The Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) certification program is responsible for testing and certifying the skill level of individuals seeking to become certified interpreters in Texas.
Below is a list of the certificates awarded by the BEI.

Types of Certificates

Basic

Holders of this certificate meet minimum competency standards to interpret in K-12 and post-secondary settings. The performance test emphasizes terms and scenarios found not only in general lecture and teaching situations, but in other educational contexts as well. The Basic certificate raises the standard of the current Level I interpreter.

Advanced

Holders of this certificate have the interpreter has skills necessary to interpret in more complex settings than educational. The performance test emphasizes terms and scenarios in routine medical, public forums, government workforce, mental health and social service settings. The Advanced certificate sets a clear standard for an interpreter wanting to work in the majority of settings and perform a range of tasks. The Advanced certificate raises the standard of the current Level III interpreter.

Master

Holders of this certificate have the skills necessary to interpret in the most complex settings, including complex medical and mental health. This test serves to identify interpreters who are qualified to work in the most critical areas.

Court Interpreter Certificate

This is one of the certificates required by law to interpret all proceedings of Texas courts, including county, municipal and justice courts. Other requirements may apply to federal court proceedings. A court proceeding can be civil, criminal or juvenile and includes arraignments, mediations, court mandated arbitrations, depositions and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Oral Certificates

Oral Certificate: Basic (OC:B)

Holders of this certificate are able to repeat verbatim a spoken message using silent articulation that is clear and accurate and can be completely and easily understood by the speech-reading consumer. Appropriate phrasing, facial expression and natural gestures accompany the transliteration. They will be able to understand and transliterate or paraphrase accurately the message of a deaf speaker in a manner easily understood by a hearing consumer.

Oral Certificate: Comprehensive (OC:C)

Holders of this certificate are able to repeat verbatim a spoken message using silent articulation that is clear and accurate and can be completely and easily understood by the speech-reading consumer. Appropriate phrasing, facial expression and natural gestures accompany the transliteration. In addition, they are able to use appropriate verbal and non-verbal support techniques, including paraphrasing, when needed. They are able to oral interpret satisfactorily in especially demanding situations where messages may include highly technical vocabulary and/or complex language structure such as in legal, medical and post-secondary settings. Finally, they are able to understand and transliterate or paraphrase accurately, in a manner easily understood by a hearing consumer, the message of a voiceless speaker or deaf speaker using voice.

Oral Certificate: Visible (OC:V)

Holders of this certificate are deaf or hard of hearing. They are able to understand and transliterate or paraphrase accurately, in a manner easily understood by a hearing consumer, the message of a voiceless speaker or deaf speaker using voice.

Learn more about the skills needed to earn an oral certificate.

Trilingual Advanced

Holders of this certificate are able to meaningfully and accurately understand, produce and transform American Sign Language (ASL) to and from English and Spanish in a culturally appropriate way. They are able to maintain appropriate delivery, pacing, coherence and composure consistently throughout the interpretation. They possess the ability to produce spoken language, including accurate English and Spanish phonology, and use the appropriate rhythm, stress and intonation without interfering with meaning or undermining comprehensibility. They are appropriate for routine educational and social service settings, such as K-12 educational and administrative interactions and information, professional development seminars, application for services, and counseling sessions.

Trilingual Master

Holders of this certificate are able to able to meaningfully and accurately understand, produce and transform ASL to and from English and Spanish in a culturally appropriate way. They are able to maintain appropriate delivery, pacing, coherence and composure consistently throughout the interpretation. They possess the ability to produce spoken language, including accurate English and Spanish phonology, and use the appropriate rhythm, stress and intonation without interfering with meaning or undermining comprehensibility. They are appropriate for complex high-stakes settings, such as medical, mental health, quasi-legal and educational settings that may involve patient information forms, legal proceedings, meetings with medical specialists and special education meetings.

Morphemic Sign System (MSS)

Holders of this certificate are able to convey a message from spoken English into morphemic signs, both expressively and receptively. They are expected to incorporate all features of morphemic signs. The certificate focuses on educational settings.

Signing Exact English (SEE)

Holders of this certificate are able to convey a message from spoken English into SEE, both expressively and receptively. They are expected to incorporate all rules and features of SEE. The certificate focuses on educational settings.

Medical Interpreter Certificate

Holders of this certificate are able to interpret in medical settings such as hospitals or medical offices.  Examples of possible topics include interactions that occur between doctors and patients, covering a variety of health topics, as well as a variety of information that appears on patient intake, discharge and other instructional documents in the medical setting.

Level I

Holders of this certificate communicate more successfully on a one-to-one basis. Their expressive skills are usually stronger than receptive skills and their sign vocabulary is limited. This test is no longer administered, but the certificate may be maintained with continuing education units. 

Level II

Holders of this certificate can handle some daily interpreting situations and usually exhibit either good transliterating or interpreting skills, but not both. This test is no longer administered, but the certificate may be maintained with continuing education units.  

Level III

Holders of this certificate can successfully handle most routine interpreting assignments and exhibit good expressive and receptive interpreting skills. They display a clear distinction between interpreting and transliterating and possess a sign vocabulary. This test is no longer administered, but the certificate may be maintained with continuing education units.

Level IV

Holders of this certificate exhibit solid expressive and receptive interpreting skills and demonstrate excellent use of ASL grammar and ASL features. Their transliterating skills are strong and their processing is often at the textual level. They are able to successfully interpret in medical, legal and psychiatric settings. This test is no longer administered, but the certificate may be maintained with continuing education units.

Level V

Holders of this certificate exhibit near flawless expressive and receptive interpreting skills and display an extensive vocabulary. They interpret in medical, legal and psychiatric settings and demonstrate sophisticated use of ASL grammar as well as ASL features. Their transliterating is conceptually accurate with appropriate mouthing. This test is no longer administered, but the certificate may be maintained with continuing education units.

Level III Intermediary

Holders of this certificate are deaf or hard of hearing, who may work alone or partner with an interpreter while working in a variety of general settings and routine situations. Holders demonstrate flexibility in interpreting for a wide range of communication styles, which may include but, not limited to: non-standard signs and gestures, limited communication skills, characteristics of Deaf Culture that may not be familiar to hearing interpreters, deaf-blind, minimal language skills, indigenous communication, situations where intermediary interpreters are used for any discourse needs.

Level IV Intermediary

Holders of this certificate are deaf or hard of hearing and may work alone or with an interpreter while working in a variety of settings and situations requiring extensive knowledge and training in specialized fields including mental health/psychiatric, medical/surgical and matters involving juveniles. They demonstrate flexibility and display solid skills in interpreting for a range of communication styles, including non-standard signs and gestures, limited communication skills, characteristics of deaf culture that may be unfamiliar to hearing interpreters, deaf-blind, minimal language skills, indigenous communication, and situations where intermediary interpreters are used for any discourse needs.

Level V Intermediary

Holders of this certificate are deaf or hard of hearing, who may work alone or partner with an interpreter while working in a variety of general settings and routine situations. Holders demonstrate flexibility in interpreting for a wide range of communication styles, which may include but, not limited to: non-standard signs and gestures, limited communication skills, characteristics of Deaf Culture that may not be familiar to hearing interpreters, deaf-blind, minimal language skills, indigenous communication, situations where intermediary interpreters are used for any discourse needs.