Sign Language Interpreting Certification, Skill Level Standards and Licensing


Certification and Skill Level Standards

In the blog How do I become a Sign Language Interpreter, we talked about levels of sign language interpreting certification and how to
become certified.

sign language interpreting certificationIn the state of Missouri, we have a board called the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH).  MCDHH provides a breadth of services to Deaf Missourians and Interpreters.   A commission oversees the overall practices of MCDHH.

The group that reviews rules and practices of “certification” is called the Board of Certification of Interpreters (BCI).

The BCI meets no less than twice a year and discusses issues surrounding certification. Additionally, they ensure that the skill level standards are up to date based on current needs.  For example, Missouri certifies interpreters at a Basic, Advanced, and Master level.  The skill level standards then dictate in which areas of sign language interpreting practice a Basic, Advanced, or Master level interpreter can work.  A reputable sign language interpreting practice, such as MT & Associates, will always stay current with sign language interpreting certification and the skill level standards.  They will be able to guide sign language interpreters appropriately.


In Missouri, the State Committee of interpreters (SCI) monitor and establish licenses. Once an interpreter is certified, they must also be licensed.  Like a physician or hair dresser, sign language interpreters must be licensed before they practice even if it is in an educational setting.

If any unethical practices are reported, the SCI investigates and determines if harm occurred.  This is a formal investigation where attorneys are present and legal repercussions can be enforced.  In the best interest of all parties, be careful prior to submitting any complaint and do not work without a license.

You can view the current listing of MCDHH Commissioners, BCI Members, and SCI Members as well as their current meetings by visiting the following link:


Additional Resources:


Committee of Interpreters


Photo Credit:


MT & Associates | Sign Language Interpreting Practice BBB Business Review