Time to ensure fairness and transparency in IELTS test conduct

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We, the undersigned Australian professionals and non-Australian professionals seeking to migrate or study in Australia, would like to ask you to take steps to ensure transparency and fairness in conducting IELTS test in Australia.

We note here that the principle of separation of powers exercised at all levels in Australia is not applied to IELTS test conduct. Australia offers wide protection to “customers” from any kind of exploitation or abuse. There is one single exception to this principle: IELTS test conductors.

IELTS test conductors are immune from any accountability. There is no tribunal or Ombudsman that oversee the work of this corporation. The test marking is done overseas in secret and unverified way.

IELTS test conductors are the only corporation in Australia that conduct the investigation of complaints against them by themselves. Re-marking is done by workers at the same corporation with total secrecy and total lack of transparency. In fact, complainants have no shred of evidence that any re-marking process is conducted at all.

We hear horrific accounts of highly educated people who failed the test by 0.5 point in one band repeatedly for up to 21 times (https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/punjabi/en/article/2017/06/21/i-feel-they-are-harassing-me-says-woman-who-took-ielts-21-times?cid=inbody%3Ainternational-students-to-face-tougher-english-standards-from-next-year With lack of any third party involvement in marking and re-marking of test results, IELTS test is widely seen as a scam mainly to get as much money as possible from test takers. Some of  test takers are diverting funds to sit for the test for dozen times depriving their kids from basic needs.

We deeply believe that even in third world semi democratic societies such practices are not allowed to happen.

The greed of this corporation is highly affecting our society. It affects greatly the participation of non-English speaking people in economy and development of the society. It also spreads the feeling of social isolation and many test takers developed deep mental health problems. Instead of pouring money into serving the society, the money is grabbed by single corporation that makes multi-million dollars profit.

We believe that it is the time to bring this out-of-control corporation in line with the rest of society by taking simple steps to ensure transparency and fairness. All what you need to do is to enforce this corporation to involve third party independent umpire to oversee marking and re-marking of test results.   

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