Farsi Certification Exam Grace Period Information

The Judicial Council is implementing an 18 month grace period for currently Registered court interpreters in Farsi. The grace period policy approved by the Judicial Council in April 2004 states:

that interpreters be allowed three consecutive testing cycles, over a period of 18 months, to gain certification in these newly certified languages.”

The first Bilingual Interpreting Exam for certification in Farsi was offered in the Fall of 2016, and constitutes the beginning of the official grace period.  The subsequent exams will be offered in the Spring of 2017 and again in the Fall of 2017. Following these three consecutive testing cycles, interpreters who have not passed the Bilingual Interpreting Exam in Farsi will be reclassified as “Noncertified” in Farsi, and effective February 28, 2018 they will be removed from the Judicial Council’s Master List of Certified and Registered Court Interpreters.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does it mean for a language to be designated as a “Certified” language?
    The designation of a language as Certified is based on language usage in the courts statewide. The level of usage is determined by the Judicial Council of California on the basis of a study conducted every five years. From time to time, a Registered language that has shown enough increased use gets “designated” and then becomes Certified. A Certified language is different than a Registered language in that it requires different exams.
  2. When was Farsi designated as a Certified language?
    Farsi was designated as a Certified language following the 2010 Language Need and Interpreter Use Study, and in June 2015 the Court Interpreter Advisory Panel approved the commencement of testing in the fall of 2016.
  3. What is the purpose of an exam grace period?
    The purpose of an exam grace period is to provide Registered court interpreters with at least three opportunities to take and pass the required Bilingual Interpreting Exam, over a period of 18 months, to become a Certified interpreter.
  4. What are the official dates of the Farsi Certification exam grace period?
    The exam grace period begins on September 1, 2016, and ends 18 months later on February 28, 2018. During this time, Registered Farsi court interpreters will have three opportunities to take and pass the Certification exam within an 18-month period, while maintaining their status and continuing normal work as Registered Farsi court interpreters.
  5. How do interpreters learn more about the change for Farsi interpreters?
    In October 2015, Registered Farsi court interpreters who are on the Judicial Council Master List will be notified about the upcoming exam grace period, and preparation trainings. Our public website will have up-to-date news about the exams and trainings.
  6. When will I be able to take the required exams during the 18-month grace period?
    Bilingual Interpreting Exams will be offered in September 2016, in March 2017, and in September 2017.  Therefore the final testing opportunity within the grace period will occur September 2017. After the administration of the final grace period exam, Registered court interpreters in Farsi who have not passed the Bilingual Interpreting Exam will be reclassified as “Noncertified” until such time as they are able to pass the exam and become Certified.
  7. How do I register for the exam?
    You will need to register for the Bilingual Interpreting Exam with Prometric, the test administrator for the California court interpreter certification program. Registration and scheduling for the exam will be available a few months before the exam administration via Prometric’s call center.  For complete information on the Bilingual Interpreting Exam, please visit: https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/California/Pages/Bilingual-Interpreter-Exams.aspx
  8. Will the Judicial Council offer Registered court interpreters assistance in preparing for the certification exam?
    Yes, the Judicial Council sponsored a subsidized training for currently Registered court interpreters in Farsi in early 2016.  The two day workshops were held on: January 30-31, 2016, Los Angeles and February 20-21, 2016, San Francisco.
  9. If I do not pass the Farsi certification exam during the grace period what will be my last day as a Registered Farsi interpreter?
    February 28, 2018, will be your last day as a Registered Farsi interpreter if you have not passed the certification exam. Your name will be removed from the Master List effective March 1, 2018.
  10. Will my employment status be impacted if I don’t pass the certification exam?
    Registered court interpreters of Farsi, who do not pass the certification exam during the 18-month grace period, will be removed from the Master List. Following the grace period, Registered status in Farsi will no longer be offered in California. This means that employment as a Farsi interpreter after February 28, 2018, will require securing Certified status in Farsi. 
  11. If I interpret in a language other than Farsi, will I lose status in that language after the grace period for Farsi?
    No, the current grace period applies only to Farsi. Starting March 1, 2018, only court interpreters Certified in Farsi may be employed as Farsi court interpreters. This grace period, however, will not affect your status in any other languages in which you are Registered and/or Certified. An employee interpreter who has another language in which they are on the Master List is not guaranteed to keep their employment.
  12. What if I pass the Bilingual Interpreting Exam during the grace period, but don’t complete my certification paperwork in a timely fashion?
    Effective March 1, 2018 you will no longer be listed as Registered court interpreter of Farsi on the Master List. Until you submit your certification enrollment paperwork, you will not yet be a Certified court interpreter of Farsi, nor will you appear on the Master List.
  13. If I do not pass the Farsi Bilingual Interpreting Exam (certification exam) during this grace period, may I test again?
    Yes, not passing the exam during the grace period does not prevent you from taking and passing future examinations and becoming a Certified court interpreter. The State of California is in need of Certified court interpreters in Farsi and we hope you will decide to continue your pursuit of certification.
  14. How do I test in the future?
    Please check the Exam Information page on our website.  You will be required to follow any processes, and take any exams which are in place at the time you wish to test.