The Community Interpreter® International (TCII) is the first and only national 40-hour certificate program in community interpreting. This course is the online version of TCII. It promotes national ethics and standards of practice in the field and can prepare interpreters to take national medical interpreter certification. The course covers ethics and conduct, basic skills (from pre-session to post-session), positioning and terminology, modes of interpreting, steps for sight translation, strategies for intervention, cultural mediation, and other vital skills and topics.

Course description: The leading national 40-hour certificate program for community interpreting, including medical, educational, and social services interpreting—the nation’s premier interpreting certificate. It satisfies the prerequisite training needed before applying for medical interpreter certification with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) or the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). It is also recognized by the Maryland Court Interpreter Program as prerequisite training before applying for Maryland Court Interpreter Certification.

Course length: 40 hours

Course access period: Six months

Course completion requirements: Pass 24 lesson exit tests (score of 80% or above) and one 90-minute final assessment (score of 75% or above).

Certificate: Downloadable certificates available immediately upon passing each lesson exit test and final assessment.

TCIO (is the online version of The Community Interpreter® International) Course Content (Estimated time for completion: 40 hours)

TCIO Module 1 (Estimated time for completion: 9.5 hours)

Module 1 of TCIO is your introduction to the profession of community interpreting. It addresses healthcare, education, and social services interpreting.

Lesson 1.1: An Overview of Community and Medical Interpreting (1.5 hours)

Lesson 1.2: Interpreter Credentials and Certification (1.5 hours)

Lesson 1.3: Ethics in Action 1 – Codes of Ethics for Community and Medical Interpreters (1.5 hours)

Lesson 1.4: Ethics in Action 2 – How to Apply Interpreter Ethics (1.5 hours)

Lesson 1.5: Ethics in Action 3 – Ethical Decision-making for Community and Medical Interpreters (2 hours)

Lesson 1.6: Interpreter Self-Assessment (1.5 hours)

TCIO Module 2 (Estimated time for completion: 10.5 hours)

This module dives into the skills and protocols necessary to conduct yourself as a professional medical or community interpreter.

Lesson 2.1: How to Conduct an Interpreted Encounter (1.5 hours)

Lesson 2.2: How to Perform Standard Interpreting Protocols (1.5 hours)

Lesson 2.3: Three Techniques to Improve Memory Skills (1.5 hours)

Lesson 2.4: Sharpen Your Accuracy! Message Transfer Skills for Interpreters (2 hours)

Lesson 2.5: Practice the Modes of Interpreting (2 hours)

Lesson 2.6: Advance Your Skills In Note-taking for Interpreters (2 hours)

TCIO Module 3 (Estimated time for completion: 9 hours)

Module 3 is your roadmap on cultural competence and what to do when communication breaks down in the interpreting session. By the end of this section, you will have learned advanced strategies for cultural mediation that will help you facilitate meaningful cultural dialogue among participants in the encounter.

Lesson 3.1: Cultural Competence 1 – Assess Your Unconscious Bias as an Interpreter (1.5 hours)

Lesson 3.2: Cultural Competence 2 – When Should Interpreters Intervene? (1.5 hours)

Lesson 3.3: Cultural Competence 3 – How to Intervene as an Interpreter (1.5 hours) Lesson 3.4: Cultural Competence 4 – How to Perform Strategic Mediation (1.5 hours)

Lesson 3.5: Cultural Competence 5 – Cultural Medication for Interpreters (1.5 hours)

Lesson 3.6: Cultural Competence 6 – Advanced Strategies for Cultural Mediation (1.5 hours)

TCIO Module 4 (Estimated time for completion: 11 hours)

In this module, you will learn who you are as an interpreter and how you fit into the profession. By the end of this section, you will know what it means to be a professional interpreter and how you can conduct yourself to honor and uphold this important profession.

Lesson 4.1: Understand Your Role – How Interpreters Make Decisions About Role Boundaries (1.5 hours)

Lesson 4.2: Wait. They’re Going to Operate on the Wrong Leg! Advocacy for Community and Medical Interpreters (1.5 hours)

Lesson 4.3: How to Follow Interpreting Standards of Practice (2 hours)

Lesson 4.4: Interpreter Safety and Self-care (2 hours)

Lesson 4.5: How to Perform Legal Interpreting in Medical and Community Settings (2 hours)

Lesson 4.6: How to Be a Professional Interpreter (2 hours)

What you will get:

  • 9 superbly qualified video hosts
  • 21 role-plays in nine language pairs with English (Amharic, Arabic, English, French, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese) and 5 additional role-play in English only
  • More than 240 interactive exercises!
  • A dozen self-assessment exercises
  • Two textbooks in ebook format: The Community Interpreter®: An International Textbook and The Medical Interpreter: A Foundation Textbook for Medical Interpreting.
  • Course completion certificate: the most widely conferred and respected U.S. certificate in the field for medical, educational and social services interpreting


  • Washington State Department of Social Health Services: 8 DSHS CECs
  • The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf: 4.0 RID CEUs*
  • Maryland Court Interpreter Program: 8 CE credits
  • Ontario Council on Community Interpreting: 40 OCCI PDUs

How this course will improve your practice:

You will:

  • Know how to perform professional interpreting protocols and skills for medical, educational, and/or social services interpreting.
  • Be able to adhere to professional ethics and standards of practice for community and medical interpreters.
  • Understand what the profession of community interpreting is, its specializations (such as medical and educational interpreting), and how you fit into that profession.
  • Know the role and responsibilities of the community interpreter.
  • Have an introductory understanding of legal interpreting.
  • Understand cultural competence and assess if, when, and how to perform cultural mediation.
  • Be able to perform in three modes of interpreting: consecutive, simultaneous, and sight translation.
  • Be able to present yourself for employment or freelance work as a professional interpreter.

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United States

Phone: (517) 337-2700
Toll-Free: (855) 337-2700
Fax: (517) 337-6491