ALC 2011: Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters Update

The Association of Language Companies (ALC) puts on its annual conference in Las Vegas on May 18-21, 2011.

Language Industry – Our Time is Now, Part 1: Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters
Kathleen Diamond (Advocate, language and Entrepreneurship; CCHI Commissioner; Membership Secretary, ASTM-F43 Language Services and Products)

  • URL:
  • More than 20 years in the making
  • CCHI was formed in 2009 with a mission to develop and administer national certification program for healthcare interpreters
  • National, Valid, Credible, Vendor-Neutral program
  • 13 commissioners representing a wide range of interests (mostly interpreters and non-profits)
  • Benefits: fulfills standards and elements of performance critical in accreditation settings; facilitates management of interpreter services; and more
  • Who benefits: LEPs, spoken language interpreters, LSPs, healthcare providers, hospitals/clinics, policymakers
  • LSP benefit: differentiation, validation by neutral party, base line for training and professionalism
  • Certification test: Part 1: managing healthcare interpreter functions (written, multiple-choice); Part 2: perform healthcare interpreting (actually interpreting)
  • AHI: Associate Healthcare Interpreter Credential; available in multiple languages; entry point into professional certification, conducted in English; two-hour, 100-question written test
  • CHI: Certified Healthcare Interpreter Certification; currently in Spanish only; one-hour oral performance exam (AHI is a pre-requisite)
  • What does CHI measure: knowledge, skills and abilities
  • Why obtain the credential: psychometrically validated; 235 interpreters worldwide earned it already; meets all NCCA requirements; follows the blueprint created by the Job Task Analysis
  • Fees: application $30.00, AHI exam $175.00; CHI exam $250.00
  • How can you get involved: join CCHI community; become a supporter; sign up for newsletter; check out website for updates; applications are open, testing is happening now – have your interpreters take the test
  • Suggestion: prepare a form letter for LSPs to send to their interpreters
  • Study materials are available on the website (
  • The certification is voluntary; it cannot be mandated
  • There is a parallel effort made by the National Board (group centered around Language Line)