Board for Evaluation of Interpreters

Chapter 1: BEI General Interpreter Certification Policies and Procedures

1.1 Introduction

The Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) was created under authority of the Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 81. This chapter outlines the general operations and procedures of the BEI general interpreter certification program and provides guidance for both current and prospective BEI-certified interpreters for people who are deaf and hard of hearing in Texas.

1.2 Qualifications and Requirements for a BEI Certificate

Section A:

To apply for or to take any examination for a BEI Certificate, an applicant must

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
  • not have a criminal conviction that could qualify as grounds for denial, probation, suspension, or revocation of a BEI certificate, or other disciplinary action against any holder of a BEI certificate.

Section B:

To take the written Test of English Proficiency, an applicant must have

  • met all the criteria above; and
  • earned at least 30 credit hours from an accredited college or university, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Section C:

To take a BEI performance test, an applicant must have

  • met all the criteria in subsection A of this section;
  • earned a passing score on the Test of English Proficiency, unless the applicant is applying for a specialty certificate; and
  • earned an associate degree and/or a minimum of 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, unless the applicant is applying for a specialty certificate or except as provided in subsections E and F of this section.

Section D:

To apply for and to be issued a BEI certificate, an applicant must have

  • met all criteria in subsection (a) of this section; and
  • earned an associate degree and/or a minimum of 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, except as provided in subsections E and F of this section; and
  • earned a passing score on the requisite examination for the certificate level sought.

Section E:

A BEI certificate holder who holds an active and valid BEI certificate awarded as a result of proceedings initiated before January 1, 2012, is exempt from the educational or degree requirements in subsections B, C, and D of this section, as long as the BEI certificate remains active and valid.

Section F:

A BEI certificate holder who holds an active and valid BEI certificate awarded as a result of proceedings initiated before January 1, 2012, and who applies for an additional BEI certificate level after January 1, 2012, may be exempt from the educational or degree requirements of subsections B, C, and D of this section, if, at the time the certificate holder applies for, takes, and passes any BEI examination for the additional certificate, the BEI certificate holder

  • has an active and valid BEI certificate that is fully compliant with BEI's annual certificate renewal and five-year recertification rules and requirements;
  • is not under any type of active or pending disciplinary action from BEI or DHHS; and
  • satisfies all other rules and requirements applicable to the additional BEI certificate level sought. Section G: A certified interpreter wanting to take a higher level BEI performance test must have the following prerequisite certificate for the corresponding BEI performance test:
Prerequisite Certificate BEI Performance Test

BEI—Level I, Basic, Level II, Level III, Level IV, Level V

*RID—Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpreting (CI), Certificate of Transliteration (CT), **National Interpreter Certification (NIC), NIC Advanced, NIC Master

Advanced

BEI—Level III, Level IV, Level V, OC:C, or Advanced

RID—CSC, CI/CT, NIC Advanced or NIC Master

Master

Level III Intermediary

Level V Intermediary

Level I Oral or OC:B

Oral Certificate: Comprehensive (OC:C)

*Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

**National Association of the Deaf—Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, National Interpreter Certification

Holders of RID, NIC, or certification from another state must submit a copy of their certification for verification purposes if applying for the Advanced or Master Performance test.

1.3 Essential Functions of a BEI-Certified Interpreter

A BEI-certified interpreter is a person who provides sign-language interpreter services. To work as a BEI-certified interpreter, a person must have the skills, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the position. The person must also be able to perform the essential job functions.

1.3.1 Essential Abilities and Attributes of Nonintermediary or Nondeaf Interpreters

A BEI-certified nonintermediary interpreter must have the following physical, cognitive, cultural, linguistic, and professional abilities and attributes.

Essential Physical Abilities

The essential physical abilities of a nonintermediary interpreter are described below.

Hearing

the ability to hear, identify, and understand the speech of another person without relying on visual assistance

Speech

the ability to speak clearly so that the speech is understandable to a listener

Vision

the ability to see details of another person's hand shapes, hand movements, and facial expressions from a distance of three to six feet

Facial expression

the ability to control the muscles of the face in order to manipulate the eyebrows, cheeks, mouth, and nose

Manual dexterity

the ability to quickly make coordinated movements of one hand, a hand together with its arm, two hands, or two hands together with arms

Finger dexterity

the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands

Wrist-finger speed

the ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists

Limb movement

the ability to move the arms to place the hands slightly above the head, and to extend the arms away from the front of the body and to the sides of the body

Limb movement speed

the ability to quickly move the arms

Dual-limb coordination

the ability to coordinate movements of both arms while sitting or standing

Head

the ability to control the head in order to nod and to turn it from side to side

Physical stamina

the ability to endure moderate physical exertion without getting winded or out-of-breath for at least 30 minutes

Essential Cognitive Abilities

The essential cognitive abilities of a nonintermediary, nondeaf interpreter are described below.

Critical thinking

the ability to use logic and analysis to assess communication in order to make adjustments in approaches to interpretation

Self-monitoring

the ability to monitor and assess the interpretation during and after a task

Selective attention

the ability to concentrate and be undistracted while performing a task, and to sustain that attention over a period of time

Auditory attention

the ability to focus on a single source of auditory information in the presence of other distracting sounds

Visual attention

the ability to focus on a single source of visual information in the presence of other distracting movements in the surrounding area

Mental stamina

the ability to sustain a significant amount of mental processing without fatigue or breakdown for at least 30 minutes

Working memory

the ability to remember information such as concepts, words, and numbers for a brief time while interpreting

Information ordering

the ability to track and arrange information in a certain order

Pattern inference

the ability to quickly make sense of information even when parts of that information may appear to be missing

Time sharing

the ability to efficiently shift between two or more activities or tasks, and between two or more sources of information

Problem sensitivity

the ability to recognize when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong

Fluency of ideas

the ability to generate a number of ideas about a given topic (This concerns the number of ideas produced and not the quality, correctness, or creativity of the ideas)

Breadth of knowledge

an acquaintance or understanding, at the introductory level or higher, of a broad variety of topics and fields of interest

Essential Cultural Knowledge and Linguistic Abilities

The essential cultural knowledge and linguistic abilities of a nonintermediary, nondeaf interpreter are described below.

English language

  • knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar
  • the ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words
  • the ability to communicate information and ideas by speaking so that others will understand

Written English comprehension

  • read and understand information and ideas presented in writing
  • communicate information and ideas in writing so that others will understand

American Sign Language

  • knowledge of the structure and content of American Sign Language including the meaning of lexical and phrasal items, rules of grammar, and articulation
  • the ability to watch and understand information and ideas presented through signs, gestures, classifiers, and finger spelling
  • the ability to communicate information and ideas through signs, gestures, classifiers, and finger spelling so that others will understand

Culture

A BEI-certified interpreter must have an in-depth understanding of the cultural norms and mores of the American English-speaking and the American deaf communities.

Essential Professional Attributes

The essential professional attributes of a nonintermediary, nondeaf interpreter are described below.

