Translators deal with the written word. They translate written documents from one language to another.
Interpreters deal with the spoken word or signed languages (such as Auslan). They interpret what each speaker is saying or signing into the other person’s language.
No. NAATI does not provide translation or interpreting services.
We are the certification authority – that is, we ‘licence’ people who wish to work as translators or interpreters. Once certified, each translator or interpreter works for themselves (or an agency or some other organisation).
We have an online directory of all practitioners that hold NAATI certification or recognition. You can search in here to find practitioners who can help you.
A Recognised Practising credential is granted in low demand languages and languages of new and emerging communities where testing is not available. A practitioner who holds a Recognised Practising credential has satisfied the minimum training requirements and has recent and regular experience as a translator and/or interpreter, but has not had their skills tested by NAATI.
Recognised Practising credentials do not have equal status with certification, nor do they stipulate a specific level of transfer competency.
This depends on a number of factors, such as the demand for the particular language, your certification type and your skill.
Some language communities may be quite small, so there may not be much work. In others, a large number of certified practitioners may already exist, which may mean greater competition and fewer opportunities.
The only way to find out if there’s demand for a particular language and, if so, at what certification type, is to do your research. For example, you could contact translating and interpreting agencies, or organisations that employ interpreters or translators.
This will depend on many things, such as the demand for the particular language, your skills and experience, and the type of work you do.
Many translators and interpreters run their own businesses as freelancers. If you run your own business, you will need to decide how much to charge. You can get an idea of appropriate rates by doing a web search – some agencies publish their rates online.
You can set up MFA on your myNAATI account in the My Account section. MFA means that you will need a code from an authenticator app on your phone, in addition to your myNAATI username and password, to log into your myNAATI account. This helps to keep your account and personal information secure.
It is not compulsory to use MFA, however it is a requirement if you want to access NAATI’s digital stamps or ID cards.
If you lose access to your authenticator app (for example, if you lose or replace your phone) you may be able to get access to it simply by installing the same app on your new phone and pulling across your existing logins.
If you aren’t able to do this, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org from your registered email address so that we can help.
Former accreditation system
In 2011, NAATI began a journey to raise our standards of testing and certification by commissioning research. This was the first comprehensive review of the NAATI accreditation system since its inception.
Led by Professor Sandra Hale, this research resulted in the Improvements to NAATI Testing Report and the subsequent formation of the Improvements to NAATI Testing (INT) Project.
You can read more about the project here.
Training and prerequisites
- Introduction of minimum training requirements.
- Strengthening the role of formal translating or interpreting qualifications through NAATI Endorsed Qualifications.
- Separation of training and education delivery from certification testing. Under the former system, training institutions could issue accreditations once someone completed their training. This led to inconsistencies across the profession.
- All candidates have to sit and pass a standardised NAATI certification test (except for Recognised Practising credentials).
- Rubric-based assessment, instead of mark deduction.
- New test formats (e.g. live role-plays and computerised translations).
- Introduction of health and legal interpreting specialisations (interpreting only).
- Universal recertification requirement (demonstrating work practice & professional development to maintain a credential after the initial 3 years).
All translators and interpreters who held a current accreditation under the former accreditation system were offered the opportunity to transition into the new system until 31 December 2019. This was free until 30 June 2018 (6 months after the introduction of the Certification System) and had a small fee until 31 December 2019.
If you chose not to transition into the Certification System for any reason, this will mean one of two things for the accreditation/s you held:
- If your accreditation was issued prior to 2007 and you did not opt into the revalidation requirement, it would have no expiry date and would therefore still be valid. Please note that many employers will insist on certified practitioners only due to the recertification requirements giving extra assurance on currency of skills.
- If your accreditation was issued between 2007 and 2017, it would have been issued with an expiry date. You would have needed to ‘revalidate’ your accreditation with NAATI (similar to the current recertification requirements) in order to maintain your credential, otherwise it would have expired. If you did not transition into the current Certification System, then your old accreditation has expired and is no longer valid.
All credentials issued under the current Certification System have a 3-year validity period and an expiry date. This means anyone wishing to maintain their credential after this time needs to recertify.
Former accreditation system
Until 2007, accreditations were issued for life. This means they do not have an expiry date. There are some people who hold an accreditation that has not expired, and they chose not to transition into the new system.
From 2007 to 2017, all accreditations were issued with an expiry date. This meant translators & interpreters needed to ‘revalidate’ in order to maintain their credential. People holding older accreditations (pre-2007) were also able to ‘opt in’ to the revalidation requirement. This is very similar to the current recertification requirement. For those people, if they did not transition across to the new system, they no longer hold a valid translator or interpreter credential.
