Continuing to Grow: Why and How to Earn CEUs

by Nicole Pandl

Continuing to Grow

Although the field of interpreting is still growing and evolving here in the United States, professionals in the field are pushing for higher standards to ensure consumers receive the best services possible. Part of that push to be better for our clients involves pursuing certification and maintaining the credential by earning CEUs. CEU is an acronym that stands for continuing education unit, and it refers to credits one may earn by attending trainings and webinars to continue one’s professional development.

Most certifications require individuals to earn a certain amount of CEUs within a specific time period, which then leaves interpreters wondering, “Where can I get all these credits?” Below we have compiled a list of local and national sources for obtaining CEUs to help you on your journey of professional development.

Local

  • SWITS – Here at SWITS we offer quarterly boot camps on a variety of topics geared towards spoken and sign language interpreters. From gun terminology to hospice care, our trainings offer a diverse range of themes applicable to community, medical and legal interpreters.
  • Alverno Interpreter Institute – The Alverno Interpreter Institute (AII) was founded by medical interpreters as a forum to disseminate information on topics of interest to practicing interpreters. The Institute fosters skill-building and continuing education through interactive workshops and enrichment sessions as a means of professional development for those at all levels of the profession.
  • WISRID – WISRID, the Wisconsin branch of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, maintains a page of current conferences and events that American Sign Language interpreters may attend to earn CEUs.
  • Wisconsin Court System – The Wisconsin Court System posts a list of current approved continuing education activities for court interpreters.
  • MATI – The Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters (MATI), a chapter of the American Translators Association (ATA), hosts local conferences and live webinars which provide CEUs.

National

  • CCHI Conference Listing – The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) has an updated list of interpreting conferences being held around the country. Each posting has a brief description of the conference and the number of CEUs being offered.
  • CCHI CEAP – CCHI’s Continuing Education Accreditation Program (CEAP) maintains a searchable registry that lists all of the continuing education trainings that have received the CEAP accreditation. CCHI also offers webinars that provide CEUs for those who want to learn from the comfort of their home.
  • IMIA Education Registry – The IMIA Education Registry is an online resource for locating medical interpreter educational opportunities.  To date, as many as 500 programs, workshops, webinars and other learning activities currently reside on the IMIA education registry offering skill set development programs in person, and now even online.
  • RID – RID features a searchable database of trainings that provide CEUs for American Sign Language interpreters.
  • ATA – ATA lists low cost paths to attaining CEUs through seminars, becoming a mentor, writing for the ATA Chronicle, and more. This site contains a plethora of resources.
  • NAJIT – The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translation (NAJIT) holds annual conferences for court interpreters and translators. NAJIT registers their conferences for CEUs from various national and state organizations, so many professionals across the country can receive credit for attending.

It is important to keep in mind that attending continuing education trainings can be beneficial even if you have not yet attained certification. Conferences present a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your field as well as to meet potential employers. Often times, these events are lined with exhibitor booths of agencies and organizations eager to work with you!

Workshops and webinars also provide insight into current challenges in the field and motivate interpreters to improve their skill set, something we should all be doing regardless of if we are certified or not. Commit to being the best you can be for your clients and check out a training today!

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