Chapter 7: Medical Interpreter Certification

7.1 Introduction

This chapter outlines the process to become certified as a medical interpreter.

7.2 Eligibility Requirements for Medical Interpreter Certification

7.2.1 Qualifications and Requirements for Medical Interpreter Certification

An applicant for a medical interpreter certificate must do as follows:

  1. Provide proof of holding one of the following prerequisite certificates:
    • A valid BEI Level III, IV, V, Advanced, or Master certificate
    • A valid Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpretation (CI) and Certificate of Transliteration (CT)
    • A valid National Association of the Deaf-Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NAD-RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Advanced, or NIC Master
  2. Meet the following qualifications and requirements:
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent
    • Not have a criminal conviction that could qualify as grounds for denial, probation, suspension, or revocation of a BEI certificate, or other disciplinary action against any holder of a BEI certificate
    • Provide written proof to DARS DHHS that the applicant has completed DARS DHHS-approved courses of instruction in medical interpretation, with at least 80 credit hours
    • Submit the appropriate application
    • Pay any required fees
    • Pass the Medical Interpreter Performance Test

7.3 Training Requirements

The medical interpreting training must be DHHS approved and must have been completed in the last 10 years. Training may be in form of workshops, webinars, or classroom instruction.

Contact the DARS DHHS office for information on training opportunities.

7.4 Applying for Medical Interpreter Certification

7.4.1 Applying for the Medical Interpreter Performance Test

The applicant must:

  1. complete Form 3960, Medical Interpreter Performance Test;
  2. attach:
    • 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
    • documentation to verify eligibility, such as copies of:
      • a valid certificate card; or
      • certificates of attendance or transcripts for medical interpreting training;
  3. mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS; and
  4. scheduled test dates are published on the DARS DHHS Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) Registry.

A submitted application does not guarantee that a requested appointment on a specified day, location, or time will be accommodated. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis. The DARS DHHS staff member contacts applicants when necessary to arrange alternate testing dates.

For more information about test expectations and format, see the Study Guide for Medical Interpreter Certification (PDF).

7.5 Medical Certificate Five-Year Recertification

A certified medical interpreter must maintain all prerequisite certifications and satisfy the five-year recertification requirements to maintain his or her certification. For more information, see Chapter 1: BEI General Interpreter Certification Policies and Procedures, 1.8.2 Multiple Certificates and 1.9 Five-Year Certificate Recertification.

Medical certificate holders must satisfy the annual certificate renewal and five-year recertification requirements for both the prerequisite certificate and the medical certificate. For the medical certificate, 20 clock hours of the continuing education unit requirement for the five-year recertification requirement must be in medical interpretation knowledge and skills approved by DARS DHHS.