The Certification System

NAATI’s certification system is designed to evaluate whether an individual is competent to practice as a translator or interpreter. 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. Certification is an acknowledgement that an individual has demonstrated the ability to meet the professional standards required by the translation and interpreting industry in Australia.

NAATI assesses translation and interpreting professionals against these standards so that English and non-English speakers can interact effectively with each other, particularly when accessing medical, government and other services.

NAATI certification permits translators and interpreters to quickly and easily demonstrate to clients and agencies their ability.

Many employers and service providers will expect practitioners to have certification – it is difficult to get translating and interpreting work without it.

The NAATI certification system has been designed after considering the knowledge, skills and attributes identified as necessary for professional practice. It is made up of three components:

  1. Satisfying the prerequisites: these are the criteria you need to meet in order to be eligible for the certification test.
  2. Passing the certification test: this is a performance based test of your translation or interpreting skills. If you are successful in passing this test, you will be awarded certification.
  3. Satisfying the recertification requirements: Once you have been awarded certification, you will be required to meet certain criteria every three years in order to retain it. If you cannot meet these requirements, your certification will expire.

Details about each of these components can be found in the Certification Scheme Design Summary

There are many different types of NAATI certification. Click here to see a model that identifies the types and interrelationships between credentials.

You should think carefully about the type of certification you will need.

To help with this, NAATI has developed descriptors for all NAATI credentials. These descriptors provide a general understanding of the competencies associated with each certification type.

They also describe the types of work that someone holding a certain certification type can be expected to do.

You may also want to use this interactive wizard to work out what type of certification you need.

As noted earlier on this page, the NAATI certification system has been designed after considering the knowledge, skills and attributes (KSAs) identified as necessary for professional practice.

The KSAs are essential to ensuring the validity of NAATI’s certification system and are set out in detail across two discussion papers.

Once you’ve worked out what type of certification you need, you’ll need to:

  1. Work out what eligibility pathway you will use to apply to NAATI;
  2. Take steps to ensure you meet the prerequisite requirements to be eligible for certification testing;
  3. Pass the certification test;
  4. Recertify every three years to maintain your credential.

Click here to use an interactive wizard to work out a certification eligibility pathway. Or you can click here to look at the summary document. 

Click here for our FAQ page.

Still have questions or are unsure? Email info@naati.com.au.