Community Language Aide (CLA) testing is used by the public and private sectors to determine eligibility for language allowances. It is appropriate for anyone needing to communicate at a basic level in a language other than English (LOTE) in the workplace.

An individual who has passed a CLA test is not qualified to act as an interpreter or translator.

What Does The Test Assess?

The CLA test assesses your ability to:

  • Convey information accurately and clarify routine points if needed
  • Adhere to the procedural norms expected in English language interactions (such as politeness and time-efficiency)
  • Elicit information from customers
  • Follow and understand speech from a native-speaker of a LOTE
  • Seek clarification if such speech is not immediately understood
  • Pronounce language accurately enough that speech is generally intelligible
  • Produce language accurately enough that errors do not impede or impair communication

You need to have a vocabulary range that allows you to explain organisational procedures and related matters with some precision and clarity.

Test results are emailed to the person sitting the test within 4 weeks.

Do I Have To Be Sponsored?

No. Individuals can apply to sit the test without being sponsored by their employer.

Some organisations pay a language allowance to employees who use their LOTE speaker to provide customer service (e.g. some public service departments and agencies), if those employees can demonstrate they have the required language skills. Those organisations may pay for their employees to be tested.

Some other organisations that don’t pay an allowance still pay for their employees to be tested.

What Do I Need To Know Before I Sit My Test?

Make sure you read and understand the following information before applying for your test:

Sample Materials

Below are some practice materials NAATI have prepared:


To apply, you need to register your email in our customer portal, myNAATI. After you have registered, you can make your application from the myNAATI portal.

Any questions? Please email