Are you applying for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189), Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) or Skilled Regional (subclass 489) visa? Have you ever wondered what “credentialed community language qualifications” on the points test was? It refers to certification from NAATI, the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. Getting NAATI certification will earn you another 5 points.

There are two ways to go about getting those 5 additional points. You might choose to sit directly for the Credentialed Community Language Test (which doesn’t sound too difficult if you are bilingual) or you may choose to study for it but either way you still need to pass the test.


Credentialed Community Language Test (Coming Soon!)

You will need to be quite confident if you choose to sit the test with any prior learning as it will cost $800. The test will only be available from March 2018. The Credentialed Community Language (CCL) test will not provide any sort of certification but will still give you 5 points.

CCL tests are conducted via a recording played to the candidate by an examiner. The candidates responses are recorded for marking. Two dialogues of two different languages are played to assess the candidate’s ability to translate the meaning one language to the other and back.

Find: Credentialed Community Language Test information guide

To sit for the CCL test, you will need to lodge an application and wait for a scheduled test date. Results will be available in around 8 weeks. Can’t wait? Unsure if you can pass? Prior to the introduction of the CCL test, the only option was to study and get certified.


Study and certification

Translating and interpretation? There’s a likelihood you know a language other than English anyway, so it’s not really that far fetched. It is a great skill and potentially could be helpful to your career. The cost? Getting a Diploma in Interpreting at Sydney TAFE will set you back 12 hours a week for 36 weeks (part time evening course). Sydney TAFE offers this Diploma for Mandarin, Korean, Spanish and Cantonese. The course fees are currently $2,680. Sydney TAFE is just one example, there are many other NAATI endorsed courses at other institutions for a many languages.

To be awarded the 5 points, you must be accredited/certified by NAATI for interpreting or translating and must hold accreditation/certification at the time of invitation (using the skill select system). NAATI has accredited courses which provide a more direct pathway to certification, but offers pathways to certification even if you have not taken a NAATI accredited course.

The NAATI certification system is currently undergoing some changes. Their accreditation (approved courses) system is transitioning to the certification (endorsed qualifications) system, with the certification system to take effect from 1 January 2018. To keep this simple, we’ll break it down into if you are already studying/have completed qualifications,if you are looking to enrol and if you have pathways outside NAATI approved courses.


I will be enrolling

If you have not yet enrolled, we advise that you choose a course from the endorsed qualifications list.

Find: NAATI endorsed Australian qualifications

You will need to sit and pass a certification test within 3 years of completing your NAATI endorsed qualification.


Course completed before 1 January 2018

If you have completed or are completing an approved course before January 2018, your education institutional would have administered assessments that meet NAATI standards. You would have needed to meet the required scores in your course. If you have done so, your educational institution will recommend you for NAATI accreditation. In the end though you may find if you do not pass their internal testing, you do not get your qualification.

Find: NAATI approved courses

Find: Accreditation by approved course

The certification tests will start from February 2018. Test formats have not yet been released and are expected at the end of 2017.


Course enrolled before but completed after 1 January 2018

If you have enrolled in an approved course, check to see if your course is also an endorsed qualification. If it is, you will be able to sit the certification test. If not, you will be eligible to sit a test for NAATI accreditation.

Find: Information for current NAATI approved course students


I did not take a NAATI accredited course

If you have already completed qualifications in translation and/or interpretation but it is not from a NAATI approved course, fret not, other pathways exist for you to get certification. You will need to meet certain prerequisites to be eligible to sit the certification test. For example, if you are applying to be a certified translator, you must meet one of the following prerequisite sets:

  1. Have a Non-NAATI endorsed translating qualification – Advanced Diploma or higher (AQF1 Level 6 or comparable) and meet the standard set by NAATI for language competency, ethical competency and intercultural competency
  2. Hold Certified Translator in another language
  3. Completion of AQF units in translating theory and/or practice assessed by NAATI as meeting pre-requisite requirements or other comparable training delivered by a VET or HE provider or the NAATI offered Translator Training Modules and meet the standard set by NAATI for language competency, ethical competency and intercultural competency tests
  4. Hold Recognised Practising Translator credential in the language combination

Find all available pathways: Certification scheme – prerequisite pathways

Note that recognised practitioners will not meet the standard for achieving the additional 5 points. The NAATI accredited courses will all result in certification for the award of 5 points.