Community Interpretation Training (Feb-April 2023)

The New Canadians Centre is offering a 10-week Community Interpretation Training program starting early February 2023.

Please join the information session on Tuesday January 17 from 7:00 to 8:00pm if you are interested in participating and have more questions.

The Program:

  • 10-week online, self-directed program. Includes 70 hours of materials, practice exercises and a final exam. The program is a well-established and recognized training created by CISOC (Cultural Interpretation Services for Our Communities), an interpretation provider in Ottawa
  • Regular facilitated online discussions with other participants to learn together as a group
  • CISOC Community Interpretation certification upon successful completion of the exam


  • Participants must reside in Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton or the City of Kawartha Lakes
  • Fluency in English and at least one other language
  • Ability to complete the 70 hours of training and attend the facilitated discussions within the 10 weeks
  • Willingness and ability to be a Community Interpreter in this region upon completion of the program

How do I apply?

Selection criteria:

In making the decision of which applicants to accept into the program, the New Canadians Centre will review the application and also arrange a short conversation with the Program Facilitator. We will consider your language skills, your ability to work independently, your intention to stay within the region, and your reasons for taking the training. Our goal is to increase community capacity to meet interpretation needs.

If you are selected, the NCC will require a $25 deposit which will be refunded to you upon completion of the training.

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Active volunteer or non-certified interpreters
  • Specific languages

We are especially seeking people who speak the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Pashto
  • Dari
  • Ukrainian
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin


Why is the NCC offering this training opportunity?

The mission of the New Canadians Centre is to empower immigrants and refugees to become full and equal members of Canadian society, and to provide community leadership to ensure cultural integration in a welcoming community.

One of the key activities of the New Canadians Centre is to help people to access community and government services. For people who speak little or no English, interpretation is essential to connect with the services they need. Currently, there are very few certified interpreters in our region. This means that even if agencies want to use interpreters, they must use an interpretation phone line or pay high rates for an interpreter to commute to this region from the GTA.

The goal of the New Canadians Centre is to increase community capacity by offering this free interpreter training. This program will both increase the skill level of community members and also encourage people to pursue certification. Graduates from NCC’s program will be in a preferred position for NCC and other local agencies looking to hire interpreters.

How do I become a certified interpreter?

There is not a single regulatory body that oversees community interpretation. In fact, there is little consensus in the industry on what would constitute such a body. Currently, community interpretation is regulated by the industry itself and by interpretation organizations. That is, most interpretation organizations set their own standards.

CISOC’s Community Interpretation certification is recognized by most businesses in Ontario that offers interpretation services in their communities (you must receive 75% on the final exam to get a certificate).

In addition to the certificate, you must demonstrate oral fluency in the language pair you wish to interpret. In Ontario, there are two equally recognized standards for assessing bilingual fluency, the ILSAT and the CILISAT.

The ILSAT and CILISAT assessments cost around $245. The New Canadians Centre will consider assisting eligible graduates of the NCC Community Interpreter program with the cost of this assessment, pending available funding.

Where do certified interpreters work?

Community interpreters typically work as freelancers and promote their services to as many interpretation organizations as possible. It is usually the responsibility of interpretation centers to hold insurance for errors and omissions, which is also extended to their interpreters. Interpreters can work for large or small interpretation organizations. CISOC, for instance, is based in Ottawa, but they contract trained interpreters from all over the world to work with them face-to-face and through their VRI app.

Some examples of interpretation agencies that operate in the region:
• MCIS Language Services
• Language Line

How do I become a Freelance Court Interpreter?

How do I become a Medical Interpreter?
To become a medical interpreter, extra training is required – for example, CISOC has an online medical interpreter training program.

Please contact Marisa Kaczmarczyk ([email protected]), Director of Client Services, if you require more information.