Interpreter certification

Certified interpreter: "Certified" refers to an interpreter who holds certification from one of the three national organizations:

National certifications

Certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

NIC-C, NIC-A, and NIC-M (National Interpreter Certification-Certified, Advanced, Master) DHS image
The National Council on Interpreting (NCI), a collaboration between RID and NAD, has recently designed and implemented the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) as a national certification for sign language interpreters. Due to the recent introduction of the NIC tests and certifications (June 2005), there is currently not a formal description of these certifications presented by NCI.

CI (Certificate of Interpretation)
Holders of this certificate are recognized as fully certified in interpretation and have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English in both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign. The interpreter's ability to transliterate is not considered in this certification. Holders of the CI are recommended for a broad range of interpretation assignments.

CT (Certificate of Transliteration)
Holders of this certificate are recognized as fully certified in transliteration and have demonstrated the ability to transliterate between English-based sign language and spoken English in both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign. The transliterator's ability to interpret is not considered in this certification. Holders of the CT are recommended for a broad range of transliteration assignments.

CI and CT (Certificate of Interpretation and Certificate of Transliteration)
Holders of both certificates (as listed above) have demonstrated competence in both interpretation and transliteration. Holders of the CI and CT are recommended for a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments. Equivalent to NAD IV/V certification standards.

CSC (Comprehensive Skills Certificate)
Holders of this certificate have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language and spoken English and to transliterate between spoken English and a English-based sign language. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of interpreting and transliterating assignments. The CSC examination was offered until 1987 and is no longer an active test.

CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter)
Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) are Deaf or hard-of-hearing interpreters who may work in teams with hearing interpreters/transliterators or with other Deaf persons who may require the services of a Deaf interpreter.
Holders of this certification are interpreters who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the RID Code of Ethics. They have also completed eight hours of training in general interpretation as it relates to the interpreter who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing and have passed a comprehensive combination written and performance test. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial.

OTC (Oral Transliteration Certificate)
Holders of this generalist certificate have demonstrated, using silent oral techniques and natural gestures, the ability to transliterate a spoken message from a person who hears to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. They also have the ability to understand and repeat the message and intent of the speech and mouth movements of the person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing.

IC/TC (Interpretation Certificate/Transliteration Certificate)
Holders of this partial certificate demonstrated ability to transliterate between English and a signed code for English and the ability to interpret between American Sign Language and spoken English. This individual received scores on the CSC examination which prevented the awarding of full CSC certification. The IC/TC certification is no longer offered.

SC:L (Specialist Certificate: Legal)
Holders of this specialist certificate have demonstrated specialized knowledge of legal settings and greater familiarity with language used in the legal system. Generalist certification and documented training and experience is required prior to sitting for this exam. Holders of the SC:L are recommended for a broad range of assignments in the legal setting.

Certifications with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the American Consortium of Certified Interpreters (ACCI)

NAD Level IV and V and ACCI Level IV and V
Holders of this certificate are recognized as fully certified in Interpretation and transliteration and have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English in both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign. Certification is equivalent to the RID CI/CT and CSC.

NAD Level III and ACCI Level III
Holders of this certificate have good signing skills revealing little difficulty with voice to sign and fair sign to voice skills. He/she is generally accurate and consistent, but should not be used in medical or legal settings unless everyone involved agrees that this interpreter is adequate and this is documented in the consumer/patient's chart.


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