Signed Language Interpreting Practices: Licensing, Registration, and Renewal
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Community Signed Language Interpreter License
A community signed language interpreter’s license entitles its holder to provide signed language interpreting services in community, K–12 educational, and postsecondary educational settings as appropriate under the NAD-RID code of professional conduct.
Standards and Rationale: Community License
- Must hold a certification currently recognized by RID or one of the following certifications from BEI: BEI Advanced, BEI Master, BEI IV, BEI V, BEI Level IV Intermediary, or BEI Level V Intermediary.
o RID and BEI are the only nationally recognized certifying bodies for signed language interpreters.
- Both require passing a written test and a performance test.
- Must meet RID’s educational requirements – this applies to RID and BEI certified interpreters.
o BA degree in any field for both Deaf and hearing interpreters.
o Or satisfy RID’s alternative pathway: rid.org/certification/alternative-pathways/
- Must comply with their certifying body’s Continuing Education Requirements:
o RID certified interpreters must satisfy RID’s Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) requirements: earn 8 continuing education units (CEUs) in a 4-year cycle (80 contact hours)
o BEI certified interpreters must submit BEI transcripts showing four CEUs (40 contact hours) at each biennial renewal.
Educational Signed Language Interpreter License
An educational signed language interpreter’s license entitles its holder to provide signed language interpreting services in K–12 educational settings as appropriate under the NAD-RID code of professional conduct, and in postsecondary education settings only for consumers currently enrolled in a secondary program and not earning college credit.
Standards and Rationale: Educational License
- Must hold the Ed: K–12 credential from RID or other RID certification, or meet the requirements for the Ed:K–12.
o The Ed:K–12 is the only national certification specific to K–12 interpreting.
o Must pass the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) Written Test.
o Must score at least a 4.0 on the EIPA Performance Test (test is a 5-point scale).
o Must meet RID’s educational requirements (see above).
o The Ed:K–12 is not currently available, so interpreters meeting the requirements for the Ed:K–12 and with a current Associate membership in RID are qualified for the license.
- RID determined that a 4.0 on the EIPA is the minimum standard for interpreting in a K–12 setting.
- The following describes the skills of an interpreter with a level of 4.0:
Level 4: Advanced Intermediate
Demonstrates broad use of vocabulary with sign production that is generally correct. Demonstrates good strategies for conveying information when a specific sign is not in her/his vocabulary. Grammatical constructions are generally clear and consistent, but complex information may still pose occasional problems. Prosody is good, with appropriate facial expression most of the time. May still have difficulty with the use of facial expression in complex sentences and adverbial non-manual markers. Fluency may deteriorate when rate or complexity of communication increases. Uses space consistently most of the time, but complex constructions or extended use of discourse cohesion may still pose problems. Comprehension of most signed messages at a normal rate is good but translation may lack some complexity of the original message.
An individual at this level would be able to convey much of the classroom content but may have difficulty with complex topics or rapid turn taking.
- Interpreters taking the EIPA Performance Test choose the format for the test that is most advantageous to them. Formats simulate working with elementary or secondary students; and working in the language or signing system with which they are most familiar: American Sign Language (ASL) or Pidgin Signed English (PSE).
- The EIPA Performance Test may be taken as many times as needed
- Must comply with RID’s Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) requirements
o Earn 8 continuing education units (CEUs) in a 4-year cycle (80 contact hours)
Provisional Signed Language Interpreter License
A provisional signed language interpreter’s license entitles its holder to provide signed language interpreting services in community and educational settings as appropriate under the NAD-RID code of professional conduct for a maximum of 5 years while working to satisfy the requirements for a community signed language interpreter’s license or an educational signed language interpreter’s license. An interpreter may hold a provisional license and an educational license simultaneously, and is therefore permitted to provide interpreting services in both educational settings and appropriate community settings.
Standards and Rationale: Provisional License
- Must have graduated from an Interpreter Training Program (ITP) at an accredited educational institution or substantially equivalent program as approved by the board – OR –
- Must have been employed as an interpreter when the Act became effective (July 2007)
- May be held for a maximum of 5 years.
