Accreditation and Employer Screenings
OASLI supports the exclusive use of AVLIC members for all assignments requiring ASL-English interpretation. That being said, AVLIC membership itself is not an accreditation. AVLIC membership guarantees, under the present membership criteria, that the interpreter
- has graduated from a recognized interpreter training program (ITP)
- has committed to following AVLIC’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct (COEGPC)
- is subjected to AVLIC’s Professional Conduct Review Process (PCRP)
Furthermore, OASLI recognizes that several tests and screenings are available to ASL-English Interpreters in Ontario. Some of these tests are recognized as an accreditation, while others are employer-specific screenings. This is often confusing to consumers.
An ASL-English Interpreter accreditation will guarantee a minimum level of competency, whereas employer screenings only look for specific skills that are suitable for the employment environment. Employer screenings are not tests of general skill and should not be used outside of the context for which they were designed.
In Ontario, common designations ASL-English interpreters use when promoting themselves are
- AVLIC COI
- MAG Registered
- PWGSC Registered
- OIS Registered
- AEIP Graduate
It is the goal of this fact sheet to explain what each designation means and to highlight whether the designation is an accreditation or an employer screening.
AVLIC COI The AVLIC COI is the highest level of accreditation available to ASL-English Interpreters in Canada. It is also the only accreditation officially recognized by OASLI in Ontario.
The Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) is the national professional association for sign language interpreters. OASLI is an affiliate chapter of AVLIC. AVLIC is the only certifying body of ASL-English Interpreters in Canada. The Certificate of Interpretation (COI) is awarded to interpreters who successfully complete the four-phase AVLIC Canadian Evaluation System
- phase one - Written Test of Knowledge (WTK)
- phase two - two preparation workshops
- phase three - Test of Interpretation (TOI)
- The fourth phase is Certification Maintenance.
Active membership with AVLIC and OASLI (or other affiliate chapters) is a condition of certification maintenance. All members are required to follow the AVLIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct, and are subjected to the AVLIC Professional Conduct Review Process (PCRP)
Employer Interpreter Screenings
ASL-English interpreters who carry MAG accreditation are eligible to work for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG).
In order to qualify for MAG accreditation, an interpreter must
- Attend a training seminar and pass a test in courtroom procedures and interpreter ethics, and
- Successfully complete a background check with the Canadian Police Information Centre
MAG accredited interpreters are issued MAG Photo Identification which must be shown when providing service in the courts of Ontario.
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is formerly known as Secretary of State (SS). PWGSC screens ASL-English Interpreters who wish to work in federal government venues. The Translation Bureau coordinates interpreting services for employees of the federal government.
In order to qualify, the interpreter must pass both a written test and a video- taped skill screening. Once qualified, interpreters are
- referred to as Registered Linguistic Service Suppliers
- eligible to participate in the tendering process through the Translation Bureau
Ontario Interpreting Services (OIS) is one of the core programs offered by The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS). OIS brokers the services of ASL-English Interpreters across Ontario on a fee-for-service basis.
Interpreters who wish to be employed by the agency must pass the OIS registration process. The registration process consists of
- a video-taped skills screening
- panel interview
- security check
Interpreters who are successful in this process are referred to as OIS Registered.
AEIP Graduates are individuals who have graduated from an ASL-English Interpreter Training Program (AEIP).
In Ontario, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) currently funds one ASL-English Interpreter Training Program. This program is located at George Brown College in Toronto.
While the programs at Sheridan College in Brampton, St. Clair College in Windsor and Cambrian College in Sudbury are no longer in operation, these diplomas are recognized on par with those of the current programs.
Across Canada, several AEIPs are currently being offered as well. Diplomas received upon successful completion of these programs are recognized across the country.
Some ASL-English Interpreters working in Canada hold certification granted by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). RID is a national professional association of interpreters based in the United States. RID grants accreditation based upon their own criteria and as such OASLI cannot comment on nor endorse those accreditations.
Accreditation & Employer Screenings for Deaf Interpreters
OASLI supports the exclusive use of AVLIC members for all assignments requiring ASL- English interpretation. That being said, AVLIC membership itself is not an accreditation. AVLIC membership guarantees, under the present membership criteria, that the interpreter
Furthermore, OASLI recognizes there are currently no accreditation or screening processes available in Canada for Deaf Interpreters. Because of this, OASLI strongly encourages businesses to only hire Deaf Interpreters that are AVLIC members.
A Note about RID Certifications
Some Deaf Interpreters working in Canada hold certification granted by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). RID is a national professional association of interpreters based in the United States. RID grants accreditation based upon their own criteria and as such OASLI cannot comment on nor endorse those accreditations.