If you wish to become certified by NAATI again, you must meet the training & prerequisite requirements and sit a test with NAATI. You can read about the credentials we offer and the requirements here.
Accreditation levels under the former accreditation system
|Translator accreditations||Interpreter accreditations|
|Paraprofessional Translator – formerly known as Level 2||Paraprofessional Interpreter – formerly known as Level 2|
|Professional Translator – formerly known as Level 3||Professional Interpreter – formerly known as Level 3|
|Advanced Translator – formerly known as Level 4||Conference Interpreter – formerly known as Level 4|
|Advanced Translator (Senior) – formerly known as Level 5||Conference Interpreter (Senior) – formerly known as Level 5|
|Recognition – available for non-tested languages||Recognition – available for non-tested languages|
Once you have an account you can apply for your test.
- If do not already hold NAATI certification for another language or skill, you can submit a “Certification & Recognised Practising” application
- If you already hold a NAATI certification, please use the “Additional Certifications” application instead.
Booking a test
You cannot select a test session until your application has been assessed by NAATI. Once you have received an email confirming that you are eligible for testing, you will be able to select a test date.
Certification test results are generally issued within 8-10 weeks of the test being sat.
If you are eligible for a supplementary test, you will receive an email from NAATI when you receive your results with guidance on how to apply for a supplementary test.
You can apply for a review of your test results through your myNAATI portal. If the review results in a pass, the review fee will be refunded.
There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to apply for a review of your test results through your myNAATI portal including:
- You have already applied to sit the test again. You cannot apply for a review if you have a new application already in progress. If you would like to have your results reviewed, please email email@example.com so that we can withdraw your new test application.
- It has been more than 30 days since you received your results. All test reviews need to be requested within 30 days of the results being issued.
- Your test application was sponsored. If your test application was sponsored by a third party and you would like to apply for a review of your test results, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsors generally will not cover the cost of a test review so NAATI will need to send you the invoice directly.
Rescheduling, cancellation or refunds
To reschedule, you need to first reject your existing test session in myNAATI. You can reject a test session through your myNAATI account up until 5 weeks prior to the test date for CPI (Certified Provisional Interpreter) and CI (Certified Interpreter) tests, and 14 days for CT (Certified Translator) tests.
Once you have rejected the session, you will be able to select a new test date in myNAATI.
NAATI has an online directory which lists translators and interpreters who hold a NAATI credential. This is available to the public, and is one of the main ways that the community will find a translator or interpreter to work with.
As a practitioner, you have the option of listing or removing yourself and your contact details from the online directory for free. You can choose what information is displayed, and it’s a great way to get work. The directory displays search results with highest credentials first, and names at random so that no individual practitioners are prioritised over others.
NAATI does not share practitioner’s unlisted information with the public, so please add your contact details to the directory if you would like to be contactable.
You can control your online directory listing through your myNAATI account.
List your name and credentials
By default, when someone was granted their first NAATI certification before November 2022, their name and credential/s will be listed on the directory without any contact details. People who receive a NAATI certification after November 2022 will not be listed automatically.
To turn your listing on or off, go into My Credentials and toggle each credential to on or off. If you toggle all of your credentials off then your name and listing will be removed completely.
Add or update your contact details
To change what details you display in the online directory, go into My Account and then click the Update My Details icon. Click Edit on the field you want shown or removed (e.g. email, phone), and then click Show In The Online Directory.
If you need help with this, please contact us at any time at email@example.com (and include your customer number).
You should update your contact details in myNAATI every time you change your address, phone number or email.
The photo displayed is whatever you supplied with your original application. You can email us a replacement photo to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to update it.
You can email us with a request to remove your photo to email@example.com. We would replace your photo with a silhouette. However, your photo is one of the only ways that your clients can identify you as the person holding your credentials, so we don’t recommend doing this.
If you plan to upgrade your phone, you should switch off MFA on your current phone before swapping over, and then set it up again on your new phone.
If you have already replaced your phone and found you can’t log in, you may be able to put your sim card back into your old phone to temporarily turn off MFA. You can then swap your sim card back to your new phone and set it up again.
If you no longer have access to your old phone or you are having difficulties logging in, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Translator stamps and interpreter ID cards are free with your credential/s. Once you have been awarded a credential or have been recertified, you will receive your new products within 2-4 weeks if you are in Australia. Postage timeframes to overseas addresses will vary.
Please make sure that your postal address listed in your myNAATI account is correct.
If you need a new product before your recertification, please email email@example.com.
