The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) is the only Oregon state agency that is legally authorized to certify court interpreters in Oregon and offers certification exams for Arabic, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Ilocano, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Marshallese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish and Vietnamese interpreters. In 1993, the OJD received legislative authority and funds to establish a certification program for court interpreters in Oregon. The State of Oregon was one of four founding members of the national Consortium for Language Access in the Courts (formerly the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification). The consortium is managed by the forty member states in consultation with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).
Oregon Certified Court Interpreter Credential
Normally, prospective interpreters prepare themselves for the Court Interpreting Oral Examination over a period of many months or even years. If you would like to become an Oregon Certified Court Interpreter, send an email toCourt.Interpreter.Program@ojd.state.or.us providing your name, address, phone number(s), email address, and what language you want to be certified in. You will be notified periodically of scheduled certification activities and professional development opportunities. The Oregon Certified Court Interpreter Credential will be awarded to a spoken-language interpreter who fulfills the following credential steps:
- Passes a criminal history check.
- Achieves a passing score on the Written Examination.
- Attends the Orientation and the Ethics Orientation Conducted by CIS.
- Achieves a passing score on the Court Interpreting Oral Examination.
- Achieves a passing score on the Ethics Examination.
- Completes and submits documentation of 20 hours of court interpreting services or court observation during the 12 months prior to application in courts of record in Oregon or Consortium member states, federal courts of record, or where the interpreter is sworn in and the record can be presented into evidence.
- Completes the application process.
- Takes the Interpreter's Oath administered by an Oregon state court judge.
For more details, check the Certification Information Packet, or the certification process flow chart.
Oregon Certified Court Interpreters must complete and submit a Renewal Application and all required documentation to CIS 45 days prior to the date of credential expiration. The application must include the following:
- The credential renewal fee and application.
- Documentation of the appropriate number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
- Information necessary to conduct a criminal history check.
In addition to the renewal requirements above, the Oregon Certified Court Interpreter must submit documentation of completion of the following:
- 120 hours of interpreting services in courts of record in Oregon or Consortium member states, federal courts of record, or where the interpreter is sworn in and the record can be presented into evidence.
- 25 total approved CEUs during the credential renewal period as follows:
- 5 ethics-specific units
- 10 general units
- 10 language-specific units
The five ethics-specific CEU requirements and the exclusion of observation hours for renewal apply to all Oregon Certified Interpreters who begin a renewal period after January 1, 2012.
For complete details, check the State Court Administrator Policies for the Oregon Judicial Department's Oregon Certified Court Interpreter Program and the Renewal Application for Oregon Court Interpreter Certification.
Certification by Reciprocity
Examination reciprocity is the first step leading towards certification reciprocity and is met by interpreters who have achieved an appropriate score on the
- Federal Court Interpreting Examination (FCIE)
- Court Interpreting Oral Examination, or
- RID Specialist Certificate: Legal Examination
and meet the following requirements:
- All segments of the examination must be passed in one sitting,
- The examination must be administered and rated in accordance with Oregon requirements,
- The minimum scores on each section must meet Oregon requirements, and
- The candidate must not have tested in another state for certification during the previous 12 months.
Each candidate who has met the requirements for examination reciprocity above must also meet the following requirements:
- Submit verification that the interpreter remains in good standing in the Consortium state, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, or with the RID.
- Pass a criminal history check.
- Attend an Ethics Orientation conducted by CIS.
- Achieve a passing score on the Ethics Examination.
- Complete and submit documentation of at least 150 hours of court interpreting services during the 12 months prior to application in courts of record in Oregon or Consortium member states. federal courts of record, or where the interpreter is sworn in and the record can be presented into evidence.
- Complete the application process.
- Take the Interpreter's Oath administered by an Oregon state judge.
Prior to completing the Application for Oregon Reciprocity Certification, contact the Certification and Training Program by emailingCourt.Interpreter.Program@ojd.state.or.us to ensure that you meet the reciprocity requirements.