Appeals Policy
& Process

Appeals Policy and Process (effective 3 July 2015)

The OET Appeals Policy aims to ensure candidates are able to appeal against decisions made in relation to the OET Re-marking and Complaints policies, and that such appeals are received, reviewed and resolved in a fair and transparent manner.

1.0 OET Appeals Policy

The OET appeals process focuses on whether, in the course of reaching decisions relating to the Re-marking Policy or Complaints Policy, Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (CBLA) applied its procedures properly and fairly in arriving at decisions by:

  • implementing, where relevant, sufficient investigation of material facts including, for example, invigilator and interlocutor conduct, venue staff behaviour, the specific delivery and administration of the OET;
  • appointing qualified assessors who were not involved in the original marking to remark a candidate’s sub-test;
  • ensuring the assessor(s) carried out the relevant assessment process in accordance with the marking criteria; and
  • ensuring communication with the candidate in a timely manner.

The appeals process is not concerned with judgments about candidates’ work in the test. An  appeal will not involve re-marking or re-assessment of a candidate’s work, although this might be ordered as the result of an appeal if it is found that procedures have not been followed satisfactorily.

Where the outcome of an appeal brings into question the accuracy of grades awarded in an assessment, CBLA will take all reasonable steps to identify any other candidate who may have been affected and wherever possible correct or mitigate the error.

Where the outcome of an appeal results in the discovery of a failure in one of our processes or systems, we will review the relevant process or system and take all reasonable steps to ensure that the failure does not happen again.

It is important to note that:

  • There is a $120 fee for the submission of each stage of an appeal: Stage 1 and Stage 2. This fee covers the administrative costs related to processing your request. Appeal fees will be refunded in full if the appeal is upheld.
  • OET will only consider an appeal about a complaint if the complaint process has taken place first. For more information please see OET Complaints Process.
  • OET will only consider an appeal about a test result if the re-marking process has taken place first. For more information please see OET Re-marking Process.
  • Re-marking charges will be refunded in full if your sub-test grade(s) change as a result of your appeal.
  • If you take another test (OET or from any other provider) during the appeal process, OET will not refund any costs related to you taking that test.
  • Appeal Requests will only be accepted from candidates personally. A request made by a relative, friend or colleague will not be accepted. It will delay the re-marking if we
    have to ask you to submit a form personally.

Please Contact OET if you require any further clarification about the Appeals process.

2.0 Appeals Process
2.1.Stage 1 Appeal – review by OET Appeals Committee
2.1.1. How does the Stage 1 Appeal process work?

  • The written evidence relating to your case will be considered by an OET Appeal Manager. An OET Appeal Manager is a senior assessment expert from Cambridge English Language Assessment, who is not involved in the administration or marking of the OET.
  • The OET Appeal Manager will review all the written evidence relating to your case, to review and decide whether CBLA has applied its procedures properly and fairly in reaching its decision.
  • It is the role of the OET Appeal Manager to consider whether any further work relating to the original decision should be authorised (e.g. re-marking of additional scripts, gathering of additional evidence). If further work relating to the original decision is authorised, this information will form part of the OET Appeal Manager’s final recommendation.
  • The OET Appeal Manager’s recommendation will then be considered in full by the OET Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee includes the CEO of CBLA and at least one member who is not a member of the CBLA Board, or a CBLA employee or assessor.
  • The OET Appeals Committee will make a decision based on the OET Appeal Manager’s findings, and any further information obtained by the OET Appeal Manager during their case review.
  • You will be notified in writing of the Stage 1 Appeal decision, including the outcome of any further work authorised, within eight weeks of your submission of the OET Appeal Request Form.

2.1.2. How can I request a Stage 1 Appeal?

You must clearly explain in writing the reason for requesting the Stage 1 Appeal by

  • completing the OET Appeal Request Form,
  • within 5 days from the date of receiving the decision of the decision that has led to
    you making an appeal with
  • $120 payment in accordance with the payment instructions.

2.2.Stage 2 Appeal – review by Independent Reviewer
2.2.1. How does the Stage 2 Appeal process work?

If you remain dissatisfied after receiving the decision of the OET Appeals Committee you may request an Independent Review of your case.

  • Upon request by you, your submission will be forwarded to an Independent Reviewer who considers appeals against OET Appeals Committee decisions. An Independent Reviewer is a suitably qualified external consultant with relevant experience.
  • You will be notified in writing of the Independent Reviewer’s decision within six weeks of your submission of the OET Appeal Request Form.
  • Consideration of an appeal by the Independent Reviewer concludes the Cambridge English Language Assessment appeals procedure.

2.2.2. How can I request a Stage 2 Appeal?

You must clearly explain in writing the reason for requesting the Independent Review by

  • completing the OET Appeal Request Form,
  • within 5 days from the date of receiving the decision of the OET Appeals Committee, with $120 payment in accordance with the payment instructions.