Every healthcare interpreter needs their CCHI Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ (CoreCHI™) credential regardless of the language(s) in which they interpret. This is the entry point into professional certification. The CoreCHI™ certification is THE one certification every interpreter of every language needs to have and can have today. This certification tests medical interpreters of any language on the core professional knowledge as well as critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and cultural responsiveness skills needed to perform the interpreter's duties in any healthcare setting..
To be designated as a Core Cerification Healthcare Interpreter™ practitioner, interpreters need to meet basic requirements for eligibility and they will need to pass CCHI's CoreCHI™ Examination. The CCHI Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ Examination is a computer-based, 100-question, multiple-choice exam in English that covers the core knowledge of healthcare interpreting and focuses on the following five categories of knowledge, skills and abilities:
Managing an Interpreting Encounter
- Theories and best practices identified in healthcare interpreting.
- Medical terminology found in healthcare interpreting, including dental and mental health terminology.
Interact with Other Healthcare Professionals
- Best practices when working with the healthcare team.
- Advocacy and how it is properly employed based on healthcare interpreting scope of practice.
Prepare for an Interpreting Encounter
- Demonstration of knowledge based on medical terminology, scope of practice, code of ethics and expectations of the health team and clients.
- Knowledge of culture of the client, healthcare environment and healthcare professionals.
NOTE: Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin interpreters are not eligible to receive the Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ credential because a language-specific performance examination is available in the language they interpret.
How is Your CoreCHI™ Examination Scored?
The CoreCHI™ exam uses four-option, multiple-choice questions scored electronically. The total number of correct responses on each version (or “form”) of the test are scaled to the distribution of 300 to 600 with the passing score set at 450. Since different forms of the test may differ slightly in difficulty, a statistical procedure called equating is used to ensure that the passing score of 450 is comparable from form to form. In addition to a scaled score, candidates are provided with a breakdown of scores by domain (e.g., managing an interpreting encounter; understanding healthcare terminology; interacting with other healthcare professionals; preparing for an interpreting encounter; and cultural responsiveness). Domain scores are reported as percentages of the correct answers within each test domain to help candidates identify weaker areas for future study in case a candidate doesn’t pass the examination. Because each domain has a different number of questions, you cannot add up the domain percentages to obtain your score. For more information on the domains, see CCHI’s Test Content Outline.
Candidates will receive preliminary results from the written examination immediately after finishing the test. Official results will be emailed within approximately four to six weeks of completing the CoreCHI™ examination. The method of scoring is described in more detail on Page 16 of the Technical Report on the Development and Pilot Testing of the CCHI Examination.
Development of New Language-specific CHI™ Examinations
If an interpreter is currently certified as Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ and CCHI develops a CHI™ performance examination in the spoken non-English language served by this interpreter (e.g., French, Portuguese or Russian etc.), this interpreter will have one year from the date of notification by CCHI to take the CHI™ performance examination in that particular language. At the end of the one year following such notification, the Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ credential will be voided for those languages for which an oral exam exists. CCHI will notify those candidates who have a CoreCHI™ credential of the availability of the CHI™ performance examination as soon as a new language becomes available in oral test form.