Use the reset password button on the homepage of myNAATI. You will need to enter your NAATI Number (not your CPN). You can find your NAATI Number in any emails from us.
If you have forgotten your NAATI Number, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can still lodge a recertification application with as much detail as possible about your work practice and professional development if you want to maintain your NAATI credential/s, even if you don’t think you meet the minimum recertification criteria.
Lodging an application will allow NAATI to assess your application and contact you for more information, provide guidance on your application or consider granting some flexibility.
NAATI has the ability to grant you an extension of up to one year on a case-by-case basis (for example, if you were unable to work for extended periods due to health reasons, or for practitioners in low demand languages).
You can also contact us for advice at email@example.com and one of the team will respond as soon as possible.
If you wished to hold the same credential again, you would have to lodge an application for the same credential again with NAATI, which may include sitting another test.
We advertise upcoming professional development events delivered by various organisations on our website.
Other ways to obtain points for ethics include regular discussion with other translators/interpreters about the ethics of the profession, self-reflection on ethical dilemmas you might have faced in your work, or reading articles focused on this topic.
You can now use a digital stamp from NAATI. However if you want to wait for your physical stamp to arrive, you will need to ask your client or organisation what their requirements are.
Generally, you will be able to confirm your translations by writing:
- Your first name
- Your last name
- Your NAATI Practitioner ID
- The direction of your credential (English to LOTE or LOTE to English)
- Your credential expiry date
- You will then need to sign your translation
But remember, some organisations (eg. government departments) will only accept stamped translations so in some cases you’ll have to wait for your stamp.
These are already available via your myNAATI account. If you have multi-factor authentication set up, you will be able to download them now.
We have consulted with key authorities such as the Department of Home Affairs, Passport Office and Australia Post. Everyone who was consulted was supportive of this change.
If you find the digital stamp or ID card is not accepted, please direct your client to our website, share this brochure on NAATI Practitioner Identification with them or share this webinar about the digital stamps and ID cards with them.
You can also let us know so that we can consider additional communications or run another webinar.
Digital ID cards
You can now use a digital ID card instead of carrying a physical interpreter ID card. This allows for extra security with the QR code, and also allows your clients to verify your credential easily without having to type out your CPN into the NAATI website.
You can resize the digital stamp to suit the format and the document, ensuring the text is still legible.
QR codes should be no smaller than 2cmx2cm to be readable by most phones.
Ask your client what their requirements are.
You can read more about DFAT’s requirements here: DFAT Requirements for NAATI-credentialed Translators
If you need to place the digital stamp on each page, you only need to download the digital stamp once and then insert it or copy-paste it onto each page.
Yes, you should check with your client what they need to be displayed on your translations.
For example, you can read more about DFAT’s requirements here: DFAT Requirements for NAATI-credentialed Translators
Digital stamp security
No, downloading one stamp per day is appropriate.
The advantage of downloading the stamp every day you complete a translation is that the stamp has a ‘QR code generated on’ date. If you download a stamp in October and use it in March, your client may raise questions.
If you reuse a stamp over multiple days or weeks, it will have an impact on more of your clients if the stamp needs to be disabled.
It will be impossible for someone to create a QR code that links to NAATI’s verification tool. If someone has forged a digital stamp, scanning the QR code will not work.
However, we know that some people have either scanned an image of a physical stamp, or even had physical stamps made to resemble NAATI stamps to use fraudulently and we aren’t able to stop these being used.
We can only learn about fraudulent use of a stamp (digital or physical) through reporting to NAATI.
If a digital stamp is reported as being used fraudulently, we can disable the QR code from that day.
We could, however all of the stakeholders engaged so far have indicated a single stamp per day is more effective for translators.
If we find lots of security issues over time, we may change the stamp so that it needs to be downloaded for each document translated, however we think the instance of fraud will be low.
We cannot add ID documents to your application after you have submitted it.
If you forget to add attach your ID documents with your application, then your application will be rejected. You will be required to submit a new application along with you ID documents.
Your new application will be processed in the order it is received.
NAATI products and services are charged in Australian dollars and where applicable include Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST). For many international residents GST is not payable and NAATI does not apply it.
NAATI is aware of an issue in our system whereby some international candidates are receiving invoices which state that GST has been applied. This is a system issue which we are working on.
No, NAATI staff cannot book a test date for you. To book a test date you will need to log onto your myNAATI portal and select a test date that is available to you.
If no available dates appear, this means there are no current test spaces available.
Keep checking myNAATI regularly to see if there have been any cancellations or further test dates added.
No. Once you have submitted your application you are not able to change or select a different payment method.
