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Welsh Language Standards

Welsh Language Standards

Since 25 January 2017, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has committed to comply with the Welsh Language Standards, as set out by the Welsh Government under Section 44 of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.

The standards set out a number of ways in which the Commissioner must provide and promote services through the Welsh language and facilitate and encourage its use in the workplace.

The Welsh Language Standards that apply to the Commissioner are divided into four different categories:

  • Service Delivery
  • Policy Making
  • Operational
  • Record Keeping

The Standards that the Commissioner must comply with are available here.

The Commissioner has set out how the organisation will comply with the Standards, available here.

Annual Reports

Using the Welsh Language Internally

This policy sets out the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales’ internal arrangements for using the Welsh language in the workplace and details our commitment to promoting and facilitating the use of the language.

Standard 80 Assessments

Standards 80 and 82 of the Welsh Language Standards require the Commissioner to undertake an assessment of the need to offer an education course in Welsh. These assessments must then be published on the Commissioner’s website.

View the completed Standard 80 Assessments

Welsh Language complaints

Any complaints relating to the Commissioner’s compliance with the Welsh Language Standards or a failure on the Commissioner’s part to provide a bilingual service will be reported to the Commissioner and follow the Commissioner’s Complaints Procedure for Compliance with the Welsh Language Standards.

You also have a right to direct any complaints relating to the Welsh language to the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Older People and the Welsh Language 

The Welsh language plays a prominent part in the lives of many older people across Wales. It is vitally important that the Commissioner is able to offer services and support to older people in the language of their choice.

An estimated 219,000 older people in Wales (26%) speak some Welsh, 88,000 older people are fluent in Welsh, and another 34,000 speak ‘a fair amount’ of Welsh. This means that around 15% of older people in Wales speak ‘more than a little’ Welsh.(1)(2)

28% of fluent Welsh speakers aged over 65 – an estimated 21,000 older people – feel more comfortable speaking Welsh than English.(3) It is crucial that this is considered when planning services, particularly in health and social care, to ensure that people can use the language of their choice.(4) This can be particularly important for older people living with dementia, who may lose their second language (English) skills as their dementia progresses and can only communicate through the medium of Welsh.(5)


(1) Welsh Government (2021) National Survey for Wales: May 2020 to March 2021 https://gov.wales/national-survey-wales-may-2020-march-2021

(2) StatsWales (2021) Annual Population Survey – Ability to read, write and understand spoken Welsh by age, sex and year. Available at: https://statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/Welsh-Language/Annual-Population-Survey-Welsh-Language/welsh-skills-by-age-sex

(3) StatsWales (2020) Percentage of adults who speak Welsh (including the percentage that cannot speak Welsh and have some Welsh speaking ability) by local authority. Available at: https://statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/National-Survey-for-Wales/Culture-and-WelshLanguage/percentageofadultswhospeakwelshinclthepercentagethatcannotspeakwelshandhavesomewelshspeakingability-by-localauthority

(4) Welsh Government, (2015), Welsh language use in Wales, 2013-15, 26 November 2015. Available at: https://gov.wales/welsh-languageuse-survey-2013-2015

(5) Alzheimer’s Society Cymru & Welsh Language Commissioner (2018) Welsh Speakers Dementia Care, 7 November 2018

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