Setting the Standard for Quality in Healthcare Interpreting

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Healthcare Interpreters

The CoreCHI™ and CHI™ are the nation's highest certification credentials available to healthcare interpreters

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Hospitals &
Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers choose CCHI certified interpreters - CoreCHI™ and CHI™ - as their preferred means of ensuring language access. Join us and demonstrate your commitment to quality care and patient safety.

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Language Service Providers

Healthcare providers depend on you to have trained and qualified interpreters. It is just smart business to validate your hiring practices and training with CCHI credentials.

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Training Providers

Healthcare interpreters and providers choose CCHI accredited continuing education programs. CCHI accreditation ensures your program's credibility and visibility.

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04.25.2017

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters

Renewal Resources

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions about CCHI's Continuing Education Requirements

  1. If I teach a class in Spanish Medical Interpreting, does that count towards the Continuing Education requirement?
  2. If I teach a class in Medical Interpreting (non-language specific), does that count towards the Continuing Education requirement?
  3. If I teach a Medical Translation course, does that count?
  4. If I take a Medical Translation course, does that count?
  5. If I serve as an interpreting or language services coordinator at my organization/agency, does that count?
  6. If I attend a healthcare interpreting conference, will it count?
  7. Will CCHI accept continuing education credits given by interpreter associations (e.g., IMIA, TAPIT, TAHIT)?
  8. If I present at a healthcare interpreting conference on a topic related to healthcare interpreting, will that count?
  9. If I present at a non-healthcare interpreting association conference (e.g., NAJIT, ATA, RID, etc.), will that count?
  10. If I attend at lectures or courses offered by clinicians that are educational related to healthcare generally although not specific to healthcare interpreting, does this count?
  11. If my organization hosts forums for interpreters for professional development, does this count?
  12. Does CCHI accept courses that offer CEUs/CEs to allied health professionals?
  13. I attended a symposium on a healthcare topic that gave CEUs to nurses. Can I count this towards CCHI’s continuing education requirements?
  14. Does CCHI accept CEUs from the American Translators Association?
  15. Does CCHI accept webinar and distance learning as continuing education?

 


1. If I teach a class in Spanish Medical Interpreting, does that count towards the Continuing Education requirement?

Yes. But you may only count the actual hours spent teaching, and not the time you spent preparing to teach or updating your teaching materials (assuming you may teach the same course(s) multiple times). CCHI allows you to count up to a maximum of 16 hours of teaching towards CCHI’s 32-hour requirement – 8 hours in years 1 & 2, and 8 hours in years 3 & 4. The remainder of your continuing education requirements must be met through other continuing education requirements.

 

2. If I teach a class in Medical Interpreting (non-language specific), does that count towards the Continuing Education requirement?

Yes. But you may only count the actual hours spent teaching, and not the time you spent preparing to teach or updating your teaching materials (assuming you may teach the same course(s) multiple times). CCHI allows you to count up to a maximum of 16 hours of teaching towards CCHI’s 32-hour requirement – 8 hours in years 1 & 2, and 8 hours in years 3 & 4. The remainder of your continuing education requirements must be met through other continuing education requirements.

 

3. If I teach a Medical Translation course, does that count?

Yes, but only 2 hours. Because the translation component of CCHI’s oral performance examination is so minor, we do not want you to focus continuing education on translation. Further, while CCHI’s Job Task Analysis noted that most interpreters are currently required to translate some simple information (e.g., discharge instructions), CCHI believes that interpreters should not be expected to do this as part of the job of healthcare interpreting. Interpreting and translation require different knowledge, skills and abilities. CCHI intends to continue educating the field and hopes that developments in the field will lead to a change in practice such that interpreters are no longer expected to translate documents.

 

4. If I take a Medical Translation course, does that count?

Yes, but only 2 hours, for the same reasons as stated above in the answer to Question 3.

 

5. If I serve as an interpreting or language services coordinator at my organization/agency, does that count?

No. CCHI expects that the requirement to undertake continuing education will further your knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be an effective healthcare interpreter. Thus, performing expected job tasks will not count towards continuing education.

 

6. If I attend a healthcare interpreting conference, will it count?

Yes, but only sessions related to the knowledge, skills and abilities required of healthcare interpreters may be counted towards continuing education.

The following is a list of likely NOT acceptable workshop topics:

  • recordkeeping for tax purposes;
  • invoicing;
  • translation, focused on non-healthcare topics;
  • managing interpreters or translators;
  • the business case for language services/interpreting;
  • language access management solutions; and
  • preparing for certification.

These likely will not count because it is not directly related to the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for healthcare interpreting.

To document your attendance at a healthcare interpreter conference, you need to obtain a certificate of attendance for each workshop or a signed statement from each workshop presenter.

