[from the RID website]

Certification…Ensuring Excellence

RID has developed a certification process that involves passing a series of exams. In order to attain certification, an interpreter must posses a bachelor’s degree in any field and pass a multiple-choice knowledge exam that measures knowledge of a variety of areas from linguistics to ethics to influences on the interpreting process. An interpreter must then pass a performance exam in which interpreting and ethical decision-making skills are assessed by a group of professional peers according to a nationally-recognized standard of competence. If the interpreter meets or exceeds the national standard, they are awarded certification.

Types of Certification

Most RID credentials indicate that an interpreter was assessed and awarded certification by RID. This includes the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certification (NIC). However, RID also recognizes credentials assessed and awarded by other organizations. This includes NAD certifications and the EIPA (RID awards the Ed:K-12 for recognition of the EIPA). Before such certificates are recognized by RID, the testing instruments are put through a thorough psychometric evaluation to make sure they are valid and reliable.

All RID certifications are classified into two broad categories:
  • RID Generalist Certifications – Certifications classified as generalist signify skills in a broad range of general interpreting/transliterating assignments. Certifications in this category include the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certification (NIC) and RID certificates such as CI, CT and NAD Certifications.
  • RID Specialist Certifications – Certifications classified as specialist signify skills in a particular area or specialty of interpreting assignments.

NIC (National Interpreter Certification)

Individuals who have achieved NIC certification are nationally-certified interpreters. The NIC Examination tests interpreting knowledge and skills in three critical domains:
  1. General knowledge of the field of interpreting through the NIC Knowledge Exam;
  2. Ethical decision making through the interview portion of the NIC Interview and Performance Exam; and
  3. Interpreting skills through the NIC Interview and Performance Exam.
Candidates earn NIC certification if they demonstrate professional knowledge and skills that meet or exceed the minimum professional standards necessary to perform in a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments in all three domains.

The NIC certification process begins with a multiple-choice NIC Knowledge Examination. Candidates who pass the knowledge examination and meet RID’s eligibility requirements may then take the NIC Interview and Performance Examination. The NIC Interview and Performance Examination is a vignette-based assessment using video to deliver and record the assessment.

Anyone who wishes to seek NIC certification should first read the entire NIC Candidate Handbook to ensure a complete understanding of the certification process.