In order to become a certified translator in Canada, there are a few things you might need to know. First of all, a certified translator needs to be certified by specific bodies, which belong to the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council – CTTIC. These bodies are represented in the Board of Certification, which is responsible with setting the standards required for certification procedures, as well as exercising overall control and reporting to the council. If you successfully complete an examination or any certification procedure, you are granted the status of certified member. When you apply for certification, this application needs to be directed to the CTTIC member body that exists in the province or territory where you wish to settle and work.
Requirements to apply for a certified translator
In order to become a Certified Member, you need to pass several examinations, which differ in number, modality and complexity, depending on the category for which you wish to become a certified translator. Prior to trying to become a certified professional translator, you need to become an Associate Member, which you can do by passing the Associate-level examination. After you achieve this title, you have six years in which you can pass your certification process. If you fail to pass the certification process, you lose your Associate status. However, in case you pass the certification, you are eligible to become a Certified Member.
Steps to follow for becoming a certified translator
These are the steps required in order to become a certified translator in Canada:
- You need to be eligible for a certification examination. This requires that you are the possessor of a degree in translation and that you have a one year full-time professional experience, or four years full-time experience in translation.
- Register for the examination and pay the fee.
- Get the passing mark on your examination.
In case you fail the examination, you may appeal the result within one month period following the notification of results. You will be required to pay the fee for such appeal and in case the appeal is successful, the fee you paid will be refunded. The appeal decision is final.
Types of certification
In Canada, you can obtain the following titles:
- Certified translator
- Certified interpreter
- Certified conference interpreter
- Certified court interpreter
- Certified terminologist
In order to obtain a certification, there are three different mechanisms used: certification on dossier, certification exam and certification by mentorship.
- Dossier Certification: In order to be eligible with this mechanism, you need to have a recognized diploma and at least two years of work experience. In case you don’t have a recognized diploma, but you can prove that you have a minimum of five years of professional practice, you can still become a candidate for this on dossier certification.
- Certification by Mentorship: You need to follow a mentorship program and in case you successfully complete it, you obtain the certification.
- Certification examinations: A uniform translation exam that is administered by CTTIC and is held once a year. The Board of Certification sets the requirements for certification, as well as the procedures and methods used for assessing candidates. Additionally to the uniform translation exam, occasional exams are also held in conference interpretation, court interpretation and terminology, depending on the demand.
Becoming a certified translator in Canada has specific requirements that you need to respect and follow. Although it might take you some time to pass through all the requirements and examinations needed in order to become a certified translator, the result is worth it, since this certification is capable of offering more value to your profession and to your career, as well.
Textualis is a Montreal-based professional translation company specialized in French, English and Spanish translation, with an extensive range of translation services in various industries and serving hundreds of clients for over 30 years.