Healthcare Interpreter Qualifications

Two Types of Healthcare Interpreter Certification. One Industry Voice.

The CCHI exams assess the knowledge, skills and abilities of healthcare interpreters in two steps (See our Test Content Outline).

1. The Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ (CoreCHI™) corechi logo

is the entry point into professional certification for healthcare interpreters regardless of the language(s) in which they interpret.  CoreCHI™ 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.It focuses on the role of the healthcare interpreter and measures the interpreter’s knowledge, abilities and skills related to:

  • universal protocols and safety precautions,
  • being a partner in a patient’s care team,
  • culturally-determined patient’s behavior which may negatively impact the outcome of the healthcare encounter,
  • ethical decision-making,
  • U.S. health care system and medical terminology, etc.



















2. Once a healthcare interpreter passes the CoreCHI™ exam, they are eligible to apply for a language-specific certification, the Certified Healthcare Interpreter™ (CHI™), in one or more languages. chi logoCurrently, the language-specific certification is available in Spanish, Arabic and MandarinThe CHI™ exam is an oral performance exam which measures interpreting skills that are required to perform competently in any situation in any healthcare setting.

For example, we assess candidates’ simultaneous interpreting skills because any interpreter is expected to be able to interpret in the Emergency Department or for an emotionally distressed patient with the same level of accuracy and completeness as they do in any other situation.  Accurate communication is vital for the patient’s safety in such cases.  Employing or contracting CCHI-certified interpreters for patients with limited English proficiency is a safety and quality assurance measure.