ARC Linkage Grant (Occupational English Test Writing Criteria)

The ‘Towards Improved Quality of Written Patient Records’ project was completed in 2017. Industry partner: Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment.

In 2017, The Language Testing Research Centre completed work on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant, together with colleagues in the Medical Education Unit of the Melbourne Medical School and the Department of Nursing in the School of Health Sciences. The industry partner was Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment.

Pen on test paper The project, entitled ‘Towards improved quality of written patient records: language proficiency standards for non-native speaking health professionals: development and validation of language proficiency standardsfor writing for non-native English speaking health professionals', aimed to establish the professionally relevant criteria for the Occupational English Test (OET) writing tests.

The team extracted referral letters and discharge summaries from real patient records provided by two partner hospitals, one rural and one metropolitan. Health professionals then reviewed these documents and commented on the strengths and weaknesses in each document. Based on this data, indicators representing the values of the health professionals were extracted and a new rating scale for the writing sub-test of the OET developed. This scale was then trailed on language-trained OET raters. In a final phase, we also examined the passing standards on the writing sub-test. The final report has now been published.

ARC Linkage Grant: OET Writing Criteria Final report

Project details

Sponsor / Grant scheme

Australian Research Council

Industry partner organisation

Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessments

Project team members

Associate Professor Ute Knoch
Associate Professor Catherine Elder
Associate Professor Robyn Woodward-Kron
Associate Professor Eleanor Flynn
Professor Elizabeth Manias
Professor Tim McNamara
Barbara Zhang Ying
Ms Annemiek Huisman

PhD Scholars

Sharon Yahalom
Simon Davidson

Associated investigators

Dr Alison Dwyer, Austin Health


Associate Professor Ute Knoch