Certificate in Spanish for Health Professionals


Purpose: A competency certificate for health professionals

Certificate holders are independent users of the language. They have acquired specific knowledge of the language for the medical field—they are able to communicate effectively in daily life situations and to handle basic administrative aspects in the healthcare provider setting.

Who is it for?

Any students or professionals who work in Spanish or will be required to communicate in Spanish in the healthcare field, and wish to validate their acquired knowledge with a certificate.

This certificate is intended in particular for healthcare facility personnel working in any position requiring them to communicate with Spanish-speakers orally or in writing.


The Certificate in Spanish for Health Professionals is a validation of competences in Spanish at the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This level corresponds to approximately 250 hours of language study.


Understanding and processing information:

The candidate is able to understand the essential elements of simple, common professional reports, texts and documents in the medical/healthcare field.

The candidate is able to understand the essential elements of a message that is predictable–in form and content– face to face or over the telephone, within the scope of his/her professional experience.

The candidate is able to gather elements from several support documents and organize them in a given format; write common types of messages related to familiar social and professional activities.

Communicating orally:

The candidate is able to take part in exchanges about familiar topics in his/her professional context, describe what he/she is doing, exchange factual information, discuss an option and provide explanations in practical situations concerning known topics.

Examples of activities and topics:

Activities:  Assisting patients; greeting, informing and guiding patients or visitors; setting up a consultation/appointment/interview; taking notes from a phone conversation; understanding basic instruction related to medical practice; writing basic correspondence (messages, service notes, notices, etc.); understanding patient records/admission forms; filling out basic health questionnaires.

Themes: Healthcare, medical, social context, patient reception and guidance, patient records.

Test components:

The Certificate in Spanish for Health Professionals B1 consists of two sections that must be taken together during one exam session:

Written activities: 90 minutes

Oral activities: 15 minutes

Total exam duration: 1hr 45mins

Written activities:

Task 1. Reading comprehension (20 minutes)

  • Answering multiple choice questions (10 minutes / 10 points).
  • Completing a text/a sentence (10 minutes / 10 points).

This part of the test will be structured to include informative texts dealing with common health and medical issues in Spain and Latin America.

Task 2. Language and structure (30 minutes)

  • Completing sentences with the correct option (20 points)

Task 3. Written production (40 minutes)

  • Writing short messages (memorandum, internal communication notes, etc.); filling out forms based on a prompt (15 minutes / 5 points)
  • Writing a simple letter in the appropriate format (25 minutes / 15 points)


Oral activities: 

  • Reading a written text outloud (8 minutes / 5 points)
  • Conversation with the jury about the text (7 minutes / 15 points)

Minimum scores to earn the certificate:

  • Written………………..  30 points
  • Oral ………………….     10 points
  • Total …………………….40 points


Recommended preparation:

SPAN 313. Spanish for Health Professionals. 3 Units.
Designed for students who are majoring in–or considering a major in–a health-related field. Focus on the vocabulary and expressions needed for the workplace, task-based practical skills, and grammatical structures. Prereq: SPAN 202 or equivalent.


Details at: http://www.camaramadrid.es/certificados

If you have questions, contact eif@case.edu