State by State regulations

Certifications given by RID:


National Interpreter Certification (NIC)


The current certification given by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the National Interpreter Certification (NIC). The NIC is composed of three parts: a written knowledge test, an interview focusing on ethical decision making, and a performance test consisting of a signed and spoken portion. There are three teirs of certification:

  • NIC
    Individuals who achieve the NIC level have passed the NIC Knowledge exam. They have also scored within the standard range of a professional interpreter on the interview and performance portions of the test.

  • NIC Advanced
    Individuals who achieved the NIC Advanced level have passed the NIC Knowledge exam; scored within the standard range of a professional interpreter on the interview portion; and scored within the high range on the performance portion of the test.

  • NIC Master
    Individuals who achieved the NIC Master level have passed the NIC Knowledge exam. They have scored within the high range of a professional interpreter on both the interview and performance portions of the test.
    Individuals who achieve any of the three NIC certification levels are to be commended.

CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter)



"Holders of this certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; eight hours of training on the role and function of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing; and have passed a comprehensive combination of written and performance tests. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial." (RID.org: Generalist Certifications)

CI (Certificate of Interpretation)



"Holders of this certificate are recognized as fully certified in interpretation and have demonstrated the ability to interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English for both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign tasks. The interpreter’s ability to transliterate is not considered in this certification. Holders of the CI are recommended for a broad range of interpretation assignments." (RID.org: Generalist Certifications)

This certification can be combined with the Certificate of Transliteration (CT). It is no longer offered by RID.

CT (Certificate of Transliteration)



"Holders of this certificate are recognized as fully certified in transliteration and have demonstrated the ability to transliterate between English-based sign language and spoken English for both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign tasks. The transliterator’s ability to interpret is not considered in this certification. Holders of the CT are recommended for a broad range of transliteration assignments." (RID.org: generalist certications)

This test is no longer given. Certification can be held in conjunction with the CI (Certificate of Interpretation)

Previous certificates offered by RID


CSC (Consecutive Skills Certificate)
MCSC (Master Comprehensive Skills Certificate)
RSC (Reverse Skills Certificate)
CDI-P (Certified Deaf Interpreter - Provisional)
TC (Translation Certificate)
IC (Interpretation Certificate)
CI (Certificate of Interpretation)
CT (Certificate of Transliteration)
OIC (Oral Interpreting Certificate - comprehensive, sign/voice, voice/sign)
OTC (Oral Transliteration Certificate)

Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA)


The Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) is a tool designed to evaluate the voice-to-sign and sign-to-voice interpreting skills of interpreters who work in the elementary and secondary school classroom setting.
The EIPA evaluates the ability to expressively interpret classroom content and discourse and the ability to receptively interpret student or teen sign language. It is not limited to any one sign language or system. EIPA is used to evaluate interpreters who work with students and teenagers who use predominately American Sign Language (ASL), Manually-Coded English (MCE) and Pidgin Sign English (PSE). This certification is also recognized by RID, known as Ed:K-12. For more information go to www.classroominterpreting.org

Level 1: Beginner

Level 2: Advanced Beginner

Level 3: Intermediate

Level 4: Advanced Intermediate

Level 5: Advanced


NAD Certificates


*no longer offered
  • NAD III (Generalist) - Average Performance
    Holders of this certificate possess above average voice-to-sign skills and good sign-to-voice skills or vise versa. This individual has demonstrated the minimum competence needed to meet generally accepted interpreter standards. Occasional words or phrases may be deleted but the expressed concept is accurate. The individual displays good control of the grammar of the second language and is generally accurate and consistent, but is not qualified for all situations.
  • NAD IV (Advanced) - Above Average Performance
    Holders of this certificate possess excellent voice-to-sign skills and above average sign-to-voice skills or vice versa. This individual has demonstrated above average skill in any given area. Performance is consistent and accurate. Fluency is smooth, with little deleted, and the viewer has no question to the candidate’s competency. With this certificate, an individual should be able to interpret in most situations.
  • NAD V (Master) - Superior Performance
    Holders of this certificate possess superior voice-to-sign skills and excellent sign-to-voice skills. This individual has demonstrated excellent to outstanding ability in any given area. There are minimum flaws in their performance, and they have demonstrated interpreting skills necessary in almost all situations.