Prerequisites for Other Languages

At this time, the National Board only offers certification in Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Vietnamese. There are no oral exams available in other languages. While it is the National Board's goal to expand the certification program to as many languages as possible, the development of new oral exams is a complex and very time consuming process. In the meantime, for those interpreters who meet the program prerequisites and pass the written exam, the National Board offers an official letter indicating that the interpreter has passed the written exam.  Medical interpreters may use this letter to show employers that they have met the National Board's program prerequisites and are qualified to take the oral CMI exam once it becomes available in their language pair. 

Prerequisites for the written exam:

  1. Minimum Age: All candidates must submit proof of being at least 18 years old (the age of majority as defined by the federal government). A driver’s license or a birth certificate or passport copy are acceptable proofs of age.
  2. General Education: All candidates must submit proof of having at least a high school education level. A high school diploma, a GED, or any degree from an institution of higher education are acceptable proofs of general education.
  3. Profile Photo: All candidates must upload a recent professional photo of themselves to their NBCMI profile.
  4. Medical Interpreter Education: All candidates must submit proof of training specific to medical interpreting. You must submit either:
    • a Certificate of Completion from an approved medical interpreter training course of at least 40 hours
    • a transcript from a college or university where you took at least 3 credit hours of medical interpreting coursework.

    A registry of some of the approved training programs is posted on the IMIA and CHIA web sites. This is not a complete list as there are many other programs not listed in the registry that are acceptable, please check with the program you choose to ensure it meets the medical interpreter training requirements.

    IMIA Approved Trainings


    Disclaimer: The National Board cannot recommend one course over another and is not responsible for the content of any course listed. Neither NBCMI nor IMIA is involved in the development of these training courses. No NBCMI staff is involved in the approval of training courses.

    Note: The interpreter training required for admission to the CMI program is training in medical interpreting. That requirement cannot be waived for anyone, regardless of how much other training and experience they have. Even doctors have the same prerequisite requirements as all other candidates.

  5. Oral proficiency in English:
    One of the following:
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or any other degree from an institution of higher education in the U.S. or other English language country.
    • High school diploma from a high school in the U.S. or other English language country or from an American School abroad.
    • One of the following tests (subject to change):
      • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 570+ on paper; 230+ on computer version; 90+ on iBT.
      • ELPT (English Language Proficiency Test): 950+
      • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) 80+
      • ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English): PASS
      • FCE (First Certificate in English, Level 3): A
      • CAE (Certificate in Advanced English, Level 4): B
      • CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English, Level 5): B
      • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 7.0
  6. Oral proficiency in the target language:
    One of the following:
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or any other degree from an institution of higher education where the target language is spoken.
    • High school diploma from a high school in a country where the target language is spoken
    • 24+ semester college credit hours of the target language
    • ACTFL Oral Exams (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages): Advanced Mid Level (follow this link - both the OPI (telephonic) and OPIc (computer recording) are acceptable.
Register Here

The $35 registration fee is non-refundable.

Fees Expiration and Refunds Policies: The program registration fee is non-refundable and is an annual fee, Your initial registration payment is good for one year of the program; after one year, if you have not yet completed the program and you want to take additional tests, you must pay a $35 re-registration fee to continue the program.

*It is important that interpreters who are granted the QMI credential understand that this does not equate certification as medical interpreters, and should not misrepresent their credential.  Only interpreters who pass the oral exam from the National Board and are granted the CMI credential are recognized as certified medical interpreters.