National standards and certification for healthcare interpreters are drawing closer to reality. The National Coalition on Healthcare Interpreter Certification (NCC), a group of 18 organizations, is collaboratively studying best practices and developing a single, national process for assessing, training, testing, and certifying medical interpreters.
As we’ve reported previously in The Interpreter, CultureSmart takes part in efforts of The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), a Coalition member, to develop national standards for medical interpreter training. A grant that NCIHC received from The California Endowment is funding the Coalition’s work. Coalition committees are examining topics including certification for languages of lesser diffusion and continuing education for interpreters. Another effort toward national certification is also progressing: The International Medical Interpreters Association is working with Language Line University and PSI Services on a program that would use prerequisites, a written exam, and skills assessment for certification.