COURT AND LEGAL INTERPRETER
CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS & INFORMATION
Certification means a court interpreter or translator has been tested by a clearly defined method and has demonstrated a minimum level of competence. Several different organizations and government entities have set up certification programs for court and legal interpreters and translators. In addition, each state and the federal government has its own unique set of requirements that judiciary interpreters must meet in order to practice in their courts. The question of which certification to obtain can be a confusing one.
IBelow you will find brief summaries (with links) of the major judiciary interpreter certification programs.
NAJIT -- Court Interpreter and Translator Certification Program
Members of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators are not required to be certified (although all members of NAJIT must abide by the terms of NAJIT's Code of Ethics).
The Consortium for Language Access in the Courts
The Consortium for Language Access in the Courts is a division of the National Center for State Courts. The Consortium offers certification examinations that are recognized by many state court systems. In addition, you can find the specific state certification requirements of Consortium members by visiting the Consortium's webpage link above.
Federal Court Interpreter Certification Requirements
Federal court certification is granted by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts through its federal court interpreter examination. Federal certification is available only for interpreters of Spanish, Navajo, and Haitian Creole. The examination for Spanish interpreters is the only one administered regularly. Check the links above for more information.
The American Translators Association
The American Translators Association offers a generalist translation certification in various languages. ATA's certification is not specifically designed for court and legal interpreters and translators.
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf offers a generalist certification for sign language interpreters as well as a specialist certification in legal interpreting. National Consortium of Legal Interpreting has best practice information for American Sign Language interpreters working in legal and quasi-legal settings.