Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Topic: CEUs/Recertification

1)    What are the main changes to the IMIA/NBCMI CEU program?

  • Starting January 1, 2018, the IMIA will only grant IMIA/NBCMI CEUs to continued education activities that are evaluated and meet the qualification requirements set by the IMIA (and shared by NBCMI), and will no longer automatically validate CEs granted by other organizations (ATA, RID, etc.) as IMIA CEUs.

2)     When will the IMIA CEU Program overhaul take effect?

3)     Why was this change made?

  • The overhaul of the IMIA CEU program comes in response to the concerns shared by many of our certified medical interpreters.  For background, the IMIA Education Committee follows NBCMI's requirements for continued education; therefore, NBCMI can automatically accept all IMIA granted CEUs.  Because the National Board certification exams are different from those offered by RID, ATA or CCHI, the continued education requirements to maintain each of these certifications also differ. While some courses approved by other organizations also meet IMIA/NBCMI's requirements, others may not. 
  • NBCMI has no control over what other organizations may require for CEU approval, or when those requirements may change.  In addition, many presenters or conference organizers may choose to skip applying for IMIA/NBCMI CEUs, knowing that if they were approved for any sister organization CEUs, CMIs could get credit for it. This has presented a challenge for CMIs, and many of you have voiced your concern about not being able to tell if a course would be accepted because only other organization’s CEUs were listed. We also heard your concerns indicating that this was at times discouraging, making it confusing to know what events to attend, and gave the false impression that other organizations had more availability of continued education opportunities towards recertification than NBCMI.
  • Having continued education activities go through the evaluation and IMIA/NBCMI CEUs approval process will ensure it meets the standards you, employers, medical providers and other industry stakeholders have come to expect from the CMI credential. It will also allow presenters to communicate the number for guaranteed CEUs available to CMIs in advance. It is important to mention that the IMIA has simplified the application process and made it faster and more cost effective for presenters and conference organizers. Another big improvement for presenters and CMIs alike!
  • The IMIA Education Registry has a growing list of over 500 approved CEU activities to make it easy and efficient for all CMIs and IMIA members who are seeking IMIA/NBCMI CEUs. The IMIA will continue to work with sister organizations and conference organizers to ensure IMIA/NBCMI CEUs are granted in a timely manner, and CMIs have abundant opportunities to earn their CEUs.

4)     How does this affect the NBCMI recertification process?

  • The IMIA CEU Program guidelines are aligned with the National Board's recertification requirements for qualification of continued education. Therefore, after January 1, 2018, the National Board will only guarantee automatic acceptance of educational activities that have been granted IMIA/NBCMI CEUs. However, all continued education units granted by sister organizations, such as RID, ATA or CEAP (CCHI) before January 1, 2018 will continue to be automatically honored and accepted towards recertification (don't worry, you will not lose these already accumulated CEUs!). CMIs are encouraged to use the IMIA Education Registry to find hundreds of approved IMIA/NBCMI CEU events, webinars,  and workshops available nationwide, both on-site and online.

5)     Does this mean that conferences, events, webinars or workshops put together by other organizations will not be granted IMIA/NBCMI CEUs anymore?

  • No, the IMIA will continue to work with sister organizations that promote and provide continued education specific to medical interpreters, to grant and approve IMIA/NBCMI CEUs and to make them widely available to CMIs. The only difference is that until 12/31/2017, ATA, CEAP and RID CEUs were automatically accepted as IMIA CEUs, even if at times they did not meet the required qualifications for continued education of Certified Medical Interpreters. IMIA/NBCMI CEUs will be granted to all presenters or event organizers who apply and satisfy the qualification requirements. This will ensure that all approved CEU courses meet the CMI expectations and promote professional growth.
6)     Many types of health care related seminars and workshops are useful topics for medical interpreters. Shouldn’t they be accepted for IMIA/NBCMI CEUs?
  • While many seminar or courses approved by sister organizations, such as CEAP (CCHI), ATA or RID, would undoubtedly meet the IMIA’s Education Committee standards, others simply do not.  Many workshops are tailored for beginners, while others may not be related to the medical field or applicable interpreting skills. It would be a disservice to validate other organization’s CEUs without ensuring that they meet our standards. We encourage all presenters and event organizers to follow the IMIA’s new and simplified process to request CEUs.
  • The IMIA has been working, and will continue to work, with all sister organizations through their local/regional/national conferences to ensure the maximum availability of opportunities for IMIA members to earn CEUs.
  • The IMIA Education Committee standards match those set by NBCMI for acceptance of continuing education towards recertification. For this reason, IMIA CEUs will be automatically accepted towards credential renewal by NBCMI. This helps ensure that CMIs are receiving appropriate continued education to promote professional growth. 

