2018 Issue 2

April 2018

In This Issue...

Upcoming Events

Did we miss your event? Send us the information at events@certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org


Did You Know?

The results of our 2017 Job Analysis Study of the Certified Medical Interpreter are in! This is the National Board's 2nd nationwide survey, conducted as part of our ongoing commitment to maintain and improve our credentialing program, and ensure it reflects the current state and needs of the profession. The National Board will be working in updating the content of the written and oral exams, based on the conclusions of this important study. We want to thank the over 2,000 medical interpreters who participated. View the published results on our website...



Calling all CMIs—Did you know??

  • You can submit your CEUs and re-certification fee up to one year before your expiration date.
  • You can earn CEUs by attending IMIA webinars
  • You can visit the NBCMI webpage for upcoming events
  • You can get a faster CEUs review if you label your PDF files with the name of the event or training.
  • You can log in to your profile and update your personal information, including adding a photo.
  • You can ask for help anytime by emailing us.


Three New NY Testing Centers!

The National Board is delighted to announce that we have recently opened three new testing centers in New York!

  • Manhattan, New York
  • Flushing, New York
  • Hempstead, New York

Visit the Oral Exam - Test at a Site page for the full list of all our oral exam testing centers...


Double-CMIs into Double Digits!!

The National Board is very pleased to announce that the number of medical interpreters who hold two active CMI credentials has reached a milestone. There are now ten people who hold two CMIs!

  • Eight medical interpreters hold both a CMI-Mandarin and CMI-Cantonese credential.
  • One medical interpreter has dual certification in CMI-Spanish and a CMI-Russian.
  • One medical interpreter has earned both a CMI-Spanish and a CMI-Korean.

If you interpret in more than one of the CMI languages, you can earn more than one CMI credential! Interpreters who have already earned one CMI do not need to retake the written exam. As soon as you are approved for a second language CMI program, you are automatically eligible to take the oral exam.


Spring Badge Sale!


Not yet a proud CMI badge holder? CMI badges are on sale for $20 during April and May!

Order yours now!


CMI-Spanish Update

CMI-Spanish credential accreditation standards have been streamlined with all other CMI languages 



Are you interested in certification? Attend a National Board webinar to get all the information and ask questions. Visit our Webinars page for more information...


Follow Us on Social Media!




Want to contribute to the next issue of our newsletter? Send your articles, topic ideas, or comments to jazmin@certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org


Debunking Myths, Misinformation, and Rumors

As interpreters, we are always looking for information to enhance our interpreting skills and terminology, and to get support from our colleagues and network of professionals. Social media can be a great resource for many interpreters, but it can sometimes have an opposite effect by promulgating myths, misinformation, and rumors. So, let’s debunk some myths that have been broadcasted about the CMI Credential/Certification and give you the FACTS.

  1. Myth, Misinformation, and Rumor:

    "….He is a CMI which means his credentials are not valid."


    The CMI credential continues to be a valid credential for certifying medical interpreters. The fact that the Spanish program no longer carries the additional "accreditation", does not invalidate the credential in the least. "Accreditation" does not make a credential valid, it simply evaluates a process.

    The validity of a program is demonstrated by a JTA (job task analysis) which is analyzed by SME’s (subject matter experts) from the industry. The National Board conducted a JTA in 2009/2010 and another in 2017.

    Resource: NCCA website "Program content validity is demonstrated with a comprehensive job analysis conducted and analyzed by experts, with data gathered from stakeholders in the occupation or industry."

  2. Myth, Misinformation, and Rumor:

    "The NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) is a third party that goes into the test to make sure the test is valid…."

    " . . . They go into the test and review every item to say this test is valid . . ."


    Per the NCCA website they evaluate programs . . . "based on the process and products and not the content; therefore, the Standards are applicable to all professions and industries…"

    So let’s break it down. The NCCA evaluates the process, not the content, which means they NEVER see the test; that is why they can accredit all kinds of programs from all professions and industries, because they only look at the Standards, not the actual content of a certification test.

