CCHI Community:Healthcare Interpreters

Understand Interpreter Qualifications

The healthcare interpreting profession has changed dramatically over the years. Heightened public awareness, demographic shifts, technology, national standards, new regulations, and financial pressure have affected the way healthcare providers ensure language access for their patients. It is in response to this progression that CCHI developed and operates a national certification program for healthcare interpreters to provide an assurance of competency.

How is CCHI accredited
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CCHI is the first national organization certifying healthcare interpreters to receive accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in June 2012. NCCA accredited the oral performance CHI™-Spanish certification first. In June 2014, NCCA accredited the CoreCHI™ examination as a stand-alone full certification as well. The NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.  NCCA has been accrediting certifying programs based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure these programs adhere to modern standards of practice in the certification industry.

 NCCA accredited the CoreCHI™ Certification and the CHI™-Spanish Certification affirming that these exams were developed in compliance with the NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.  NCCA accreditation is recognition of the rigor with which CCHI has established its certification, consistent with certification standards for comparable professionals working both in the healthcare sector (nurse practitioners, critical care nurses, occupational therapists, etc.) and outside (financial planners, personal trainers, etc.).


Definition of a Certified Healthcare Interpreter

CCHI's certification program ensures the consistency of professional competencies, standards and practices among healthcare interpreters across the healthcare field.

CCHI defines a certified healthcare interpreter as “a person who is able to perform the functions of an entry-level healthcare interpreter competently and independently in a healthcare setting with the knowledge, skill and ability required to relay messages accurately from a source language to a target language in a culturally responsive manner and in accordance with established ethical standards.”

The exam specifications are constructed based on the data generated from a national survey – the Job Task Analysis (JTA) Study conducted in 2009. About 2,500 practicing interpreters, interpreter services managers, healthcare providers, and interpreter trainers participated in the JTA:

  • The JTA Study appropriately and accurately identified the tasks performed by entry-level healthcare interpreters, and the knowledge, skills, abilities required to perform those tasks.
  • The JTA data is consistent across subgroups and represents the breadth of the profession.
  • The healthcare interpreter profession is very consistent in the tasks performed on the job.


National Certification Types

As a healthcare provider, you understand that healthcare interpreting is not just word-for-word translation. It is much more complex. CCHI offers two tiers of certification depending on the interpreter's working language. Read more >