Here you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about the new certification system. Click the categories below to find what you are looking for.
If your question isn't listed here, get in touch with us.
No. It is not compulsory for anyone holding a current NAATI accreditation or recognition to transition to the new certification system. It is matter for each individual practitioner to decide.
All credentials previously issued by NAATI remain valid for the period they were issued. In saying this, NAATI expects that the value of accreditation will diminish as NAATI certification becomes the preferred industry standard.
No. If you apply to transition before 30 June 2018, the NAATI Board has agreed to waive the transition fee. Should you choose to transition after this 30 June 2018, a transition fee will apply.
It is expected that NAATI certification will become the industry standard. Many employers (particularly in the government, legal and health sectors) will expect practitioners to have an up-to-date certification – it may become difficult to continue to get translating and interpreting work without it.
Should you choose to transition, you will be issued with newly designed products as well as opting in to be listed on the online directory at no cost.
As part of the transition to the certification scheme, NAATI will not revalidate any accreditations and recognitions expiring after 31 December 2017. Practitioners can apply to transition if they wish to maintain a current NAATI credential.
No. It is up to each individual practitioner to decide which credentials they will transition. NAATI would encourage practitioners to transition any accreditation or recognition that is used regularly.
If your accreditation or recognition expires between 1 October and 31 December 2017 and you transition, NAATI will automatically extend your current accreditation to expire on 31 December 2017. Your new credential will be valid from 1 January 2018.
If only one/some of my credentials are currently part of the revalidation scheme and the others are not, what do I have to do?
You can use the wizard located on the transition page to work out what you will need to do for each individual credential.
Generally, if your credential is already part of the revalidation system, you will not need to provide any additional evidence. For credentials that are not part of the revalidation system, you will need to provide evidence of work practice in order to transition that credential.
You may choose to provide either:
- A reference letter/s from your employer or agency detailing the work undertaken; or
- A summary of work completed via a work practice record; or
- A reference letter from an accountant detailing the income generated by translating and/or interpreting.
Translators: click here for more specific details.
Interpreters: click here for more specific details.
If you cannot provide any of the above, NAATI may consider accepting a statutory declaration.
What type of evidence can I provide to prove my skill in chuchotage (whispered simultaneous interpreting)?
You may choose to provide either:
- Evidence of training in chuchotage (as part of a formal qualification); or
- Work references indicating ongoing work experience in chuchotage; or
- Evidence of completion of a professional development training session on chuchotage.
If you cannot provide any of the above, you will be able to indicate to NAATI that you need to complete a chuchotage professional development training session. NAATI is partnering with AUSIT who will provide these sessions at no cost to the participants.
No. It is only practitioners who are transitioning from Professional Interpreter to Certified Interpreter that have to provide evidence of their skill in chuchotage (whispered simultaneous interpreting).
Decisions about expiry dates will be made on a case-by-case basis. No recertification dates will occur in 2018. The earliest will be 2019.
As a general rule, NAATI expects that your new certification expiry date will be within one year of the expiry date of your accreditation or recognition when you transition. For example, if your current accreditation expiry date is 12 June 2018, we'd expect that your certification expiry date would be 12 June 2019.
If your accreditation or recognition has no expiry date, that is revalidation is not required, then we expect that recertification will be required 2.5 years to 3.5 years from the point you transition.
Yes. Recertification is a universal requirement under the new certification system.
Yes. NAATI expects that we will be able to synchronise multiple credentials so that they all show the same expiry date under the new certification system. In most cases, we expect that they will be aligned to the furthest date.
No. These new specialisations have no equivalent under the current accreditation system, so a practitioner cannot transition straight to them. Practitioners holding Certified Interpreter will need to meet one of the prerequisite pathways in order to be eligible for Certified Specialist Interpreter testing.
NAATI anticipates that we will accept transition applications until the end of 2018. Transition fees are waived until 30 June 2018.
All credentials previously issued by NAATI remain valid for the period they were issued. However, theold accreditation scheme will not be supported in the longer term. This means that practitioners who choose not to transition will not be able to:
- Order new certificates, ID cards or stamps for their accreditations (after 31 December 2017);
- Appear on the online directory (after 31 December 2017);
- Be able to revalidate (after 31 December 2017); and
- Be searchable through the online verification tool on our website (after 31 December 2017).