    Resource: NCCA website "The NCCA standards are consistent with The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999) and are applicable to all professions and industries. Certification organizations that submit their programs for accreditation are evaluated based on the process and products and not the content; therefore, the Standards are applicable to all professions and industries. "

  3. Myth, Misinformation, and Rumor:

    "Anyone can create a test and call it Certification."


    No. It takes a great deal of time and effort to create such a test. Some of the steps include:
    • Conducting a nationwide Job Analysis
    • Creating examination specifications
    • Developing examinations
    • Reviewing standard settings
    • . . . and so much more.
    Sounds more complex than any one person sitting in their basement and creating a test can do! You have to bring together SME’s (subject matter experts) to sit down and create a Job Task Analysis (JTA), then send it out to people in the industry to take the survey. When you get the results, those same SME’s will evaluate them and based on that will develop the test. You also need to train raters to evaluate the tests after candidates have taken their exam. It takes a lot of effort, time, and money to develop such a test. If you would like to read more about what went into the development of the Certified Medical Interpreter credential, click this link to view the 57 page report:

    Resource: https://nbcmi.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/oral-and-written-medical-interpreter-technical-report-final.pdf

  4. Myth, Misinformation, and Rumor:

    This is specifically for the state of California:

    "…If you interpret for a medical-legal evaluation for an injured worker, and then that case goes to court, the case can be thrown out because you are a CMI and your credential is not valid."


    According to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) in their Newsline published April 2, 2018, the requirements of who can certify interpreters remains UNCHANGED. So if you are a CMI, by law, the attorney cannot render your credential as invalid.

    Resource: "The organizations approved to certify interpreters remains unchanged from the current regulations. For hearings and depositions, an interpreter must be listed as a certified interpreter on either the State Personnel Board or California Courts websites. For medical treatment or medical-legal evaluations, the interpreter must be either certified for hearings and depositions, certified as a medical interpreter by the California Department of Human Resources, or has a current certification or credential in specific languages by either the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters or the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters." http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2018/2018-27.pdf

We hope that the above information has been useful in clarifying some of those myths, misinformation, and rumors you have been exposed to in recent times through social media and word of mouth. As always, the best place to get the FACTS about the CMI credential is the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI).

    Jazmin Manjarrez, CMI-Spanish, Vice Chair

Identity & Belonging: View from the Summit

Identity and Belonging was the theme of the 2nd Regional Medical Interpreter Summit offered by Danilo Formolo (Director of Patient Experience at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina) with the help of his amazingly dedicated team. The event took place on Saturday, March 24, 2018. What made this event even more attractive was the fact that it was offered for free to all the interpreter community and had CEUs attached to it. It was very well attended by certified and non-certified interpreters as well as administrators who were so eager to learn and find ways to advance their careers through certification and/or continuing education.

The program included an opening session that celebrated the many layers of identity, culture, and community. This was followed by a very talented keynote speaker, Cheryl Pfeiffer, who engaged all attendees in a session entitled “Vicarious Trauma Through Medical Interpreting: Don’t Walk the Journey Alone.” The topic hit home for many interpreters, especially freelancers who may not necessarily have a support system to lean on.

The Summit culminated with an enlightening presentation about Interpreting for Gender and Sexual Minorities. This is a complex subject, and interpreters need to be proficient in the language and culture of this patient population.

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters was one of the prominent exhibitors at this Summit. Our station was flooded with interpreters seeking information about certification. Many expressed interest in certifying by the end of this year through the National Board, and their faces lit up when they heard that online proctoring is back!

Contributor: Nouria Belmouloud, NBCMI Board of Directors

Medical Interpreters Work in Many States

The 2017 NBCMI Job Task Analysis collected data from 1,623 medical interpreters to learn more about the profession.   In one of the questions, respondents were asked to indicate in which state they primarily provide medical interpreting services.

The responses were then recoded into four geographic regions of the United States. Most respondents (39.0%) indicated that they primarily provide medical interpreting services in the Western region of the United States.  The second largest group (27.5%) reported living in the South, the third the Northeast (19.3%), the fourth Midwest (14%), and lastly U.S.A territories reported 1%. 

