The Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ and Certified Healthcare Interpreter™ credentials are valid for four years from the date when CCHI granted/issued the certification credential. Certificants must have 40 hours of work experience and complete 32 hours of continuing education within the four year period during which their certification is valid, in order to maintain their certification. As long as the individual completes these requirements, the individual will not need to retake CCHI’s examinations. Detailed information about renewing your certification credential can be found in CCHI Candidate's Examination Handbook.
Why does CCHI have certification renewal requirements?
CCHI established specific certification renewal requirements in order to assure that certified interpreters keep abreast of the profession’s development and, at a minimum, maintain their skills at the level achieved at certification. CCHI defines continuing competence as the level of certificant’s knowledge at a minimum equal to the level at the time of their assessment, i.e. “A person who is able to perform the functions of a healthcare interpreter competently, independently, and unsupervised in any setting and in any modality where health care is provided, with the knowledge, skill, and ability required to relay messages accurately from a source language to a target language in a culturally competent manner and in accordance with established ethical standards.” At the same time, CCHI’s continuing education requirement allow for certificant’s professional growth.
CCHI acknowledges that technological and logistical changes within the healthcare interpreter profession occur at a steady pace. At the same time, interpreting skills require continuous practice to be maintained at an adequate level. In order to determine the optimal length for the certification validity, CCHI Commissioners have considered several factors:
- opinions gathered input from the Advisory Panel;
- the speed of profession’s change;
- review of the current requirements among the related interpreting specialties, such as court interpreter certification and certification of interpreters for the deaf;
- empirical data about deterioration of interpreting skills (e.g. especially of the simultaneous interpreting skills as researched by conference interpreters);
- rather continuous pace of organizational/policy changes in health care which requires interpreters to stay abreast of the new regulations and safety protocols that apply to the job in healthcare environment.
To view a webinar explaining the Certification Renewal process, click here.
Important Update! Effective July 1, 2016
The Commissioners have updated CCHI’s Continuing Education (CE) Requirements related to the type of CE hours required of CoreCHI™ and CHI™ certificants for maintaining their certification. After a careful analysis of the current situation with the continuing education for healthcare interpreters, taking into account the feedback from various stakeholders and CCHI’s dedication to professionalization of the field and raising the bar for interpreter training, the Commissioners made the following decision: starting July 1, 2016, CoreCHI™ and CHI™ certificants need to obtain a minimum of 2 CE hours every two-year cycle that correspond to performance based training. For more information, click here.
Who is affected by this change? All certificants whose year 2 or year 4 of certification expires on or after July 1, 2016.
What is performance based training? It is training aimed to improve the healthcare interpreter's skills in the three modes of interpreting - consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation. For more information, click here.
CCHI's Certification Renewal Process
- CCHI requires you to submit two online renewal applications. The first application covers the renewal requirements for the first two years of your certification. The second application covers the renewal requirements for the second two years of your certification.
- You can submit these applications consecutively, i.e. as soon as you have completed the renewal requirements for each two-year period. You can also wait and submit both applications simultaneously, but no later than 30 days before your certification expires. We are providing both options to allow interpreters to have their first two years of experience and continuing education approved before the two year period ends. This approval is optional.
- The fee to submit each renewal application is $150. Both renewal applications, once submitted, will cover the total four-year renewal cost of $300. CCHI has structured the cost to enable interpreters to pay the renewal fee in two payments corresponding with the submission of each renewal application. Interpreters need to pay $150 when they submit the first renewal application covering activities for the first two years of their certification. They then pay the remaining $150 when they submit the second renewal application covering activities for the second two years of their certification.
When a certifcation credential is renewed for an additional period of four years, the certification renewal date will be four years from the date the certifcation credential was initially awarded regardless of when the renewal application is submitted.
Certificants can access their renewal applications by logging into their CCHI Profile at: https://cchi.learningbuilder.com.
CCHI is not able to answer questions about specific training activities before you submit your renewal application. We encourage you to submit your application as soon as you are ready, and we will correspond with you about your activities after your renewal application is submitted.
Requirements for Work Experience
CCHI requires that individuals who receive CCHI’s CoreCHI™ or CHI™ certification must document 40 hours of healthcare interpreting experience as a condition of certification renewal. The healthcare interpreting experience must be divided into two two-year cycles: 20 hours must be in years one and two, and 20 hours - in years three and four. The work experience may be as an employee/staff, contractor/freelancer, volunteer, or combination thereof.
Requirements for Continuing Education
All CoreCHI™ or CHI™ certificants must complete continuing education to maintain their certification. The continuing education requirement is 32 actual hours (classroom or contact) during the four-year period for which the individual’s certification is valid. To ensure that certificants pursue continuing education in a consistent manner and with the goal to maintain or improve their job performance, the following two conditions must be met regarding these 32 CE hours:
- The 32 CE hours must be evenly distributed in two two-year cycles: 16 CE hours must be completed in the first two years after the certification is granted, and 16 CE hours – in the second two-year cycle.
- Out of the 16 CE hours of every two-year cycle, a minimum of two (2) CE hours must be in performance based training which is defined as training aimed to improve the healthcare interpreter's skills in the three interpreting modes - consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation. For more information, click here.
CCHI recommends that each certificant develops a personal CE plan to target the areas of knowledge and performance in which they need improvement. Certificants are allowed to take CE courses in the same knowledge/skill areas every two years (e.g. 8 hours in terminology and 8 hours in consecutive interpreting). However, certificants are not allowed to take the same CE course in the next two-year cycle ("same" means the course with the same title, delivered by the same instructor(s), and of the same duration as the course submitted for CE credit in the previous two-year cycle).
CCHI accepts various types of continuing education programs that are delivered at any venue – classroom, online (as webinars or online training modules), conference sessions, or workshops.
Continuing Education Guidelines
CCHI defines continuing education for healthcare interpreters as courses or instruction which are beyond a beginner-level difficulty and align with any or all of the knowledge and skill domains which define the job of the healthcare interpreter.
For the information about examples of Accepted CE topics - click here.
Requirements for Documenting Continuing Education
CCHI accepts a variety of documents from certificants as proof of CE. Click here to read about our requirements.
If a certificant is a trainer or instructor and is asking for CE credits for training they deliver, they must meet the following requirements:
- The training must qualify as CE (i.e. be beyond beginner-level complexity; basic/introductory courses or courses preparing for certification are not accepted);
- The training must follow the above subject guidelines;
- The credential holders must provide proof of having a minimum of 80 hours of training experience at the time of the credential renewal application (minimum of 40 hours of training interpreters and 40 doing any other type of training).
CCHI guarantees acceptance of appropriately furnished proof of CE only for CEAP-accredited CE courses because such courses have undergone a thorough review process and meet CCHI's renewal criteria. However, CCHI does not require that certificants complete only CEAP-accredited CE courses.
CCHI will accept all CE courses that meet CCHI's requirements for continuing education as described here as long as sufficient information for the evaluation is provided by the certificant. It is the responsibility of the certificant to provide information about a CE course that is sufficient for CCHI to make an evaluation as to whether the course meets CCHI's CE requirements. The information needed for the evaluation may include, but is not limited to, the course description, agenda, syllabus, student handouts, etc. This information may be required in addition to the document verifying the certificant's completion of the course (i.e. certificate of attendance/completion, badge, etc.), especially if the title of the course does not indicate a specific subject matter or the level of complexity (i.e. continuing education vs. beginner-level/basic training).