How can I change the name on my CCHI account and application?

Only CCHI staff can change the name on your account after verifying the information. Please email a valid document confirming your correct spelling of the name or name change to our Registrar at apply@cchicertification.org. The attached file must be either in a jpg, png or pdf formats; other formats are not accepted.

Some examples of accepted name verification or name change documents:

  • non-expired U.S. driver’s license
  • non-expired passport
  • marriage or divorce certificate with the name change
  • court order confirming name change.

What is language proficiency?

Language (linguistic) proficiency is the ability of an individual to communicate or perform (their regular job) in a specific language. Proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies.

For interpreters, language proficiency in two languages is a starting point; they also must possess interpreting skills which enable them to successfully covert the meaning from one language into another.

There exist several reputable language proficiency scales:

ILR scale: The U.S. Interagency Language Roundtable descriptions of proficiency levels 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 characterize spoken-language use (http://www.govtilr.org/Skills/ILRscale1.htm).

ACTFL scale: Developed from the U.S. Federal Government’s ILR scale by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the ACTFL proficiency scale has four main levels (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior). The first three levels are each subdivided into three sublevels (Low, Mid, and High) (https://www.actfl.org/resources/actfl-proficiency-guidelines-2012).

CEFR scale: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries. The CEFR distinguishes between four kinds of language activities: reception (listening and reading), production (spoken and written), interaction (spoken and written), and mediation (translating and interpreting). Four broad domains are distinguished: educational, occupational, public, and personal. A language user can develop various degrees of competence in each of these domains and to help describe them the CEFR has provided a set of six Common Reference Levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). (https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/level-descriptions)

IELTS scale: The International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from “band 1” (“non-user”) to “band 9” (“expert user”) and each institution sets a different threshold. (https://www.ielts.org/en-us/about-the-test/how-ielts-is-scored)

TOEFL scale: Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. TOEFL is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points by adding scores from each of the four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing) which each receives a scaled score from 0 to 30. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions; each institution establishes the minimally accepted score which varies from 61 to 111. (https://www.ets.org/toefl/institutions/scores/interpret/)

What language proficiency tests do you accept?

Currently, in our profession, there is no standardized inventory of language proficiency exams that has been validated through an evidence-based process. For that reason, CCHI does not have a preference about and does not approve/recommend any specific language proficiency testing services.

In addition to the testing entities like LTI (the exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments, https://www.languagetesting.com), TOEFL (English proficiency, https://www.ets.org/toefl), Gallaudet University (American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI), https://www.gallaudet.edu/the-american-sign-language-proficiency-interview), such testing can be provided by a college, a language company or an employer utilizing their specific vendor. Any language proficiency test that you submit to us needs to have an oral component – speaking and listening (both). The actual selection of a testing entity is up to you.

Because various exams have different scales, we do not have specific guidelines about what score on such exams is required. Keep in mind that you may submit an interpreting test result instead of a language proficiency test. The language proficiency or interpreting test score should reflect the applicant’s ability to be fluent to perform the duties of a healthcare interpreter. We review each application with all other documentation submitted in its totality to determine applicant’s eligibility.

If I’ve developed or taught healthcare interpreter training programs, will this satisfy the 40-hour requirement of healthcare interpreter training?

Yes, if you have taught 40 hours of courses related to healthcare interpreter training and can document this. If you have developed a healthcare interpreter training program that has been administered, you may also count the number of hours the course runs (you may not count number of hours you spent developing the course). The application requires you to upload the necessary documentation (as one pdf file for 1 course):

1. Proof of training delivery – any publicity material (flyer, ad, brochure, conference schedule, etc.) about their training which lists the following information:

  • Credential holder’s name and designation as instructor/presenter/trainer.
  • The title (topic) or name of the educational event.
  • The name of the training entity (organization or individual) delivering the course,
  • The date(s) of the event.
  • The number of actual contact hours of the event.

2. Proof of training experience (e.g., Curriculum Vitae, personal or advisor’s attestation) specifying delivery of any combination of academic and non-academic (conferences, workshops, in-service).

  • 40 hours of training interpreters (any setting, including basic/beginner level training)
  • 40 hours of other training (e.g., language instructor at school or college, cultural competence trainer, instructor of nursing).

If the number of hours of the curriculum is less than 40, only the amount that has been taught will be applied toward the 40-hour requirement.  Likewise, if the applicant created a healthcare interpreter training program less than 40 hours he/she will only be awarded the exact amount of the training program.

Does my working experience qualify as healthcare interpreter training?

No, interpreting itself (“work experience”) does not meet our eligibility requirements. We require a minimum of 40 hours of training as a medical interpreter, not work experience. The info about the accepted training is available on p. 16-19 of CCHI Candidate’s Examination Handbook.

Does your organization provide 40 hours of healthcare interpreter training?

No, CCHI is a certifying body administering certification exams, not an educational institution. CCHI does not review or recommend any specific trainings. However, several training organizations choose to advertise their courses on our “Prerequisite Programs” webpage.

Also read our training eligibility requirements here.

How much does it cost to become certified?

The CHI™ certification – for Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish interpreters – costs $485:

  • first you pay the initial fee of $210 (includes the application fee of $35 and the fee of $175 for taking one exam, “written” CoreCHI™ exam),
  • after you pass the CoreCHI™ exam, you pay the fee of $275 for the CHI™ oral performance exam.

The CoreCHI™ certification – for interpreters of all other languages – costs $210 (this fee includes the application fee of $35 and the fee of $175 for taking one exam, multiple choice “written” exam).

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