Regulations on the Proficiency Degree in the State Language Required for the Performance of the Professional an Positional Duties and on the Procedure of Language Proficiency Tests
Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia
22 August, 2000 Riga
Regulations Nr. 296 (Issued in accordance with Paragraph 5 of Article 6 of the State Language Law of the Republic of Latvia)
I. General Provisions
1. These regulations stipulate the proficiency degree in state language for the performance of the professional an positional duties and the procedure of language proficiency testing for the persons listed in Paragraphs 1-3 of Article 6 of the State Language Law.
2. These regulations do not apply to persons who:
2.1. have obtained primary, secondary or higher education in Latvian,
2.2. received a certificate issued by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia on passing the centralized examinations,
2.3. have vision and hearing disability of group I, II or III,
2.4. have general disability of group I or II.
3. The state language proficiency degree is determined considering the peculiarities of the profession and the proficiency degree of the state language required in the respective profession or position.
4. The level and degree of the state language proficiency necessary for employees of state and municipal institutions, as well as the companies in which the state or a municipality holds the largest share of the capital, to fulfill the duties of their professions or positions, are listed in Appendix 1 of these regulations.
5. The level and degree of the state language proficiency necessary for employees of private institutions, organizations, enterprises (companies) to fulfill the duties of their professions or positions, is determined by their employer, for self-employed persons – by the self-employed person him/herself.
6. The employer develops the list of positions and professions of his institution with the corresponding language proficiency levels and degrees (hereinafter – list). The employer may approximate the list with the State Language Center.
7. It is a duty of the State Language Center upon employer’s request to provide statement on the level and degree of the state language proficiency necessary to perform the respective professional or positional duties.
8. The proficiency in the state language for fulfilling the professional and positional duties is confirmed by a state language proficiency certificate of the respective degree, issued by the state language testing commission, what the person presents upon the employer’s request (see sample in Appendix 2).
9. The state language testing commissions (hereinafter – commission) are established by the Minister of Justice, and they work in accordance with the statutes confirmed by the Minister of Justice.
10. Persons named in Paragraphs 1-3 of Article 6 of the State Language Law and employer are responsible for using the state language in compliance with the requirements of the legislative acts according to the procedure provided for in the legislative acts.
II. Scope of Proficiency in the State Language
11. The scope of proficiency in the state language required for the performance of professional and positional duties is divided in 3 language proficiency levels:
11.1. First (basic) Level;
11.2. Second (intermediate) Level;
11.3. Third (advanced) Level.
12. Each proficiency level is divided into two (A and B) degrees:
12.1. First Level A Degree. Can communicate on simple social life topics on a basic level. Minimum use of professional vocabulary. Can read and understand short unrelated texts, announcements, advertisements, notices. Able to write down personal data.
12.2. First Level B Degree. Able to communicate in simple sentences about social life and professional topics. Reads and understands simple texts. Able to fill in standardized documents, forms, bills, receipts.
12.3. Second Level A Degree. Able to conduct a simple dialogue about social life and professional topics. Reads and understands uncomplicated texts. Can write standardized documents, applications, authorizations, legal documents, as well as simple texts about social life topics or job-related issues.
12.4. Second Level B Degree. Able to engage easily in a conversation on social life and professional topics. Reads and understands texts on different topics. Can compose documents necessary for the job, references, reviews, minutes, reports, protocols, as well as extended texts about both social life and job-related issues.
12.5. Third Level A Degree. Able to communicate fluently, debate, express his/her point of view on both social life and professional topics or on a subject related to the position occupied. Reads and understands texts on different topics and of different complexity. Able to compose documents, decisions, contracts, statutes, job descriptions, as well as different other texts connected with administration of an institution, company.
12.6. Third Level B Degree. Able to converse in the second language absolutely fluently on both social life and professional topics or on a subjects related to the position occupied. Able to have a conversation according to the situation, in different styles, able to vary the means of expression. Able to compose texts of different complexity.
III. The Procedure of Language Proficiency Tests
13. State language proficiency of the examinee (hereinafter – examinee) required for professional and positional duties is tested by the commission in accordance with the methodical instructions confirmed by the Minister of Justice.
14. The examinee can apply for the state language proficiency test by phone or in person at the commission’s secretary.
15. The commission evaluates the examinee’s speaking, reading and writing skills on the whole and determines the corresponding language proficiency level and degree.
16. When coming to the language proficiency test the examinee shall present his/her passport and the receipt confirming the settled test fee.
17. If the examinee has the right to pay a reduced fee, he/she shall present a document proving these rights.
18. If the examinee fails the language proficiency test or breaks the rules, he/she does not get refund of the paid fee.
19. When entering the test room the examinee presents the personal identity document (passport). If the examinee is younger than 16, the birth certificate shall be presented to the commission.
20. If during the state language proficiency test the commission finds out that the examinee uses an ID of another person, the language proficiency test of the examinee is revoked.
21. Before taking the language proficiency test, the previous language proficiency certificate, if one has such, shall be passed over to the commission’s secretary.
22. It is not permitted to use textbooks, dictionaries and other teaching aids during the test. If during the test the examinee breaks the rules, refuses to answer, or does not pass the test, the test can be repeated not earlier than in two months.
23. The examinee’s speaking skills are tested in an interview (6 to 7 minutes) determining the state language proficiency degree in a conversation about work, themes connected with the profession or the position.
24. In order to test reading and writing skills, the examinee receives tests corresponding to the profession or position occupied by the examinee; after the tests are completed the examinee’s state language proficiency degree is determined.
25. The commission’s secretary takes record of the testing procedure. The pages of the protocol shall be enumerated, all columns filled in, there shall not be any corrections, crossings-out, wiped-off places in the records.
26. After taking the language proficiency test, the examinee signs the protocol.
27. The Commission members sign the protocol when the language test is over.
28. The Commission’s secretary stamps the protocol with the Commission stamp and mails a copy of the protocol to the State Language Center.
29. After passing the test the state language proficiency certificate is available at the Commission’s secretary. The certificate will be mailed to the examinee upon the examinee’s request in a registered letter.
30. In case the certificate is lost the commission reissues the certificate if less than one year has passed since passing the state language proficiency test.
31. Complaints regarding the evaluation of the language proficiency or the compliance of the test procedure to the legislative acts can be submitted to the State Language Center within 10 days after receiving the test results.
32. Decision of the Examination Center regarding the compliance of the test procedure to the legislative acts can be appealed by the examinee in court in the order provided for by legislative acts.
IV. Final Provisions
33. State language proficiency certificates issued in the years 1992-2000 are valid after these regulations enter into effect, the state language proficiency test does not have to be repeated.
34. State language proficiency degrees indicated in the certificates issued in the years 1992-2000 correspond to the language proficiency levels listed in these regulations. First Level A and B Degrees correspond to the First (basic) Degree of the proficiency certificate. Second Level A and B Degrees correspond to the Second (intermediate) Degree of the certificate. Third Level A and B degrees correspond to the Third (advanced) Degree of the certificate.
35. Until January 1, 2001 the state language proficiency tests take place at the permanent state language testing commissions.
36. These Regulations take effect as of September 1, 2000.
Prime Minister A. Berzins, Justice Minister I. Labucka