Social perceptiveness

the ability to be aware of and sensitive to others' reactions, and the ability to understand why others react as they do

Independence

the ability to develop independent approaches to doing things and to work with little or no supervision

Interpersonal relationships

the ability to develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and to maintain them over time

Adaptability and flexibility

the ability to adapt to considerable variety in the workplace and be flexible and accepting of positive and negative change

Emotional well-being

the ability to exercise emotional control and stability in order to fully use intellectual abilities and good judgment

Self-control

the ability to maintain composure, keep emotions in check, control anger, and avoid aggressive behavior, even in difficult situations

Professional decorum

the ability to show respect and act in a professional manner during all interactions

Problem solving

the ability to make complex decisions, including the ability to identify problems, collect information, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions

Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work

the ability to develop specific goals and plans, and to prioritize, organize, and accomplish goals

Conflict resolution

the ability to identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors

Time management

the ability to manage time well and to respect the time of others

Ethical standards

the ability to follow the *Code of Professional Conduct as set forth by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The seven tenets of the code are as follows:

  1. Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
  2. Interpreters posses the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation.
  3. Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
  4. Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
  5. Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
  6. Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
  7. Interpreters engage in professional development.

*For a complete explanation of the Code of Professional Conduct, see www.RID.org.

1.4 Accommodation Requests

DARS DHHS is committed to providing equal access to interpreter certification to applicants without compromising the quality of services or integrity of the certification testing process. Requesting an accommodation and submitting documentation of need from a certified diagnosing professional are the first steps to advising DARS DHHS of an applicant's disability.

All requests are reviewed by the Health and Human Services Commission's Civil Rights Office.

When DHHS receives the determination, DARS DHHS notifies the applicant of the outcome and proceeds accordingly. Requests for accommodations and any accompanying documentation must be received with the application.

DARS DHHS requires documentation from a certified diagnosing professional (that is, a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist) that is dated less than two years before the application for the TEP. This documentation must

  • specify how the applicant's disability substantially limits his or her ability to take this examination under current testing procedures,
  • provide guidance about modifications recommended to enable the applicant to test,
  • be submitted on the certified diagnosing professional's letterhead, and
  • include a completed C-039 Attachment-1 Health and Human Services Reasonable Modification Request, which can be obtained from DARS DHHS.

1.5 Criminal Conviction Records Checks

DARS DHHS obtains conviction records to determine whether an applicant's criminal conviction record makes him or her ineligible for an interpreter certification, or warrants suspension, revocation, or other disciplinary action to holders of a certificate previously granted.

If a conviction records-check reveals that the applicant has a criminal conviction, deferred adjudication, or pending adjudication on an arrest or criminal charge, the application process is suspended until DARS DHHS receives additional information, including a detailed description of the circumstances of the conviction and the underlying criminal acts. Failure to respond within 30 days to DARS DHHS' request for information results in forfeiture of the application fee, and issuance of the certification will be denied.

For more information, see Chapter 3: Criminal Conviction Records, especially 3.4 Use and Analysis of Criminal Conviction Records and Related Information.

1.6 Applying for the Test of English Proficiency (TEP)

(Revised 04/1107/12)

The applicant must

  • complete the Form 3908, Test of English Proficiency  form;
  • indicate the preferred testing location on the form. For help locating a site
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • an official college transcript showing the completion of at least 30 credit hours; and
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS at least 30 calendar days before scheduling a test date.

For more information, see 1.7.3 Testing Fees Schedule.

1.6.1 Scheduling the TEP

(Revised 04/11)

DARS DHHS contracts with a testing service to administer the TEP (Test of English Proficiency). After the application process is completed, a DARS DHHS staff member sends a list of eligible applicants to the testing service.

The testing service mails the TEP to the testing site and informs the applicant

  • where the TEP was mailed,
  • what required items to bring, and
  • of the deadline for taking the TEP.

Once the testing service mails the TEP to the requested testing site, the location and the application cannot be changed. After receiving notification that the TEP was mailed, the applicant must contact the testing site to schedule an appointment. Some sites have general testing hours throughout the week and do not require an appointment. Other testing sites require appointments to be made. Business hours may vary because of holiday closures, inclement weather, or other unforeseen events. If the applicant does not receive notification from the testing service that the test has been received within 10 business days of initial notification from DARS DHHS, he or she should contact the DARS DHHS office.

Applicants are advised that some testing sites charge proctoring fees. The applicant must pay any fees directly to the proctor at the testing site according to their established policy. When making individual test arrangements, the applicant is responsible for asking about any additional fees and confirming the current proctoring fee and acceptable form of payment.

For more information about test expectations, format, and sample questions, see the BEI Study Guide for General Interpreter Certification Candidates (in PDF), available online, or by request from the DARS DHHS office.

1.6.2 Forfeiture of Fees

Testing fees are forfeited if the TEP is not taken within 90 days of application, except when there is a valid reason for the delay. If an applicant must cancel a confirmed appointment, he or she must contact the DARS DHHS staff and the testing site immediately. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the approval of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant's control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule and take the test within 30 days of cancellation.

1.6.3 Notification of TEP Results

DARS DHHS reports test results within 30 days after the test is administered. If additional delays occur, the DARS DHHS staff notifies the applicant. Applicants receiving a passing score on the TEP may apply for a performance test.

Applicants who do not receive a passing score must

  • wait to retake the test six months after the test was administered,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

1.7 The Performance Tests

1.7.1 Performance Tests Eligibility Requirements

(Revised 04/1107/12)

Applicants meet the following performance test eligibility requirements to apply for a performance test:

Certification Status Performance Test Eligibility
Not certified Basic Level
BEI Level I, Signing Exact English (SEE), Morphemic Sign System (MSS), Level II
BEI Level I, Basic, Level II, Level III, Level IV, Level V Advanced Level
RID Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpretation (CI), Certificate of Transliteration (CT), or CI and CT
NAD-RID NIC or Advanced
Certified Level III or higher from another state
BEI Level III, Level IV, Level V, OC:C, or Advanced Master Level
NIC Advanced or Master
Not certified and the applicant is deaf Level III Intermediary
Level III Intermediary Level V Intermediary
Level I Oral Oral Certificate: Basic (OC:B)
Level I Oral or OC:B Oral Certificate: Comprehensive (OC:C)
Not certified and the applicant is deaf Oral Certificate: Visible (OC:V)

Holders of RID, NIC, or certification from another state must submit a copy of their certification for verification purposes if applying for the Advanced or Master Performance test.

1.7.2 Applying for a Performance Test

(Revised 06/1004/1107/12)

The applicant must

  • complete Form 3909, Interpreter Performance Test Application;
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • an official college transcript for an associate degree or for 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university; and
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS at least 60 calendar days before a scheduled test date.

Current BEI certificate holders who are applying to upgrade their certification level are exempt from the educational requirement, but are required to pass the TEP.

An application does not guarantee a request for an appointment on a specified day, location, or time. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis, and requests for dates and locations cannot always be accommodated. The DARS DHHS staff member contacts applicants when necessary to arrange alternate testing dates.

When DARS DHHS receives and processes the application form, a DARS DHHS staff member

  • sends a letter to the applicant to acknowledge receipt of the form and fees, and
  • provides information about scheduling an appointment for testing.

