In view of the limitations imposed by complying with the testing center safety procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCHI implemented temporary issuance of the Provisional CoreCHI™ Certificate to qualified CHI™ candidates of Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish from May 20, 2020 until March 31, 2021. The regulations below apply to those candidates who received the provisional certificate during that time. CCHI discontinues issuance of the provisional certificates on March 31, 2021.

From May 20, 2020 and until March 31, 2021, this Provisional CoreCHI™ certification status was considered the highest available to interpreters of Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish.

This was a temporary change to the CHI™ certification policy; this is not a new credential. The CoreCHI™ certification has been a stand-alone certification since inception in 2010. The CoreCHI™ certification has been accredited by NCCA since 2014; the current accreditation is valid until June 2024 (to access NCCA’s registry click here). Prior to May 20, 2020, the CoreCHI™ certification was not available to interpreters of Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish because these interpreters have to take and pass two exams to be considered certified – the oral performance exam (CHI™) and the written knowledge exam (CoreCHI™).


Rationale for this decision

The CHI™ oral performance exam can only be delivered in a test-center proctored environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has had and will continue to have a lasting effect on delivery of certification exams at test centers. After the full stop of any testing in mid-March-April, test centers are re-opening across the U.S. in some locations with proper safety and social distancing procedures in place. However, not all locations are open, in compliance with the local and state regulations. Moreover, we can expect more test center closures later in 2020 and, possibly, in early 2021. We cannot predict the situation, but we can mitigate its impact to some extent.

The Commissioners deeply value the principles of fairness and inclusiveness and balance them with the commitment to the best testing practices and accreditation standards. While we cannot lower our standards, we are dedicated to making procedural adjustments that alleviate some of the burden for our candidates during these unprecedented times.


Who qualifies for the Provisional CoreCHI™ Certificate

From May 20, 2020 and until March 31, 2021, the Provisional CoreCHI™ Certificate (not language-specific) was issued to those CHI™ candidates of Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish who:

  • passed the CoreCHI™ exam on and after June 15, 2019 and
  • have not taken the CHI™ exam as of 05/20/20.

CHI™ candidates who have taken the CHI™ exam and failed it do not qualify for this certificate.


Logistics and Duration

The Provisional CoreCHI™ certificate does not specify the language, the same way the current CoreCHI™ certificate does not specify the language, because both documents attest that the recipient has passed only the knowledge CoreCHI™ exam (delivered in English).

The Provisional CoreCHI™ certificate has an expiration date of May 20, 2021. However, this Provisional CoreCHI™ certification status is available as the highest only until:

  • the end of the COVID-19 pandemic (as determined by the federal government or re-opening of CHI™ test centers in all locations in the U.S. without any restrictions), OR
  • May 20, 2021,

whichever occurs sooner.

As of May 20, 2021, all provisionally certified Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish interpreters will have to take the CHI™ oral performance exam within the next three (3) testing windows to earn the CHI™ certification in Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic.


Due to the limitations of CCHI’s online Registry and to conserve the organizational resources, in the online Registry all provisionally certified interpreters will retain their status as “CHI Candidate.” CCHI staff will provide clarification to employers upon request. Please direct your inquiries to CCHI Registrar Yami Becker at


We encourage each CHI™ candidate to evaluate their personal situation and make a responsible decision. The CHI™ testing will still take place during the scheduled testing windows in all locations in accordance with the state and local regulations (for current list of open test centers, click here). Qualified candidates can schedule their appointments for these testing windows at any time.

At the same time, we recognize that for many interpreters, during the rest of 2020 and, possibly, until the spring of 2021, the safest available option to confirm their qualifications will be taking a CoreCHI™ certification exam online, at-home (click here to read about online testing) and receiving the Provisional CoreCHI™ Certificate. CCHI supports you in any decision you choose.

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