General FAQs

Top Frequently Asked Questions about CCHI Certification
 

  1. What is certification?
  2. What does CCHI mean by vendor-neutral?
  3. Why was CCHI certification for healthcare interpreters created?
  4. How does CCHI certification benefit healthcare interpreters?
  5. How does CCHI certification benefit language companies?
  6. How does CCHI certification benefit hospitals and healthcare providers?
  7. What credential programs does CCHI offer?
  8. Is there a fee to take the credentialing examination?
  9. How can someone prepare for and achieve CCHI Certification?
  10. How can I get involved with CCHI?

 


1. What is Certification?

Established by Congress to develop standards for quality certification in the allied health fields, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly NOCA) says, “The certification of specialized skill-sets affirms a knowledge and experience base for practitioners in a particular field, their employers, and the public at large. Certification represents a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence.” The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. CCHI also has been established in compliance with the accreditation requirements set forth by NCCA, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (the Institute for Credentialing Excellence’s accrediting body which evaluates certification organizations for compliance with the NCCA Standards).

In cooperation with the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, CCHI provides information about certification, what it means and how to not confuse it with certificate programs for training courses, licensure, or state regulations. For all who care to go deeper into the terminology of all credentialing concepts, we are pleased to provide you with this Institute for Credentialing Excellence Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts.

Competency-Based Certification – This is a voluntary process by which an organization grants recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications or standards. Individuals meet program eligibility requirements and successfully complete a rigorous assessment of their knowledge and skills. Voluntary certification is evidence that quality standards have been met, but certifications are not licenses to work in a particular field. Many certification programs exist in areas where no regulatory requirements exist. Others, such as those in real estate, appraisal, and nursing, recognize competence in advanced or specialized areas not covered by state licensure. In some cases, certification programs fulfill some requirements for state licensure.

Certificate of Knowledge – This is a process by which an individual demonstrates a relatively narrow scope of specialized knowledge used in the performance of certain professional or occupational duties or tasks. Certificates of knowledge focus on specialty or subspecialty areas within a profession in which a professional certification may already exist and possession of the initial certificate is an eligibility requirement for the certification. Certificates of Completion are one example of learning for the sake of immediate application, regardless of whether or not this is part of a larger scope of learning, testing, continuing education and standards enforcement embodied in certification.

Certificate of Attendance or Participation – Individuals receive this certificate when they complete a course or series of courses. The organization providing the certificate does not require an assessment of knowledge or skill. This certificate does not attest to learning achieved and therefore, are generally considered fabrications attempting to achieve the same type of respect afforded to credentials. These certifications are not considered credentials because its recipients are not required to meet any professional or industry standards.

 

2. What does CCHI mean by vendor-neutral?

CCHI’s mission is to develop and administer a national, valid, credible, vendor-neutral certification program for healthcare interpreters. You have likely noticed that we use this sentence in everything we publish. That is because healthcare interpreting is our core and our strength and we are driven by the desire to serve the current and future needs of healthcare interpreters. We believe these four adjectives define our approach, guide our process, and are the critical elements that differentiate CCHI interpreters and the stakeholders who are counting on us to provide a trained, qualified, and certified population of healthcare interpreters.

CCHI’s certification for healthcare interpreters is not branded to, or licensed from, any vendor of language services. We developed our certification from the ground up and did not rely on any commercially-oriented certification, training, testing or assessment developed by other organizations. CCHI’s certification program was developed by CCHI which retains sole ownership, as well as the ongoing responsibility, for updating the program. CCHI is not derived from, or related to, a commercial owner/sponsor.

 

3. Why was CCHI certification for healthcare interpreters created?

According to the U.S. Census, more than 25 million people speak English less than very well and may be considered limited English proficient (LEP).  Healthcare providers report:

  • 80 percent of hospitals frequently encounter LEP patients
  • 81 percent of internal medicine physicians treat LEP patients frequently
  • 84 percent of federally qualified health centers provide clinical services daily to LEP patients

For more than 20 years, the medical community has been confronted with increasing situations where they are unable to communicate, or have limited communication capabilities, with the patients they are trying to serve.  This growing dilemma of healthcare practitioners being unable to adequately talk with patients has been extremely crucial in trying to properly diagnose and treat critical cases and life-threatening emergencies.  To respond to this need, professionals in the healthcare community joined together to form CCHI as the organization designed to develop certification plans to recognize the competency of healthcare interpreters in language interaction and translation.  Click here to learn more about CCHI’s mission.

 

4. How does CCHI certification benefit healthcare interpreters?

First of all, a valid and independent professional certification must be both recognized, and preferred, by healthcare providers requesting interpreting services.  As the healthcare profession increases its demand for professional interpreter credentials, healthcare interpreters will recognize the value of making sure they have the experience, training, or both to earn the certification.  Likewise, certification will also become recognized as a valuable and requested asset to an enhanced professional career and lifelong advancement opportunities.   Click here to visit the healthcare interpreters page.

 

5. How does CCHI certification benefit language companies?

Without a recognized professional standard for healthcare interpreters, language services agencies are limited to providing “trainings” ranging from two-hour orientations to 60 or more hours of training sessions and internships.  Yet even with this training, there remains no reliable way for healthcare providers to assess an individual’s essential knowledge and skills to function competently as a healthcare interpreter.

Language agencies see that certification standards significantly enhance the worth of their credentialed healthcare interpreters.  For these agencies, encouraging interpreters to pursue and attain certification can translate into a positive investment, not only in their employee’s professional training and development, but also in the agency being able to answer the increased preference and demand for professionally certified interpreters.  Click here to visit the language service providers page.

 

6. How does CCHI certification benefit hospitals and healthcare providers?

Healthcare providers choose CCHI-credentialed interpreters as their preferred means of ensuring language access.  Join us and demonstrate your commitment to quality care and patient safety. CCHI credentials help ensure that you comply with Title 6, The Joint Commission and other regulatory requirements for providing language access.  When regulations say that your medical interpreters must be “qualified” or “competent”, CCHI provides a valid and reliable definition that you can stand behind.  You no longer have to develop internal processes or rely on a language service company’s definition to be 100% certain that your interpreters are qualified. CCHI provides incentives to help you get all of your healthcare interpreters certified.  Our team is ready to walk you through the steps today.  Click here to visit the hospitals and healthcare providers page.

 

7. What credential programs does CCHI offer?

CCHI offers two national credentials for healthcare interpreters – the Certificate Healthcare Interpreter™ (CHI™) Certification and the Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ (CoreCHI™) Certification.  Click here to learn more about getting certified.  Read about what each credential measures in our Test Content Outline.

 

8. Is there a fee to take the credentialing examination?

CCHI charges application and examination fees to cover the costs of test administration, scoring, exam maintenance, and keeping the results of all certification exams secure and available, on demand, to the individual who receives a CCHI credential. We are committed to keeping costs affordable so that all interpreters will have access to CCHI’s certification program.  Click here to learn more about our fees.

 

9. How can someone prepare for and achieve CCHI Certification?

Click here to see a list of tips and resources for preparing for your exam.  CCHI’s credentials are applicable across all healthcare settings, including hospitals, community health centers, and public and mental health settings.

 

10. How can I get involved with CCHI?

We encourage you to stay informed about our process and progress. CCHI publishes a monthly News & Updates for the CCHI Community. Click here to be added to our mailing list. Click here if you are interested in getting involved.