1.7.3 Testing Fees Schedule

(Revised 04/11)

The nonrefundable testing fees are shown in the following table:

Certification Test Applicable Fee
Test of English Proficiency $95
Basic Performance Test $145
Advanced Performance Test $170
Master Performance Test $195
Level III-Intermediary Performance Test $50
Level V-Intermediary Performance Test $50
MSS Performance Test $85
OC:B Performance Test $85
OC:C Performance Test $105
OC:V Performance Test $50
SEE Performance Test $85

1.7.4 Testing Sites and Schedule

(Revised 04/11)

DARS DHHS has agreements, which are subject to change, with numerous sites for annual testing sessions.

The sites and dates for testing are available at the DARS DHHS office or at BEI Testing Dates and Sites.

1.7.5 Confirming an Appointment for a Performance Test

(Revised 06/1004/1107/12)

Before a scheduled testing date, a DARS DHHS staff member sends a letter to the applicant to confirm an appointment for testing. Appointments are

  • given on a first-come, first-served basis; and
  • offered only one time.

Fees are not refundable. The appointment is confirmed by mail or with a confirmation email. The letter or email includes directions to the testing location and instructions about the specific performance test. After the appointment is confirmed, the applicant may not reschedule the appointment except for reasons outlined in the Forfeiture of Fee section below. For more information about test expectations, formats, and samples, see the BEI Study Guide for General Interpreter Certification Candidates available online or by request from the DARS DHHS office.

Forfeiture of Fee

Testing fees are forfeited if an applicant cancels a confirmed appointment or fails to appear for a confirmed appointment without notifying DARS DHHS staff in advance. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the discretion of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant’s control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule the test within 30 days and take the newly rescheduled test within six months.

1.7.6 The Day of the Performance Test

(Revised 04/1107/12)

Applicants must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time and may bring only photo identification and the confirmation letter to the site. Applicants who arrive later than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment forfeit the testing opportunity and fees.

Water is provided for applicants. Applicants must not bring electronic devices such as cell phones, pagers, tablets, or PDAs into the testing room. Handbags, wallets, briefcases, backpacks, jackets, coats, and other personal items are not allowed in the testing room and should be secured in the applicant's vehicle before the appointment. This prohibition is necessary for test security. Applicants are required to sign a confidentiality statement before testing. Any action that can be viewed as cheating on an examination is grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of a certification.

A DARS DHHS staff member or designee administers the performance test and records each applicant. Once the test begins, the recording may not be stopped, rewound, or replayed, but the testing materials may be paused briefly between each section. An applicant is not permitted to rewind or review his or her performance test DVD. The applicant may not leave the testing room after the test has begun, but may sit or stand.

1.7.7 Notification of Test Results

(Revised 12/0904/1107/12)

DARS DHHS reports test results within 90 days after the test is administered. If additional delays occur, DARS DHHS staff notifies the applicant. Applicants who are awarded certification are

  • added to the database of certified interpreters;
  • notified of the results; and
  • mailed:
    • a certificate,
    • a wallet-sized card, and
    • information about applicable laws, rules, and policies that pertain to the requirements for annual certificate maintenance and five-year certificate renewal.

Unsuccessful applicants are notified of the results and must

  • wait to retake the test six months after the test was administered,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

The notification letter contains valuable feedback about test results and provides information for getting training before retaking the performance test. The applicant should use the BEI Study Guide to help understand the rating criteria.

1.8 Annual Certificate Renewal

(Revised 04/11)

A certificate holder must renew the certificate annually by paying the annual certificate renewal fee to DARS DHHS before the expiration date. A DARS DHHS staff member may send certificate renewal notification letters at least 60 days before the expiration date. A certificate holder's failure to receive notice does not prevent the expiration of a certificate.

1.8.1 Process for Annual Certificate Renewal

(Revised 04/11)

The certificate holder must complete Form 3910, Annual Certificate Renewal, or Form 3921, Multiple-Certificate Annual Renewal, and send it with a check, money order, or cashier’s check for the fee to DARS DHHS. When DARS DHHS receives the form and fee, a DARS DHHS staff member

  • updates the certificate holder's contact information; and
  • mails a new certificate card, which is valid through the next year.

See 1.10 Certificate Renewal and Recertification Fee Schedule.

1.8.2 Multiple Certificates

(Revised 12/0904/11)

A person possessing more than one BEI certificate must comply with all annual certificate renewal, five-year recertification, and continuing education requirements. This means that

  • when a current BEI certificate holder is awarded an additional BEI certificate, the current and new certificates are assigned a single, new five-year certification cycle that begins on the award date of the newest BEI certificate(s);
  • the new five-year certification cycle and the annual renewal date each become due as of the award date of the newest BEI certificate;
  • continuing education units (CEUs) earned prior to the multiple certificate award date are void; and
  • the certificate holder has five years from the multiple certificate award date to earn all required CEUs.

The certificate holder must complete Form 3921, Multiple-Certificate Annual Renewal, or Form 3922, Multiple-Certificate Five-Year Recertification, and mail the form with a check, money order, or cashier’s check for the fee to DARS DHHS. See 1.10 Certificate Renewal and Recertification Fee Schedule for more information.

1.8.3 Certificate Expiration

(Revised 12/0904/11)

A certificate holder's certificate expires if the annual renewal fee is not paid to DARS DHHS by the expiration date. When a certificate expires for nonpayment of the annual certificate renewal fee, the expiration letter is mailed via certified mail. Continuing to interpret in any situation where an interpreter certificate is required is a violation of DARS rules when the only certification held is an expired BEI certificate.

State mail is not forwarded. If a certificate holder has moved, he or she must notify DARS DHHS of the address change.

1.8.4 Certificate Reinstatement

(Revised 12/0904/11)

A person who is otherwise eligible may renew an expired certificate by completing Form 3910, Annual Certificate Renewal, or Form 3921, Multiple-Certificate Annual Renewal, and paying the applicable fee to DHHS. The following restrictions apply:

  • A person whose certificate has been expired for 90 days or less may renew the certificate by paying to DHHS a renewal fee that is equal to one and a half times the normally required renewal fee.
  • A person whose certificate has been expired for more than 90 days but less than one year may renew the certificate by paying to DHHS a renewal fee that is equal to two times the normally required renewal fee.
  • A person whose certificate has been expired for one year or more may not renew the certificate. The person may obtain a new certificate by complying with the requirements and procedures, including the examination requirements, for obtaining a certificate.

1.9 Five-Year Certificate Recertification

(Revised 12/0904/11)

Each certificate holder must earn continuing education units (CEUs) during the five-year certification period. See 1.9.2 Continuing Education Units. At the end of the five-year period, certificate holders must apply to recertify their certificates for an additional five years. For more information about obtaining CEUs, see the BEI Study Guide for General Interpreter Certification Candidates (in PDF).

A DARS DHHS staff member may send notification letters to certificate holders of certificate renewal at least 60 days before the expiration date. A certificate holder's failure to receive notice does not prevent the expiration of a certificate. To recertify, the certificate holder must

  • complete Form 3911, Five-Year Recertification, or Form 3922, Multiple-Certificate Five-Year Recertification, and attach
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check for the renewal fee, and
    • copies of documentation for the CEUs earned during the certification period; and
  • before the date of expiration, mail the items to DARS DHHS.

