NAATI advises all candidates to read the following information before sitting their test.
It includes what you need to bring, a description of how each task will operate and how the test will be assessed.
Checking In For Your Test
You must check in for your test between the arrival time and the registration closing time listed in your test confirmation email. NAATI staff will check you in by verifying your identity. You can view more information about identity verification on the website.
NAATI will not admit you to the test if you arrive after the registration closing time.
You must observe these conditions. If you do not, NAATI may cancel your test or not issue your test result. In this case, you will not receive a refund of your test fee.
Leaving the test venue
Once the test session has started, you are not allowed to leave the test venue until your test is complete. If you do, you cannot re-enter the venue or continue your test at a later time.
Behaviour on test day
You are expected to be courteous and respectful towards NAATI staff, supervisors and other candidates. You cannot communicate with other candidates on the test day once your test has started.
Use of internet and electronic devices
You are not allowed to use any electronic devices in the Waiting Room or Test Room. These devices include your phone, laptop, tablet, smartwatch and any other electronic devices. When you check in for the test, you will be asked to turn off all your electronic devices, put them in your bag and leave your bag in secure storage space. Internet-enabled and other electronic devices may be used on test day only in the Preparation Room for dialogue tasks. You must not use any communication and recording functions of those devices at the test venue.
All test materials are the property of NAATI. You are not permitted to make or take away copies, paper or electronic, of any test material, or reproduce the test or communicate the test content to other candidates or a third party.
What To Bring
You must bring an acceptable photo identity document (e.g. passport) to check in for your test.
You may bring the following resources to prepare for the dialogue tasks:
- An internet-connected phone, laptop or tablet
- Electronic and hard copy dictionaries, glossaries and thesauri, including self-developed glossaries.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your devices will function for the duration of the test, and to bring any chargers or batteries.
You may wish to bring food to the test venue as you may need to wait several hours for your test to start. Any food must be consumed in the Waiting Room.
What NAATI Will & Will Not Provide
In the Preparation Room and Test Room/s NAATI will provide:
- A pen and paper for note taking (to be returned at the conclusion of the test)
- A glass of water
NAATI will not provide:
- Technical support should you experience issues with your equipment
- Internet access for candidates
- Resources and equipment to prepare for the dialogue tasks
The Certified Interpreter test assesses your ability to provide quality, professional interpreting of complex but non-specialised dialogues, monologues and texts, using appropriate interpreting modes.
The Certified Interpreter test consists of the following five tasks:
- two Simultaneous Interpreting Face-to-Face Dialogue tasks
One Sight Translation (in the same domain as the second dialogue task)
- one Sight Translation into Auslan task – related to, and immediately after, the second Face-to-Face Dialogue task
- one Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue into Auslan task
- one Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue into English task
The tasks will involve different situations from different domains, including at least one from the health domain and one from the legal domain.
The dialogue tasks are live role-plays. There will be two Role-Players involved in each dialogue task, one English-speaking and one Auslan signer.
Domains & Situations
All tasks deal with situations set in different domains of daily life in Australia. These domains include health, legal, community, education, social services, finance, housing, business, employment, insurance, consumer affairs, industries, culture, society, environment, tourism, science and technology.
The test usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours per candidate from the time it starts.
You may need to wait several hours for your test to start after you check in, depending on the number of candidates that day. The expected completion time of the test session is listed in your test confirmation email.
After you check in, a NAATI staff member will direct you to the Waiting Room. You will wait in this room until it is time to start your test. In the Waiting Room, you can only access your hard copy resources. You cannot use any electronic devices in this room.
Preparation Room (Dialogue Tasks)
You will have 15 minutes before each of the two dialogue tasks to prepare. In the Preparation Room, NAATI will provide you with an interpreting brief for the next task. This brief describes the situation and domain, and the names and roles of the people you will interpret for.
In this room, you can use the internet and any of your electronic and hard copy resources to research the interpreting brief, and you may write notes which you can take into the Test Room. You cannot communicate with other candidates in this room.
The Test Room is where you will complete the actual tasks. You are not allowed to ask for further explanation of the task or conditions once you enter the Test Room.
You cannot bring any electronic or hard copy resources into the Test Room. For the dialogue tasks, you can only bring the interpreting brief and any handwritten notes you made in the Preparation Room.
You may take notes during the test. After the task, you must leave the interpreting brief and any handwritten notes in the Test Room.
NAATI test supervisors manage logistics, the equipment recording your test, start and finish times, and any other issues. A supervisor will be in each room, and will tell you when to move between the different rooms.
Supervisors are not permitted to talk about the content of the task or comment on your performance.
You must always follow the supervisors’ instructions.
Recording of Tests
Your test will be video recorded for assessment by NAATI examiners.
Two Simultaneous Interpreting Face-to-Face Dialogue Tasks
You will have 15 minutes to prepare for each of these tasks in the Preparation Room.
You will primarily use the simultaneous mode to interpret two face-to-face dialogues between two Role-Players about the topic and situation described in your interpreting brief. The Role-Players are in the same room as you for these tasks. You may switch between simultaneous and consecutive modes during these tasks if needed.
For each task, the role-play dialogue begins as soon as you enter the Test Room. The Auslan-signing Role-Player will greet you and you will have a brief informal conversation (12 minutes). You can use this time to settle into the task and familiarise yourself with the Role-Player’s style of signing. After this brief conversation, the English-speaking Role-Player will join in.