- Qualifies the interpreter to work in appropriate educational and community settings.
- Must earn 2 continuing education units (CEUs) per year (20 contact hours)
- Interpreters applying for a Provisional license more than three years post-ITP graduation must submit documentation of involvement in the interpreting or Deaf community since graduation.
Application for Licensure
An application for any license to be issued or renewed by the board shall be made on the official form provided by the board for that purpose.
All applications for licensure must include:
- a completed and signed application
- applicant name
- proof of age indicating applicant is at least 18 years of age (copy of birth certificate, driver’s license, state-issued identification card, or baptismal certificate)
- mailing address
- business address
- phone number
- nonrefundable application fee as required by the board
- photograph: applicants for original licensure shall attach a recent 2×2 color photograph with front view of face.
An application for a community signed language interpreter license must also include proof of current RID certified status showing that the applicant holds one or more certifications recognized by RID at the time of application for licensure with the exception of ED: K–12 or proof of holding one of the following BEI certifications: BEI Advanced, BEI Master, BEI IV, BEI V, BEI Level IV Intermediary, or BEI Level V Intermediary.
An application for educational signed language interpreter license must also include:
proof of current RID certified member status showing that applicant holds the ED: K–12 certified member status by virtue of EIPA rating; or proof of current RID certified member status showing that applicant holds one or more certifications currently recognized by RID; or proof of EIPA rating 4.0 – 5.0, proof of passing the EIPA written test, proof of satisfying the RID educational requirements, and proof of current RID associate member status.
An application for a provisional signed language interpreters license must also include:
proof of completion of an interpreter education program or interpreter preparation program at an accredited institution; or proof of employment as a community signed language interpreter or an educational signed language interpreter at the time the act became effective (June 15, 2007) and after the applicant reached the age of 18; and
proof of current RID associate member status for the purpose of tracking continuing education units (CEU) requirements through the associate continuing education tracking (ACET) program as outlined in subsection B of 22.214.171.124 NMAC.
In lieu of proof of completion of an interpreter training program, deaf applicants for a provisional license may submit proof of having completed at least 40 hours of training in topics such as Fundamentals of Interpreting, Ethics and Cultural Responsiveness, and the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.
If the applicant provides proof of completion of an interpreter education program or interpreter preparation program more than three years prior to their application for a provisional license, they must also submit a resume and one professional letter of reference from an employer, internship supervisor, mentorship director, graduate
school, or other applicable source documenting continued involvement in interpreting or the deaf community since the time of completion of the program.
If an applicant submits an incomplete license application they will be requested to submit any missing documentation; failure to do so within six months of receipt of the original application will result in the application file being closed. After the file has been closed, the applicant will be required to submit a new application and application fee to apply again.
- Community signed language interpreter licenses expire two years from the last day of the month in which they were issued.
- Educational signed language interpreter licenses expire two years from the last day of the month in which they were issued.
- Provisional signed language interpreter licenses expire five years from the last day of the month in which they were issued, but are subject to an annual compliance review. Revocation proceedings may be initiated by the board if the holder of a provisional license fails to pass the annual compliance review each year by the last day of the month in which the license was issued.
The following are statutory exemptions from the licensure requirement, but nonresident interpreters and interns are required to register using forms on the SLIPB website:
- nonresident interpreters working in New Mexico less than thirty calendar days per year
- interpreting in religious or spiritual settings
- interpreting in informal settings for friends, families, or guests
- interpreting in emergency situations where the deaf, hard-of-hearing or deaf-blind person or that person’s legal representative decides that the delay necessary to obtain a licensed interpreter is likely to cause injury or loss to the consumer
- the activities of a supervised interpreter intern or student who is enrolled in an interpreter education program
- multilingual interpreting in order to accommodate the personal choice of the consumer
Registration forms may be found in the application forms accordion on this page.
Stay informed of all board and licensure news by keeping your contact information up to date.
To update your contact information, email the board administrator with your name, address, phone number, email address, and license number.