 

7. Will CCHI accept continuing education credits given by interpreter associations (e.g., IMIA, TAPIT, TAHIT)?

Yes, as long as you have documentation from these conferences. CCHI will not accept registration confirmation or a receipt of payment for conference attendance. Rather, the documentation must specify which workshop(s) you attended and the number of credits granted.  For a template to document your attendance, click here.

For example, you are registered to attend a two-day healthcare interpreter conference. Over the two days, the total number of hours of the conference is 16. You may not simply report 16 hours of attendance to count towards continuing education. Rather, you must document which workshops you attended so that CCHI can evaluate if they are related to the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for healthcare interpreting. See the answer to Question 6 above for the types of acceptable topics.

 

8. If I present at a healthcare interpreting conference on a topic related to healthcare interpreting, will that count?

Yes, if the topic focuses on the knowledge, skills and abilities required of healthcare interpreters. But you may only count the actual hours spent presenting, and not the time you spent preparing to present or updating your presentation materials (assuming you may present on the same topic(s) multiple times).

For example, if you present on topics such as interpreters’ professional demeanor or ethics, HIPAA, laws related to healthcare interpreting, these will count because these topics are directly related to the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by healthcare interpreters to perform the job of healthcare interpreting. If you present on issues related to how to conduct recordkeeping for tax purposes or invoicing, this will not count because it is not directly related to the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for healthcare interpreting.

 

9. If I present at a non-healthcare interpreting association conference (e.g., NAJIT, ATA, RID, etc.), will that count?

It depends on the subject of your presentation. Generally, since these conferences are not focused on healthcare but on judiciary/court interpreters or translation, presenting on a topic of interest to these conference attendees will often not be healthcare related. For example, you may present on a topic related to forensic interpreting. While forensics has health as a part of it, healthcare interpreters are generally not expected to interpret forensic information and thus this will not count towards CCHI’s continuing education requirements. If the topic is primarily focused on issues that arise in healthcare interpreting, the presentation may count towards CCHI’s continuing education requirements but this likely will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

 

10. If I attend lectures or courses offered by clinicians that are educational related to healthcare generally although not specific to healthcare interpreting, does this count?

Yes, as long as these lectures or courses, which may include brown bag lunches, address issues related to the knowledge, skills and abilities required of healthcare interpreting. Topics can include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, treatment of diseases/conditions, healthcare ethics, etc.

 

11. If my organization hosts forums for interpreters for professional development, does this count?

Yes, if these topics are focused on healthcare interpreting and the knowledge, skills or abilities required of healthcare interpreters. You may want to review the information under the answer to Question 6 for information about what topics will be acceptable.

 

12. Does CCHI accept courses that offer CEUs/CEs to allied health professionals?

Yes, as long as the topic is related to healthcare and is one that will improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of healthcare interpreters. Examples of courses would include those focusing on certain medical conditions or diseases, treatment options, obtaining informed consent, working with a healthcare provider team, etc.  Examples of courses that would not count include CPR and first aid-while these are important skills to have, they do not improve your skills and abilities to perform as a healthcare interpreter.

 

13. I attended a symposium on a healthcare topic that gave CEUs to nurses. Can I count this towards CCHI’s continuing education requirements?

Yes, even if the program will not offer CEUs or CEs to healthcare interpreters. Sometimes, the licensing or accrediting guidelines of other organizations related to continuing education limit to whom CEUs or CEs may be granted. While you may not receive official CEUs or CEs, you should still have the organizer or presenter sign a statement confirming your attendance at the symposium.

 

14. Does CCHI accept CEUs from the American Translators Association?

Yes. We accept the ATA's CEUs related to healthcare interpreting as long as they comply with CCHI's CE guidelines.  We also accept up to 2 hours of continuing education translation topics related to health care.

 

15. Does CCHI accept webinar and distance learning as continuing education?

Yes, if confirmation of attendance-and not merely registration or log-in - is provided by an instructor or sponsor. CCHI will not accept an individual's registration confirmation for webinars or distance learning because registration does not confirm actual attendance. Individuals should note that many webinar or distance learning sponsors cannot confirm an individual's actual attendance since logging in to a webinar does not necessarily confirm the individual actually attends the webinar. Thus, individuals many not want to rely on this mode on continuing education unless a sponsor has methods of determining actual attendance. For CCHI-accredited online courses, please go to www.CEAPcchi.org.


CCHI's Continuing Education Guidelines

CCHI acknowledges that interpreting skills require continuous practice to be maintained at an adequate level.  Therefore, each certificant is required to obtain a minimum of 2 (two) CE hours in any performance based (skill-building) training every two years.  At the same time, each certificant may count only up to 14 (fourteen) CE hours in a non-performance based training every two years.

Certificants are allowed to take CE courses in the same areas every two years (e.g. 10 hours in terminology and 6 hours in consecutive interpreting).  However, CCHI recommends that each certificant develops a personal CE plan to target the areas of knowledge and performance in which they need improvement.

