Virginia's Judicial System

Program Information and Registration

Program Information

Orientation training consists of three mandatory pre-orientation webinar classes and a 2-day webinar orientation course that will familiarize students with the Virginia Judicial System, courtroom protocol, the role of the interpreter, specific skills needed for the different modes of interpreting, and the "do's and don'ts" of the job. Each webinar will be a 1-hour long session, offered live and prerecorded. Candidates will receive instructions to log-in to the webinars, and all candidates will be required to participate in all three webinars prior to the orientation class. Each candidate will also receive an electronic binder with information on how to access court-related glossaries and documents that will give an understanding of the court system and legal procedures. The training also includes an overview of self-study techniques, practice sessions, available resources, and tips for preparing for the oral certification examination. The 2-day orientation class, which follows the three mandatory webinars and is open to all languages, is not intended to prepare you for the written exam. Likewise, the materials provided at the orientation class are a source of general information for court interpreters, and not test prep. Success on the written and oral exams will depend on extensive independent preparation in addition to a solid linguistic foundation. Moreover, while successful court interpreters are often in part self-taught, many have also benefitted from formal instruction.

Written Exam: It is an intermediate level exam and requires extensive self-preparation. It is given only to candidates seeking certification in the following languages: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The written exam may be taken only one time within a 12-month period. The Written Exam is administered in Hanover, VA.

Oral Exam: It is open to those currently enrolled for certification in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese who have successfully completed the Orientation and Written Exam within the past 3-years. The oral exam may be taken only one time within a 12-month period.

The certification process begins by registering for the Orientation and Written Exam. Only candidates who have participated in the Orientation and passed the Written Exam, both within the past 3-years, are eligible to register for the Oral Exam.

Spring Registration:

  • Orientation and Written Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website in mid-February. (class/exam is generally given in March or April)
  • Oral Exam: Registration dates/locations are generally posted on this website during the month of May or June (exam is generally given in June or July)

Fall Registration:

  • Orientation and Written Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website in mid-August (class/exam is generally given in September or October).
  • Oral Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website during the months of December or January (exam is generally given in January or February)

Note: All dates are tentative and may be subject to change without prior notice. Registration will close when classes are full and/or when class lists are finalized. This can be several weeks before the start of the in-person orientation.

To Register:
Fall 2021 Orientation is being offered in an all-virtual format.  For both sessions, candidates will view the pre-recorded portions of the orientation presentation in the morning and participate in real-time discussion and practice in the afternoon. 
Notes about pre-registration, space, and payment:
Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID pandemic and the arrival of new variants of concern, both the October 14th-15th and 19th-20th sessions are now being held virtually.  Public health permitting, the written exam will still be administered in person at the Virginia Public Safety Training Center in Hanover, Virginia at 1PM on November 4th and 5th.  The payment deadline is September 29th. 

Space is limited.  Pre-registration and inclusion on the wait list will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not send any payment unless and until you receive a confirmation email of pre-registration. 
Pre-registration and inclusion on the wait list does not guarantee you a spot in our orientation class.  If, after your inclusion on the wait list, a slot becomes available in your selected orientation session, you will be notified by email, and provided payment instructions.  Only candidates who have completed their payment are considered registered candidates and may participate in the orientation and written exam. 

Registration for the Fall 2021 Interpreter Orientation and Written exam is closed.

Required Pre-Orientation Webinars:
The webinar sessions will be offered live on the following dates and times:

  • 9/17/2021 at 12:30 PM
  • 9/24/2021 at 12:30 PM
  • 10/1/2021 at 12:30 PM

Registered candidates are expected to participate in the live webinar sessions; if registered candidates are unable to view the sessions live, they will be permitted to view the prerecorded sessions prior to the orientation course.  A live viewing will allow participants to ask and receive answers to course-related questions during the webinars. Participation in the 3 webinar sessions is mandatory to complete the orientation class.  All pre-registered candidates are welcome to participate in the first webinar even if payment has not yet been received.  

Orientation: All Languages $225.00
Written Exam: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese $125.00
Oral Exam: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese $225.00

Note: Fees are subject to change without notice. There are NO refunds given to those who register and do not attend the class or exam. The Supreme Court of Virginia will NOT reimburse your travel, parking, meal or lodging expenses.

Skills-Building Workshop
There are no workshops at this time.

For questions regarding certification, please email [email protected]