1.9.1 Five-Year Certificate Expiration

(Revised 07/12)

A certificate holder's certificate expires if the five-year recertification requirements are not satisfied by the expiration date. When a certificate expires for not satisfying the CEUs requirement and nonpayment of recertification fee, the holder is notified by certified mail. State mail is not forwarded, and if a certificate holder moves, he or she must notify DARS DHHS of the address change. When a certificate expires, the certificate holder’s name will no longer appear on the list of certified interpreters on the DARS website. Continuing to interpret in any situation where an interpreter certificate is required is a violation of DARS rules when the only certification held is an expired BEI certificate.

1.9.2 Continuing Education Units

(Revised 12/0907/12)

Each certificate holder must earn a total of 10.0 CEUs (100 clock hours) during the five-year certification period in the amounts and topics as stipulated in the following to be eligible for recertification:

  • 6.0 CEUs (60 clock hours) in interpreting-related topics;
  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in ethics-related topics; and
  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in general studies.

See the Procedures for the Five-Year Renewal Cycle. See also Chapter 4: Court Interpreter Certification and Chapter 6: Trilingual Certification for court and trilingual CEU requirements.

A certificate holder using college coursework towards CEUs must submit an official college transcript to verify the required credit.

Ethics Classes and Workshops Not Approved by DARS DHHS

To receive CEU credit for classes and workshops that have not been approved by DARS DHHS, a certificate holder must provide the following:

  • a course description that provides sufficient information to determine material covered,
  • recertification paperwork, and
  • a letter from the teaching professor to verify the amount of time spent on the material by topic.

1.9.3 Insufficient CEUs for Recertification

(Revised 04/1107/12)

A certificate holder's certification expires when the certificate holder does not earn the required amount of CEUs by the five-year recertification due date. A certificate holder has 364 days from the date the certification expired due to insufficient CEUs to submit CEU documentation to DARS DHHS to meet the CEU requirements as outlined in 1.9.2 Continuing Education Units.

1.9.4 Recertification by Testing

A certificate holder with an expired certification may obtain a new certificate by applying for testing and complying with established eligibility requirements.

1.10 Certificate Renewal and Recertification Fee Schedule

(Revised 12/09)

The annual certificate renewal and five-year recertification fees are as follows:

  Time Frame Annual Certificate Renewal Five-Year Recertification
One Certificate Held Before certificate expires $75 $70
1 to 90 days after certificate expires $112.50 $105
91 to 364 days after certificate expires $150 $140
Multiple Certificates Held Before certificate expires $105 $100
1 to 90 days after certificate expires $157.50 $150
91 to 364 days after certificate expires $210 $200

1.11 Change of Name or Address of Certificate Holders

(Revised 04/11)

A certificate holder must notify the DARS DHHS office of name or address changes within 30 days of such changes. Notification of name or address changes may be emailed to bei@dars.state.tx.us or mailed to DARS DHHS, PO Box 12904, Austin, TX 78711. For a name change, also mail a copy of a document verifying the change. For example, you may use a

  • marriage certificate, or
  • court decree.

Failure to promptly submit address changes to the DARS DHHS office may delay receipt of important correspondence from the DARS DHHS office about certificate renewal or five-year recertification. When this happens, the certificate holder is subject to additional late fees and/or expiration of certification. State mail is not forwarded. If a certificate holder has moved, he or she must notify DARS DHHS of the address change.

1.12 Returned Checks

(Revised 04/11)

Test results and certificates are withheld until payment is resolved. Annual certificate renewal or five-year recertification paid with a returned check may result in the certificate expiring and late fees being assessed.

If a person sends two or more checks that are returned because of insufficient funds in a 12-month period, DARS DHHS will require future payments to be in the form of a money order or cashier's check.

Chapter 2: Complaints against a BEI Certificate Holder

2.1 Introduction

This section contains policies for resolving a complaint against a BEI certificate holder.

2.1.1 Filing a Complaint

A complaint against a person certified by DARS DHHS should be submitted to DARS DHHS, detailing any alleged violations or objectionable actions. Form 3950, Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) General Complaints, may also be used to file a complaint. The complaint and any supporting documentation must be mailed to DARS DHHS within 90 days of the alleged incidents. Acceptable methods of submitting a complaint include through email, facsimile, or such media as YouTube that can capture sign-language messages.

Please note that the DARS DHHS interpreter complaint process applies only to DARS DHHS certified interpreters. DARS DHHS does not have legal authority regarding the actions of interpreters who are not certified by DARS DHHS (with the possible exception of non-court-certified interpreters performing court interpreter services for the hearing impaired). However, when appropriate and to the extent possible, DARS DHHS attempts to assist in the resolution of any complaints filed against a non-DARS DHHS-certificate holder.

2.1.2 Receipt of Complaint

When DARS DHHS receives a complaint against a DARS DHHS-certificate holder, a DARS DHHS staff member sends a letter to the person or entity filing the complaint (the complainant) to

  • acknowledge receipt of the complaint, and
  • notify the complainant that a copy of the complaint and all associated documents will be forwarded to the appropriate certificate holder in order to get the certificate holder's response.

2.1.3 Notification of Complaint

The certificate holder is notified that a complaint has been filed against him or her. The notification letter to the certificate holder includes

  • copy of the complaint from the complainant;
  • a request for a written response to the allegations;
  • a notice of the time frame in which to submit the response to the DARS DHHS office; and
  • a copy of the
    • DARS rules pertaining to grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of an interpreter certificate, and
    • Interpreter's Code of Professional Conduct.

2.1.4 Fact-Finding Search

To determine whether there are sufficient grounds to support the allegations that a certificate holder violated DARS rules, the DARS DHHS staff member

  • conducts a fact-finding search, and
  • reviews
    • the complaint,
    • the response by the certificate holder, and
    • any supporting documentation.

2.1.5 Witnesses

DARS DHHS may contact a person identified as a witness by regular mail, facsimile, email, or telephone and ask him or her to provide statements or responses to questions about the complaint.

2.1.6 Fact-Finding Results

After information has been compiled and reviewed, DARS DHHS staff members make a determination about the substance of the complaint. DARS DHHS staff members may also consult with DARS Legal Services and the BEI Advisory Board.

If DARS DHHS determines that insufficient information exists to substantiate the allegations, DARS DHHS closes the case as unsubstantiated. The certificate holder and complainant are notified of DARS DHHS' finding and the closure of the complaint.

If DARS DHHS determines that there is sufficient information to show that DARS rules have been violated, DARS DHHS may resolve the situation

  • without further administrative action by
    • a letter of reprimand, or
    • the certificate holder's voluntary agreement to accept a disciplinary action (an Agreed Final Order);

or

  • by initiating an administrative disciplinary action against the certificate holder.

If DARS DHHS determines that the information gathered supports a proposal for revocation, suspension, or probation of a certification, the certificate holder is entitled to an administrative hearing in accordance with Texas Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001 and the DARS rules, 40 TAC Chapter 101, Subchapter E, Division 4. A DARS DHHS staff member sends the certificate holder a certified letter that

  • provides the certificate holder with notice of the proposed disciplinary action,
  • informs the certificate holder that he or she is entitled to an administrative hearing and has the opportunity to request one,
  • provides the relevant information about the administrative hearing process,
  • informs the certificate holder that he or she has 30 days to submit a written request to the DARS hearing coordinator requesting an administrative hearing on the proposed action or DARS DHHS will impose the administrative action, and
  • provides the contact information for the DARS hearing coordinator.

