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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. Add to that new Joint Commission standards requiring that providers ensure that those providing interpreting services are competent to do so, and this growing trend for accountability has created an insistence on certifying the skills and knowledge of perspective and current healthcare interpreters. It is in response to this progression that CCHI developed and operates a national, portable credentialing for healthcare interpreters to provide an assurance of competency.

 

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Show your commitment to improving quality care and patient safety, and choose CCHI certified interpreters.

To obtain CCHI certification, candidates pay fees in two separate steps:

You can help your interpreters, staff or contractors, either by purchasing the exams on their behalf, or by organizing your interpreters in groups so they can purchase the exams collectively. Both options will receive our special group pricing rates. 

Our special pricing starts if you purchase a minimum of 10 exams. There are several levels available depending on the number of exams purchased, including a special offer for organizations purchasing 500+ exams.  Upon your payment, your interpreters have one year to schedule and take their exams.

There are two options of applying the discounted rates:

  1. You receive a special code (for a specified number of exams) which your interpreters enter at the time of submitting their applications and paying for their exams.

  2. You give us a list of the corresponding interpreters’ names, and then we keep track of their payments.

 

If you are interested in receiving a volume discount when purchasing CCHI exams, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more about CCHI's competence assurance process here.

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

By making  CCHI credentialing a requisite for job applications and a requirement for hiring interpreters or contracting with vendors of language services, managers of Interpreter Services and Programs will not need to set up  time-consuming and costly ways to assess the qualifications of hired or contracted services.  Why?

CCHI offers a three-step healthcare interpreter competency assurance process based on the best national practices and standards validated through a third-party accreditation by NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies):

  1. Rigorous application process that determines if a bilingual person met the prerequisite requirements and qualifies to take a credentialing or certification examination.
  2. Taking and passing CCHI’s Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter™ (CoreCHI™) and language-specific oral performance CHI™ examinations that measure the medical interpreter’s knowledge, abilities and skills necessary to perform their job tasks in an independent, safe and culturally appropriate manner.
  3. Credential maintenance requires all credential holders to meet CCHI’s Continuing Education and Work Experience Requirements that are designed to prevent the interpreter’s knowledge and skills obsolescence.

By hiring or contracting CCHI-credentialed interpreters, you get an authoritative third-party assurance that interpreters can perform entry-level job tasks in all three modes of interpreting – consecutive, simultaneous, and sight translation – in a variety of medical and health care settings, efficiently and safely.

 

Our National Healthcare Interpreter Registry allows any healthcare administrator, employer or contractor of interpreters to:

  • verify the person’s credential through a name search, and
  • search for credentialed interpreters by city, state, or language.

 

 

Benefits of hiring or contracting CCHI-credentialed interpreters:

  • You have an authoritative, psychometrically validated, third-party assurance that interpreters can perform entry-level job tasks in all three modes of interpreting – consecutive, simultaneous, and sight translation – in a variety of medical and healthcare settings (see our Test Blueprint Outline for more information).  This knowledge allows you to save time on optimal scheduling – any credentialed interpreter can work in any setting or sensitive situation.

  • You can meet any customer’s requirement of proving and documenting your interpreters’ qualifications and competency. You can simply refer your customers to our National Healthcare Interpreter Registry for verification.

  • You can save your resources on training your interpreters – CCHI requires all credential holders to meet CCHI’s continuing education and work experience requirements that are designed to prevent the interpreter’s knowledge and skills obsolescence.

  • You can better comply with the IRS contractor status requirements – your contractors’ performance skills are evaluated by a third party, and you do not need to conduct any professional training as it is already part of the CCHI credential renewal process.  In other words, you now contract independent professionals.


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 credentialing and certification program for healthcare interpreters to provide an assurance of competency.
 

CCHI is the first organization certifying healthcare interpreters to receive accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in June 2012. 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 CHI™-Spanish Certification affirming that the exam was 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.).

 

CCHI defines a certified entry-level 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.

 

As a healthcare provider, you understand that healthcare interpreting is not just word-for-word translation. It is much more complex. 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™) 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.

 

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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. Currently, 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.

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