IQP: Contractor's Instructions


In order to become a contract Spanish language interpreter for the South Carolina Department of Social Services, an individual must complete the following steps:

1.    Apply
2.    Take an Oral Proficiency Exam through Language Testing International,
3.    Attend and successfully complete the IQP 4 day training.
4.    Apply for and receive a state contract through the SC Department of Social Services

Exception: Individuals with Federal or State Court Certification are not required to complete IQP.  They may submit their certification directly to Ms. Lilly and the SC Department of Social Services as part of their application packet to secure a state contract.
Step 1. Complete an application and mail or email to:

Ms. Sheila Lilly
The Interpreter Qualification Project
University of South Carolina
College of Social Work
The Center for Child and Family Studies
Columbia, SC 29208

Email address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Step 2. Obtain an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPIc) through Language Testing International (LTI) The fee for the test is $139.00 for an OPI (telephone conducted interview) and $70 (computer conducted interview) for an OPIc. The fee is paid directly to LTI. An Advance-Mid rating is required to apply for the Interpreter Qualification Project training.  Please schedule your oral proficiency interview well in advance of when you plan to attend Interpreter Qualification Project training.

Please note that you have a choice of how you would like to be tested through Language Testing International, by phone, or by using your computer.  There are certain specifications required for taking the Oral Proficiency interview test by computer e.g., a web cam.  Please read the specifications carefully before choosing this method of testing. Here are the general instructions:

To take the OPIc (computer interview) or the OPI (telephone interview):
Click) and follow the instructions below:

1.    Click Schedule a test:
2.    Submit your application by clicking on the orange below: “Testing for school or for a teaching license.”
3.    Click “Buy a Test”
4.    Click “Get Started”
5.    Next Prompt: “Are you testing for a state teacher certificate?” Click: No
6.    Next prompt:” Enter institution name:” Check the small box:  I can't find my institution or I'm an independent candidate                                
7.    Click: Continue. Please note that per agreement with Language Testing International, your proctor may be a teacher, minister, employer or other community member.
8.    Follow the rest of the instructions; select your language and type of test to schedule a time and date.

Please submit test results to:
Ms. Sheila Lilly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Step 3.  Register and attend the Interpreter Qualification Project 4 day training. The trainings are scheduled from 8:30 until 5:00 pm and include an oral and written skills test on the last day. The written exam is a timed test designed to ascertain 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.

Test results are mailed approximately 4 weeks following the training.
Please note: Priority for IQP training is given to DSS agency and prospective employees. Only those who intend to secure a contract to provide Spanish interpreter services for the South Carolina Department of Social Services will be considered for training.

Preference is given to those applicants who reside in or near the following counties: Aiken, Anderson, Beaufort, Clarendon, Dillon, Florence, Greenwood, Horry, Laurens, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties where there is a need for additional contract interpreters. Proof of residence may be required that shows residence in or near the above areas.

Step 4.  Complete an application to receive a contract through the SC Department of Social Services. The contract contains requirements for interpreters and provides pay scale information for the provision of services. As part of the contract application, an extensive background check is required.  

When a contract is awarded, the interpreter’s name and contact information is added to a list of available interpreters that is used by DSS employees when interpreters are needed.  
For more information or assistance with applying for a state contract, please contact Ms. Elian Roman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (803) 898-8176

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