2.1.7 Complaint Resolution

DARS DHHS attempts to resolve complaints within 90 days. However, because some complaints require a more in-depth inquiry, including information exchanges with persons and entities outside the agency, some complaints may take longer to resolve. If an administrative hearing is requested, however, the timeline for resolution usually surpasses 90 days.

2.1.8 Coordination of Hearing

All requests for an administrative hearing must be submitted to the DARS hearing coordinator. When DARS receives the hearing request, all communications relating to the hearing and the hearing process are handled by the DARS hearing coordinator including the assignment of an impartial hearing officer to preside over the administrative hearing, scheduling, and dissemination of information to the parties involved.

2.1.9 Impartial Hearing Officer Decision

The randomly assigned impartial hearing officer presides over the administrative hearing proceedings for the proposed disciplinary action. After the conclusion of the administrative hearing, the impartial hearing officer analyzes and considers evidence presented and issues a decision.

Chapter 3: Criminal Conviction Records

3.1 Introduction

In administering BEI program rules and policies, DARS DHHS may perform criminal conviction records checks of

  • applicants for BEI certification, and
  • BEI certificate holders.

The purpose of the criminal conviction records check is to determine whether there are any criminal convictions that might disqualify or make the individual ineligible to hold BEI interpreter certification, or warrant suspension, revocation, or other disciplinary action against current certificate holders. Any offense punishable as a Class C misdemeanor does not apply.

As appropriate, a DARS DHHS staff member performs the following tasks in connection with criminal conviction records checks:

  • initiates a criminal conviction records check;
  • indicates clearance for staff to complete the application or renewal process if a conviction records check reveals no criminal convictions;
  • consults with DARS Legal Services if the conviction search reveals a criminal conviction that would or could be grounds for denying an application for certification or revoking, suspending, or otherwise disciplining a certificate holder, as set forth in the following DARS administrative rules:
    • 40 TAC Section 101.1211 concerning grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking an interpreter's certificate; or
    • 40 TAC Section 109.227 concerning disciplinary actions;
  • offers the applicant an opportunity to submit relevant details concerning the convictions; and
  • may present information to the BEI Advisory Board for its review and recommendation.

3.2 Obtaining Criminal Conviction Records

DARS DHHS performs criminal conviction records checks

  • when a person applies for DARS DHHS interpreter certification,
  • when a person who is a DARS DHHS certificate holder applies for his or her five-year recertification,
  • when DARS DHHS staff member initiates a periodic review of the criminal conviction records of DARS DHHS certificate holders,
  • when DARS DHHS staff learns that an applicant or certificate holder has or is alleged to have a criminal conviction record, and
  • at DARS DHHS discretion.

3.3 Agency Procedures for Review of Criminal Conviction Records Check Information

The DARS DHHS staff member completes the criminal conviction records search.

3.3.1 Actions Based on Information

If the criminal conviction records check reveals no criminal convictions, a DARS DHHS staff member completes the application process by sending the applicant information on testing or certification renewal.

If the criminal conviction records check reveals that the applicant or certificate holder has a criminal conviction record that would or could be grounds for denying an application for certification or revoking, suspending, or otherwise disciplining a certificate holder, a DARS DHHS staff member

  • informs the DARS DHHS director or DARS Legal Services of the need for further review, research, or consultation, and
  • forwards the relevant information, including the completed application and the criminal conviction check results.

3.3.2 Notifying Individuals of Results and Follow-up Procedures

A DARS DHHS staff member will notify all applicants and certificate holders in writing, by certified mail, of the results of criminal conviction records checks that reveal a criminal conviction, within 30 days of the results.

Individuals with criminal conviction records will be required to provide DARS DHHS with additional or supplemental information regarding the conviction, within 30 days of any request from DARS DHHS to do so.

A DARS DHHS staff member will review information regarding the convictions from all sources and will make a determination of the appropriate action based upon all information provided.

3.4 Use and Analysis of Criminal Conviction Records and Related Information

3.4.1 Use of Criminal Conviction Records in the BEI Certification Process

Criminal convictions, as evidenced by criminal conviction records, may be used to deny an application for DARS DHHS interpreter certification or as a basis for a disciplinary action against a DARS DHHS certificate holder, in accordance with DARS rules 40 TAC Section 101.1211 and Section 109.227. In such cases, individuals will be given notice of the alleged violations and opportunity to respond and to request a hearing on the allegations and proposed action.

3.4.2 Analysis of Criminal Convictions Records

The decision of whether an applicant or certificate holder is qualified to be certified as a DARS DHHS certificate holder or to maintain a DARS DHHS certificate, in light of the convictions specific to that individual, may be based on any of the following factors:

  • the recommendation of the BEI Advisory Board;
  • the nature and seriousness of the crime;
  • the relationship of the crime to the purposes for requesting to become a certified interpreter;
  • the extent to which being a certified interpreter might afford an opportunity to repeat the crime;
  • the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of a certified interpreter;
  • the age of the person at the time of the crime;
  • the amount of time that has passed since the person's most recent criminal activity;
  • the conduct and work activity of the person before and after the crime;
  • evidence of the person's rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated or following release;
  • other evidence of the person's present fitness, including letters of recommendation from
    • prosecution, law enforcement, or correctional officers who had responsibility for the person; and
    • sheriff or chief of police in the community where the person resides; and
    • any other individual in contact with the person; and
  • any other factor that it is reasonably determined is relevant to the individual's qualifications to serve as a BEI certified interpreter.

3.4.3 Requests for Additional Information Regarding Criminal Convictions

In reviewing, investigating, or analyzing criminal conviction records, a DARS DHHS staff member may request information from the applicant or certificate holder regarding the convictions, circumstances relating to the convictions, and any information relating to the individual's circumstances since the convictions.

Applicants and certificate holders with criminal conviction records are required to report such conviction records to DARS DHHS at the time of application for testing or for certification, including at the time of five-year renewal or annual maintenance. Additionally, such individuals must report any criminal convictions to DARS DHHS in a timely manner whenever they occur.

Individuals must provide DARS DHHS with any requested information related to criminal convictions within 30 days of the date of the written request from DARS DHHS for that information. Failure to submit the information within the stated deadline may result in DARS DHHS denying an application or proposing disciplinary action against a certificate holder under 40 TAC Section 101.1211 or 40 TAC Section 109.227.

Chapter 4: Court Interpreter Certification

4.1 Introduction

(Revised 04/1109/15)

Beginning September 1, 2006, interpreters who perform interpreter services during court proceedings must hold either a current court interpreter certification issued by the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), or a current legal certificate issued by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. This chapter outlines the process to become court certified.

4.2 Eligibility Requirements for Court Certification

4.2.1 Qualifications and Requirements for Court Interpreter Certification

The following describes the qualifications that must be met to become a Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) certified court interpreter.

