Virginia's Judicial System

Certification Requirements

Three Components of Voluntary Certification

  1. Complete a 2-day Orientation and a two-part written test as established by the Judicial Council of Virginia

As the first step in the certification process, candidates must register for an orientation that will discuss the role of the interpreter, specific skills needed for the different modes of interpreting and "do's and don'ts" on the job. Each candidate will receive a binder with information on how to access court related glossaries, and documents that will give an understanding of the court system and legal procedures. The training also includes an overview of self-study techniques and available resources and information on and suggestions for preparing for the oral certification examination.

The second step involves passing a two-part written test. Part 1 of the written test is 135 multiple-choice questions that are designed to measure basic, general English language proficiency, and court and ethics knowledge. Part 2 of the written test is the translation of 10 sentences from English into the foreign language.

Candidates must score a minimum of 80% on Part 1 of the written test and receive a "Pass" on Part 2 in order to be eligible to register for the oral exam.
  1. Complete the foreign language interpreter certification oral exam
    Candidates must pass the National Center for State Courts Oral Exam. This exam tests proficiency in the 3 modes of interpretation:
    1. Simultaneous interpretation from English to the foreign language;
    2. Consecutive interpretation, English to the foreign language and the foreign language to English;
    3. Sight translation of an English document into the foreign language; and vice versa

    Note: Candidates must score a minimum of 70% on each section in order to pass the oral exam.

  2. Sign and return Agreement form
    Candidates who passed the oral exam and Interpreters that wish to be inducted by applying Consortium credentials earned elsewhere toward Virginia certification must review and agree to adhere to the Code of Professional Responsibility for Foreign Language Interpreters Serving Virginia Courts. Using the Map of Virginia's Judicial Circuits and Districts indicate the judicial circuit(s) where you would like to work.