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Certified Specialist Health Interpreter

A CSHI is…

Certified Specialist Health Interpreters are experienced and accomplished interpreters who are experts in interpreting in the health domain. They have completed training and undertake continuous professional development in specialist health interpreting.

They are highly competent language users who understand specialised terminology and have extensive knowledge of the health domain. CSHIs have a sophisticated understanding of their role as members of a healthcare team. They have full and detailed knowledge and understanding of how culture and language interact, and the relevant codes of ethics and professional standards in the health domain.

While CSHIs may work in the same institutions as Certified Interpreters (CIs), they are competent to interpret complex, highly specialised, expert-to-expert communication in those institutions. For example; a medical handover, research consultations between international partners, or training sessions.

NAATI’s Certified Specialist Health Interpreter Test is an objective assessment of the skills and competencies needed to practice as a specialist interpreter in the health domain in Australia.

Learn more about the different certification types.

Apply for Certification

To apply, you need to register your email in our customer portal, myNAATI. After you have registered, you can apply for your test from the myNAATI portal.

You need to hold a Certified Interpreter credential to be eligible to sit the Certified Specialist Health Interpreter Test.

There are five prerequisite pathways for eligibility to sit the Certified Specialist Health Interpreter Test. 

Details can be found in the Certification System Overview

For spoken languages, the Certified Specialist Health Interpreter test involves five tasks:

1. One knowledge test with six sections (total of 60 questions)

  • Section 1: Medical terminology
  • Section 2: General medical knowledge
  • Section 3: Knowledge of health systems
  • Section 4: Ethics, culture, and the role of the interpreter
  • Section 5: Advanced interactional management
  • Section 6: Research and preparation

The Knowledge Test covers a wide range of health sub-domains. There will be at least one Knowledge Test question on interpreting in the field of speech pathology.

2. One consecutive interpreting – monologue into LOTE task

3. One consecutive interpreting – monologue into English task

4. One simultaneous interpreting – monolingual exchange into LOTE task

5. One simultaneous interpreting – monologue into English task

Interpreting tasks will cover different sub-domains within health and at least one task will relate to mental health.

CSHIs have advanced research skills that enable them to perform in complex and specialised interpreting situations. The ability to prepare for assignments in advance and to use appropriate available resources is one of the skills the CSHI test assesses.

The Knowledge Test will ask questions about a broad range of medical sub-specialisations which are commonly found in hospital and clinical contexts.

Briefs for each monologue task will be sent out one week before the test date to help you prepare for your test. A Patient Summary Sheet will be sent out 24 hours before the test (for the consecutive monologue into LOTE task). 

Make sure you read and become familiar with the Candidate Instructions. 

Knowledge Test

The different question types in the knowledge test are marked in different ways. Multiple choice, match, drag and drop questions are automatically marked by the testing system. Short answer, long answer and essay questions are marked by at least two examiners based upon detailed marking guidelines.

Candidates will receive overall scores for each section of the test, as well as a total score.

Interpreting tasks

The interpreting tasks will be marked using assessment rubrics applied by trained examiners.

Make sure you read and understand the following information before your test:

NAATI has developed a sample knowledge test and a series of example test tasks to help you prepare for the test.

You can access a sample knowledge test through the NAATI Learning Management System (LMS). This sample test uses the same platform as the Knowledge Test you will sit on your test date, and contains examples of the question types and knowledge tested in the CSHI Knowledge Test. This test is NOT the full length of the test and your score should not be taken as indicative of actual test performance. Please refer to the candidate information for more information regarding the knowledge test. To access the sample knowledge test, you will need to create a login, following the prompts. This login is your personal login and will not be used when you sit the Certification Test. If you are not automatically redirected to the sample test after signing in, click on “Home” and then the name of the sample test you wish to take.

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the LMS, the question types and the different sections of the test before your test date.

You can access sample interpreting tasks below.

The first two example tasks are in English, so you have the opportunity of practising interpreting into your LOTE. The consecutive task is segmented by chimes to indicate when to interpret: pause the task when you hear the chime, and play when you have finished interpreting.

The final example task is in Mandarin with English subtitles to give you an idea of what the mental health monologue task is like even if you do not speak Mandarin. The subtitles are not intended to be a unique correct interpretation, but to allow non-Mandarin-speaking candidates to understand the monologue. Please consult the candidate information to learn more about how each test task will operate.

These materials are © National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd 2019 and cannot be reproduced without the written permission of NAATI.

If you would like to sit the CSHI test, please apply as soon as you can.

  • 16-20 December 2019: Korean, Japanese, Mandarin

The list of dates above is not exhaustive. Testing may only be available in some states, depending on demand.

Further dates will be published as they become available. NAATI reserves the right to amend test dates and languages up to eight weeks before the scheduled test date.

Click here to find out about certification prerequisites, and here to apply for a certification test.

NAATI must have assessed your application as 'eligible for testing' before you can be invited to one of these test sessions. Click here to learn more about how certification tests are scheduled.