An applicant who is hearing must:

  • hold at least one BEI certificate at Level III, IV, V, III Intermediary, IV Intermediary, V Intermediary, Advanced, Master, or Oral: Comprehensive; or hold certification from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) with a Comprehensive Skills Certificate, Certificate of Interpretation and Certificate of Transliteration, Reverse Skills Certificate, Certified Deaf Interpreter, Master Comprehensive Skills Certificate, or National Interpreter Certification Advanced or National Interpreter Certification Master;
  • pass the DARS DHHS-approved court interpreter written test, which may be taken only by applicants who hold one of the certificates listed above; and
  • pass the court performance test, which may only be taken by applicants who have passed the court interpreter written test.

An applicant who is deaf must:

  • hold at least one BEI certificate at Level III, IV, V, III Intermediary, IV Intermediary, V Intermediary, Advanced, Master, or Oral: Comprehensive; or hold certification from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) with a Comprehensive Skills Certificate, Certificate of Interpretation and Certificate of Transliteration, Reverse Skills Certificate, Certified Deaf Interpreter, Master Comprehensive Skills Certificate, or National Interpreter Certification Advanced or National Interpreter Certification Master;
  • have completed the following hours of training and/or mentoring:
    • a minimum of 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which is the equivalent of 120 clock hours, of DARS DHHS approved courses of instruction in courtroom interpretation knowledge and skills;
    • a minimum of 120 hours of actual practice provided by a certified court interpreter who has been approved by DARS DHHS to act as a mentor; or
    • a combined minimum of 120 hours of instruction and mentoring; and
  • have passed the court interpreter written test, which may be taken only upon completion and approval by DARS DHHS that the applicant has completed the required training and/or mentoring.

An applicant must provide DARS DHHS with documentary proof that the applicant meets the requirements for testing and for certification.

An applicant who formerly held BEI court certification but who is ineligible to renew their BEI court certification must meet all applicable qualifications and requirements of this section.

An applicant who is a military service member or military veteran and who is deaf may satisfy the training requirements of this section with verified similar military service, training, or education. This section does not apply to a military service member or military veteran applicant who is deaf and who holds a restricted license issued by another jurisdiction or has an unacceptable criminal history according to the laws applicable to DARS.

An applicant who is a military spouse will be issued an expedited BEI court interpreter certificate if the spouse holds a current license issued by another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements in this section.

A person with an expired certification must not perform work requiring a certification (for example, interpret for a person who is deaf or hearing impaired at a court proceeding) under Government Code, Chapter 57.

4.3 Training Requirements

(Revised 04/1109/15)

Court interpreter training must focus on court procedure and interpreting for court proceedings. A court proceeding can be civil, criminal, or juvenile and includes, but is not limited to, arraignments, mediations, court mandated arbitrations, depositions, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

DARS DHHS must approve court interpreter training courses. Training courses may be provided by:

  • DARS DHHS;
  • a military, public, or private educational facility; or
  • other providers approved by DARS DHHS.

Court interpreter training must be related to court proceedings as described above and include at least:

  • 16 clock hours on criminal law process;
  • 16 clock hours on civil law process;
  • 8 clock hours on legal terminology; and
  • 8 clock hours on ethical practices for court interpreters.

Contact the DARS DHHS office for information on training opportunities.

4.4 Applying for Court Interpreter Certification

4.4.1 Applying for the Court Interpreter Written Test

(Revised 04/1107/1204/16)

There is a $50 administrative fee payable to DARS DHHS and a $50 registration/proctoring fee payable to the Office of Court Administration (OCA), the entity proctoring the court interpreter written test.

Required Forms for DARS DHHS

The applicant must:

  • complete Form 3901-1, Court Interpreter Certification Application;
  • complete Form 3901-2, Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of Certified Court Interpreters;
  • attach:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver's license;
    • a check, money order, or cashier's check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated administrative fee; and
    • documentation to verify eligibility, such as copies of:
      • a valid certificate card;
      • continuing education unit (CEU) certificates of attendance or transcripts for training (if applicable); and
      • certificates of completion of mentoring (if applicable); and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS.

Required Form for the Office of Court Administration

To apply to take the test:

  1. complete the registration form required by Office of Court Administration (OCA); and
  2. mail the registration form and registration fee directly to OCA, PO Box 12066, Austin, TX 78711-2066.

Processing Court Written Test Application

(Revised 07/1204/16)

Upon receipt of the application, a DARS DHHS staff member:

  • determines eligibility;
  • informs the applicant of acceptance or denial by email; and
  • notifies the testing contractor of the applicant's eligibility.

Upon receipt of an applicant's eligibility, the Office of Court Administration:

  1. schedules an appointment with the applicant and confirms the date, time, and location;
  2. proctors the test for the applicant; and
  3. grades and reports the results to the applicant approximately 30 days after the date that the test was administered.

Upon receiving the court written test results, the applicant must send the test results to DARS DHHS by email at bei@dars.state.tx.us or by fax to 512-407-3299.

Preparing for the Court Written Test

Information may be obtained from DARS DHHS or may be downloaded at Court Interpreter Written Test Overview.

4.4.2 Applying for a Court Interpreter Performance Test

(Revised 04/16)

The applicant must:

  • complete Form 3901-3, Court Interpreter Performance Test, and Form 3901-2, Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of Certified Court Interpreters;
  • attach to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver's license;
    • a copy of valid certificate card; and
    • a check, money order, or cashier's check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS at least 60 calendar days before a scheduled test date. Scheduled test dates are published on the DARS DHHS Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) Registry.

A submitted application does not guarantee that a requested appointment on a specified day, location, or time will be accommodated. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis. The DARS DHHS staff member contacts applicants when necessary to arrange alternate testing dates.

For more information about test expectations and format, see the Study Guide for BEI Court Interpreter Performance Test Candidates available online or by request from the DARS DHHS office.

4.5 Court Certificate Annual Renewal

(Revised 12/0904/1109/1504/16)

A court interpreter certificate holder must renew his or her certificate annually by paying the required annual renewal fee to DARS DHHS before the expiration date. Annual courtesy renewal notification letters are mailed or sent via email at least 60 days before the due date. Failure to receive a courtesy notification letter from DARS DHHS does not exempt a certified court interpreter from the renewal requirements.

Certified court interpreters must complete Form 3901-2, Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of Certified Court Interpreters, and Form 3924, Court Certificate Annual Renewal, or Form 3921, Multiple-Certificate Annual Renewal.

Upon receiving Form 3901-2, Form 3924, or Form 3921 and the required fees, a DARS DHHS staff member updates the certified court interpreter's status and generates a new certificate card, which is valid through the following year.

4.6 Court Certificate Five-Year Recertification

(Revised 12/0907/1209/1504/16)

A certified court interpreter must maintain all prerequisite certifications and satisfy the five-year recertification requirements to maintain his or her certification. For more information, see Chapter 1: BEI General Interpreter Certification Policies and Procedures, 1.8.2 Multiple Certificates and 1.9 Five-Year Certificate Recertification.

Holders of a BEI General Certificate and a Court Certificate must satisfy:

  • 6.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) (60 clock hours) in interpreting-related topics;
  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in court-related topics approved by DARS DHHS; and
  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in ethics-related topics.

Holders of a BEI Court Interpreter Certificate must satisfy:

  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in court-related topics approved by DARS DHHS; and
  • CEU requirements for requisite certificate issued by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), or NIC.

