The titles of “certified translator”, “certified terminologist”, “certified interpreter”, “certified conference interpreter” and “certified court interpreter” are granted by the provincial regulatory bodies for these professions. CTTIC is responsible for the application of uniform standards for professional certification across Canada. CTTIC also administers the various exams that confer the right to use these titles.
Three certification mechanisms are used in Canada: certification on dossier, certification by mentorship and the certification exam. Currently, only Québec and New Brunswick offer certification by mentorship. In Québec, provincial legislation on professional orders does not permit certification by exam. The title of certified translator, interpreter or terminologist is granted by the provincial association (or professional order) to which the candidate has applied for certification.
Please note that in order to be eligible for certification, you must first apply for and be accepted as a member with one of our member organizations. Please go to Member Associations for a listing of their websites where you will find detailed information regarding their membership requirements.
CTTIC has no individual memberships. Since professional organization is a matter of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, CTTIC admits only provincial and territorial bodies, variously called an association, order, society or corporation. Its total membership consists of the seven member bodies which, in turn, represent their own members.
In this way, CTTIC speaks nationally for about 3,500 language professionals, some 2,500 of whom are certified. Most member bodies publish directories of their members, which are available to the public free of charge or for a small fee, in paper format or on-line.
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA)
Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC)
Association of Translators, terminologists and Interpreters of Manitoba (ATIM)
Corporation of Translators,Terminologists and Interpreters of New Brunswick (CTINB)
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia (ATINS)
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO)
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Saskatchewan (ATIS)
On Dossier Certification (Translation, Interpretation and Terminology)
Candidates with a recognized diploma who can prove that they have at least two years of pertinent work experience (considered as equivalent to the mentorship period) may present an application for certification on dossier.
Experienced language professionals who do not have a recognized diploma and whose training has not been recognized as equivalent, but who can prove that they have at least five years of professional practice, may become candidates for certification on dossier.
Certification by Mentorship
In Québec, the mentorship program offered by OTTIAQ leads to certification after a series of meetings spread over at least six months. During this period, the mentor looks at the mentoree’s work, discusses all aspects of professional services, suggests areas of practice to be considered, assesses progress made and suggests improvements. At the end of the mentorship, the mentor evaluates the mentoree’s fitness to practice the profession and makes a recommendation to the certification committee. Candidates who meet the Ordre’s requirements obtain certification after completing the mentorship program.
In New Brunswick, the CTINB offers a mentorship program that is quite similar to OTTIAQ’s but is adapted to New Brunswick legislation.
One of CTTIC’s main roles is to ensure consistent application of certification with two objectives: to standardize methods of entry to the profession and to monitor the skills of translators belonging to provincial and territorial organizations. CTTIC administers a uniform translation exam based on the combined efforts of member bodies through the Board of Certification. The Board of Certification reports to CTTIC’s Executive and sets requirements for certification. It also has general oversight over procedures and methods of assessing candidates.
Besides the uniform translation exam held once a year, exams in conference interpretation, court interpretation and terminology are held occasionally, depending on demand. Each exam includes a section on professional ethics. Persons interested in obtaining any of these professional titles should contact the body representing their province or territory of residence directly. Passing one of these exams confers the right to use the title of “certified translator, interpreter or terminologist”, which is granted by the provincial body to which the candidate has applied for certification.
The translation exam is for professionals who want to have their skills recognized by their peers and to be able to use the title of “certified translator”. The exam is not designed merely to show an aptitude, but rather to demonstrate a candidate’s professional skills. Candidates are considered able to practice their profession independently if their exam results demonstrate the ability to produce a faithful, idiomatic translation that requires little or no revision. The translation exam is held every year simultaneously in several cities around the country. Registration is in the early fall.
- The Candidate’s Guide
- The Marker’s Guide
Conference Interpretation Exam
The conference interpretation exam administered by CTTIC is for professional interpreters who can prove that they have 200 days of practice under professional conditions or who have equivalent qualifications.
Court Interpretation Exam
The court interpreter certification exam, also administered by CTTIC, includes several modules: assessment of language skills, legal terminology and procedure, consecutive interpretation and a simulated trial.
This exam aims to recognize candidates with extensive skills in terminology, who can accomplish tasks of moderate difficulty as terminologists and who can perform terminological research in a specialized field.
The titles of certified translator, certified interpreter and certified terminologist are now recognized by legislation in New Brunswick, Ontario, Québec and British Columbia. ATIO, CTINB, OTTIAQ and STIBC obtained these reserved titles after many years of work by leaders in the profession in these provinces. Most other member organizations enjoy a certain de facto recognition by public authorities in their province or territory and are working toward obtaining these titles officially.
Pan-Canadian Reciprocity Agreement
Eight provincial bodies in Canada have signed a reciprocity agreement: ATINS, CTINB, OTTIAQ, ATIO, ATIM, ATIS, ATIA and STIBC. Each regulatory body that grants reciprocity agrees to grant, without requiring an exam or a formal dossier review but after a summary evaluation of the application, the status of certified member to a candidate who belongs to another regulatory body that grants reciprocity and who meets the following conditions:
- has completed the mutual certification recognition form and submitted the required documents;
- has paid the required fees;
- has met at least one of the requirements in Article 3 of the agreement;
- is not subject to an exclusion under Article 4;
- has fulfilled the other requirements of the host regulatory body with respect to official languages, training on professional practice and legal or disciplinary history.