The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) was mandated by the Legislature on July 1, 1990, to administer a comprehensive testing and certification program for spoken language interpreters utilized in court proceedings (RCW 2.43.070). Specifically related to testing, the stature requires the AOC to:
Note: These same provisions will apply to the registered category.
In 2005, the legislature appropriated funding for creation of the category of registered interpreters. The AOC and Court Interpreter Commission have established a program for testing and registration of interpreters in languages for which certification is not available.
Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification
The AOC joined forces with Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon to create the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification (The Consortium). The Consortium operates under the direction of, and is staffed by, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), located in Virginia.
The Consortium addresses resource shortages that impede efforts by state courts to define and implement standards for interpreting proficiency. The Consortium was created in July 1995 as a way to provide for and regulate exchange of existing court interpreter proficiency tests and to develop new tests. It is a mechanism through which funds from several sources can be combined to achieve economies of scale across jurisdictional and organizational boundaries that would otherwise be impossible. To date, there are 40 Consortium member states.
The functions of the Consortium are to:
The Washington State Court Interpreter Program exclusively uses Consortium approved written examinations.
(1) Written Examination. The written exam is a general English proficiency exam that contains 135 questions in multiple-choice format and includes questions related to legal terminology, English aptitude, and court interpreter ethics. The exam is scored via SCANTRON. A test candidate must pass with a score of 80% or better to be eligible to take the oral examination.
(2) Individuals who pass the written exam are eligible to take oral exams measuring English and foreign language speaking and comprehension skills.
For the purpose of testing English, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) shall administer the Versant English Test of Pearson Education. A rating score of 49 is required to pass the test. For the purpose of testing the non-English language, the AOC shall make every effort to administer the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) developed by Language Testing International. A rating score of Superior is required in order to pass the test. In the event that an OPI exam is not reasonably available for a given language, the AOC may administer the Spoken Language Evaluation from ALTA Language Services, Inc. A rating score of 12 is required in order to pass the test.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|