Convocation letters will be sent out between 4 - 15 October 2021

Timeline icon LPE - Process and Timeline

Applicants should determine their eligibility and prepare required supporting documentation before the registration period begins. Regarding any questions applicants may have, these should be addressed to the Administrator at the LPE Local Centres (LPELCs).  Please see more detailed information in the table below:




2021 LPE - Process and Timeline

29 June – 2 July 2021

 Announcement of the 2020 LPE results in all six official languages.

17 May 2021

1. Announcement of participating LPE Local Centres and fee-paying entities 

The participating LPE Local Centres (LPELCs) and entities may change from year to year depending on local needs and available resources. The Special Assessments Section (SAS) has collected participation requests from LPELCs and nominations of Finance Focal Points from fee-paying entities.

If you do not see your duty station in the list, please select the nearest duty station to you when you enroll in the 2021 LPE in Inspira.  

*Applicants from paying entities should check with their organization about the fee recovery policy before registering for LPE, as some organizations deduct the LPE fees from applicants’ salaries. 

17 May – 15 June 2021

2. Applicants should determine their eligibility, prepare supporting documents and update their Inspira profile

Policies and Guidelines

  • Policies and Guidelines
  • The 2021 LPE will be administered in accordance with the new Administrative Instruction on Language Proficiency and Language Allowance ST/AI/2021/1 and will be in line with the new United Nations Language Framework (UNLF).  See the "LPE EXAM FORMAT" Section below for more details about the new exam format. 
  • *Please note that it was decided by the General Assembly in A/RES/70/244 para. 22 to discontinue the practice of granting accelerated step increments for staff members in the professional category, including accelerated increments granted after staff members have established proficiency in a second language. Please note that UNLPE or local LPE Administrators are not in a position to answer any queries on this topic.

The LPE eligibility criteria document approved by the Office of Human Resources is accessible through the link below.

Applicants who are eligible based on "the use of language on a regular basis for work" criteria the verification letter form signed* by their Supervisor and Head of Office to their application in Inspira.

Applicants with appointments that expire prior to the date of the LPE written examination are asked to attach a letter* from the Executive Officer or the head of administration at offices away from Headquarters and field duty stations expressing the intent to extend the contract beyond the written exam date to their application in Inspira.

Note: * We accept electronic signatures for forms and letters.  To sign a form/letter electronically, the concerned officials must save the Word form in a PDF file, and use the "Fill and Sign" feature of Adobe Acrobat Reader to add their electronic signature.  When uploading the signed form/letter in their application in Inspira, the candidate must include the copy of email from the concerned official forwarding the signed form/letter.

Applicants should determine their eligibility and prepare required supporting documents ahead of the registration period. Any questions applicants might have should be addressed to the corresponding LPELC‘s Local Administrator

29 June – 25 July 2021


3. Applicant registration period

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit a completed and accurate application in Inspira by the specified deadline, while ensuring to selecting their duty station as the LPELC. If the specific duty station is not listed, applicants should choose the nearest option. Once an application is successfully submitted in Inspira, the applicant will receive an email confirming their LPE registration.  It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure their email contact information in Inspira is correct, in order to ensure proper communication. For further information regarding UNV and WHO Staff please read the FAQs (Item Nos. 12 and 13) at the bottom of the page. 

PDF guides for applicants

Special Needs Procedure
Individual cases of candidates in need of a special accommodation will be reviewed by the Board. The candidate must follow the accommodation request procedure (click here for details) and submit the request to by the enrollment registration deadline. 

29 June – 29 July 2021

4. Screening of applications by Local Administrators (applicants should monitor their email messages)

The Local Administrator at each LPELC will screen the applications according to the eligibility criteria. Local Administrators might contact applicants anytime during this period to request further information or documentation. If so, it is the applicant's responsibility to upload the requested supporting documents within this screening period and resubmit their application in Inspira. Applicants should check their Inspira status and email regularly for communication regarding the status of their application. 

