The purpose of the Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ (CoreCHI™) certification is to offer healthcare interpreters of any language a valid national professional standard that assesses their core professional knowledge as well as critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and cultural responsiveness skills and abilities needed to perform the duties of the healthcare interpreter. The main reason for operating this core certification is that interpreters of any language share the same core professional knowledge and cognitive skills distinguishing them from a speaker of two languages who is not an interpreter. The CoreCHI™ certification provides an equitable process for qualifying practitioners of any language at the foundational, basic level.

The CoreCHI™ examination is administered for two credentials:

  • the CoreCHI™ certification – for interpreters of languages for which there is no language-specific performance exam,
  • the CHI™ certification – for interpreters of Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin who must pass two exams – the CoreCHI™ exam and the respective language-specific performance CHI™exam.

The CoreCHI™ examination is time-limited and is 2 hours long. Before the examination is launched, candidates have 20-30 minutes for the proctor to explain the testing procedure, to read the directions and complete a brief demo in order to familiarize themselves with the exam interface and ascertain that the equipment and Internet connection are working properly. This preparatory time is not counted towards the examination time. After the actual exam is launched, the count-down timer located in the top left-hand corner of the screen will show the candidate how many minutes are left.

This knowledge-based exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions in English. The questions are about the main aspects of the medical interpreter profession. Each questions has four options with only one option being the correct answer.

Candidates can skip questions and return back to them. Questions can also be marked for review. Before candidates submit the test, if there is time left, they have an opportunity to go back and reviewed marked, skipped or all questions and change their answers.

The preliminary score for the CoreCHI™ examination is available immediately after the test is electronically submitted. And the proctor will print out the Score Report for the candidate.

The CoreCHI™ examination is administered year-around and delivered online in a secure proctored test center environment across the U.S. Please locate a test center nearest to you before you apply. The list of the test centers can be found here.

If the candidate experiences any issues (including technical issues) during the testing that were not resolved at the test center AND that they feel will affect the outcome of the exam, the candidate must notify the proctor before they leave the test center and ask the proctor to file an issue report with CCHI. The candidate must ALSO contact CCHI separately at within 24 hours of taking their exam to report any issue(s). All communication with CCHI about testing experience must be in writing.

CCHI updates the exam content domains and weightings based on the job task analysis study which is conducted every 6-7 years. Candidates will be informed in advance of any changes to the exam content domains and/or weightings. The full text of the current CoreCHI™ Exam Specifications is available here.

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