National Standards for Healthcare Interpreter Training Programs

National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare
NCIHC Standards, Training and Certification Committee
Published Date: 

This document presents standards for the formal preparation of bilingual or multilingual individuals who wish to enter the healthcare interpreting profession. The standards are intended to serve as a guide for the development and ongoing review of "entry-into-practice" healthcare interpreter training programs — that is, programs designed for individuals who wish to acquire the background knowledge and foundational skills that every healthcare interpreter needs to demonstrate in order to function independently.

The document provides the background and context in which the standards for healthcare interpreter training programs were developed, the standards themselves and a glossary to define the specialized terms used in the document.

Standards for training programs will help everyone involved with language access in healthcare – trainers, employers, interpreters, and ultimately, the patients and providers who depend on their services.

  • They help curriculum developers know what to include in an interpreter training and which instructional methodologies are most appropriate and effective.
  • They help interpreters know what level of training they are receiving, and give them confidence that the training they are receiving is actually preparing them for the work they will be asked to do.
  • They help employers know what to expect from interpreters who have completed different levels of training.
  • They inform the development of national certification


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