CCHI Community:Certified Interpreters

Eligibility Criteria


To apply for CCHI’s credential programs, healthcare interpreters must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have at least a U.S. high school diploma (or GED) or its equivalent from another country.
  • Have at least 40 hours of healthcare interpreter training (academic or non-academic program).
  • Have linguistic proficiency in English and the primary language for which they are seeking a credential.
     

* Please review CCHI's Disciplinary Policy for information related to ineligibility of applicants with criminal charges or convictions.

CCHI’s Candidate's Examination Handbook provides detailed information about each of these eligibility requirements.

The CCHI Application provides a way for you to state that you meet CCHI’s eligibility requirements. CCHI requires applicants to upload documentation evidencing that they meet the above requirements in the online application in an electronic format (scanned as a pdf or jpg file). By completing and submitting the application, an interpreter is agreeing that they have original documentation for all requirements, including language proficiency, and would be able to quickly and easily provide this documentation, if audited by CCHI. Documentation of requirements and periodic, random audits of those who earn CCHI credentials is necessary for CCHI to achieve and sustain status as an accredited certification program for professionals in healthcare interpreting.

 

Healthcare Interpreter Training


For the requirement related to healthcare interpreter training, CCHI accepts documentation of any combination of the following:

  • Completing academic or non-academic training;
  • Adding up hours from multiple courses related to healthcare interpreting;
  • Completing continuing education courses;
  • Developing or teaching interpreter training courses; or
  • On-the-job training (including formal training classes and shadowing or being shadowed by experienced interpreters).

For the on-the-job training to be accepted, the provided documentation should include:

  • healthcare interpreting topics that have been covered during the on-the-job training, for example, "Medical terminology", "Consecutive Interpreting", "Healthcare Interpreters Code of Ethics", etc. 
  • number of hours for each of the topics and the dates this training took place. Any hours dedicated to shadowing should be spelled out, and shadowing cannot be all 40 hours. CCHI reserves the right to request for the employer's official statement confirming the on-the-job training before approving the application.

 

As an alternative, CCHI also accepts the following training:

  • Attending interpreter conferences at which you participated in workshops that discussed issues related to the practice of interpreting – maximum of 5 hours allowed.
  • Completing interpreter training courses not focused on healthcare (e.g., court, community, conference) or completing training in the health profession (e.g. nursing, occupational therapy, social work) – maximum of 5 hours allowed.

CCHI recognizes that there is some overlap between healthcare interpreting and other interpreting and training for health professionals.  However, there are also significant differences in the ethics, standards of practice and terminology utilized.  Thus, CCHI allows applicants to count some of these non-healthcare interpreter related experiences towards CCHI’s 40 hour healthcare interpreter training requirement.  More information about what is allowed is explained in CCHI’s Certification Examination Handbook.

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 Linguistic Proficiency

CCHI requires that you upload documentation (in an electronic format) evidencing your language proficiency in English and the other language (i.e. primary language of interpreting) in the application. If you wish to submit several documents as evidence of proficiency in one language, please scan them as 1 (one) file in a pdf or jpg format.

Adequate mastery of two languages is the baseline proficiency necessary to consider serving as a healthcare interpreter. Evidence of at least one of the following will meet the proficiency requirements:

 

English Proficiency

  • A high school diploma, or its equivalent, from an English speaking country (diploma or transcript as long as the country of origin can be established).
  • Successful completion of extensive coursework at the post-secondary level, resulting in a degree, with the majority of classes conducted in English.
  • Time spent studying and/or working in an English speaking country, where you were required on a daily basis to perform tasks at a professional level in English.
  • Successfully passing any English language proficiency test from a reputable testing organization.
  • Successful passage of an established interpreter/translator certification exam (that includes a language-specific performance test), such as:
    • The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam (FCICE);
    • Any National Center for State Court (NCSC) exam;
    • Other national or state certification exams, e.g., ATA, BEI, NAJIT, NBCMI, RID, State of Washington Medical Interpreter Certification.

 

Other Language Proficiency (documents must be translated into English)

  • A high school diploma, or its equivalent, with classes taught in your other language (diploma or transcript as long as the country of origin can be established).
  • Successful completion of extensive coursework at the post-secondary level, with the majority of classes conducted in the other language.
  • Time spent studying and/or working in a country where you were required on a daily basis to perform tasks at a professional level in the other language.
  • Successfully passing any English language proficiency test from a reputable testing organization.
  • Successful passage of an established interpreter/translator certification exam (that includes a language-specific performance test), such as:
    • The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam (FCICE);
    • Any National Center for State Court (NCSC) exam;
    • Other national or state certification exams, e.g., ATA, BEI, NAJIT, NBCMI, RID, State of Washington Medical Interpreter Certification.
  • Refugee status documentation (if above documentation is not available due to refugee experience).