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200 Healthcare Interpreting

Medical (or Health Care) Interpreting is a collaborative rather than adversarial environment. Everyone in the room has the same goals — defining a medical situation and resolving a health problem.

We no longer offer a Medical Interpreting Certificate in British Columbia. However, because we must continue to offer such Medical courses as are required for the Paralegal and Court Interpreting certificates, we have created a “Health Care Interpreting Certificate” which is basically an enhancement to our Community Interpreting Certificate. This enhancement is intended to facilitate communication between a health care provider and a patient. It is not a “medical interpreting program” aimed at doctors talking to each other in a medical professional environment.

The Health Care Enhancement consists of three courses…

  • 203 – Introduction to Health Care Interpreting,
  • 211 – Interpreting in the Doctor’s Office and
  • 213 – Interpreting in Hospitals

… for a total of about 36 additional hours.

Course 203 is a lecture series that covers institutional matters by way of an introduction to various aspects of the health care system; and professional matters such as some of the business, ethical and legal aspects of the responsibility you will be assuming; and an introduction to anatomy and medical terminology. The two bilingual tutorial courses (211 and 213) provide bilingual training in consecutive interpreting and sight translation using medical scenarios and terminologies. The Community Interpreting program plus this enhancement represents about 116 hours of instruction. There is a written exam but no oral exam beyond the one required for the Community Interpreting Certificate. 

For students not interested in Community Interpreting and want only the bare minimum of health care interpreter training we suggest a “Mini-Program” comprised of course 101 (Basics of Interpreting) and courses 203, 211 and 213 for a total of about 60 hours of instruction. Students will receive a Statement of Completion for each course attended. However, there is no additional written or oral exam on the medical courses and consequently no certificate for the Mini-Program. This Mini-Program appears to meet the minimal training requirements of the Provincial Language Service, a branch of the Health Services Authority (of British Columbia).

Completion, Exam, Certificate

  • A statement of Completion issued for each course.

  • A final written exam will be offered upon the completion of all courses. There is a fee for the exam.

  • A “Certificate in Health Care Interpreting” will be granted to students who have obtain our Community Interpreting Certificate and have passed all healthcare coursework and the final exam (with a score of at least 70% on all components). The holder of such a certificate may be known as a “Certificated Court Interpreter”


ID Course Type Hours Registration
101 Basics of Interpreting Bilingual Tutorial
Lecture: 25
203 Introduction to Health Care Interpreting Lecture in English
Lecture: 25
211 Interpreting in Doctor’s Offices and Clinics Bilingual Tutorial
Tutorial: 10
213 Interpreting in Hospitals Bilingual Tutorial
Tutorial: 10

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If you are fluent in English and another language, why not make your skills available to hospitals, the courts, Immigration and anywhere the need for accurate multilingual communication exists?