Paragon Testing Enterprises, a subsidiary of UBC

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About Paragon

Our Background:

Paragon Testing Enterprises is a subsidiary of The University of British Columbia (UBC) that was created in 2009 to commercialize the university’s English proficiency tests.




Our Mission:

Paragon’s mission is to make its English language proficiency tests the tests of choice for those wishing to immigrate to Canada, to become Canadian citizens, or to study in Canada at all levels. This is done by emphasizing the quality of Paragon’s tests and its test research program that is conducted through collaboration with internationally recognized scholars at Canada’s leading universities and its position as a Canadian company competing against large international testing agencies.


Our Business:

Paragon currently administers three tests: the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) Test, the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment, and the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) Test.

The CELPIP Test is offered in two versions including one version for applicants for permanent residence in Canada and one version for applicants for Canadian citizenship. The CELPIP Tests for Canadian permanent residence and citizenship have been officially designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as evidence of English language proficiency.

The CAEL Assessment is a standardized academic test that is accepted for entrance to academic institutions across Canada and the United States as well as to several international institutions. The test is also accepted at a number of professional associations, including the Canadian Veterinary Association, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), and TESL Ontario.

The LPI Test is offered for placement in or admission to post-secondary institutions in British Columbia or Alberta or for membership in a number of professional associations. Paragon also develops, delivers, and licenses in partnership with other organizations written and online study materials, test preparation programs, and test delivery and registration software.


Our Growth and Investment in Test Research and Development:

In the past five years Paragon has grown very significantly. This growth can be evidenced by the following advancements in Paragon’s size, influence, and scope:

  • A rapid increase in the number of test takers (from hundreds to tens of thousands per year)
  • An increase in the number of test centres across Canada (from 2 to 25, including one at Paragon headquarters that was opened in 2014)
  • An increase in the number of test sittings
  • An increase in research projects on test performance
  • The release of new instructional products and preparation programs
  • An increase in the hiring of new Raters (from 10 to more than 100)
  • The implementation of major enhancements to test delivery and registration software
  • The tripling of the number of full-time employees and the size of Paragon’s office space

This growth is now focused not only on further expanding Paragon’s market share in terms of numbers of test takers and adoption of instructional products and preparation programs, but also on exploring the development and delivery of English language and other types of tests throughout Canada and internationally as well as the use of other test delivery platforms.

In the previous fiscal year, Paragon invested about half of its test development resources on long term research and development for its current tests. This emphasis on long term development, new innovative assessment methods, and continuing improvement to all aspects of Paragon’s assessment system will continue as Paragon seeks to consolidate its position as Canada’s premier language assessment organization and seeks to establish itself as a world class participant in the field of language assessment.


Our Location and Employees:

Paragon’s headquarters are located in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the company currently employs over 200  full- and part-time employees, raters, and contractors. Paragon offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to employees and their eligible dependents. It also has a company-wide profit-sharing plan for full-time employees, a professional development program, and financial support for conference attendance, research, and publication related to its tests.


>> Meet Paragon’s Board of Directors