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RID Generalist Certifications

Generalist certifications recognize professional interpreters who have met or exceeded a nationally recognized standard of minimum competence in interpreting and/or transliterating. Individual certifications vary in their scope, so it is important to know what each credential means.


NIC (National Interpreter Certification)

 Individuals who have achieved NIC certification are nationally-certified interpreters. The National Interpreter Certification (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;
  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 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.

Before December 1, 2011, the NIC Interview and Performance Exam offered three levels:

  • NIC
    Individuals who achieve the NIC level have passed the NIC Knowledge exam and scored within the standard range of a professional interpreter on the interview and performance portions of the test. Passing the test at the NIC level indicates that the interpreter has demonstrated skills in interpreting that meet a standard professional performance level and should be able to perform the varied functions of interpreting on a daily basis with competence and skill. It also shows that an individual has passed a test with both interpreting and transliterating elements, as opposed to one or the other.
  • NIC Advanced
    Individuals who achieved the NIC Advanced level have passed the NIC Knowledge exam, scored within the standard range of a professional interpreter on the interview portion, and scored within the high range on the performance portion of the test.
  • NIC Master
    Individuals who achieved the NIC Master level have passed the NIC Knowledge exam and scored within the high range of a professional interpreter on both the interview and performance portions of the test.

 

As of December 1, 2011, the NIC Interview and Performance Exam became a pass/fail exam.  Those who have passed the exam since December 1, 2011, have been awarded the NIC credential.
 


CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter)

 Holders of this certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; eight hours of training on the role and function of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing; and have passed a comprehensive combination of written and performance tests. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This exam has been available since 1998.  

OTC (Oral Transliteration Certificate)

 Holders of this generalist certification have demonstrated, using silent oral techniques and natural gestures, the ability to transliterate a spoken message from a person who hears to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. They have also demonstrated the ability to understand and repeat the message and intent of the speech and mouth movements of the person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. This exam has been available since 1999.

Ed: K-12 (Educational Certificate: K-12)

Holders of this recognition certification have demonstrated the ability to expressively interpret classroom content and discourse and the ability to receptively interpret student or teen sign language. It is not limited to any one sign language or system. This certification is issued to interpreters who work with students and teenagers who use predominately American Sign Language (ASL), Manually-Coded English (MCE) and Pidgin Sign English (PSE). Holders also demonstrate proficiency in the voice-to-sign and sign-to-voice interpreting skills of interpreters who work in the elementary and secondary school classroom setting.

The examinations for this certification are developed and maintained by the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA)  and is administered by Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.


 

*The following are fully recognized RID certifications, but the examinations are no longer available.


CI (Certificate of Interpretation)  

Holders of this certification are recognized as fully certified in interpretation and have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English for both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign tasks. The interpreter’s ability to transliterate is not considered in this certification. Holders of the CI are recommended for a broad range of interpretation assignments. This exam was offered from 1988 to 2008. This exam is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.


CT (Certificate of Transliteration)

Holders of this certification are recognized as fully certified in transliteration and have demonstrated the ability to transliterate between English-based sign language and spoken English for both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign tasks. The transliterator’s ability to interpret is not considered in this certification. Holders of the CT are recommended for a broad range of transliteration assignments. This exam was offered from 1988 to 2008. This exam is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

CI and CT (Certificate of Interpretation and Certificate of Transliteration)

Holders of both full certifications (as listed above) have demonstrated competence in both interpretation and transliteration. Holders of the CI and CT are recommended for a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments. These exams were offered from 1988 to 2008. These exams are NO LONGER AVAILABLE.


CSC (Comprehensive Skills Certificate)

Holders of this full certification have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English, and to transliterate between spoken English and an English-based sign language. Holders of this certification are recommended for a broad range of interpreting and transliterating assignments. The CSC examination was offered until 1987. This exam was offered from 1972 to 1988. This exam is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.


MCSC (Master Comprehensive Skills Certificate)

The MCSC examination was designed with the intent of testing for a higher standard of performance than the CSC. Holders of this certification were required to hold the CSC prior to taking this exam. Holders of this certification are recommended for a broad range of interpreting and transliterating assignments. This exam is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.


