Utah Interpreter Program

The State of Utah Certifying & Regulating Body
for American Sign Language Interpreters

Interpreter Certification Board Special Announcements

 CHANGES TO THE UTAH INTERPRETER PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATION EXAMS

 

Announcement in ASL

 

The Utah Interpreter Program (UIP) and Interpreter Certification Board (ICB) would like to announce future changes to the State of Utah Interpreter Certification Performance Exam. Last year, the legislature awarded one-time money for stimulus development. In response to the funding the UIP, ICB and Certification Examination Committee (CEC) recognized it was an appropriate time to assess the current exam to ensure that it reflects current practice and standards in the field. After an in-depth review the ICB voted to update and revise the current exam format.

 

The UIP and ICB value transparency and will provide ongoing updates throughout the process. This announcement is to provide the initial overview of the new performance exam format that has been voted on and approved by the ICB. All exam revisions and stimulus development are in the early stages. More information about the test formats and pending timeline is forthcoming.


Decision: Revision of Novice Performance Exam format.

 

New Novice Performance Exam Format - Three Components

Novice level stimulus will incorporate interactive settings that allow a high level of control and low level of complexity and sensitivity. Scenarios and topics will be based on common interpreting settings at Novice level standards and needs of the local community.

 

All three components must be passed in one attempt to be awarded Novice Level certification. If a candidate passes less than 3/3 components, all three components must be retaken and passed simultaneously to be awarded certification.

 

Candidates will be limited to testing four times per year. Candidates will be allowed to apply for retest as soon as their previous test results are received, but the total number of test attempts shall not exceed four within a one-year time frame beginning the date of the first attempt.

 

Decision: Revision of Professional Performance Exam format.

 

New Professional Exam Format - Four Components

Scenarios and topics will be based on common interpreting settings at Professional level standards and needs of the local community.

 

All four components must be passed in one attempt to be awarded Professional Level certification. If a candidate passes less than 4/4 components, all four components must be retaken and passed simultaneously to be awarded Professional Certification.

 

Testing candidates will be limited to testing four times per year. Retest applications can be submitted as soon as previous test results have been received, however the total number of test attempts shall not exceed four within a one-year time frame beginning the date of the first attempt.

 

Decision: Addition of Deaf Interpreter Performance Exam

 

New Deaf Interpreter performance exam format


All four components must be passed simultaneously to be awarded Deaf Interpreter Certification. If a candidate passes less than 4/4 components, all four components must be retaken and passed simultaneously to be awarded certification.

 

Testing candidates will be limited to testing four times per year. Retest applications can be submitted as soon as previous test results have been received, however the total number of test attempts shall not exceed four within a one-year time frame beginning the date of the first attempt.

 

Decision: Addition of online orientation as a prerequisite to complete before a first attempt of any level of a performance exam

 

UIP will develop an online orientation for each performance exam that will prepare candidates on what they can expect from the exam. It will also include important information regarding certification maintenance that they are required to adhere to upon receiving certification.

 

Comments and FAQs:

 

Comments may be submitted by clicking on the Comment Form or VP# 385-474-8913

 

The UIP and ICB recognize the exam changes may have a direct impact on training programs. Educators are invited to register by filling out the Trainer Registration Form for potential updates and preparation geared toward training programs.

 

For more information, updates, and frequently asked questions please refer back to this page regularly.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why was the decision made to change the exams?

A: As an ever growing and changing profession it is vital that the exam reflect current best practices. To maintain reliability and validity in any exam it needs to be updated to reflect current standards. The money awarded by the legislature provided the opportunity to update the stimulus and the exam as a whole.

 

Q: How many times am I allowed to take the exam in a one year time frame?

A: Four. This is consistent across all three exams (Novice, Professional, and Deaf Interpreter)

 

Q: Why limit the number of times I am allowed to test in one year?

A: There are a limited number of testing materials and this helps preserve the integrity of those materials from over exposure. This change won’t take effect until the new exams’ launch date.

 

Q: Am I allowed to pass each Utah Professional level component separately?

