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Appendix 1 – NAATI certification system for interpreters

NAATI Certification

NAATI’s Certification System is designed to evaluate whether an individual is competent to practise as an interpreter or translator. It does this by setting minimum standards of performance across a number of areas of competency. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet these standards are awarded NAATI Certification. This gives assurance to both the users and the interpreting service provider that the practitioner has the necessary competencies to carry out the interpreting and/or translating tasks. View the NAATI Certification Model(opens in a new window).

Victorian Government policy currently states that NAATI-credentialed Certified Interpreters should be engaged. When Certified Interpreters are not available, a Provisional Certified Interpreter or Recognised Practising Interpreter may be the only option.

  • Certified Interpreter – This credential is suitable for complex, non-specialised conversation from a source language into a target language using spoken or signed language that accurately reflects the meaning.
  • Certified Provisional Interpreter - This credential relates to interpreting general conversations. Certified Provisional Interpreters generally undertake interpreting in non-specialist areas.
  • Recognised Practising Interpreter – This credential is available between English and a Language Other Than English (LOTE) for which NAATI currently does not offer certification testing, e.g. for emerging or low demand languages. NAATI directly assesses Language Competency, Intercultural Competency and Ethical Competency, but is only able to indirectly confirm other competencies through evidence of work experience. In the absence of interpreters with certification for a language, Recognised Practising Interpreters may be asked to interpret in the same domains, situations and interpreting modes as Certified Interpreters.

The Descriptors for Interpreting(opens in a new window) have been developed for the purpose of NAATI Certification. They outline the expected minimum standard of performance interpreters display across the competencies required for professional practice, while taking into account the characteristics of interpreters’ work environments.