May 8

What does a CELTA Assessor do?

CELTA FAQs 
What is the role of a CELTA Assessor?
If you are on a CELTA course and the Assessor’s visit is coming, you might be wondering what it’s all about. I read a fair bit of misinformation on social media about the role of a CELTA assessor, so, I thought that this short video might be helpful… 
If you are on a CELTA course and the Assessor’s visit is coming, you might be wondering what it’s all about. I read a fair bit of misinformation on social media about the role of a CELTA assessor, so, I thought that this might be helpful…

  • What are CELTA Assessors?
  • What do they do?
  • Can they affect my grade?


I’m Jo Gakonga from ELT-Training.com – and just to establish my credentials for this, I’ve been a CELTA tutor for over 20 years and an assessor for about 8 of those and I’ve assessed in 50 different centres so far, so I know a bit about it.

So, who are CELTA assessors? Let’s start with that. Assessors are other CELTA tutors, usually who have a fair bit of experience and who AREN’T working in the centre that they are assessing. You have to be appointed as an assessor and go through a training process and there’s a standardisation exercise that we all have to do every year to keep our status.

What do we do? CELTA is run in hundreds of very different kinds of centres all over the world and it’s the assessor’s job to make sure that the course is run in a standard way. An assessor comes to every single CELTA course but the important thing to remember is that their job is to check that the COURSE has been run correctly, NOT to assess or grade the candidates. The tutors assess the candidates, the assessor checks the tutors.

When an assessor comes to a centre, they look through the paperwork of the course, the application forms, the assignment rubrics, the timetable, the teaching practice arrangements and they look carefully at a range of candidate portfolios. They come into a TP session and observe with the regular tutor and then they have a discussion together about the classes afterwards. They also watch TP feedback. It’s not nice to have another strange pair of eyes in the room if you’re the trainee who the assessor comes to see, but remember, the assessor is there for standardisation purposes. The whole course does NOT rest on ‘the lesson they saw’- it’s a holistic process and your tutor gives you your grade.

There’s always a chance to talk to the assessor as a group or individually and this is just an opportunity to give any feedback, anonymously if you like, about the course and how it’s been run. In my experience, candidates are usually really happy with the course, but sometimes people have constructive suggestions.

Finally, the assessor and the tutors on the course discuss all of the candidates and their progress. This isn’t when grades are decided but it’s an opportunity for tutors to have an open discussion with each other and the assessor and it’s designed to help the tutors summarise the progress that the candidates have made and clarify anything in the criteria that individuals still need to address.

When the course ends, the tutors decide the final grades and at that point you’ll get a certificate from your centre with a provisional grade and a report on your strengths and action points. You can use this as a reference for potential employers. It’s provisional, but in almost all cases, this will be your final grade. It is very occasionally changed where there’s a discrepancy but it’s very rare for this to happen. It usually takes a few weeks for your official certificate to come from Cambridge.

So that’s about it! A day in the life of a CELTA assessor. Hope it was helpful and that you enjoy meeting yours on your CELTA course.
Created with