Language and Interpreting Skills Assessment

The Community Interpreter Language and Interpreting Skills Assessment Tool (CILISAT) measures a candidate’s current ability to sight translate written texts and interpret a spoken dialogue in one of 50 available languages.

The Interpreter’s Lab (a program of Shifting Pictures) is an authorized testing center for the CILISAT (Community Interpreter Language and Interpreting Skills Assessment Tool, developed by CISOC, Ottawa, ON) exam. This language and skills assessment will compliment your training and can be taken either before or after you have completed any of our course(s).

CILISAT results can be beneficial in a number of ways:

  • To demonstrate competency for community interpreter positions
  • To complement The Interpreter’s Lab course work
  • Or, as part of your application for associate membership under the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC) – CTTIC affiliates such as Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC) or  the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO)

NOTE: This test is not mandatory for students but is highly recommended as a positive addition and qualification to your interpreting portfolio.

For general information about this assessment visit

Tests are scheduled in advance and done online.



Interested in taking the CILISAT Exam? Here are some of the common questions we are getting.

Do I have to be a student of The Interpreter’s Lab to take this test?

No, you do not have to be a student of The Interpreter’s Lab. You can also take the exam as a standalone, independent of any of our courses, or independent of whether or not you are a student of ours.

How do I Schedule a Test?

A test can be scheduled at any time, including before, during or after your interpreter training course(s), or independent of any training. Contact us to schedule your test.

How long do results take?

Results can take 4-8 weeks

What if I don’t pass?

You only need to pass one of the tests to secure a certificate. If you do not pass the test, you can retake the test, note that it will be a different version, once you have made a payment for the second test. There are no retakes on any test without the purchase of an additional testing session.

How much does it cost?

Each language combination will cost $255 + GST. This fee is for one individual exam and does not include any fees for retakes.

How long does it take?

The exam process takes approximately 1.5 hours, is done online and is proctored by authorized personnel. Test locations vary.

What do I receive if I successfully pass the test?

Successful candidates will receive a certificate indicating that they have been certified by the CILISAT. (Note: this is not the same as certification as obtained through the examination process of professional membership organizations under the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council.)

In what languages is the test available?

The test is available in over 50 languages. See the languages here: CILISAT Language List

How can I prepare for the test?

A Guide is available to help you prepare for the test. CILISAT_Preparation_Guide_2014