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 three credentials:

  • the CoreCHI™ certification – a knowledge credential for interpreters of languages for which there is no bilingual performance exam,
  • the bilingual CHI™ certification – performance credentials for interpreters of Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin who must pass two exams – the CoreCHI™ exam and the respective bilingual CHI™ performance exam,
  • the CoreCHI-Performance™ certification – a performance credential for interpreters of all other languages who must pass two exams – the CoreCHI™ exam and the monolingual ETOE™ performance exam.

The CoreCHI™ exam blueprint is developed based on the Job Task Analysis (JTA) study, which includes a national survey of practicing interpreters and validation by a panel of subject-matter experts, who are practicing interpreters (see the Report for the most recent JTA study (2022) and previous ones on the Publications page.)

The CoreCHI™ exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions in English , out of which 15 are unscored (CCHI collects data on these new questions before using them as scored items in future test forms). The questions are about the main aspects of the medical interpreter profession. Most questions represent job-based scenarios that a certified interpreter would encounter on the job. Each question has four options, and only one option is the correct or best answer. The best answer is defined as the one which a representative panel of peers, practicing certified interpreters, would agree, based on the current practice and understanding of the code of ethics, to be the most appropriate one in the specific situation.

The CoreCHI™ examination is time-limited and is 2 hours long. Before the examination questions are launched, candidates have 15 minutes to read the directions and the tutorial in order to familiarize themselves with the exam interface. This preparatory time is not counted towards the examination time. After the actual exam is launched, the count-down timer, located in the center of the gray header at top of the screen, will show the candidate how many minutes are left.

Candidates can skip questions and return back to them. Questions can also be marked (flagged) for review. Before candidates submit the test, if there is time left, they have an opportunity to go back and review marked (flagged), skipped or all questions, and change their answers. Candidates are not provided any paper or pencil for this exam.

The pass/fail result for the CoreCHI™ examination is available immediately after the test is electronically submitted. The Score Report is emailed to the candidate within 48 hours of submission. CCHI emails the official score to the candidate within two weeks of the date of the exam.

The CoreCHI™ examination is administered year-around and delivered either in a secure, proctored test center environment across the U.S. or in a secure, live-proctored platform online. Candidates are monitored and video-recorded during the entire testing process in either testing modality.

Candidates are not allowed to take any breaks or leave the testing room during the exam. (A bathroom break may be granted only if pre-approved as an ADA accommodation and for test-center delivered exams only.) Non-compliance with this requirement will result in immediate exam terminations, filing an incident report by the proctor, and a possible disciplinary action.

If you prefer to test at a testing center, please locate a test center nearest to you before you apply. The list of the test centers can be found at the Prometric website here. Scheduling is done online at (see a brief  video tutorial on how to schedule at

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 CoreCHI™ Exam Specifications are available here.

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