Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Financial Services 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.

The words procurement and solicitation refer to the same process of inviting companies to bid on opportunities to provide goods and services to DSHS. The actual document outlining the goods and services may be called any of the following: Procurement, Solicitation, Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), Request for Qualifications and Quotation (RFQQ), or Request for Information (RFI), depending on the purpose of the procurement.

The document that is sent by the bidder to DSHS in response to a solicitation is called the bid, the response or the proposal.

A web-based system provides access to a software system using a computer and internet connection.

No. Once the applicant closes their internet browser, the form with the information they typed in cannot be retrieved.  The applicant’s information is only available for them to edit while they have the online tool open and are actively working on typing in their information.

The Examination Manual provides detailed information on certification and testing.

No, you get the same certificate as those who have passed sight translation and consecutive interpreting (Level 1) but not simultaneous interpreting. However, your simultaneous test score will remain in our database. When simultaneous interpreting is needed for social service settings, users of simultaneous interpreting will contact LTC to obtain information on who is qualified for such assignment.

Check this site frequently for updated information. It is the responsibility of the prospective bidder to be aware of any changes in the procurement schedule and updates to particular procurements. All of the information is posted on the DSHS web site. If you have specific questions about a particular procurement, please refer to the solicitation document for instructions.

No. Only DSHS authorized entities, such as Department programs and authorized service providers, may request a background check using the Background Check System. 

No.  As a User of the background check system you will only be able to see the results for those account numbers that you have been granted access to.  Entities will be limited to seeing only the checks that they submitted and not those requests submitted by other entities. 

Certified languages are those in which interpreters go through conventional modalities of testing. The written and oral test instruments cover both English and a second language (target language). Those who meet the minimum proficiency requirements are issued a certificate.

Due to resource restrictions, it is not feasible to develop language-specific test instruments for each and every language in such a linguistically diverse state as Washington. Therefore, a screening test was developed for all non-certified or screened languages. Interpreters in screened languages go through a totally different modality of testing. Unlike the certified languages, the written screening test is not language specific. The oral screening test utilizes the target language spoken by the interpreter to test his or her linguistic and interpreting skills. This includes any language, even any dialects within a language. Since the scope of the screening test is not as comprehensive as a conventional certified test, those who meet the minimum proficiency requirements are issued an authorization letter in lieu of a certificate.

Currently, no translator test is available for screened languages.

Information about certified/authorized interpreters and translators can be found by clicking on the Find an Interpreter or Translator link found on the navigation bar.

The solicitation document and subsequent amendments contain all of the information and directions necessary to participate in the procurement process. Be sure to read the entire document. It is important to follow all of the directions and meet all deadlines.


Yes, and these two terms are not interchangeable. An interpreter is a person who orally transfers a message from one spoken language to another (or manually for Sign Language). A translator is a person who transfers a message in writing from one language to another.

If you have the ability to see FBI results today, you will continue to see these results in the new system. The BCS programming will continue to enforce existing policy defining those entities who can or cannot see the FBI results. 

A certified/authorized interpreter is a person who has passed the required DSHS interpreter examination, or has passed the interpreter examination offered by the Washington State Office of the Administrator for the Courts or the Federal Courts, AND has completed the DSHS required orientation and professional ethics training.

You should inform Language Testing and Certification of any changes via USPS mail or email. For a name change request, a court document (photo copy) such as a marriage or divorce certificate should be attached to your request. Please include your current mailing address and phone numbers.

The schedule for each procurement is located in the solicitation document. DSHS reserves the right to revise the schedule and will notify bidders of any changes to the schedule. Schedule revisions will be issued in an amendment.

No.  Background check requests previously submitted to BCCU by mail, fax, or program sponsored web application will not appear in BCS.  If you need a copy of a previously submitted background check, please contact BCCU.  BCCU staff will continue to use information from prior results when processing new checks in BCS.

A certified translator is a person who has passed the required DSHS written translation examination, or has passed the American Translators Association written translation examination, AND has completed the DSHS required orientation and professional ethics training.

You may send your request to us in writing or via e-mail  with the following information: your full name, last four of your social security number, language, current mailing address and phone number. Please indicate certificate (medical, social service, or translator) or authorization (medical, social) type.

Upon release of any solicitation document, all communications concerning the procurement must be directed only to the coordinator identified in the solicitation document. Any communication directed to DSHS staff other than the coordinator may result in disqualification.

Any oral communications will be considered unofficial and non-binding to DSHS. Bidders should rely only on written statements issued by the coordinator.

All questions should be in writing to the coordinator and may be sent through fax, U.S. mail or email. Questions will be accepted until the date set forth in the solicitation document schedule.

Questions and Answers will be in the form of an amendment to the solicitation document.