You should introduce yourself to both Role-Players (in English and Auslan as appropriate) as ‘the interpreter’ or using only your first name. Do not use your full name. NAATI examiners will not assess this introductory part of the task.
The English-speaking Role-Player will begin the timed assessment part of the task by saying “ok, let’s start” or similar. You must interpret what the Role-Players say and sign from this point on. You should interact with the Role-Players to accurately transfer the meaning between them.
Each task will finish when the dialogue between the two Role-Players ends, or about 12 minutes after the start of the assessed part
Interacting With Role-Players (Dialogue Tasks Only)
The age and gender of the Role-Players may not accurately represent the age and gender of the characters described in the brief. In some briefs, characters are given female and male names because their role is not gender-specific. You should refer to the Role-Player by the name with which they introduce themselves.
Under the test situation, the candidate should not ask the Role-Players to speak or sign in short sentences or segments for the entire dialogue. The Role-Players will not be able to accommodate the candidate with regards to such a request.
As the interpreter, you should listen and watch what the Role-Players say/sign and transfer the meaning accurately. You are also expected to demonstrate your ability to manage the interaction with the Role-Players to make sure you accurately transfer the meaning.
There may be instances, during the test, which make it challenging for you to capture and comprehend what has been said or signed, for example:
- the English-speaking Role-Player mumbles, speaks too softly, speaks while the other Role-Player is signing, or uses a word/phrase you do not know.
- the Auslan-signing Role-Player finger spells too quickly or not very clearly, turns away from you, or uses a sign you do not know.
- there is a distracting noise or other interference.
You should use a range of strategies to deal with these instances, including:
- asking the Role-Player to repeat or clarify what they have said or signed
- asking the Role-Player to pause or slow down
- asking the Role-Player to speak more loudly or softly
- switching briefly to the consecutive mode if needed
- inserting a correction if you realise you have made an error
- using other strategies to manage the interaction and transfer meaning.
The use of these techniques is considered acceptable if:
- they result in accurate transfer of meaning.
- you are courteous.
- you inform the other Role-Players about what occurred in the other language.
- the flow of the conversation is NOT hindered
One Sight Translation into Auslan Task (related to the second face-to-face dialogue task)
You will be required to sight translate a written English document into Auslan. The text will be about 200 words long. The Sight Translation into Auslan task will immediately follow the second Face-to-Face dialogue task.
In the Test Room, NAATI will provide you with an interpreting brief and sight translation text. You will have 5 minutes to review the text and write notes. You cannot ask for any clarifications about the text.
The test supervisor will ask you to start sight translating the text once the preparation time is over.
The task will finish when you complete the sight translation, or no more than 5 minutes after the start of your sight translation.
Two Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue Task (one in each direction)
For each simultaneous interpreting monologue task, you will use the simultaneous mode to interpret a monologue of about 4 to 5 minutes. The monologue is played from a video recording for you by a test supervisor.
One week prior to the test, you will receive the interpreting briefs for these tasks so that you can prepare. On the day of your test, you will not have any preparation time for these tasks. In the Test Room, you can choose whether to stand or sit during the task. At the start of the recording, the task instructions and the interpreting brief will be played to you. The monologue that you need to interpret will begin immediately after the interpreting brief for the English into Auslan monologue.
The Auslan into English monologue includes a brief introduction by the Auslan signer immediately after the interpreting brief to allow you to familiarise yourself with the presenter’s signing style. Candidates do not need to interpret the introduction. The monologue that you need to interpret will begin immediately after this introduction. You should start interpreting as soon as possible after the monologue begins and continue to interpret for the duration of the monologue. You cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the recording.
The task will finish when you complete the interpreting, or about 6 minutes after the start of the source monologue video
Assessment Criteria & Method
At least 2 NAATI examiners will independently assess your performance in the test. They will assess each task separately using assessment rubrics with 5 bands (with Band 1 representing the highest level of performance and Band 5 the lowest).
Your task performance will be marked against each criterion, outlined below.
For the Simultaneous Interpreting Face-to-Face Dialogue tasks, NAATI examiners will assess your:
- transfer competency: meaning transfer skill, interactional management skill, and rhetorical skill
- language competency: language proficiency enabling meaning transfer into the target language (both English proficiency and Auslan proficiency).
For the Sight Translation and Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue tasks, NAATI examiners will assess your:
- transfer competency: meaning transfer skill, application of interpreting mode and rhetorical skill
- language competency: language proficiency enabling meaning transfer into the target language (either English proficiency or LOTE proficiency).
You should aim to achieve at least Band 2 for each criterion, and you must pass all eight tasks to pass the test. You can find detailed information about the assessment rubrics and criteria on the website.
If you attempt all tasks and pass at least three of them, you are eligible for a supplementary test. You must apply for the supplementary test within 6 months of receiving your test results. The supplementary test will involve re-sitting only the task(s) from the task type(s) that have been failed. The supplementary test task(s) will be different situation(s) to the original test tasks you sat.
If you pass the supplementary test, NAATI will award you the Certified Interpreter certification. If you fail the supplementary test, you will fail the overall Certified Interpreter Test, and you can apply for another test if you wish.
Conceded Certified Provisional Interpreter Certification
If you fail the test, but pass both dialogue tasks and the monologue into Auslan task, NAATI will award you a Certified Provisional Interpreter credential if you don’t already hold one.