When an interpreter or translator is certified, you can trust them to deliver quality. If you want to ask if a driver is qualified, you ask for a driver’s license. Realtors are certified for their work. You don’t just hire them because they say they are good. CPAs go through a credentialing process.
In Oregon, we have credentials for interpreters, who do on-site work.
The Oregon Health Authority has developed a certification process for qualified and certified medical interpreters. All interpreters who are listed on the Oregon Health Authority Registry have a card similar to this one. It means that qualified interpreters have taken 60 hours of training and passed a language proficiency training plus 15 hours of experience as interpreters. Certified interpreters have passed an interpreting exam and have 30 hours of interpreting experience. We all have gone through a background check and have to maintain our credential through continuing education credits.
The Oregon Department of Justice issues a credential like this one for certified court interpreters. We have to pass an interpreting exam, an ethics exam, and maintain our credential by continuing to provide interpreting in situations where we are sworn in as well as by taking continuing education. We are also required to undergo a background check every time we renew our credential.
Our credentials list the expiration date and our language. You can verify that we are current in our field.
To verify a translator’s certification, you need to search the proper websites. There are two organizations that certify translators in the Pacific Northwest. Both of these have publicly searchable databases, and I, Helen Eby, am certified as a Spanish translator by both of them. This comparison table can help you see what each one of them measures. The links to each of their registries are in the table. The organizations are the American Translators Association and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Look me up. This is how you can know that at Gaucha Translations, certified translators always produce quality Spanish language translations that meet our clients’ needs on time.
The quality certified interpreters deliver has been measured and proven. In May 2017 the Washington State Interpreters Union published a review of 621,659 interpreters appointments from 2014 to 2016. The results? 0.63% complaint rate that required discipline. 14 interpreters terminated. 91% fill rate. This was all with certified or screened interpreters per Washington standards. Check pages 4, 5 and 6 on this report.