What are the dates for the next certification session?
The next orientation class will be in August 2016, but registration is open for the written exam to candidates who have completed orientation. Candidates must pass each step of the program before registering for and progressing to the next step (with the exception of the Simultaneous Interpretation session, which is optional). Registration forms are available at the bottom of this page.
I'm bilingual, is that sufficient to become a certified court interpreter?
No. Professional court interpreting requires more than being bilingual. Court interpreting is a highly skilled profession that requires training, education, experience and knowledge of legal terminology in both languages. The Indiana Supreme Court Interpreter Program is not a training program. It only provides the process in which a candidate can become a Certified/Qualified Interpreter, therefore it is imperative candidates have experience and training prior to seeking certification.
We encourage those individuals interested in this program to read over the self-assessment guide (PDF) provided by the Consortium at the National Center for State Courts website. The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination Program also has a self-assessment test you can review online.
I'm already certified by another state or the federal government, can I obtain certification by reciprocity in Indiana?
Yes. You may be eligible for certification by reciprocity as long as the certifying state or federal government maintains the same (or higher) scoring standards as Indiana. Learn more about certification by reciprocity.
I want to become a certified court interpreter, what do I need to do?
What is the written exam like?
The written test contains 135 multiple-choice questions and measures a candidate's knowledge of the following areas central to the work of a court interpreter:
What is the oral certification exam like?
The oral certification exam tests proficiency in the three modes of interpretation used in the courts: sight translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation. A candidate must achieve a score of 70% or better on each portion of the test to pass. Tests are given individually, are tape recorded, and are scored by two federally certified interpreters who are trained as raters.
Do I have to pass all three portions of the oral exam at once?
No. The State of Indiana currently does not require all three portions of the oral exam to be passed in one sitting. You may retake the sections you did not pass, when the next oral exam is offered, for a fee of $25 per section tested. Please note that you have two years from the date that you attended Skills Building to pass the oral exam. Failure to pass the oral examination within this time frame will result in you having to retake Skills Building before sitting for the oral exam again.
My language is not on the list of languages that Indiana offers certification in, can I still be a Certified Interpreter?
The Indiana Supreme Court recently designated a new level of interpreter for languages in which no oral exam exists, this new designation is called a Qualified Interpreter. In order to become a Qualified Interpreter you must:
Do I have to be a Certified/Qualified Interpreter to work in the Indiana courts?
Currently, you do not have to be certified to work in Indiana courts. However, courts are strongly encouraged to use certified interpreters, and many trial courts in Indiana only will hire certified interpreters.
How can I get hired to work as a court interpreter and what would I get paid?
Please be aware that certification does not constitute a guarantee of employment. At this time, some Indiana courts employ independent contractors for court interpretation while other Indiana courts utilize the services of staff court interpreters or agency interpreters. Therefore, the possible income for a court interpreter can vary. Factors affecting the availability of work for independent contractors include the volume of cases requiring interpretation in a specific language, the employment policies of the applicable court, and the availability of certified interpreters in each locality. Contact your local courthouse to find out how interpreters are hired in each county.
How do I find out about program changes, test dates, and training opportunities?
Whenever you have questions about the court interpreter program, please visit this website. We endeavor to post any changes to the program promptly. If the answer to your question is not found at any of these previously listed sources, you may contact the Program Administrative Assistant, Sina Alexander at 317-234-2604 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm ready to register for the program, what should I do now?
Online Resources section of this website. You also should study the Indiana Supreme Court Interpreter Code of Conduct and Procedure.