RSC (Reverse Skills Certificate)

Holders of this full certification have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and English-based sign language or transliterate between spoken English and a signed code for English. Holders of this certification are deaf or hard-of-hearing and interpretation/transliteration is rendered in ASL, spoken English and a signed code for English or written English. Holders of the RSC are recommended for a broad range of interpreting assignments where the use of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This exam was offered from 1972 to 1988. This exam is no longer offered.


OIC:C (Oral Interpreting Certificate: Comprehensive)

Holders of this generalist certification demonstrated both the ability to transliterate a spoken message from a person who hears to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing and the ability to understand and repeat the message and intent of the speech and mouth movements of the person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. This exam was offered from 1979 to 1985. This exam is no longer offered. Individuals interested in oral certification may want to take the OTC exam. 


OIC:S/V (Oral Interpreting Certificate: Spoken to Visible)

Holders of this partial certification demonstrated the ability to transliterate a spoken message from a person who hears to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. This individual received scores on the OIC:C examination which prevented the awarding of full OIC:C certification. This exam was offered from 1979 to 1985. This exam is no longer offered. Individuals interested in oral certification may want to take the OTC exam.


OIC:V/S (Oral Interpreting Certificate: Visible to Spoken)

Holders of this partial certification demonstrated the ability to understand the speech and silent mouth movements of a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing and to repeat the message for a hearing person. This individual received scores on the OIC:C examination which prevented the awarding of full OIC:C certification. This exam was offered from 1979 to 1985. This exam is no longer offered. Individuals interested in oral certification may want to take the OTC exam.


IC/TC (Interpretation Certificate/Transliteration Certificate)

Holders of this certification demonstrated the ability to transliterate between English and a signed code for English and the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English. This individual received scores on the CSC examination which prevented the awarding of full CSC certification. These exams were offered from 1972 to 1988. These exams are no longer offered.


IC (Interpretation Certificate)

Holders of this certification are recognized as fully certified in interpretation and have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English. This individual received scores on the CSC examination which prevented the awarding of full CSC certification or IC/TC certification. The interpreter's ability to transliterate is not considered in this certification. Holders of the IC are recommended for a broad range of interpretation assignments. The IC was formerly known as the Expressive Interpreting Certificate (EIC). This exam was offered from 1972 to 1988. This exam is no longer offered.


TC (Transliteration Certificate)

Holders of this certification are recognized as fully certified in transliteration and have demonstrated the ability to transliterate between spoken English and a signed code for English. This individual received scores on the CSC examination which prevented the awarding of full CSC certification or IC/TC certification. The transliterator's ability to interpret is not considered in this certification. Holders of the TC are recommended for a broad range of transliteration assignments. The TC was formerly known as the Expressive Transliterating Certificate (ETC). This exam was offered from 1972 to 1988. This exam is no longer offered.


NAD Certifications

  • NAD III (Generalist) - Average Performance
    Holders of this certification possess above average voice-to-sign skills and good sign-to-voice skills or vise versa. This individual has demonstrated the minimum competence needed to meet generally accepted interpreter standards. Occasional words or phrases may be deleted but the expressed concept is accurate. The individual displays good control of the grammar of the second language and is generally accurate and consistent, but is not qualified for all situations.
  • NAD IV (Advanced) - Above Average Performance
    Holders of this certification possess excellent voice-to-sign skills and above average sign-to-voice skills or vice versa. This individual has demonstrated above average skill in any given area. Performance is consistent and accurate. Fluency is smooth, with little deleted, and the viewer has no question to the candidate’s competency. With this certificate, an individual should be able to interpret in most situations.
  • NAD V (Master) - Superior Performance
    Holders of this certification possess superior voice-to-sign skills and excellent sign-to-voice skills. This individual has demonstrated excellent to outstanding ability in any given area. There are minimum flaws in their performance, and they have demonstrated interpreting skills necessary in almost all situations.
 

*The following RID certifications have been retired. Individuals can no longer use these credentials.

CDI-P (Certified Deaf Interpreter-Provisional)

Holders of this provisional certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have demonstrated a minimum of one year experience working as an interpreter; completion of at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; and eight hours of training in general interpretation as it relates to the interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This certification is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.


Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.
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