In Washington State, whenever possible, the Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) are mandated to use WA state certified or authorized interpreters at DSHS and Medicaid enrollee appointments. Formerly run by DSHS, as of July 1st, 2011, Washington State's interpreter services program is administered by the Health Care Authority (HCA).
HOW MANY INTERPRETERS HAS DSHS CERTIFIED/AUTHORIZED?
Check the Excel table attached to find out how many interpreters DSHS has certified/authorized per year. On April 6, 2019, many interpreters certified/authorized before January 1, 2015 will lose their credential(s) for non-compliance with mandatory continuing education credits as set forth in WAC 388-03-160.
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A MEDICAL OR SOCIAL SERVICES INTERPRETER?
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Language Testing and Certification (LTC) Program administers the State's medical and social service spoken language interpreter certification.
DSHS LTC currently offers certification in the following languages: Cambodian, Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
DSHS LTC screens and issues letters of authorization in all other languages.
Learn more about the DSHS LTC Program and testing by visiting their website.
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A COURT INTERPRETER?
The Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) supports the trial courts and strives to ensure high quality interpreter services. The Court Interpreter Program oversees the training and testing of certified and registered spoken language interpreters, channels state funding to trial courts for the provision of interpreter services, and provides staffing and support to the Interpreter Commission. The Washington AOC has been certifying court interpreters as to their competency and accuracy since 1990.
Designation as a certified or registered interpreter indicates that the interpreter has demonstrated competency to interpret in a court setting. Certification is the highest level of formal accreditation. Certified interpreters must pass both written and oral interpreting examinations related to the language with focus on interpreting in a court setting, attend mandatory classes, pass a criminal background check, and take the interpreter oath. Because oral court interpreting examinations are not available in many languages, the Washington Court Interpreter Program offers the credential of Registration to interpreters of other languages. Registered interpreters must pass a foreign language speaking assessment exam in lieu of the oral interpreting examination, and meet all other requirements listed for certified interpreters.
Certified Languages for which certification exams are available: Arabic (Egyptian), Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Cantonese, French, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Marshallese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese.
Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, French, Punjabi and Tagalog are being transitioned from the Registered category to the Certified Category.
Registered Languages: Afrikaans, Akan-Twi, Albanian, Algerian, Amharic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cebuano, Chavacano, Czech, Dari, Dutch, Ga, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Igbo, Ilocano, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Krio, Malay, Malayalam, Nepali, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Samoan, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Slovak, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Tamil, Tausug, Telugu, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Wolof, Wu, Yoruba.
NATIONAL HEALTHCARE INTERPRETER CERTIFICATIONS
There are currently two national certifications offered for medical interpreters in a few languages. Brief information about the two programs is listed below, but please check out their organizational websites for up to date information on these two national certifications.
|The National Board for Certification of Medical Interpreters
||Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters
CMI - Certified Medical Interpreter (oral exam)
QMI - Qualified Medical Interpreter (qualification exam)
SMI - Screened Medical Interpreter (review of portfolio)
CHI - Certified Healthcare Interpreter (written and oral exam)
AHI – Associate Healthcare Interpreter (written exam only)
- Application Fee: $30
- Written examination Fee: $150
- Oral examination Fee: $250
* Additional costs for training may apply
- Application Fee: $30
- AHI Examination Fee: $175
- CHI Examination: $250
*Additional costs for training may apply
*Information correct to the best of our knowledge as of September 22, 2011.