Test Information

 

For DSHS testing and certification, spoken and written languages are divided into two categories:

  • Certified Languages: Spanish, Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.
  • Screened Languages: All non-certified languages - speakers of these languages receive authorization rather than certification, but credentials are functionally the same.

 

I. Third-Party Tests (Medical Interpreter Tests Only) (Certified and Screened Languages)

DSHS has expanded test options for medical interpreter tests. Starting 8/1/2022, new candidates - candidates who have never tested with LTC before and wish to pursue a DSHS medical interpreter credential, and medical interpreters with expired credentials can test with one of following third-party testing entities. They can apply for a DSHS medical interpreter credential if they meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI): If a candidate has a passing score of the CoreCHI exam (a written test), they can apply for a DSHS medical interpreter credential.

DSHS LTC accepts scores of tests that are taken on or after August 1, 2022. Candidates must submit their score report within two years of their CoreCHI test date.

For information on the CoreCHI exam, please visit the website of Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI).

  • The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI): If a candidate has a passing score of the Hub-CMI exam (a written test), they can apply for a DSHS medical interpreter credential.

DSHS LTC accepts scores of tests that are taken on or after August 1, 2022. Candidates must submit their score report within two years of their Hub-CMI test date. 

For information on the Hub-CMI exam, please visit the website of The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI).

  • UniversalLanguage Service: If a candidate passes both the medical interpreter written test and the medical interpreter oral test of UniversalLanguage Service, they can apply for a DSHS medical interpreter credential.

Candidates should submit their score report(s) to DSHS LTC within two years of their test date. 

For information on UniversalLanguage Service medical interpreter tests, please visit the UniversalLanguage testing and certification website, where information on testing, registration, and fees as well as other resources is available. Candidates can access the registration link on the Test Info page. 

For general inquiries about UniversalLanguage testing, please Email: languagetesting@ulsonline.net

  • ALTA Language Services: If a candidate passes all the following three tests of ALTA Language Services, they can apply for a DSHS medical interpreter credential:
    1. English Reading Comprehension Test (Passing score: ILR 3 / ALTA 9, or above)
    2. Medical Interpretation Test (Passing score:  ALTA Level 10 – Advanced Plus, or above)
    3. English Medical Interpretation Code of Ethics Test (PASS)

          Test scores are valid for two years. ALTA tests are available in 36 screening languages listed below: 

             

          Process of taking the ALTA tests includes the following:

a)  Send Email to DSHS LTC <DSHSCT@dshs.wa.gov> to apply for test registration. Be sure to include these information: Full Name, Email address, phone number, LTC Gateway Candidate ID No., the type of test and language name, along with a copy of official photo ID.

b)  Follow instructions from LTC and ALTA testing portal to schedule and complete tests.

Candidates should submit their score report(s) to DSHS LTC within two years of their test date. 

For general inquiries about ALTA Language testing, please Email: testing@altalang.com

To submit a test result from a third-party entity, please email a copy of a formal score report to DSHS LTC: dshsct@dshs.wa.gov

Disclaimer: DSHS recognizes the tests provided by the above listed entities as alternative tests that meet the DSHS medical interpreter qualification standards. None of the listed entities is affiliated with DSHS, or vice versa. DSHS does not have any financial interest in any of the listed entities. 

 

II. DSHS LTC Tests

DSHS LTC offers the following tests:

  • Medical Interpreter Tests (certified and screened languages): Candidates must pass both oral ($45) and written ($30) tests to get certified.

DSHS medical interpreter tests are only open to candidates who took medical interpreter tests between 1/1/2018 and 7/31/2022 and are yet to be certified. These candidates have two chances in total to pass each test (written and oral) by 12/31/2022 to get certified / authorized. 

  • Social Service Interpreter Tests (certified and screened languages): Candidates must pass both oral ($45) and written ($30) tests to get certified.

           LTC offers Social Service Interpreter tests for all languages.  

  • Document Translator Tests (certified languages only): Candidates must pass one written test ($50). This is not an interpreter test. It is for the translation of written materials only.

           LTC offers document translator tests for certified languages. This test is not available for screened languages.

  • DSHS Bilingual Employee Tests (certified and screened languages): Requirements vary depending on job clusters.

DSHS employees who wish to take a bilingual employee certification test, please follow Bilingual Employee Test Scheduling Guidelines on the LTC SharePoint. They can contact LTC at <dshsct@dshs.wa.gov> to schedule a test.  

 

Notes on LTC tests:

  • For Cantonese Chinese and Mandarin Chinese interpreter test candidates, only one written test is needed for both certificates in each category (medical/social service) provided that the written is passed within two years of the oral test.
  • For multiple screened languages, only one written test is needed for all languages in each category (medical/social service) provided that the written is passed within two years of the oral test.

  • Please read the LTC Examination Manual and Registration Polices prior to scheduling a test.

 

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All test candidates must create a profile in the LTC Gateway tracking system before they schedule a test with LTC or apply for a DSHS credential with a third-party test score: 

 

For questions regarding LTC testing, certification, continuing education, and general information, please contact LTC: dshsct@dshs.wa.gov