CCHI established specific certification renewal requirements in order to assure that certified interpreters keep abreast of the profession’s development and, at a minimum, maintain their skills at the level achieved at certification. CCHI acknowledges that technological and logistical changes within the healthcare interpreter profession occur at a steady pace. At the same time, interpreting skills require continuous practice to be maintained at an adequate level. In order to determine the optimal length for the certification validity, CCHI Commissioners have considered several factors:
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Decisions regarding CCHI’s certification renewal requirements are reached after regular and thorough reviews of the professional practice, consultations with CCHI Advisors, and input from our certificants and other stakeholders.
The following external factors contribute to the Commissioners’ decisions regarding the length for the certification validity and the type of certification renewal requirements.
Pace of the profession’s change
The profession established its first national code of ethics in 2004, and it first standards of practice in 2005 (http://www.ncihc.org/resources). In 2016, the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), after a number of focus group discussions, decided not to undertake the review of either documents since both were found relevant to the current situation. NCIHC published a more detailed guidance to its Advocacy standard in 2021.
Pace of change regarding national language access policies
Language Access regulations have been addressed by the government primarily in Executive Order 13166 (2000), the CLAS Standards (2000, 2013), and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010, 2016, 2020).
Certification maintenance requirements of other interpreting specialties
Research on deterioration of interpreting skills
Commissioners conduct regular review of research on acquiring and maintaining interpreting skills. The current understanding is that interpreting skills, especially simultaneous, deteriorate if not utilized regularly.
Have 40 hours of work experience as a medical interpreter, within a four-year renewal cycle.
Complete 32 hours of CE in healthcare interpreting, with a minimum of 4 CE hours in performance based training every four-year cycle.