You may have heard the latest buzz around “accreditation” of certification programs, but what does it all mean? Just as healthcare interpreters work hard to get credentialed as “certified healthcare interpreters,” certification programs can also “get certified!” The process is called “accreditation” and, today, it is administered by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accreditation arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards by a third party and is awarded recognition when found in compliance with these standards. It’s more than just a voluntary membership in an association. Accreditation (and renewal of accreditation) involves a rigorous process that ensures the quality of examinations and certification offered by organizations like CCHI. In fact, NCCA accredited programs certify individuals in a wide range of professions and occupations, including nurses, pharmacists, counselors, EMTs, HR professionals, defense security specialists, and more. CCHI is proud to represent the healthcare interpreter profession as equal among other allied health professions.
As a 501(c)6 certifying body, CCHI has always recognized its obligation to follow not only the standards and best practices of the healthcare interpreting profession but also of the testing industry.
Today, CCHI is proud to offer the only nationally accredited certifications in the interpreting industry. NCCA’s accreditation validates all aspects of CCHI’s certification programs and CCHI as a certifying body:
- solid governance and operations, which demonstrate full autonomy and independence of any undue influence from any other body;
- financial and resource stability;
- continued quality improvement;
- security and confidentiality;
- transparency and fairness to the profession and public.
As our Founding Chair Mara Youdelman, J.D., put it in 2012, when we became the first NCCA-accredited program in the interpreting industry, “Our NCCA accreditation journey began on the day CCHI was launched, July 15, 2009, because we were 100 percent committed to creating the best, most valid, most credible professional certification for healthcare interpreters, which directly benefits patient safety, healthcare providers, and interpreters who work in more than 139 languages.”
CCHI is dedicated to supporting professional interpreters who value the power of education and certification. CCHI offers special pricing to interpreters who hold a certification in interpreting or translation from another organization and wish to get certified with CCHI as well. These interpreters will have to meet out application requirements and pass the relevant exam(s).