In keeping with its mission, ATIF is rebroadcasting the email below on behalf of the Florida Courts.
Dear Court Interpreter Program Participant:
The Florida Supreme Court has approved graduated implementation of rules requiring persons to register with the Office of the State Courts Administrator before providing interpreter services in court and court-related proceedings. Under the Court’s March 31, 2015 Revised Opinion in SC14-1055, registration in accordance with Rule 14.200(a) will be required effective October 1, 2015, as will other provisions in the rules specifically referencing compliance with the registration requirement. All other provisions became effective April 1, 2015. The full text of the rules should be consulted for a complete understanding of their impact.
Initial Registration or Designation During Graduated Rule Implementation
Under Rules 14.200(b)(1), 14.205(b)(1), 14.210(b)(1), and 14.215(a)(1), individuals must attend a 2-day orientation program administered by the Office of the State Courts Administrator as an initial prerequisite for registration and, if otherwise qualified, for official court interpreter designation.
To facilitate initial registration and designation of spoken language court interpreters during a period of graduated implementation ending September 30, 2015, persons satisfying the 2-day orientation requirement any time previous to submission of an application for registration or designation will not be denied registration or designation based solely on the date of orientation. This is a time-limited exception to Board policy otherwise requiring completion of the orientation requirement within 3 years of previous submission of an application for registration or official court interpreter designation.
Training and Testing
To accommodate anticipated demand, the Office of the State Courts Administrator has posted an expanded schedule of Court Interpreter Program orientation workshop dates for FY 2015-16 online at: http://www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/court-interpreters.stml. Class size capacity for all orientation workshops has also been increased to enable more interpreters to fulfill the initial prerequisite for registration. Application forms and instructions for the various training and testing activities are linked to page 2 of the FY 2015-16 schedule. Please note dates for written and oral exam testing for FY 2015-16 will be added to the schedule within the next 2-3 weeks.
All documents required for registration application and courtroom observation hours reporting are posted online at: http://www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/court-services/prospective-court-interpreters.stml. As a reminder, initial general prerequisites for registration require all applicants must:
- attend a two-day orientation workshop administered by the Office of the State Courts Administrator;
- pass a written examination approved by the board;
- submit an approved reporting form documenting completion of 20 hours of courtroom observation;
- undergo and pass a background check according to standards prescribed by the board; and
- submit an application for registration with the $200 application fee.
Note: Prospective registrants must also agree to: (a) obtain 16 credits of continuing education, (b) diligently pursue official state-level court interpreter designation, and (3) within the first year of any two-year registration period, take at least one oral performance examination or oral proficiency interview—as applicable, depending on language and exam availability. See rule 14.200(b) in revised March 31, 2015 opinion noted above for a complete understanding of registration requirements.
Please feel free to disseminate this information. Thank you.
Senior Court Operations Consultant
Court Interpreter Certification and Regulation Program
Office of the State Courts Administrator
500 S. Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Tel: (850) 922-5107
Fax: (850) 414-1342