A recent BBC documentary uncovered student visas have been acquired through criminal immigration agents who sell forged bank documents and provide “stand-ins” to sit English language exams.

Journalists from the BBC’s Panorama programme posing as students were offered a guaranteed pass for English exams run by ETS, one of the biggest English-language testing companies in the world, at an approved secure exam centre and a college designated as “trusted” by the Home Office.

The documentary team filmed  inside a government approved exam centre where candidates were replaced by “fake exam sitters”  minutes before the tests started. The “fake sitters” answered written and oral papers, submitting their answers to a secure terminal, while the real candidates were called to be photographed as “proof” of taking the test.

ETS has now suspended TOEIC and TOEFL tests in the UK and the immigration agents offering fraudulent exam passes in the programme are now under criminal investigation.

IH London’s secure exams

As a well-respected and established provider of high stakes English proficiency exams, IH London welcomes the recent expose of dishonest testing at certain centres and the increased scrutiny under which exam centres will be put.

IH London is one of the largest English language exam centres in the UK, it has been a trusted education and assessment centre for over 50 years and is regularly audited by external bodies such as British Council, EQUALS and English UK.

Our examinations centre offers the IELTSBULATS and Cambridge Mainsuite exams which are depended on for higher education , immigration and registration with official bodies such as the General Medical Council and others.

How IELTS tests are protected against fraud

IELTS has a number of security systems in place to prevent identity fraud among candidates. Some of the procedures are classified, other include:

  • Candidates must supply photographic evidence of identity, limited to passport or national identity card
  • Verification of the candidate’s signature
  • Finger print verification
  • Identity checks at various stages during the test
  • A separate identity check for the speaking test
  • Photographs of the person taking the exam on the day is on the certificate itself
  • Certificates are printed on security-enhanced paper and include other concealed features to prevent forgery and malpractice.
  • Strict Confidentiality and Codes of Practice apply to all our staff

How Cambridge Exams are secured against fraud

Exam papers are prepared, printed and dispatched under secure conditions.

  • All Cambridge English authorised exam centres follow a detailed code of practice which ensures the highest standards of security throughout the testing process, from registration to the recording of results.
  • Photographs of all candidates are taken on the day of the exam and these can be viewed through our online Results Verification Service
  • For immigration to the UK candidates will be required to give authorisation for the UK Border Agency to view your result and test day photo.
  • All papers are marked in Cambridge to further ensure security and quality. Sophisticated analysis techniques are used to guard against malpractice.
  • Certificates are printed on security-enhanced paper and include other concealed features to prevent forgery and malpractice.

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