NAATI accreditation can help people wishing to migrate to Australia in a number of ways:

  • Through a skills assessment (generally open only to those who have been sponsored by an employer, or nominated by a state or territory government)
  • By allowing them to claim points for certain qualifications obtained overseas, or for skilled employment as an interpreter*, which may be used towards a points-based migration visa
  • By allowing them to claim Credentialled Community Language (CCL) points, which may be used towards a points-based migration visa

The vast majority of people who apply for NAATI accreditation for migration purposes utilise it to claim Credentialled Community Language points.

* From 19 April 2017, "Translator" has been removed from the Skilled Occupation List.

From January 2018, NAATI’s new certification system will replace the current accreditation system. NAATI will be publishing up-to-date information about our interaction with the migration process by the end of 2017.

Applicants for a skilled migration visa must nominate an occupation that is on the combined skilled occupation list. NAATI is the assessing authority for the occupations of interpreter in accordance with the Migration Regulations 1994. More details about the Australian Government immigration skilled occupations lists are available from the Department of Immigration and Border Control website.  

Though the occupations of translator and interpreter are not currently on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), some state or territory governments may nominate applicants whose skills as a translator or interpreter are needed in their particular region. You will need to contact the relevant state or territory body for more information.

If you apply for a skills assessment, we will assess your skills as "suitable" or "not suitable" for your nominated occupation (that is, translator or interpreter) against the standards we have established (that is NAATI professional-level accreditation or higher). 

However, we cannot provide information or advice about visa requirements, so please make sure you understand the requirements of the particular visa for which you’re applying.

Questions about visa requirements and migration should be directed here.

More information about a NAATI skills assessment can be found here.

As part of certain points-based visa applications made to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, individuals who gain NAATI accreditation as a translator or interpreter at the Paraprofessional level or above can claim Credentialled Community Language (CCL) points (sometimes referred to as the ‘five bonus points’).

The pathways

The accreditation pathways open to individuals are the same ones that are open to anyone wishing to gain accreditation as a translator or interpreter. Of all the pathways available, most people choose either to:

  • Attempt a translator or interpreter accreditation test directly with NAATI
  • Complete an approved course in Australia (generally only available for a limited range of languages)

Click here to learn about the other pathways.

More information about gaining accreditation for CCL points through NAATI testing can be found here.

Each accreditation pathway has a different application form that you will need to fill out and provide documentary proof to support your application. The proof required will depend on the pathway chosen.

As skills assessments are not applicable for many people applying for accreditation, please get in touch with our National Office for further information.

There’s no special test for CCL points

If you sit for one of our accreditation tests, you’ll be sitting for the same test anyone would take. With that in mind, you should make sure you are confident of passing the test before you apply.

You need to do your own preparation

We are an accreditation authority, not an educational institution. If you apply to do a test, we will assume you already have the skills to be a translator or interpreter – we do not offer training.

We do run short workshops, which will give you basic information about interpreting or translation techniques and tips on how to prepare for the test, but doing a workshop does not mean you will pass the test.

You may also consider purchasing a sample test kit to help you prepare. 

Be realistic about your expectations

A NAATI accreditation test is not easy. We have a responsibility to ensure that accredited practitioners have the skills to do the job, so the interpreting and translating needs of all Australians are met.

You may not pass the test. Many people have to attempt the test more than once, and some never pass.

Remember: this is not a language test; it is a test to see if you have the skills and knowledge to work as a translator or interpreter at a particular level.

Still have questions or are unsure? click here.