We require applicants to have completed 40 hours of interpreter training specifically related to health care. By “training,” we mean learning in an instructor-led environment, including online self-paced modules.

The following activities are not accepted as CE by CCHI:

  • actual interpreting or translating or working as a bilingual employee (i.e., performing your job),
  • preparing for an assignment (any research or self-study that an interpreter would do to be ready to interpret in a new setting or on a new subject matter),
  • self-study,
  • taking an examination for another certification or language proficiency (i.e., proof that a person has taken an examination does not constitute proof that they completed 40 hours of training in healthcare interpreting.

Interpreting experience is not accepted as a substitute for training. Applicants are not required to have work experience prior to taking the examinations.

Any combination of the following is accepted:

  • Completing academic courses in medical interpreting;
  • Completing non-academic training courses in medical interpreting;
  • Adding up hours from multiple courses or conference sessions 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).

At this time, CCHI does not have any time limitations on when interpreter training was completed (i.e., interpreter training completed several years ago is accepted). However, we strongly encourage candidates to review recent publications and resources related to the healthcare interpreter’s standards of practice and working in all modalities (in-person and remote).

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

  • Healthcare interpreting topics that have been covered during the 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 mostly hours dedicated to debriefing/discussion of the shadowing experience are counted as training hours.
  • Simply interpreting in different settings does not constitute on-the-job training.
  • The document must be presented on the employer’s letterhead and signed by an authorized person.
  • CCHI reserves the right to request for the employer’s official statement confirming the on-the-job training before approving the application.

The following is accepted as alternative trainings by CCHI:

  • Attending interpreter/translator conferences at which you participated in workshops that discussed issues related to the practice of interpreting (in any settings) or translation – 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.

We recognize that there is some overlap between healthcare interpreter training and training for other interpreters or healthcare professionals. However, there are also significant differences in the ethics, standards of practice, and terminology used among the respective fields. That said, we do allow applicants to count a few other kinds of experience towards CCHI’s 40-hour healthcare interpreter training requirement.  More information about what is allowed is explained in CCHI Candidate’s Examination Handbook.

Click on the button below to view some prerequisite training programs advertised by training providers on our website. The listed programs are offered just as examples; CCHI does not approve or accredit prerequisite programs.

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