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OCCI Categories and Requirements for

Accredited Community Interpreters

OCCI Ontario Council on Community Interpreting



Categories and Requirements for OCCI Accredited Community Interpreters


1.0 Pre-Requisites/Requirements

1.1          English proficiency assessment(1)

IELTS(2), iBT TOEFL(2), recognized college language assessment, or MAG accreditation


1.2          Post-secondary credentials or equivalent


1.3          Fully Passed Language Interpreter Test

CILISAT, ILSAT, or Court Interpreter Certification Exam (CTTIC/OTTIAQ/MAG(3))


1.4          Post-Secondary Training in interpreting(4)

Certificate of completion of the Language Interpreting Training Program (LITP)(5) or Glendon Graduate Diploma in General Interpreting (GDGI)


1.5          Membership in a professional association of interpreters in North America

e.g., Association of Professional Language Interpreters (APLI), Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO), American Translators Association (ATA), International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), etc.



2.0 Specializations

2.1 Medical

2.1.1       Accredited Community Interpreter

2.1.2       Successful completion of a minimum 30-hour Medical Terminology Training course(6)

2.1.3       250 hours documented medical interpreting experience


2.2 Legal

2.2.1       Accredited Community Interpreter

2.2.2       Successful completion of a minimum 30-hour Legal Terminology Training course(7)

2.2.3       250 hours documented legal interpreting experience


2.3 Accredited Trainer

2.3.1       Accredited Community Interpreter

2.3.2       Adult education training

2.3.3       600 hours documented interpreting experience

2.3.4       9 hours minimum of observation in LITP classroom  


3.0 Continuing education

3.1          10 hours of OCCI recognized Professional Development per year

     (proof of attendance required;  PD must be earned during time as an ACI in good standing)



1    Exemptions for pre-requisite 1.1 may be provided based on demonstration from the candidate that English has been the language of instruction of formal education at the secondary and/or post-secondary level for at least 2 years.

2    Minimum required scores:  

IELTS Academic Test:  Speaking:7; Reading: 7; Listening: 7; Writing: 6.5

iBT TOEFL:  Reading: 24, Listening: 23; Speaking: 27; Writing: 27

3    Bilingual MAG Court Interpreter Test, as of April 15, 2010.  For the list of available languages, click here.

4    Applicants trained prior to January 1, 2015 will be evaluated according to established OCCI accreditation requirements for recognition of core competency training.  Applicants should contact prior to applying to confirm recognition of training program.

5    Applicants trained through the LITP  must achieve a minimum 70% score in each course started after January 1, 2017.   A copy of the college transcript will be required as proof.

6    As of September 30, 2017, the courses recognized as fulfilling requirement 2.1.2 are:  

Medical Terminology Training, offered by medical-related college programs

Advanced Medical InterpreterTraining, offered by MCIS

Medical Terminology Training, offered by Skills for Change

Medical Terminology Training, offered by Universal Class (online training)

Medical Terminology Training, offered by Coursera (online training)

Medical Knowledge and Terminology Certification Training by CISOC (online training)

Medical Terminology, offered by Humber College 

7    As of August 15, 2017, 2.2.2 is waived for interpreters with MAG accreditation.  The courses recognized as fulfilling requirement 2.2.2 are:

Court Interpreting Test Preparation Training, offered by MCIS




As per established definitions of The National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services:



The recognition of educational institutions or training programs as meeting and maintaining standards that then qualify its graduates for professional practice. 


Accredited Interpreter

An interpreter who has passed the screening criteria of a particular organization and has been awarded a certain recognition or accreditation. An accredited interpreter is NOT necessarily a Certified Interpreter a Certified Court Interpreter or a Certified Conference Interpreter.


Ad Hoc Interpreter

An untrained individual who asserts proficiency in the relevant language pair, who is called upon or volunteers to interpret. Also called a chance interpreter or lay interpreter.



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 provide interpreting services. A training certificate does NOT constitute certification.


(source:  National Council on Interpreters in Healthcare (NCIHC). National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Healthcare. September  2005)


Certified Interpreter

A professional interpreter 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, interpreter or referral agency are NOT considered certified.


Certifying Body

A professional association that certifies interpreters.



Individual or organization that purchases or requests interpreting services.


Community Interpreting

Bidirectional interpreting that takes place in the course of communication among speakers of different languages. The context is the provision of public services such as healthcare or community services and in settings such as government agencies, community centres, legal settings, educational institutions, and social services. Other terms have been used to describe community interpreting such as "public service interpreting", "cultural interpreting", "dialogue interpreting", “institutional interpreting, "liaison interpreting" and "ad hoc interpreting". However, community interpreting remains the most widely accepted term in Canada.


Consecutive Interpreting

Consecutive is one of the two modes of interpreting.


There are two forms of consecutive interpreting:

1. Long or classic consecutive is usually used in conference interpreting settings, where the interpreter listens to the totality of the speaker’s comments or a significant passage and then reconstitutes the speech with the help of notes taken while listening.

