Certification Testing

A Certification test is a performance-based test of your translation or interpreting skills. Anyone wanting to gain certification must sit and pass a certification test.

Certification test dates are scheduled by taking a number of factors into account. The most important of these is the demand in particular language. This demand is measured by the number of eligible candidates who have applied to NAATI to sit a particular test. 

You should lodge your application as soon as possible so that your application can be factored into our assessment of demand for a particular certification test. Once you apply, there may be an extended waiting period before you are invited to sit a test.

NAATI will advertise (through the NAATI website) when testing is scheduled for a particular language. Generally, there will be around two months between the test date and the advertisement. You should not wait until a test is advertised before applying for your certification test as this may not allow enough time for your application to be processed.

Each type of Certification test is made up of a specific set of tasks. Use the links below to explore detailed test information by type:

Information about other test types will be added as it becomes available.

The certification test contains a series of tasks. Each task is marked using a marking rubric specifically designed for the assessment of that task. At least two trained examiners mark certification tests independently.

The opinion of each examiner is taken into account in determining whether the candidate is successful in each task and the test overall. In situations where the initial examiners disagree about the performance of the candidate, i.e. whether the candidate has been assessed as successful or unsuccessful, additional examiners will be involved in determining the final result.

Normally the marking of a certification test will be completed and the result issued 6 to 8 weeks after the test is sat. Certification test performance will be marked on criteria specific to the task and skill (translating or interpreting) assessed.

A rubric is a descriptive marking scheme used to determine the level of performance a candidate displays in a certification test. It is presented as a matrix that provides scaled levels of performance (or bands) for each assessment criteria.

The bands describe the different levels of attainment for each performance criteria. In combination, the bands are used to determine whether the candidate has been successful or unsuccessful in a test.

NAATI uses ‘task-specific rubrics’ meaning that each rubric is designed to assess a specific certification test task. The use of rubrics to assess certification test tasks was specifically recommended by the INT Report to help ensure a valid and reliable certification system.

Trained examiners use the rubric to rate the performance of a candidate across a range of criteria. The overall performance, pass or fail, is determined by having a minimum performance (known as a ‘band level’) for each criteria.

The rubrics designed for assessing the certification tasks have five bands with Band 1 representing the highest level of performance and Band 5 the lowest.

In broad terms, (noting this is not a representation of an actual rubric used) each rubric has been designed with the following structure:


All skills in all tasks

Band 1

Candidate’s ability and competence is above what is expected.

Band 2

Candidate’s ability and competence is adequate.

Band 3

Candidate’s ability and competence is just below adequate.

Band 4

Candidate’s ability and competence is well below adequate.

Band 5

Candidate’s ability and competence is not demonstrated

NAATI issues all certification test results by email.

You will receive an email advising you whether you have been successful or unsuccessful on the certification test and providing you with feedback about your performance.

If you are successful in your certification test, you will receive a separate email after your test result email with information about the certification awarded to you and your Practitioner ID. You should receive this email within a day of being notified of your test result.

If you are unsuccessful, you will receive feedback on your performance on the certification test, information about the test result review process and whether you have qualified for a supplementary test. A supplementary test is offered to candidates who have passed certain tasks but failed other tasks.

In the supplementary test, you will re- sit the tasks you previously failed. If offered to you, you must sit the supplementary test within a year. If you pass the supplementary test, you will be awarded certification.

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Still have questions or are unsure? Email info@naati.com.au.