A: No. The new Utah Professional exam format is devised to reflect a reasonable variety of “an interpreter’s day of work” and is therefore designed to be passed in one sitting.

 

Q: Why was the change made to no longer allow interpreters to pass each Professional exam component individually?

A: The primary reason is due to the design of the new exam. The board also feels passing the exam in its entirety more accurately reflects the current quality of standards expected in the interpreting profession. Historically, the initial Professional exam was also intended to be passed all at the same time and was changed to assist with attrition rates and rapidly growing needs. That change was intended to be temporary.

 

Q: I am already in the process of testing at the Utah Professional level and have passed one or more components. Will the new test system mean that I no longer have a one-year window to pass all five components?

A: Anyone who has taken the current test and passed at least one component prior to the implementation of the new test will have the remainder of their one-year window (beginning the month they passed their first component) to pass all remaining components and receive Utah Professional level certification under the current test system. Candidates in this situation are not restricted to testing four times per year. Candidates who have not passed any components prior to the launch date will be required to take the new exam.

 

Q: Am I limited to four testing attempts per year now?

A: No, when this will go into effect will be announced at a later date.

 

Q: When I pass my Novice exam do I still get four attempts if I take the Professional exam the same year?

A: Yes, each exam is independent of one another and candidates get four attempts per year, per exam.

 

Q: Will the implementation of the new test affect the four-year requirement to advance from Utah Novice to Professional certification?

A: No. The Utah Novice four-year cycle’s end date will remain the same.

 

Q: I noticed the new exam will add a Hearing/Deaf Interpreter team component to both the Utah Novice and Professional level. Why is there a shift toward incorporating DI work in the interpreting testing process?

A: Utah has a growing number of CDIs. Research has demonstrated the benefits of working with a CDI as being best practice in many situations.  Developing and demonstrating competency in working in a DI/HI team is the mark of a well-rounded practitioner.  An important element of every DI’s work is dependent upon the quality of the feed provided by his/her hearing team. The UIP and ICB recognize the hearing interpreter plays a vital part in the overall effectiveness of the HI/DI team and the importance of assessing an interpreter’s ability to perform this task.  

 

Q: I have never teamed with a CDI so why should it be on the exam?

A: The exam assesses an interpreter’s ability to perform various interpretation tasks required to meet the minimum standard for a well-rounded practitioner. Understanding the dynamic and techniques of teaming with a Deaf Interpreter has been determined to be one of those critical tasks.

 

Q: RID already has a DI exam why does Utah need one too?

A: The state of Utah has long recognized the importance of having a state quality assurance exam in addition to recognizing National credentials. Implementing a state DI exam allows the design to elicit and measure specific critical skill sets identified as the native linguistic and cultural expertise a qualified Deaf interpreter need to possess. It also allows the ICB to determine appropriate pre-requisites for testing at a state level. Additionally, the recent RID moratorium of the DI exam highlighted the need for a state exam.

 

Q: When will the changes happen?

A: The board has approved the new design and format of each exam. The process of exam and stimulus development is in the early stages. UIP will continue to offer updates regarding the process. UIP assures there will be ample notification when a timeline is established to allow plenty of time for people to prepare for the changes. All updates can be found on the UIP website.  

 

Q: Will study materials be available?

Yes, a practice exam will be available as well as study materials in the lab. There will also be a list of resources available online and throughout the community.  In addition, an online orientation will be a prerequisite before taking any new exam.

 

Q: Why are testing candidates required to take an online orientation before testing?

A: After a review of current best practices and feedback from support staff it was determined that an online orientation would provide the best opportunity to ensure that all interpreters and interpreter candidates have adequate information regarding the exam and the certification maintenance process. We are confident that the orientation will aid in the understanding and therefore efficiency of the entire certification and certification maintenance process.

 

Q: Will a degree be required to take the new exam?

A: No, the pre-requisites at this point will remain the same.

 

Q: Will the cost of the new exams be the same?

A: The cost of the new exam has not been determined yet.