • those who wish to set up home in Quebec and are requesting a permanent visa. (TCF for Quebec).

TCF and ISO 9001 standard
In 2015, the TCF was awarded the latest version of the ISO 9001 standard (2008) for the fifth consecutive time. This certification assures the quality of the test’s design, production, distribution, resource management, and commercial and operational management procedures.


Ev@lang is a test that is fully available online and enables candidates and/or students to assess their level in a foreign language. It has been designed for businesses, the French cultural network abroad and language training centres.
It assesses users in one or more language skills: listening, reading, grammar/vocabulary, writing and speaking.
Flexible, fast and adaptive, it very accurately determines their level (12 levels based on the CEFR). Currently available in French, English and Arabic. New language versions will be developed over the course of 2016.

The Quality and Expertise Committee

CIEP test quality

The only one of its kind in France, this committee ensures the educational and psychometric properties as well as the scientific approach of this set of certifications. It actively participates in the certification design processes to guarantee validity, representativeness, sensitivity and fairness.

Assistance in creating and reviewing exams

The Quality and Expertise Committee leads external events to support organisations in the creation or revision of exams and tests. This option, which relates to assessment content and/or the psychometric component of the assessment, can be supplemented by specific audits and training courses specific to the assessment. The main objective is to guarantee partners high-quality assessments that are in line with international standards for this sector.

Developing international standards

The Quality and Expertise Committee, along with its partners from the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE), works diligently to define the minimum quality level for European language examinations. It actively participates in defining standards and promoting the ALTE (Q-mark) quality label.