 7)     What happens to all the non-IMIA CEUs I have earned prior to January 1, 2018? Will they still count towards recertification?

  • Yes.  All CEUs you have earned up to 12/31/2017 through RID, ATA or CEAP (CCHI) will be honored and accepted towards your recertification requirements (conversion from hours to CEUs will apply), regardless of your recertification due date, as long as they were obtained within your 5-year recertification period. After January 1st, 2018, you want to ensure that the CEUs you earn for recertification are approved as IMIA/NBCMI CEUs.

8)     What about webinars offered by CCHI, ATA, or RID? Will these be automatically approved for CEUs?

  • No. Starting 01/01/2018, NBCMI will only guarantee automatic acceptance of IMIA/NBCMI CEUs. All organizations and individual presenters will need to apply for IMIA/NBCMI CEU approval in order to guarantee the acceptance of their course towards the CMI recertification.  However, NBCMI will continue to accept and honor all CEUs granted by sister organizations through 12/31/2017. For example, if your recertification date is 02/2019, and by 12/31/2017 you had accumulated 27 hours of continuing education (2.7 CEUs) from events by CEAP (CCHI), ATA or RID, they will still be valid towards your 30-hour requirement when you apply to recertify in 2019.  The additional 3 hours that will be pending after 01/01/2018 will need to be earned from approved IMIA/NBCMI CEUs to be automatically accepted.
  • It is the responsibility of each presenter to apply with the IMIA Education Committee in advance to ensure that their presentation will qualify for IMIA/NBCMI CEUs starting 01/01/2018.

 9)     What if I attend an educational event after January 1st, 2018 that does not have IMIA/NBCMI CEUs granted?

  • NBCMI will only guarantee automatic acceptance of IMIA/NBCMI CEUs. However, on a case by case basis, NBCMI will continue to accept CEUs for educational events that are specific to medical interpreting ethics and skills, that go beyond the basic level (beyond the level covered in the 40-hour courses required for admission to our certification programs). If the CEU has not been approved by the IMIA, it is the CMI's responsibility to provide sufficient documentation to NBCMI to be able to evaluate the specifics of the course. NBCMI may decline acceptance of CEUs that do not meet the required qualifications, or for which the documentation provided by the CMI is found to be insufficient. CMIs are encouraged to seek out IMIA/NBCMI CEUs, and use the IMIA Education Registry to find courses approved for CEUs.  Please see the Candidate Handbook for more information.

10)    Shouldn’t the IMIA/NBCMI be an advocate of availing as many opportunities and variety of topics to its certified professionals?

  • Definitely. NBCMI wants to ensure that all CMIs participate in a wide variety of quality educational opportunities.  This vetting process for CEUs is not meant to restrict learning opportunities, but to motivate presenters and certified interpreters alike to raise the bar. 
  • Besides offering free monthly webinars to members, the IMIA maintains the largest national education registry for medical interpreters, with over 500 courses, presentations and workshops.  You can search training opportunities that offer CEUs by state, or by delivery method (online versus on-site.) 

11)     What will the attendance protocol be for IMIA approved webinars?

  • As for the IMIA Lifelong webinars, nothing will change. It will be the same because all Lifelong webinars are approved in advance for IMIA/NBCMI CEUs before they are announced. Also, the way the IMIA records attendance and issues certificates for these webinars will not change either. Please find details at: