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Q: What is IQP?
A: The Interpreter Qualification Project (IQP) was designed in collaboration with DSS/DHEC to provide training and testing for bilingual workers and individuals from the community who were interested in interpreting for those two state agencies. Today IQP is available to other public and private agencies interested in standardizing the qualification needed by their staff and others who provide Spanish interpretation services to their clients or customers. Currently, DSS is the only agency that is actively using IQP to recruit potential contract interpreters.

Q: Will I be certified?
A: IQP is NOT a certification program. It is a qualification program. Successful completion of this testing/training program will make you eligible to interpret for DSS and DHEC only.

Q: What is the testing and training process?
A: The first part of the process is the completion of an oral proficiency interview offered through Language Testing International (LTI).  The test assesses your oral proficiency in both English and Spanish. If you obtain an advanced- mid fluency level, you may be invited to attend four days of IQP training. On the fourth day of IQP training, you will be tested on your interpretation knowledge and skills.
Those who pass the IQP interpretation exam will be eligible to apply for a state contract through the South Carolina Budget and Control Board Materials Management Office to provide Spanish interpreter services.  A contract must be obtained prior to offering services to DSS. No contract is needed for employees.

Q: How do I sign up?
A: Employees should consult with their agency training representatives. For potential contractors, the complete instructions are provided under IQP Contractor Instructions

Q: Why do I have to take an oral proficiency interview?
A: The purpose of the oral proficiency interview is to assess your degree of fluency in both English and Spanish. It is not a translation exam. It tests a range of skills in both languages. Equally high fluency levels in both languages are essential to be able to interpret well and to be successful with IQP training.

Q: How do I find out my Interpreter Qualification Training test results?
A: The test results are mailed to the participant approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the test is taken.

Q: Where and when are the training sessions?
A: The IQP trainings will be held at various locations throughout the year. The specific training locations and dates and a registration form will be provided to you after your Oral Proficiency Interview results are received.

Q: How long are the trainings?
A: The four-day training will start promptly at 8:30 am and will last until approximately 5:00 pm each day.

Q: What kinds of things will be covered in the training?
A: The training will cover the knowledge and skills needed by an interpreter.

Q: What professional standards do DSS and DHEC set for interpreters?
A: Once you complete training, you will sign a Code of Ethics for Interpreters that defines the professional standards that the agencies will expect from you as an interpreter. This is also part of the state contractor requirements.

Q: What is on the interpretation exam?
A: The test consists of two parts, the written exam and the oral exam. The written exam is a timed test designed to test your knowledge of the role of the interpreter, your understanding of how ethics and culture affect interpreting, and your written translation skills. The oral exam is designed to test your application of consecutive and sight translation interpreting skills and knowledge.

*state contractor requirements

University of South Carolina