2024 Interpreter Program Calendar

Thank you for your interest in the Interpreter Certification Program.

All events take place in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or a location in Central PA, and Pittsburgh. The first orientation of the year is held online. Testing events must be in-person and are subject to rescheduling or cancellation if necessary. Testing is done following all the required CDC safety guidelines. For updates, please go to the Program Updates page. For complete information, visit the program's Main page.

Orientation Workshops

New candidates must first attend an orientation workshop. This year the first orientation will take place online. Before being eligible to attend an orientation, candidates must first register with the program. For complete information, visit the Orientation page.

date location deadline open to requirement
Online Feb. 1 Foreign Language Interpreters Register w/program
Pittsburgh March 29 Foreign Language Interpreters Register w/program
Harrisburg June 23 Sign and Foreign Language Interpreters Register w/program
Philadelphia Aug. 25 Foreign Language Interpreters Register w/program

Written Examinations

Candidates must attend an orientation workshop before being eligible to register for the written examination. The written exam consists of 135 multiple-choice questions and a foreign language assessment exercise consisting of translating 10 items into the candidate’s working language. The test is given during a 4-hour morning or afternoon session. Attendance is limited. All testing is subject to rescheduling or cancellation. For more information, visit the Written Examination page.

date location deadline requirement
March 27 Philadelphia March 6 Attend orientation
June 12 (PM only) Pittsburgh May 12 Attend orientation
Sept. 5 Harrisburg Aug. 4 Attend orientation
Nov. 14 Philadelphia Oct. 6 Attend orientation

Oral Proficiency Examinations

The oral examination consists of two phases administered on separate dates: (1) simultaneous and (2) consecutive and sight. Candidates in languages with abbreviated oral exams will be advised which sections are available for them to take. Candidates cannot register for an oral exam until they receive the results of the written examination. Oral exam dates and locations are subject to rescheduling or cancellation. For more information, visit the Oral Examination page.

date location deadline requirement
May 15 Philadelphia April 14 Pass written exam
Aug. 8 Pittsburgh July 7 Pass written exam
Oct. 17 Harrisburg Sept. 15 Pass written exam
Dec. 18 Philadelphi Nov. 11 Pass written exam

Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPI)

Oral Proficiency Interviews are administered to candidates interpreting in languages for which there are no full or abbreviated oral exams from NCSC and must be scheduled no later than six months after passing the written exam. The OPI is a computer-based exam that evaluates a candidate’s command of their foreign language. Candidates must perform at the superior level to pass the test. The OPI is administered at specific locations on weekdays during business hours in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, or Pittsburgh. Candidates will receive information and instructions about how to register for the test once they pass the written exam.

Versant Spoken English Test

When there is no full or abbreviated oral proficiency exam from NCSC in a candidate’s language, the candidate must take the Versant Spoken English language test. The test evaluates the oral English skills of non-native speakers. Candidates travel to a secure location in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, or Pittsburgh; their identity is verified, and the test is administered on a computer or a smart phone using Versant app. The test is automated, and the candidate’s responses are recorded. The test is approximately 20 minutes long and tests six areas: reading, sentence construction, vocabulary, fluency, pronunciation, and overall comprehension. The minimum passing score is 47.

OPI and Versant Testing

OPI and Versant tests should be scheduled on the same date, preferably one after another. Both exams are given in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh. After passing the written exam, please contact Interpreter Program, to coordinate the availability.

Testing Sequences

Calendar events are organized in sequences that allow candidates to complete each step in the certification process in the required order. Each sequence consists of orientation, written, and oral exams. They allow enough time between events to give candidates ample preparation time for each event. Candidates who attend an early orientation will have more options for completing all requirements in one calendar year. However, candidates may attend any of the scheduled events statewide when and where it is most convenient for them.

Sequence 1

date event location
March 2-3 Orientation Online
March 27 Written Exam Philadelphia
May 15 Silmutaneous Oral Exam Philadelphia
Oct. 17 Sight / Consecutive Oral Exam Harrisburg

Sequence 2

date event location
April 27-28 Orientation Pittsburgh
June 12 Written Exam Pittsburgh
Aug. 8 Simultaneous Oral Exam Pittsburgh
Oct. 17 Sight / Consecutive Oral Exam Harrisburg

Sequence 3

date event location
July 20-21 Orientation Harrisburg
Sept. 5 Written Exam Harrisburg
Oct. 17 Simultaneous Oral Exam Harrisburg
Dec. 18 Sight / Consecutive Oral Exam Philadelphia