2. Sequential or short consecutive interpreting is used in court interpreting as well as most forms of community interpreting and operates at the sentence level instead of working with paragraphs or entire speeches.


In this form of interpreting, the interpreter may interrupt the speaker and ask him/her to repeat, clarify or rephrase so as to ensure accuracy and completeness in the delivery of the message.


Conference Call Interpreting

A form of remote interpreting which takes place over the phone between three or more people. This is also called telephone interpreting.


Conference Interpreting

A form of interpreting that takes place in a conference type setting, often interpreting speeches or presentations. It may be either consecutive or simultaneous in mode, but involves the interpreter working in "one direction" of language transfer only, usually from one language into their first or preferred language.


Court Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place in a court setting, in which the interpreter is asked to interpret either consecutively or simultaneously for a LEP/LFP individual who takes part in a legal proceeding.



Subject matter, field, sector or industry.


Escort Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place when an interpreter accompanies a LEP/LFP for a prearranged time and facilitates communication in different settings and contexts. Escort interpreting is also known as elbow interpreting.


First‐person Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place using the first person demonstrated by “I” statements, also known as direct speech interpreting.


Healthcare Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place in a healthcare setting, in which the interpreter is asked to interpret either consecutively or simultaneously for an individual who does not share the language in which the healthcare service takes place.



The act of facilitating spoken language communication between two or more parties who do not share a common language by delivering, as faithfully as possible, the original message from source into target language.


Interpreting Service Provider (ISP)

Individual or organization that provides interpreting services.

Note: Service Provider is widely used to designate the organization’s staff working with a client.  For the purpose of this National Standard Guide, the term references those that provide interpreting services.



A person who facilitates spoken language communication between two or more parties who do not share a common language by delivering, as faithfully as possible, the original message from source into target language.


Interpreting Mode

Format and manner of interaction within the interpreting encounter. The modes include consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. Each mode fits particular needs and circumstances.


Language Pair

The two languages that serve as source and target languages for an individual interpreter in a particular assignment.



Limited English/French Proficiency/Proficient.



Languages of Lesser Diffusion (less common languages).


Message Relay

Interpreting where an interpreter receives a message from one party and subsequently transmits it to another party in the target language.



Note‐taking, an essential element of consecutive interpreting, consists of noting on paper, names, addresses, dates and specific terms that might be difficult to remember for the short period before the interpreter intervenes to interpret.


On‐site Interpreting

Interpreting done by an interpreter who is directly in the presence of the interpreting parties. Also called face‐to‐face interpreting.


Professional Interpreter

A fluently bilingual individual with appropriate training and experience who is able to interpret with consistency and accuracy and who adheres to the Standards of Practice and Ethical Principles. (Source: 3 LITC Standards of Practice and Ethical Principles)



A stylistic and/or social level of language used by a speaker. A speaker’s choice of register is generally defined by the particular topic, the parties spoken to, and the perceived formality of the situation. The register is also related to the type of activity, level of education, etc. (e.g. colloquial, legal, medical, scientific, religious), (Source:  National Council on Interpreters in Healthcare (NCIHC). National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Healthcare.  September 2005)


Relay Interpreting

An interpreting process in which two individuals attempting a conversation communicate through two interpreters, each of whom speaks only one of the two languages required as well as a common third language.  This type of interpreting is also called double relay. While sometimes it is necessary for some of the LLD, it should be avoided whenever possible because it increases the risk of inaccuracies in interpreting.


Remote Interpreting

Interpreting provided by an interpreter who is not in the presence of the speakers, e.g., interpreting via telephone or videoconferencing.  (Source: American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM))


Sight Translation

Conversion from written material in one language to a spoken version in another language. It also occurs when an instant oral version is required of a written text.


Signed Language

Visual‐spatial languages used by Deaf people. Signed Languages are natural languages with their own grammatical structures and lexicon.  In Canada there are two official signed languages: American Sign Language (ASL), used by English‐speaking Deaf community members, and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) used by French‐speaking Deaf community members.


Simultaneous Interpreting

The nearly instantaneous delivery of the speaker’s message from the source language into the target language.


Source Language

Language from which translation or interpretation is carried out.


Target Language

Language into which translation or interpretation is carried out.


Video Conference Interpreting

Remote interpreting that makes use of a video camera when one or more of the interpreting parties are not present at the same location. It enables the parties to see and hear each other via a television monitor.


Whispered Simultaneous Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place whereby the interpreter is seated next to one or more LEP/LFP persons and whispers in the target language the content of the speech. Also called “chuchotage”.


Links to Professional Interpreter Associations in North America


APLI - Association of Professional Language Interpreters


ATIO - Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario


ATA - American Translators Association


IMIA - International Medical Interpreters Association

For information about the application process and application fees, click here.

To apply now, click here.

Grandfathering Protocols
Interp Association Links
Requirement 2.1.2 notes
Requirement 2.2.2. notes
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