Understanding Interpreter Credentials

OCCI encourages all consumers of interpretation services to be familiar with the following terms and to ask for documentation to support claims of the following credentials when hiring an interpreter or when choosing an Interpretation Service Provider (ISP).

 

Accreditation 

A process by which  a body attests to the qualifications of an individual or other body to perform a task or deliver a service. Accreditation calls for formal assessment, using a rigorous screening based on appropriate and consistent criteria so that the accrediting body can assert that the individuals or bodies it accredits have met the defined requirements. Accreditation frequently requires more than training or testing alone.

 

Accredited Interpreter
A professional interpreter who is accredited as competent by a professional organization through rigorous screening based on appropriate and consistent criteria.

 

Interpreters who have had limited training or have taken a screening test administered by an employing legal, health, or referral agency are NOT considered accredited.

 

OCCI Accredited Community Interpreter

A professional interpreter who is accredited as competent by the Ontario Council of Community Interpreting through rigorous screening based on appropriate and consistent criteria.  (Click here to review the detailed requirements framework.) 

 

Certificate
A document, such as a certificate of attendance or completion, that attests to participation in a course of study and attainment of some learning objective. A person who holds a certificate related to interpreter training is NOT thereby certified or accredited.

 

Certification
A process by which a professional organization attests to or certifies that an individual is qualified to provide a particular service. Certification calls for formal assessment, using an instrument that has been tested for validity and reliability, so that the certifying body can be confident that the individuals it certifies have the qualifications needed to do the job. A training certificate alone does NOT make an interpreter certified.

 

Certified Interpreter
A professional interpreter or translator who is certified as competent by a professional organization through rigorous testing based on appropriate and consistent criteria. Interpreters who have had limited training or have taken a screening test administered by an employing legal, health, or referral agency are NOT considered certified.

 

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