Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Facilities, Finance and Analytics Administration's Frequently Asked Questions! Below you may search by topics such as information for bidders and question about our Language Testing and Certification Program, and Background Checks.

No.  If you have received a Review Required Notification instructing you to complete a Character, Competency and Suitability (CC&S) review, please follow your oversight program’s policy on conducting and retaining your completed CC&S review. BCCU does not accept or retain any CC&S review documentation.

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Since test dates and time slots are extremely limited, you would want to keep your test appointment if at all possible. To reschedule, you need to email (dshsct@dshs.wa.gov) or call (360-664-6111) our office within ten (10) calendar days from the date you created your test appointment. It is your responsibility to follow through with your request within the ten-day (10) time frame. Any oral or written request after the 10-day time frame will not be honored. If more than 10 days have passed since you created your test, then we will need documentation for the emergency situation that is preventing you from attending your test as scheduled. If more than 10 days have passed, and no documentation can be provided, then you will have to pay another test fee to reschedule your test.

Please contact the Office for the Deaf and Hard Hearing in the Department of Social and Health Services for information about becoming an ASL interpreter. Their contact information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

If you are providing social services that will be paid through SSPS, those services must be based on an agreement with a social service staff person.  Until an SSPS authorization is written and submitted to the computer system by that staff person there is no mechanism by which to pay you.  Social service staff have a regular and supplemental deadline each month that they must meet in order for you to receive the invoice needed for payment validation.

When you schedule your own test online, confirmation is instantaneous. An appointment confirmation letter and appointment reminder letter will be sent to your email address. If you do not receive a confirmation letter within a few minutes of registering for a test, check your junk mail. If you cannot find the email there, please email our office.

Please contact the Office of the Administrator for the Courts for information about becoming a court certified interpreter. Their contact information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

State holidays are not considered "business days."  There is not daily processing, no payments created, and the SSPS headquarters office is closed.

Please save or print the email confirmation letter for your reference. If you did not receive your confirmation email within a few minutes of registering for you test, check your junk mail. If you cannot find it there, please email our office.

As a DSHS applicant or client, you qualify based simply on your need to communicate effectively regarding DSHS services.

According to the state constitution, payment cannot be made for services not yet completed.

Your written test score will be mailed to you in approximately four (4) weeks. Your oral test score and translator test score will be mailed to you in approximately six (6) weeks.

Usually, services will be provided to help you without any significant delay in service delivery. Please ask your local DSHS office or your medical provider for more information.

Invoicing occurs twice per month; one regularly scheduled invoice process and a second supplemental process to catch late authorizations from local offices.

Per WAC 388-03-153, written test score is valid for two years from the date of your score report letter. If you lost your letter, please send us an email.

DSHS currently certifies social service interpreters, medical interpreters, translators, DSHS active/potential bilingual employees, and licensed agency personnel in Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For all other languages, The Department authorizes social service interpreters and medical interpreters (screening test).

Test scores will not be released over the telephone to anyone, including the test candidate. A score report letter will be mailed to you once your scores are available. However, if you have not received your test score two (2) months after your test date, you should contact our office to check the status of your test score.

You may talk directly with the local office worker or supervisor. Alternately, you may submit your problem or complaint in writing to that office. Other options include contacting Interpreter Services and Customer Service at 1-800-562-3022. For issues regarding translated documents, contact the office/program/administration as indicated on the document.

Invoices enter the U.S. Postal Service two or three business days after the invoice deadline date.  Delivery times by the U.S. Postal Service vary, depending on the provider's geographical location and speed of mail delivery.

Instead of a certificate, interpreter who pass the screening test and complete the required orientation and ethics training will be issued an authorization letter.

If your score report letter states that you have met all test requirements and are now considered provisionally certified or authorized as an interpreter, a certificate/authorization letter will be mailed to you within a month after you have completed:

  • Two hours of new interpreter/translator orientation, and
  • Two hours of interpreter/translator professional ethics training.