FAQ

Why have you moved your programs online?

We have moved some of the programs and/or course modules online to support working professionals that cannot attend programs during regularly scheduled hours. Our courses are available to students when they have the time set aside without the hassle of taking time off or rescheduling their work shifts.

Another reason for the move is to facilitate access to learning for people that do not live close to where our courses take place. Online courses allow students from across the province to learn and grow professionally.


Does online mean that there is no teacher?

Not at all. You will have the same instructors as our physical classroom-based courses. The only difference is that you will not be in the same physical space. The online learning platform we use – Zoom – also allows us to continue to do small-group work and paired activities, so you will be able to speak directly with the other students. We will be able to show videos, take quizzes, share a white board and so much more.


Do I need lots of fancy technical equipment?

No. If you use Skype, Facetime, Facebook Messenger or What’s App video to speak to friends and family then you already have all you need. You can join us with a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, and either PC or Apple-based operating systems. As long as you have a camera, microphone and reliable internet access, then you are set to take the course.


What do you mean by Blended Learning Model?

Our programs are called Blended Learning because they are a blend of self-directed and instructor-led learning: course content is both independently learned in online modules as well as delivered live by our qualified instructors. The classroom is both virtual (via the internet) or actual. Regardless of the lesson format, an instructor will always be available to support your learning.


How long is the program?

Our courses vary in the course length from 35 – 60 hours. Remember that the Interpreting in Community Settings is a prerequisite for all of the other courses.

Level 1 courses – Interpreting in Community Settings – is 20-hours of instruction, plus additional independent learning and course assignments. In total students should expect to invest between 30 – 35 hours of their time to learning.

Level 2 courses – Interpreting in Health Care Settings and Interpreting in Legal Settings – includes 30 hours of instructor led content, plus additional independent learning and course assignments that will provide an extra 10 hours of course work. In total students should expect to invest between 50 – 60 hours of their time to learning.

Level 3 courses – Interpreting in Mental Health Settings includes 25 hours of instructor led content, plus special guest speakers and additional independent learning and course assignments that will provide an extra 10 hours of course work. In total students should expect to invest between 40 – 45 hours of their time to learning.

A student that registers and completes a level 1, 2 and 3 course will have completed a total of 130 hours of interpreter education. If a student chooses to enrol and complete all 4 courses, this will provide them with a solid base of 192 hours of interpreter education.


What if I miss a class?

If you miss a class, you can access the recording for up to 30 days after the session. You can see what the instructor taught, follow along with the lesson, and see what your fellow students said and asked. We encourage you to attend every session, but we understand that sometimes that is not possible.


What if I want more than just the recorded session?

No problem. We allow students to join any subsequent course that is the same as the one in which they enrolled for up to 6 months. For example, if you miss Lesson 2 of Interpreting in Community Settings in January, you can join the Lesson 2 of Interpreting in Community Settings in February or May or whenever the next session runs, up to 6 months after you first registered. And the best part is that it is FREE to do so. We will not charge you any extra fees.


What are Field Study Days?

Field Study Days are in-class, face-to-face and offline sessions where students can do practice drills, role-plays and case studies with other students. In BC, these classes are held at SFU Surrey Campus. In other provinces these sessions are set up as required. Field Study Days may also include presentations by expert speakers.


Once I finish the courses will I be a certified interpreter?

This is a complicated response, but in essence certification is different from certificate. See below for a more detailed explanation, but the quick response is that successfully completing any one of our programs will qualify you to start working as a community, health care or legal interpreter. Certification (see below) is obtained by taking the CTTIC exams.


More about Certification

Certification is a process that a professional goes through with their professional membership body. In Canada the certification process is overseen by the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council – (CTTIC) and administered through provincial membership bodies (in BC it is STIBC). Interpreting is a profession, for which there are reserved professional titles, which include:

  • Certified Court Interpreter
  • Certified Community Interpreter
  • Certified Medical Interpreter
  • Certified Conference Interpreter

A certificate is a document that shows you attended or completed a course. At The Interpreter’s Lab we offer 2 different certificates:

Certificate of Attendance

If you attend all the online classes and complete the self-directed study component, you will receive a signed Certificate of Attendance

Certificate of Successful Completion

If you attend all the online classes, complete the self-directed study component AND successfully pass the online exam (with an 80%) you will receive a signed Certificate of Successful Completion.

Completing courses at The Interpreter’s Lab will provide you will a solid knowledge base to take the CTTIC exam for either:

  • Certified Court Interpreter
  • Certified Community Interpreter
  • Certified Medical Interpreter

Will The Interpreter’s Lab help me get a job as an interpreter?

The Interpreter’s Lab works closely with the Language Service Agencies to ensure that interpreters are provided with quality training. Our programs and courses are recognized by key Language Service Providers (LSP) such as Interpretation and Translation Services at Abbotsford Community Services and The Provincial Language Service at PHSA, among other agencies across Canada.

Our courses all include an Understanding the Market Place component where we discuss important things for interpreters to know such as: what it means to work as a freelancer, how to understand and negotiate a contract, where to apply and how, etc.


Are your courses only in English?

Yes, our courses are taught in English by working professionals. However, we offer mentorship or coaching opportunities for students that wish to work with a professional interpreter in their own language. The language-specific programs are on-demand and nation-wide.


Who are your instructors?

Our instructors are all highly qualified teachers and practitioners. They are certified professionals and have been working as medical, community and court interpreters from 15 to over 30 years.  You can meet our instructors in the About Us section of the website.


Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we do offer payment plans, and they are interest-free! We allow students to pay for the courses with up to 3 payments, with an initial payment of $250. You can ask us if you want to know more about payment plans.


What is your cancellation policy?

Please read our full terms and conditions for programs and courses here.


What is your privacy policy?

You can find our privacy policy here.