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Certification and Recognition Overview

Utah law states, “an individual is required to be certified as a certified interpreter if that individual provides interpreter services” (Utah Code 35A-13-6). All working interpreters in Utah must have their certification issued or recognized by the Utah Interpreter Program (UIP). Interpreters possessing state of Utah certifications or other certifications (NAD, RID, EIPA) determined to be accepted by the Interpreter Certification Board (ICB) may provide interpreting services in Utah, provided they are in compliance with the requirements for certification and recognition set forth in the policies and procedures of the UIP.

Certification Process Overview

The certification process for Utah-issued Novice and Professional certifications requires passing a knowledge exam and a performance exam. Candidates must pass the knowledge exam before they are permitted to take the performance exam. At this time, a college degree is not required, but candidates must be at least 18 years of age and have no code of ethics violations, or other issues that may preclude working as a certified interpreter in Utah.

Step 1: Take the Utah Certification Knowledge Exam

Two students taking the knowledge exam on computers

The Utah certification process starts with a 100 multiple-choice exam that evaluates your knowledge of the profession of interpreting and may include, but is not limited to ethics (40%), interpreting (20%), culture (20%), ASL and English language (10%) and history and laws (10%).

This computer-based exam will provide results immediately upon completion of the exam. A passing score is 80%. A successful knowledge exam is valid for five years. Retaking the knowledge exam will be required if the validation period has expired. If a candidate does not meet the minimum score required on the knowledge exam, a 7-day waiting period is required before attempting to retest. Retesting will require another application and full testing fee.

Exams are given at the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 5709 South 1500 West, Taylorsville, Utah.

You must apply online to see exam schedule and set up an exam appointment. 

Apply Now

Instructions for setting up your online interpreter account in order to “Login / Apply to Become an Interpreter”.


Study Materials

Four books for studying

Study materials may be available to check out for up to 30 days for those who have submitted an application and paid the fee. Contact uip@utah.gov to check availability of study materials. The recommended reading materials for the knowledge exam include:

  • Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters by Anna Mindess
  • Sign Language Interpreting: Exploring Its Art and Science by David A. Stewart, Jerome Schein, and Brenda Cartwright.
  • So You Want to Be an Interpreter by Janice H. Humphrey and Bob J. Alcorn
  • Journey into a Deaf World by Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister and Ben Bahan
  • Demand and Control Schema by Robyn Dean (available electronically by request)
  • Encounters with Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios by Brenda Cartwright
  • Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community Harlan Lane
  • RID Code of Professional Conduct
  • Utah Interpreter Program Policy and Procedures Manual
  • Utah Interpreter Law

Step 2 (Optional): Utah Certification Mock Exam

You must first pass the Utah knowledge exam before scheduling the Utah Certification mock exam. 

This practice exam is available at no charge. Mock exams are designed to familiarize candidates with the Novice Level examination process only. All examination steps will be explained and questions answered. Candidates must bring their own blank USB/flash drive if they would like a copy of their mock exam.

To apply for a mock exam, send a request to uip@utah.gov with "Mock Exam Request" in the subject line. Mock exams are given on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please list a few date options when making a request.


Step 3: Take the Utah Certification Performance Exam

Student taking performance exam

You must first pass the knowledge exam before applying for the performance exam. A candidate must receive their performance exam results before they can apply for a retest. There is no limit to the amount of times a candidate can retest for the performance exam, as long as their knowledge exam is still valid. To apply, submit a completed application with the fee at least seven days prior to exam date.

An email notifying you of your testing topics will be sent the day before your appointment. Please contact uip@utah.gov if a list of topics was not received before noon on the day before your scheduled appointment. Be sure to read the notices thoroughly for instructions regarding the exam. Results will be sent by email within approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

Novice Level Exam

The Novice Level exam consists of three components:

  • Spoken English to Sign
  • Sign to Spoken English
  • Role Play

You must pass all three components in one exam to become Novice Level Certified. If you do not pass all three components, you will be required to retest on all three components. View the Novice Level testing criteria.

Professional Exam

The Professional Level Exam consists of five components:

  • Spoken English to American Sign Language
  • American Sign Language to Spoken English
  • Spoken English to English Bound Signing
  • English Bound Signing to Spoken English
  • Role Play

A candidate taking the Professional Level exam can choose to test all five components in one day or split it into two sessions with testing ASL components on one day and transliterating components on another day. A one-year timeframe is provided to complete the remainder of any components where standards were not met. Candidates are charged only for the number of components that are being tested. If all components are not passed within their one-year time frame, the candidate will be required to retest on all five components. View the Professional Level testing criteria.

Apply Now

Instructions for setting up your online interpreter account in order to “Login / Apply to Become an Interpreter”.