Did you know that you can earn a certification from NAI without attending a class? It’s true! And it’s called CHI – Certified Heritage Interpreter.
Now, don’t let the word “Heritage” fool you. This certification is not just for historical interpreters, it’s for all of us. I don’t know why it’s called “Heritage.” Probably for the same reason our field is confusingly called “interpretation.” Someone just likes to make things hard to understand! J But this certification is a great option for interpreters several years into their career, especially if your situation doesn’t allow you to easily attend an NAI training course.
Here are the basics:
- The CHI (Certified Heritage Interpreter) certification is designed for front-line interpreters who already have some job experience (not college students, for example).
- The requirements include:
- A multiple-choice literature review exam
- 4 essay questions
- Submission for review of 2 examples of non-personal media you have helped create (brochures, signage, articles, etc.)
- Submission for review of a 20-30 minute interpretive presentation that meets NAI’s professional criteria
- No in-person course required!!!
I wanted to bring attention to this certification because this was something that I learned while attending a Certified Interpretive Trainer class this spring. Almost all of us students had no idea that this non-class-required certification was an option that NAI offered. And it’s such a great option for folks whose workplaces might not be able to send them to a training, but who have the self-motivation to pursue this on their own.
Also, the CHI goes a step beyond CIG (Certified Interpretive Guide), with its inclusion of a longer presentation and the non-personal media. It shows that you have not only learned the basics of interpretation (what CIG shows), but that you have been practicing professionally long enough to have samples of your work.
Now, one word of advice if you try to look up information about CHI on NAI’s website: It’s pretty hard to find! You have to dig deep – I only found it on page 12 of the PDF of the Certification Handbook:
Maybe this is one reason that not very many interpreters are aware of or pursue this great certification? Personally, I think it deserves more attention. CHI is a very practical option for a lot of professionals.
If you can make the time and effort to take the written test, complete your essay questions, and submit the other required materials, you can earn a nationally-recognized professional certification that can strengthen your resume.
So, I’ll keep this short and sweet. There’s such a thing called CHI. It’s a great professional certification for front-line interpreters. You don’t need to attend a class. You should check it out!