Court Certificate five-year recertification courtesy notification letters are mailed or sent by email at least 60 days before the certificate recertification due date. Failure to receive a courtesy notification letter from DARS DHHS does not exempt a certified court interpreter from the recertification requirements.

To recertify, the certified court interpreter must:

  1. complete:
    • Form 3901-2, Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of Certified Court Interpreters, and Form 3912, Court Interpreter Five-Year Certificate Renewal; or
    • Form 3922, Multiple-Certificate Five-Year Recertification; and
  2. attach:
    • the applicable recertification fee;
    • copies of the CEUs earned during the five-year certification period; and
    • a copy of a valid certificate if not a holder of BEI certification.

Mail the five-year recertification form and fee, and the CEU documentation at least 30 business days before the expiration date to DARS DHHS.

Upon receipt of forms and fees, a DARS DHHS staff member:

  • reviews the renewal paperwork for accuracy and completeness;
  • updates the certification status; and
  • mails a new certificate card to the qualified certificate holder.

Allow 30 business days for processing.

4.7 Court Certificate Renewal and Five-Year Recertification Fee Schedule

(Revised 12/0904/16)

The court renewal and five-year recertification fees are as follows:

Certificate Held Time Frame Certificate Annual Renewal Five-Year Recertification
One Certificate Held Before certificate expires $55 $50
1 to 90 days after certificate expires $82.50 $75
91 to 364 days after certificate expires $110 $100
Multiple Certificates Held Before certificate expires $105 $100
1 to 90 days after certificate expires $157.50 $150
91 to 364 days after certificate expires $210 $200

For more information on certificate expiration and reinstatement, see Chapter 1: BEI General Interpreter Certification Policies and Procedures, 1.8.3 Certificate Expiration and 1.8.4 Certificate Reinstatement.

Chapter 5: Court Interpreter Mentor Training Program

5.1 Introduction

People applying for court interpreter certification must meet the training requirements through classroom instruction, mentoring, or a combination of the two. Mentoring must be provided by a certified court interpreter who has been approved by DARS DHHS to act as a mentor. For more information, see Chapter 4: Court Interpreter Certification, especially 4.3 Training Requirements.

5.2 Court Interpreter Mentor Application

A person applying to be a court interpreter mentor must

  • hold a current DARS DHHS Court Interpreter Certification or RID SC:L for at least twelve months (see Chapter 4: Court Interpreter Certification);
  • pass the written DARS DHHS test on legal and court procedure skills or the RID SC:L written test;
  • have been free of disciplinary action (for example, a certification suspension or unresolved complaint) for the past two years; and
  • complete Form 3903, Court Interpreter Mentor Application, 30 days before the start of mentoring and send it to DARS DHHS.

5.3 Mentee Training Plan and Evaluation

Before mentoring begins

  • complete Form 3904, Mentor Training Plan; and
  • submit it (with Form 3903, Court Interpreter Mentor Application, if not already submitted) to DARS DHHS

Form 3903 and Form 3904 are available at the DARS DHHS office. The forms must be received for approval by DARS DHHS 30 days before the mentoring start date.

For the mentee to receive credit for mentoring received, the mentor must submit a completed Form 3905, Mentee Evaluation,  with a copy of the mentee's training hours log within 30 days of the mentoring completion date. Mail the documents to DARS DHHS.

Chapter 6: Trilingual Certification

6.1 Introduction

(Revised 12/09)

The trilingual certification tests verify an applicant's proficiency in spoken English, spoken Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL).

6.2 Eligibility Requirements for BEI Trilingual Certification

To be eligible for DARS DHHS BEI trilingual certification, an applicant must

  • meet the requirements in 1.2 (A) Qualifications and Requirements for a BEI Certificate;
  • provide proof of possessing one of the following prerequisite certificates:
    • BEI Level I, II, III, IV, V, Basic, Advanced, or Master certificate;
    • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpretation (CI), and Certificate of Transliteration (CT) or CI/CT; or
    • National Association of the Deaf-Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NAD-RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC), National Interpreter Certification Advanced, or National Interpreter Certification Master; and
  • pass the following prerequisite tests:
    • Test of Spanish Proficiency (TSP); and
    • a trilingual performance test.

6.3 The Test of Spanish Proficiency (TSP)

6.3.1 Applying for the TSP

(Revised 04/11)

The applicant must

  • complete Form 3918, Test of Spanish Proficiency;
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
    • a copy of a valid BEI, RID, or NAD-RID certificate card to verify that eligibility requirements are satisfied; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS.

For more information on fees, see 6.4.7 Trilingual Testing Fee Schedule.

6.3.2 Scheduling the TSP

The DARS DHHS staff or a designee must administer the TSP at a site determined by DARS DHHS. A calendar of scheduled dates and sites can be obtained from the DARS DHHS office.

For more information about test expectations, the test format, and sample TSP questions, contact the DARS DHHS office.

6.3.3 Forfeiture of Fees

Testing fees are forfeited if the TSP is not taken within 90 days of application, except when there is a valid reason for the delay. If an applicant must cancel a confirmed appointment, he or she must contact DARS DHHS staff immediately. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the approval of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant's control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule the exam within 30 days and take the newly rescheduled test within six months.

6.3.4 Notification of Results

DARS DHHS reports test results within 90 days after the test is administered. If delays occur, a DARS DHHS staff member notifies the applicant.

Applicants receiving a passing score on the TSP become eligible to apply for a trilingual performance test.

Applicants who do not receive a passing score must

  • wait to retake the test six months after the test was administered,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

6.4 The Trilingual Performance Tests

6.4.1 Trilingual Performance Tests Eligibility Requirements

(Revised 04/11)

Applicants must meet the following performance test eligibility requirements to apply for a trilingual performance test:

Certification Status

Performance Test Eligibility

Not certified

Not eligible

BEI Level I, Level II, Level III, Level IV, Level V, Basic, Advanced, or Master

Trilingual Advanced

*RID CI, CT ,or CI/CT, CSC, **NAD-RID NIC, NIC Advanced, NIC Master

BEI Level III, Level IV, Level V, Advanced, or Master, Trilingual Advanced

Trilingual Master

RID CSC, CI/CT, NIC Advanced, or NIC Master

*Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

**National Association of the Deaf-Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf National Interpreter Certification

Holders of RID, NIC, or certification from another state who are applying for the Advanced or Master Trilingual Performance Tests must submit a copy of their valid certification for verification purposes.

6.4.2 Applying for a Trilingual Performance Test

(Revised 04/1107/12)

The applicant must

  • complete complete Form 3919, Trilingual Interpreter Performance Tests;
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
    • a copy of a valid BEI, RID, or NAD-RID certificate card to verify that eligibility requirements are satisfied; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS at least 45 calendar days before a scheduled test date.

For more information on fees, see 6.4.7 Trilingual Testing Fee Schedule.

6.4.3 Scheduling the Trilingual Performance Test

The DARS DHHS staff member or a designee administers the trilingual performance test at a site determined by DARS DHHS. A calendar of scheduled dates and sites can be obtained from the DARS DHHS Office.

DARS DHHS staff sends a letter to the applicant to acknowledge receipt of the form and fees and provides information about scheduling an appointment for testing.