If you want to change how you pay you will need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your application will be cancelled. You will need to submit a new application and select your preferred payment method.
If there are no test spots available, the system will show you the message “to be scheduled”.
Please be patient. Our booking portal is live and is updated daily. We advise you to keep checking myNAATI on a regular basis.
Reschedule, refund & cancellation
Candidates can change their language, at no cost, if the test date is more than 7 days from the date of change. If the test date is within 7 days from the date of change a 100% penalty (i.e. $800) will be applicable.
Language requests can be submitted to email@example.com.
Rescheduling or cancellation within 2 days of your test date is not possible unless the candidate provides evidence of hospital admission, serious injury or an accident. This is because we “lock in” the test sessions to enable planning and preparation.
If you have been admitted to hospital, or suffered a serious injury or accident, you must provide evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org by 8am (Canberra time) on the test day at the very latest. The medical certificate or hospital admission must state the nature of the illness. For more information, refer to the cancellation policy: Terms and Conditions.
It can take 14-21 days to process a refund and then receive the credit to your account. Please note NAATI will refund the payment to the same account it was paid from.
If you receive a Credit Note this means NAATI is processing your refund request. Your funds will be credited within 5 -10 business days of receiving the credit note to the same bank account/credit card you paid from.
Please send us documentary evidence such as an Australian driver’s licence or an Australian Government issued photo ID card and we will amend your address.
There are three sections in the name category; a) Given name, b) Other names and c) Family name and it should be filled as follows to make sure your full name displays on your profile:
Candidate Name: John Harison-Mcdonald
First Name: John
Other Name: Leave it blank
Family Name: Harison-Mcdonald
Candidate Name: Mousa Khalil Bakar bin Issa
First Name: Mousa
Other Name: Leave it blank
Family Name: Khalil Bakar bin Issa
The address mentioned in the credential letter is the one available in our record at the time of issuing the letter. We expect that candidates maintain their profile updated in myNAATI account.
If your result has been issued in the last 30 calendar days, NAATI can issue a new credential letter.
If your result has been issued more than 30 calendar days, NAATI can not issue a revised credential letter. Instead we will issue a supporting letter mentioning your current address.
Please provide us documentary evidence (driving license, utility bill excluding mobile bill, lease copy) clearly showing your full name and new address to issue a new credential / supporting letter.
Test day enquiries
Please send a copy of other ID documents such as an Australian driver’s licence or Australian Government issued photo ID card to email@example.com to enable use to update your file.
It is recommended you bring your original ID on test day.
Candidates who wear a hearing aid are required to provide to NAATI a current medical certificate about their condition, related medical reports for the past 12 months, the hearing aid model number and photos clearly showing the model number. This information must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org at least three days before the candidate’s test date.
Modifications to how the test is undertaken are not possible.
There is a national time of 20 minutes per test. We may cease a test if it runs too long.
Refer to the Candidate Instructions.
Any test issues should be reported within 24 hours via email to email@example.com. Any incidents reported after this time frame will not be taken into consideration. Any test issues or incidents will be investigated, and a response provided as soon as the investigation has finished. Please ensure that you tell us your customer number in the subject line as without this a response may be delayed.
While reporting a complaint, please mention your customer number in the subject line. Your complaint will be thoroughly investigated and it may take up to two weeks for us to respond.
Here are the most common reasons candidates did not achieve their desired result in the CCL test. Try to pay particular attention to these areas to increase your chance of success.
- Major omissions, distortions and/or unjustified insertions
- Grammatical errors in English or LOTE (language other than English)
- Excessive use of English words in LOTE. Please read the Language Policy for CCL Tests for more information.
- Literal and unidiomatic transfer of meaning of the segment
- Taking excessive repeats in dialogues. Please note the Repeats Policy as part of the Candidate Instructions.
- Excessive pauses, self-corrections and lack of flow
- Not completing the test within the time frame.
A paid review is only available to candidates whose initial result is 58 or higher. The result will be the average result of three examiners, the two that originally marked the tests and a third examiner.
A paid review result can take up to three weeks and the result will be sent to you via email.
Note: You cannot submit a new application and an application for a paid review at the same time.
However, if you submit a new application and have not selected a test date yet, please write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide your consent to withdraw your application. Once the application is withdrawn, you will be able to submit a paid review request.
A CCL result or credential letter is valid for five years from the date of issue.
Results issued before 9 August 2022 are valid for three years. NAATI is not able to amend the expiry date of a credential that has already been issued.
If your credentials have expired, you need to take the test again.
You can submit an application 6 months prior to the date of the expiry of the existing credential.