Virginia's Judicial System

Certification Requirements

Three Components of Voluntary Certification

  1. Complete an Orientation and Webinar Series

As the first step in the certification process, candidates must register for and complete three webinars and a 2-day orientation that will familiarize students with the Virginia Judicial System, courtroom protocol, the role of the interpreter, specific skills needed for the different modes of interpreting, and "do's and don'ts" on the job. The webinar component consists of prerecorded modules within three hour-long sessions, which must be completed by a specified date prior to the orientation. Once registration is confirmed, candidates will receive a link to the webinars and are required to submit a webinar completion assertion form by the specified due date. Each candidate will also receive an electronic 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, practice sessions, available resources, and suggestions on how to prepare for the oral certification exam.

  1. Successfully complete a written test as established by the Judicial Council of Virginia

    The second step involves passing a written test. The written test consists of 135 multiple-choice questions that are designed to measure basic, general English language proficiency, and court and ethics knowledge.  Candidates must score a minimum of 80% on the written test in order to be eligible to register for the oral exam.

  2. 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. Additionally, a candidate may score no lower than 65% on either of the two sight translations portions.

  3. Sign and return Agreement form
    Candidates who successfully complete all three steps to become certified in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Interpreters who 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. Candidates may view the Map of Virginia's Judicial Circuits and Districts to indicate the judicial circuit(s) where they would like to work.