Should you choose not to transition, that decision is up to you. Each organisation (including government departments) will determine its own policies for acceptability of translations (as currently occurs).
NAATI expects, that as we move through 2018, more and more agencies and departments will require a certified practitioner to complete the translation for it to be accepted.
No. NAATI has made a decision that we not list non-transitioning practitioners on the directory from January 2018. This is irrespective of whether the practitioner holding the accreditation or recognition is willing to pay a fee to be listed.
You will be contacted with the details of upcoming sessions should you nominate that you need to attend a session during the transition preregistration process or on your transition application.
Your current NAATI Number will be superseded by a new NAATI Practitioner Number. Please be aware that you will not be searchable via the online directory or online verification tool using a NAATI Number after 31 December 2017. NAATI will retain your historic data including your NAATI number in the new system.
Certification & Other Credentials
The current NAATI accreditation system turns 40 years old in 2017. Over that time, there has been no thorough review of the basis of the accreditation system. As such, NAATI began a journey in 2011 to raise our standards of testing and certification.
NAATI-commissioned research, led by Professor Sandra Hale, resulted in the Improvements to NAATI Testing Report (INT Report) and the subsequent formation of the Improvements to NAATI Testing Project (INT Project). One of the key deliverables of the INT Project is to introduce a new model for NAATI credentials, standards, testing and assessment. This new model is known as certification.
NAATI anticipates that we will able to begin certification testing for these specialisations towards the end of 2018.
For practitioners who don’t complete a NAATI Endorsed Qualification: you will need to already hold a Certified Interpreter credential as well as satisfying the work practice and professional development requirements in order to access a Certified Specialist Interpreter test.
For practitioners who complete an appropriate NAATI Endorsed Qualification: you will be able to directly access the Certified Specialist Interpreter test without satisfying any other prerequisites.
Click here for details of all pathways for each certification type.
NAATI has made a public commitment that the cost of certification will be no higher than current accreditation related fees. We are optimistic that the improvements to our internal processes and systems will allow us to pass on lower application costs.
Whilst NAATI prefers that an individual accesses certification via a NAATI Endorsed Qualification, we are aware that endorsed qualifications will not be accessible in all languages. As such, NAATI has indicated that there will be a number of translator and interpreter online training modules made available.
These online modules will underpin entry for practitioners at the lowest levels of the certification system. Towards the end of 2017, NAATI will publish more detailed information about how to access the online modules.
NAATI expects to finalise and publish these test formats by the end of 2017.
From 2018, NAATI will no longer offer on-demand testing for certification. Certification tests will be scheduled based upon demand.
There are multiple pathways to upgrade your credentials from Certified Provisional Interpreter to Certified Interpreter.
Generally, if you already hold Certified Provisional Interpreter and do not wish to complete a NAATI Endorsed Qualification, you will need to provide us with:
- Evidence of at least three years’ work experience in the language combination; and
- Evidence of completed Professional Development activities to support advanced practice.
Click here for details of all pathways for each certification type.
No. There will be no requirement for certified practitioners to attempt to ‘upgrade’ to the next type of certification.
In cases where NAATI introduces certification testing for Certified Provisional Interpreter or Certified Translator in languages where only Recognised Practising credentials have been awarded, practitioners who hold Recognised Practising will automatically be notified if testing is scheduled.
The cost of recertification will be in line with current revalidation related fees.
In any case, practitioners who successfully recertify every three years will receive (at no additional cost) -
- Automatic, free listing on the online directory (which will include limited details of accreditation history); and
- New Certificates, ID cards or Stamps (depending on your credentials).
Yes. NAATI strongly encourages all practitioners that are currently part of revalidation to continue to keep records as usual throughout the transition period.
Whilst the finalised recertification requirements won’t be available until late 2017, it is clear that there will continue to be professional development and work practice requirements. You can view the draft recertification requirements here.
Students who start their qualification in a NAATI Approved Course before 1 January 2018 but do not complete it until 2018 or later will be eligible to sit a test with the institution for NAATI accreditation, as long as the institution meets all of the conditions of approval associated with the course.
In some cases, you may be able to sit a certification test (rather than an accreditation test) if your course becomes a NAATI Endorsed Qualification. You will need to check with your institution before applying to NAATI.