Chapter 6: Trilingual Certification

6.1 Introduction

(Revised 12/09)

The trilingual certification tests verify an applicant's proficiency in spoken English, spoken Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL).

6.2 Eligibility Requirements for BEI Trilingual Certification

To be eligible for DARS DHHS BEI trilingual certification, an applicant must

  • meet the requirements in 1.2 (A) Qualifications and Requirements for a BEI Certificate;
  • provide proof of possessing one of the following prerequisite certificates:
    • BEI Level I, II, III, IV, V, Basic, Advanced, or Master certificate;
    • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpretation (CI), and Certificate of Transliteration (CT) or CI/CT; or
    • National Association of the Deaf-Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NAD-RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC), National Interpreter Certification Advanced, or National Interpreter Certification Master; and
  • pass the following prerequisite tests:
    • Test of Spanish Proficiency (TSP); and
    • a trilingual performance test.

6.3 The Test of Spanish Proficiency (TSP)

6.3.1 Applying for the TSP

(Revised 04/11)

The applicant must

  • complete Form 3918, Test of Spanish Proficiency;
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
    • a copy of a valid BEI, RID, or NAD-RID certificate card to verify that eligibility requirements are satisfied; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS.

For more information on fees, see 6.4.7 Trilingual Testing Fee Schedule.

6.3.2 Scheduling the TSP

The DARS DHHS staff or a designee must administer the TSP at a site determined by DARS DHHS. A calendar of scheduled dates and sites can be obtained from the DARS DHHS office.

For more information about test expectations, the test format, and sample TSP questions, contact the DARS DHHS office.

6.3.3 Forfeiture of Fees

Testing fees are forfeited if the TSP is not taken within 90 days of application, except when there is a valid reason for the delay. If an applicant must cancel a confirmed appointment, he or she must contact DARS DHHS staff immediately. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the approval of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant's control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule the exam within 30 days and take the newly rescheduled test within six months.

6.3.4 Notification of Results

DARS DHHS reports test results within 90 days after the test is administered. If delays occur, a DARS DHHS staff member notifies the applicant.

Applicants receiving a passing score on the TSP become eligible to apply for a trilingual performance test.

Applicants who do not receive a passing score must

  • wait to retake the test six months after the test was administered,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

6.4 The Trilingual Performance Tests

6.4.1 Trilingual Performance Tests Eligibility Requirements

(Revised 04/11)

Applicants must meet the following performance test eligibility requirements to apply for a trilingual performance test:

Certification Status

Performance Test Eligibility

Not certified

Not eligible

BEI Level I, Level II, Level III, Level IV, Level V, Basic, Advanced, or Master

Trilingual Advanced

*RID CI, CT ,or CI/CT, CSC, **NAD-RID NIC, NIC Advanced, NIC Master

BEI Level III, Level IV, Level V, Advanced, or Master, Trilingual Advanced

Trilingual Master

RID CSC, CI/CT, NIC Advanced, or NIC Master

*Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

**National Association of the Deaf-Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf National Interpreter Certification

Holders of RID, NIC, or certification from another state who are applying for the Advanced or Master Trilingual Performance Tests must submit a copy of their valid certification for verification purposes.

6.4.2 Applying for a Trilingual Performance Test

(Revised 04/1107/12)

The applicant must

  • complete complete Form 3919, Trilingual Interpreter Performance Tests;
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
    • a copy of a valid BEI, RID, or NAD-RID certificate card to verify that eligibility requirements are satisfied; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS at least 45 calendar days before a scheduled test date.

For more information on fees, see 6.4.7 Trilingual Testing Fee Schedule.

6.4.3 Scheduling the Trilingual Performance Test

The DARS DHHS staff member or a designee administers the trilingual performance test at a site determined by DARS DHHS. A calendar of scheduled dates and sites can be obtained from the DARS DHHS Office.

DARS DHHS staff sends a letter to the applicant to acknowledge receipt of the form and fees and provides information about scheduling an appointment for testing.

For more information about test expectations, formats, and samples, contact the DARS DHHS office.

6.4.4 The Day of the Trilingual Performance Test

(Revised 04/11)

Applicants must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time and can bring only photo identification and the confirmation letter to the site. Applicants who arrive later than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment forfeit the testing opportunity and fees.