 

If a certificant is a trainer or instructor and is asking for credit for training, they must meet the following requirements:

 

  1. The training must qualify as CE (i.e. be beyond beginner-level complexity; basic/introductory courses or courses preparing for certification are not accepted);
  2. The training must follow the above subject guidelines;
  3. The certificant must provide proof of having a minimum of 80 hours of training experience at the time of the certification renewal application (minimum of 40 hours of training interpreters and 40 doing any other type of training).


Accepted CE topics

CCHI accepts CE topics that are beyond-beginner level of complexity and address the essential body of knowledge that serves as the context for the healthcare interpreting profession and align with one or more of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for competent performance of the job of healthcare interpreters.

The following topics are suggestions of educational opportunities that are applicable toward continuing education.  Any subjects that do not fall into the recommended categories below will need to be evaluated by CCHI to determine relevancy for continued professionalism and growth for a credentialed healthcare interpreter.

 

  1. Manage an Interpreting Encounter
    • The healthcare interpreter profession: New developments, innovations, current issues
    • Healthcare Interpreter Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice (controversial issues, ethical dilemmas)
    • Ethical decision-making (including, appropriate protocols, interpreting modes in complex situations, HIPAA and patient safety issues)
    • Communication elements, e.g. public speaking, interviewing techniques, mediation, conflict de-escalation/resolution, communication in sensitive interpersonal situations, assertive communication techniques, active listening skills, etc.
    • Critical thinking

  2. Understand Healthcare Terminology
    • Intermediate healthcare terminology in both working languages
    • Advanced healthcare terminology in both working languages
    • Any healthcare specialty presentation (presentations by healthcare specialists for healthcare or allied professionals which give interpreters the background information and English terminology, e.g. new surgical procedure)

  3. Interact with Other Healthcare Professionals
    • Healthcare system: innovations, specialties,  comparison of the U.S. system with another country, healthcare insurance plans
    • Patient advocacy
    • Healthcare interviews
    • Medical and ethical decision-making
    • Medical team education and communication
    • Protocols and procedures of specialized areas of health care (e.g. Emergency Department protocols)
    • Community outreach by healthcare professionals to non-English-speaking communities and special populations needs
    • Language access issues, including communication barriers to accessing health care, Title VI
    • Working effectively with an interpreter
    • Identifying the most effective interpreting modality for a given healthcare encounter

  4. Prepare for an Interpreting Encounter
    • Laws and regulations pertaining to healthcare interpreting and health care: updates, current issues
    • Healthcare interpreter’s role and role boundaries: recognizing situations when to decline an assignment
    • U.S.  healthcare culture and principles of Western biomedicine
    • Safety protocols, personal protective gear, and universal precautions in health care
    • Methods of researching new terminology and finding appropriate equivalents in a target language
    • Memory skills development
    • Note-taking techniques
    • Creating effective professional improvement and development plans for healthcare interpreter
    • Interpreter self-care (secondary traumatization, etc.)

  5. Demonstrate Cultural Responsiveness
    • Cultural brokering
    • Cross-cultural communication skills
    • Health beliefs and practices of specific populations with a non-English native language
    • Spirituality (in the context of health and health care)
    • Culture-specific communication étiquette (interpersonal, public  vs. private, etc.)
    • Cultural barriers to accessing health care

  6. Interpret Consecutively
    • Consecutive interpreting skill-building with a specific healthcare specialty focus (e.g. interpreting in Labor and Delivery, during a gastroenterology consult, at a dental appointment, etc.)
    • Language-specific skill-building in consecutive interpreting
    • Consecutive interpreting skill-building in other settings (administrative hearings, court interpreting, conference interpreting)

  7. Interpret Simultaneously
    • Simultaneous interpreting skill-building with a specific healthcare specialty focus (e.g. interpreting in Emergency Department, during a mental health appointment, etc.)
    • Language-specific skill-building in simultaneous interpreting
    • Simultaneous interpreting skill-building in other settings (administrative hearings, court interpreting, conference interpreting)

  8. Sight Translate/Translate (Written) Healthcare Documents
    • Sight Translation skill-building with a specific healthcare specialty focus (e.g. patient education documents related to women’s health, etc.)
    • Sight Translation skill-building with a specific type of document focus (e.g. medical history forms; quasi-legal documents in health care – releases, waivers; grammatical peculiarities of healthcare documents, etc.)
    • Language-specific skill-building in sight translation
    • Sight Translation interpreting skill-building in other settings (administrative hearings or court interpreting)
    • Written Translation skill-building, limited to healthcare, medical, legal, and healthcare/auto insurance subject areas (only 2 hours are accepted)

  9. Demonstrate Near-native Language Proficiency in Working Languages
    • Slang
    • Regionalisms
    • Idiomatic expressions

 

Important:

CCHI guarantees acceptance of appropriately furnished proof of CE only for CCHI-accredited CE courses.CCHI will conduct an evaluation of the information provided about all other courses that are not accredited by CCHI, to ensure that it meets the requirements for CCHI’s CE as described here.