Contributor: Casita Wild, NBCMI Operations Manager

Open Call for National Board Directors

The Nominations Committee of the National Board is pleased to announce that the nominations for Board Directors have opened. The National Board is looking for stakeholders interested in being part of its leadership as we expand access and availability of oral and written exams. We have 5 positions open, and to qualify to serve in the board you must be a CMI, a medical provider, or an industry representative.

The nomination period is open from December 13, 2017 to April 30, 2018 (5:00 PM EST). See official press release for more details and how to submit a nomination.

email: staff@certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org
1-765-MED-CERT (Voicemail only)



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Results of the 2017 Job Analysis Study of the Certified Medical Interpreter are now available!

The job analysis described in this report was conducted in 2017 at the request of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). The purpose of the study was to describe the job activities of a certified medical interpreter in sufficient detail to provide a basis for updating professional, job-related oral and written certification examinations. The NBCMI Job Analysis Advisory Committee (JAAC) conducted the activities necessary to identify job responsibilities and to develop specifications for a Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) certification examination. The JAAC represented varied regions and practice settings. All JAAC members were experts in the duties and activities associated with the profession. The study involved developing job task and knowledge lists and survey, distributing the survey, and analyzing the survey responses. Specifications for a Certified Medical Interpreter certification examination were developed based on survey responses. 

Click HERE to see the full report.


Share your Story!

The Board of Directors want to highlight your successes and what having the CMI credential means to you.  We invite you to share you experiences by emailing our event coordinator, Jazmin (Board Director) at jazmin@certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org









Call for Nominations graphic - do you want to make a difference?CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

The Nominations Committee of the National Board is pleased to announce that the nomination period for Board Directors has opened. The National Board is looking for stakeholders interested in being part of its leadership as we expand access and availability of oral and written exams. 

The nomination period is open through May 18, 2018

Eligibility and Commitment:

  • Only Certified Medical Interpreters (CMIs) are eligible to serve on the National Board.
  • Previous experience serving on a Board of Directors is preferred, but not required.
  • Membership requires a minimum commitment of 5 hours per mont, including a monthly meeting (via conference call).


  • Attend board meetings and other meetings regularly called by the Executive Committee of the National Board.
  • Make serious commitment to participate actively in board and committee work.
  • Volunteer for and willingly accept assignments and completes them on time.
  • Stay informed about committee matters, prepares well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports.
  • Get to know other members and registrants of the National Board and build a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus.
  • Are active participants in the board's annual evaluation and planning efforts.
  • Participate in fundraising efforts for the organization.
  • Make efforts to attend the annual in-person meeting. (2018 meeting will happen during the CHIA conference in Irvine, CA on March 2-3)
  • Abide by the bylaws of the International Medical interpreters Association and by the Policies and Procedures of the National Board.

Nomination Process:

If you are interested in nominating yourself for this position, please submit the following:

  • Your resume / curriculum vitae.
  • One reference letter.
  • An essay (150 words) stating your commitment to the responsibilities and the reasons you should be on the Board.
  • Your picture in .gif or .jpeg format.

Please submit all your nomination materials together via email to nbcmichair@certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org before 5:00 p.m. EST on May 18, 2018.

Successful candidates will be notified by email on June 4, 2018.

Late nominations or those not meeting the above requirements will not be accepted.

About the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters is an autonomous certifying body formed from an independent group of industry professionals who represent all key stakeholder groups, including professional medical interpreters, trainers, employers, providers, and regulators. The National Board developed the first comprehensive national medical interpreting certification program. The National Board is a special division of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) and has independent authority over all essential certification decisions. The purpose of certification is to ensure limited English proficiency patient safety by rigorous evaluation and assurance of the competency of medical interpreters through written and oral exams. Those who pass the written and oral exams are bestowed the CMI credential, which stands for Certified Medical Interpreter. For more information, visit: http://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org