A DARS DHHS staff member or designee administers the performance test and records each test. Once the test begins, the recording may not be stopped, rewound, or replayed, but the testing materials can be paused briefly between each section. Applicants are not permitted to rewind or review their performance test DVD. The applicant may not leave the testing room after the test has begun, but may sit or stand.

Water will be provided for the applicants. Applicants must not bring such electronic devices as cell phones, pagers, or PDAs into the testing room. Handbags, wallets, briefcases, backpacks, jackets, coats, and other personal items are not allowed in the testing room and should be secured in the applicant's vehicle before the appointment. This prohibition is necessary for test security. Any action that can be viewed as cheating on an examination is grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of a certification.

6.4.5 Forfeiture of Fees

Testing fees are forfeited if an applicant cancels a confirmed appointment or fails to appear for the confirmed appointment without notifying DARS DHHS staff member in advance. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the discretion of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant's control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule the exam within 30 days and take the newly rescheduled exam within six months.

6.4.6 Notification of Trilingual Performance Test Results

DARS DHHS reports test results within 90 days after the test is administered. If additional delays occur, a DARS DHHS staff member notifies the applicant. Applicants awarded certification are

  • added to the database of certified interpreters;
  • notified of the results; and
  • mailed
    • a certificate,
    • a wallet-sized card, and
    • information about applicable laws, rules, and policies that pertain to trilingual and all other BEI certificate holders including annual certificate maintenance and five-year certificate renewal.

Unsuccessful applicants are notified of the results and must

  • wait six months after the test was administered to retake the test,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

The notification letter contains valuable feedback about test results and provides information for getting training before retaking the performance test.

6.4.7 Trilingual Testing Fee Schedule

The nonrefundable testing fees are shown in the following table:

Certification Test

Applicable Fee

Test of Spanish Proficiency

$95

Trilingual Advanced Performance Test

$160

Trilingual Master Performance Test

$185

6.5 Trilingual Annual Certificate Renewal

(Revised 04/11)

A trilingual certificate holder must maintain all prerequisite certifications and renew the trilingual certificate annually by paying the annual renewal fee to DARS DHHS before the expiration date. A DARS DHHS staff member may send renewal notification letters at least 30 days before the expiration date. A certificate holder's failure to receive notice does not prevent the expiration of a certificate.

6.5.1 Process for Trilingual Annual Certificate Renewal

(Revised 04/11)

The certificate holder must complete Form 3910, Annual Certificate Renewal, or Form 3921, Multiple-Certificate Annual Renewal, and send it with a check, money order, or cashier’s check for the fee to DARS DHHS. Individuals certified by RID or NAD-RID must enclose a copy of their valid certificate card. When DARS DHHS receives the form and fee, a DARS DHHS staff member

  • updates the certificate holder's contact information; and
  • mails a new certificate card, which is valid through the next year.

6.6 Trilingual Five-Year Recertification

(Revised 04/11)

A trilingual certificate holder must maintain all prerequisite certifications and satisfy the five-year recertification requirements to maintain his or her certification. Each certificate holder must earn 10.0 continuing education units (CEUs) (100 clock hours) during the five-year certification period.

Holders of a BEI General Certificate and a Trilingual Certificate must satisfy

  • 5.0 CEUs (50 clock hours) in interpreting-related topics;
  • 3.0 CEUs (30 clock hours) in trilingual-related topics; and
  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in ethics-related topics.

Holders of only a BEI Trilingual Interpreter Certificate must satisfy

  • 3.0 CEUs (30 clock hours) in trilingual-related topics; and
  • CEUs requirements for requisite certificate issued by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or NIC.

A DARS DHHS staff member may notify a certificate holder at least 60 days before the expiration date. A certificate holder's failure to receive notice does not prevent the expiration of a certificate. To renew, the certificate holder must

  • complete Form 3911, Five-Year Recertification, or Form 3922, Multiple-Certificate Five-Year Recertification, and attach
    • a check or money order for the renewal fee,
    • copies of CEU documentation earned during the certification period,
    • a valid copy of a RID or NAD-RID certificate card (if not BEI certified), and
  • mail the renewal form, fee, and CEU documentation to DARS DHHS.