23 July – 24 August 2021

5. Final chance for applicants to respond to pushed-back applications, if applicable

During this period, no new applications can be accepted. This is the final opportunity for applicants with existing applications (that have been pushed back by the Local Administrator) to upload the requested additional supporting documents and resubmit their applications, so screening can be finalized by the Local Administrator. If an applicant fails to provide the additional documents within this period, their applications will be rejected. 

30 July – 31 August 2021

6. Final screening of pushed-back applications by Local Administrators

The Local Administrator will screen all pending applications, either accepting those that meet the eligibility requirements, or rejecting those that do not fulfill the eligibility requirements or lack supporting documents.

The last enrollment drop date for candidates is 31 August 2021. 

10 September 2021

7. Endorsement of registration fee by fee-paying entities

Applications from staff members belonging to fee-paying entities which meet the non-financial eligibility criteria will be passed onto their respective focal points for endorsement. Only applicants whose applications are endorsed, i.e. their parent organization agrees to pay the LPE registration fee, will be invited to the LPE. Financial focal points might contact applicants during this period to request for further information. Applicants should check their Inspira status and email regularly.

6 October 2021

8. Checking final convocation/rejection status in Inspira

The final application status will be available by this date. Only convoked candidates will be allowed to take the examination.

Convocation letters will be sent out between 4 - 15 October 2021.

Before September 2021

9. Exam Preparation / Onboarding/ Practice Test

Please note that the exam which consists of four sections: 1) Receptive activities: Listening; 2) Receptive activities: Reading; 3) Written production and interaction; and 4) Spoken production and interaction; is planned to be administered ONLINE in November 2021. As candidates will be required to type their response in the composition part of the examination using a computer keyboard, it is highly recommended that candidates who are not used to typing in the target language start practicing typing in that language as early as possible. (To change your computer's keyboard layout to type your answers in the relevant language in the written production section of the exam, follow this link for Windows 10, and follow this link for Mac)




Practice tests are available in English and French only.  The test format of these practice tests will also apply to the other four languages.

You can also try the same practice exams online here, by creating a new account and enrolling yourself in them.



  • For information on the online LPE preparation courses and how to register, please click on the link below: 

        Gear up for the new UN Language Proficiency Exam | iSeek

        Detailed instructions can be found in English here and in French here


November 2021



10. Administration of online exam 

     Tentative exam dates as follows (subject to change):

     Wednesday, 3 November 2021 

  • Chinese
  • Spanish

     Wednesday, 10 November 2021

  • Arabic
  • Russian

     Wednesday, 17 November 2021

  • French

     Wednesday, 24 November 2021

  • English


     6:00 AM - 3:00 PM (New York time - EST): Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish

     6:00 AM - 2:00 PM (New York time - EST): French

     English - the time of the exam to be announced

April 2022


11. Announcement of results


 Applicants should regularly check their emails and LPE website for updates. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure their email contact information in Inspira is correct, to ensure proper communication.

Frequently Asked

 View the latest FAQs on the LPE.

The 2021 Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) will be based on UN Level III of the United Nations Language Framework (UNLF). It is strongly recommended that candidates familiarize themselves with Level III of the UNLF, in particular:

the overall descriptors for UN Level III (pages 5, 8) and the learning objectives, communicative situations and text types (pages 22-26) in the UNLF Core Curriculum. These are common to all six official United Nations languages and the basis for the LPE in all six languages.

the UN Level III pages in the specific language curriculum ( ArChEnFrRuSp) of the language in which you will be taking the exam.

Exam Format 

  • The exam consists of four sections: 1) Receptive activities: Listening; 2) Receptive activities: Reading; 3) Written production and interaction; and 4) Spoken production and interaction.
  • The oral part of the old LPE will be replaced by the spoken production and interaction part of the online exam, and no live interviewers will be involved.
  • Each section is worth 25 points. 
  • All sections will be completed on the United Nations Online Examinations & Tests System. 
  • The four sections will be divided into two ‘quizzes’ on the platform and candidates will be able to take a break between quizzes. 
    • Quiz 1: Listening and Reading (100 minutes) 
    • Quiz 2: Written and Spoken Production (120 minutes) 

LPE contact information
For inquiries from individuals at UNHQ: email
For inquiries from individuals based at other duty stations, please refer to list of participating LPELCs.