For more information about test expectations, formats, and samples, contact the DARS DHHS office.

6.4.4 The Day of the Trilingual Performance Test

(Revised 04/11)

Applicants must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time and can bring only photo identification and the confirmation letter to the site. Applicants who arrive later than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment forfeit the testing opportunity and fees.

A DARS DHHS staff member or designee administers the performance test and records each test. Once the test begins, the recording may not be stopped, rewound, or replayed, but the testing materials can be paused briefly between each section. Applicants are not permitted to rewind or review their performance test DVD. The applicant may not leave the testing room after the test has begun, but may sit or stand.

Water will be provided for the applicants. Applicants must not bring such electronic devices as cell phones, pagers, or PDAs into the testing room. Handbags, wallets, briefcases, backpacks, jackets, coats, and other personal items are not allowed in the testing room and should be secured in the applicant's vehicle before the appointment. This prohibition is necessary for test security. Any action that can be viewed as cheating on an examination is grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of a certification.

6.4.5 Forfeiture of Fees

Testing fees are forfeited if an applicant cancels a confirmed appointment or fails to appear for the confirmed appointment without notifying DARS DHHS staff member in advance. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the discretion of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant's control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule the exam within 30 days and take the newly rescheduled exam within six months.

6.4.6 Notification of Trilingual Performance Test Results

DARS DHHS reports test results within 90 days after the test is administered. If additional delays occur, a DARS DHHS staff member notifies the applicant. Applicants awarded certification are

  • added to the database of certified interpreters;
  • notified of the results; and
  • mailed
    • a certificate,
    • a wallet-sized card, and
    • information about applicable laws, rules, and policies that pertain to trilingual and all other BEI certificate holders including annual certificate maintenance and five-year certificate renewal.

Unsuccessful applicants are notified of the results and must

  • wait six months after the test was administered to retake the test,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

The notification letter contains valuable feedback about test results and provides information for getting training before retaking the performance test.

6.4.7 Trilingual Testing Fee Schedule

The nonrefundable testing fees are shown in the following table:

Certification Test

Applicable Fee

Test of Spanish Proficiency

$95

Trilingual Advanced Performance Test

$160

Trilingual Master Performance Test

$185

6.5 Trilingual Annual Certificate Renewal

(Revised 04/11)

A trilingual certificate holder must maintain all prerequisite certifications and renew the trilingual certificate annually by paying the annual renewal fee to DARS DHHS before the expiration date. A DARS DHHS staff member may send renewal notification letters at least 30 days before the expiration date. A certificate holder's failure to receive notice does not prevent the expiration of a certificate.

6.5.1 Process for Trilingual Annual Certificate Renewal

(Revised 04/11)

The certificate holder must complete Form 3910, Annual Certificate Renewal, or Form 3921, Multiple-Certificate Annual Renewal, and send it with a check, money order, or cashier’s check for the fee to DARS DHHS. Individuals certified by RID or NAD-RID must enclose a copy of their valid certificate card. When DARS DHHS receives the form and fee, a DARS DHHS staff member

  • updates the certificate holder's contact information; and
  • mails a new certificate card, which is valid through the next year.

6.6 Trilingual Five-Year Recertification

(Revised 04/11)

A trilingual certificate holder must maintain all prerequisite certifications and satisfy the five-year recertification requirements to maintain his or her certification. Each certificate holder must earn 10.0 continuing education units (CEUs) (100 clock hours) during the five-year certification period.

Holders of a BEI General Certificate and a Trilingual Certificate must satisfy

  • 5.0 CEUs (50 clock hours) in interpreting-related topics;
  • 3.0 CEUs (30 clock hours) in trilingual-related topics; and
  • 2.0 CEUs (20 clock hours) in ethics-related topics.

Holders of only a BEI Trilingual Interpreter Certificate must satisfy

  • 3.0 CEUs (30 clock hours) in trilingual-related topics; and
  • CEUs requirements for requisite certificate issued by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or NIC.

A DARS DHHS staff member may notify a certificate holder at least 60 days before the expiration date. A certificate holder's failure to receive notice does not prevent the expiration of a certificate. To renew, the certificate holder must

  • complete Form 3911, Five-Year Recertification, or Form 3922, Multiple-Certificate Five-Year Recertification, and attach
    • a check or money order for the renewal fee,
    • copies of CEU documentation earned during the certification period,
    • a valid copy of a RID or NAD-RID certificate card (if not BEI certified), and
  • mail the renewal form, fee, and CEU documentation to DARS DHHS.

Chapter 7: Medical Interpreter Certification

7.1 Introduction

This chapter outlines the process to become certified as a medical interpreter.

7.2 Eligibility Requirements for Medical Interpreter Certification

7.2.1 Qualifications and Requirements for Medical Interpreter Certification

An applicant for a medical interpreter certificate must do as follows:

  1. Provide proof of holding one of the following prerequisite certificates:
    • A valid BEI Level III, IV, V, Advanced, or Master certificate
    • A valid Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpretation (CI) and Certificate of Transliteration (CT)
    • A valid National Association of the Deaf-Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NAD-RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Advanced, or NIC Master
  2. Meet the following qualifications and requirements:
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent
    • Not have a criminal conviction that could qualify as grounds for denial, probation, suspension, or revocation of a BEI certificate, or other disciplinary action against any holder of a BEI certificate
    • Provide written proof to DARS DHHS that the applicant has completed DARS DHHS-approved courses of instruction in medical interpretation, with at least 80 credit hours
    • Submit the appropriate application
    • Pay any required fees
    • Pass the Medical Interpreter Performance Test

7.3 Training Requirements

The medical interpreting training must be DHHS approved and must have been completed in the last 10 years. Training may be in form of workshops, webinars, or classroom instruction.

Contact the DARS DHHS office for information on training opportunities.

7.4 Applying for Medical Interpreter Certification

7.4.1 Applying for the Medical Interpreter Performance Test

The applicant must:

  1. complete Form 3960, Medical Interpreter Performance Test;
  2. attach:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver's license;
    • a check, money order, or cashier's check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
    • documentation to verify eligibility, such as copies of:
      • a valid certificate card; or
      • certificates of attendance or transcripts for medical interpreting training;
  3. mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS; and
  4. scheduled test dates are published on the DARS DHHS Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) Registry.

A submitted application does not guarantee that a requested appointment on a specified day, location, or time will be accommodated. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis. The DARS DHHS staff member contacts applicants when necessary to arrange alternate testing dates.

For more information about test expectations and format, see the Study Guide for Medical Interpreter Certification (PDF).

7.5 Medical Certificate Five-Year Recertification

A certified medical interpreter must maintain all prerequisite certifications and satisfy the five-year recertification requirements to maintain his or her certification. For more information, see Chapter 1: BEI General Interpreter Certification Policies and Procedures, 1.8.2 Multiple Certificates and 1.9 Five-Year Certificate Recertification.

Medical certificate holders must satisfy the annual certificate renewal and five-year recertification requirements for both the prerequisite certificate and the medical certificate. For the medical certificate, 20 clock hours of the continuing education unit requirement for the five-year recertification requirement must be in medical interpretation knowledge and skills approved by DARS DHHS.