English Language Proficiency Requirements

At Red Deer Polytechnic, we support a diverse student population from around the world. 

Applicants who declare English as their first language are exempt from English Language Proficiency requirements. 

Certain RDP programs have unique English Language Proficiency requirements. Ensure you review the program-specific requirements below. Applicants must also meet all other program admission requirements to be considered for admission into the program. 
Applicants applying to the Academic Upgrading program are not required to demonstrate English Language Proficiency at the levels noted for credit programs. Placement assessments are used for admission to these programs. 

Understanding RDP's English Language Proficiency Requirements 

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) for admission to credit programs by providing official documentation to the Office of the Registrar by email or by regular mail, after you have submitted an online application.   

  • All English Language Proficiency tests must have been obtained within two years of the date you start the program. 

  • The Office of the Registrar can review your “unofficial” or scanned documents to initially admit you to a program and provide a Letter of Acceptance. However, you must provide official documentation to the Office of the Registrar before the first day of classes. This is a critical step in the admission process, and you will not be granted “clear” admission until this step has been completed. 

Requirements by Program

Health Programs

Please read the following information if you wish to apply for one of the following RDP programs: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - collaboration with University of Alberta 

  • Bachelor of Kinesiology and Sport Studies – University Transfer 

  • Kinesiology and Sport Studies Diploma 

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Transition Program 

  • Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate 

  • Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma 

  • Pharmacy Technician Diploma 

  • Practical Nurse Diploma 

  • Pre-Health Sciences Certificate 

Applicants whose first language is not English must present one of the following English Language Proficiency requirements to be eligible for admission:   

  1. Graduation from a high school in Canada with three consecutive, first language English courses/credits; or 

  2. An undergraduate degree from a university in Canada, whose instruction was provided in English; or  

  3. TOEFL or IELTS minimum scores as listed in the chart below: 

92 iBT or 580 PBT 7.0 overall with at least 6.5 on each band score

Note: Applicants to the Pharmacy Technician Program must also meet the language proficiency requirements of the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities.

Health Care Aide Certificate

Applicants whose first language is not English must present one of the following English Language Proficiency requirements to be eligible for admission to the Health Care Aide program:

  1. By completing high school in Canada.  Students must have been in English at an approved Canadian high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) with at least three consecutive years of full-time academic study; or
  2. By completing a recognized post-secondary degree or diploma program in Canada. The program must have involved at least two full years of full-time, consecutive academic study in English; or
  3. Approved English Proficiency Test in chart below: 
IELTS Academic6.0 with at least 5.5 on each band score
CELPIP General7 with no section score below 6
CLBMinimum of 7 in each of the 4 language skills
CELBAN7 in each area
All Other RDP Programs

Applicants whose first language is not English must present one of the following English Language Proficiency requirements to be eligible for admission:  

1. Successful completion of three years full-time education in English at a secondary or post-secondary level:

  • Completed within Canada including the grade 12 year.
  • Completed in another country where English is recognized as an official language of instruction, and it is noted on the official transcript.
  • Completed at a recognized school or institution which uses English as the primary language of instruction.
  • A Medium of Instruction letter may be necessary to verify this.
  • Enrolment in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses or programs will not be included in the calculation of three years of full-time study. Enrolment must be in a regular high school or post-secondary credit program.

2. Successful completion of English Language Arts (ELA) 30-1 or equivalent with a minimum grade of 60%. Equivalent English Language Arts 30-1 courses are available through RDP’s Academic Upgrading program.

3. Successful completion of the ILAC University Pathway Program (Level 3.2 or 3.3) with a minimum grade of 70%.

4. Successful completion of one of the recognized English Language Proficiency Tests in the chart below: 

RDP Program TOEFLIELTS AcademicCAELMETPTEDuolingo English Test
Early Learning and ChildcareN/A6.5 with at least 6.0 on each band scoreN/AN/AN/A115
Bachelor of Education100 iBT  
600 PBT 
8.0 with at least 7.5 on each band score80 with at least 75 on each band score70 with at least 64 on each band score76115
All other programs83 iBT  
557 PBT 
6.5 with at least 5.5 on each band score60 with at least 55 on each band score61 with at least 58 on each band score59 with at least 56 on each band score115