Update on the Testing and Certification Risk Assessment
Anna Witter-Merithew, M.Ed.
Interim Executive Director

On November 1, 2015 the headquarters staff will deliver to the RID Board of Directors (BOD) the Testing and Certification Risk Assessment. The purpose of the assessment is two-fold: first, to provide the BOD with a high level analysis of a variety of programmatic, governance, operational, and fiscal vulnerabilities that exist relating to testing and certification, and second, to offer an analysis of countermeasures that are available to RID for addressing these vulnerabilities and reducing RID’s risks.

An example of vulnerability is the backlog in rating of performance exams. An example of a countermeasure might be to find more efficient ways of rating exams or to increase the number of individuals available to rate on a consistent basis. Risk occurs when the vulnerabilities are persistent and/or reoccurring and result in loss or harm.

The report is the culmination of review, research, and analysis conducted by both staff and consultants. It will be the second of three assessments headquarters is preparing for the board. The first was the NOLA 15 Conference Risk Assessment that addressed the implications and options associated with the anticipated loss related to hotel sleep rooms and the viability of proceeding with the convention. The third will be an analysis of RID’s biennial conference structure/governance/operations and alternative formats and delivery approaches that may better serve, in a more relevant way, the association and its membership.

These assessments are a crucial element to the BOD’s decision-making process related to the sustainability of current programs and services. Analyzing current practices and approaches is an exercise in fiduciary responsibility that aims to ensure RID’s relevance to the members, the profession and the community we serve.

There are various findings that were relied on in preparing the Testing and Certification Risk Assessment—including findings from the following.

  • A 15-year [2000-2015] analysis of revenue and expenditures relating to the testing and certification activities of the RID
  • A historical analysis of testing development processes and costs since RID’s initiation of a testing and certification program in 1972
  • A projection of development costs associated with the replacement and/or enhancement of tests currently administered by RID [NIC, CDI, SC:L, OTC]
  • The results of a review and analysis of the structure/governance/operations of 11 entities involved with the testing and/or credentialing of individuals seeking voluntary or required status in their chosen professions
  • A comparison and contrast of the structure/governance/operations of these 11 entities with that of the RID
  • An analysis of the current legislative landscape involving RID certification and state licensure and the associated legal issues to be considered
  • An analysis of survey results collected from state interpreter regulatory agencies that help define the market context, market demand, and implications of RID’s testing and certification moratorium for regulatory compliance

These findings led to the identification of critical strategic issues for consideration by RID’s BOD in the context of its current testing/credentialing functions. These critical strategic issues served as the foundation for recommendations related to possible next steps/plans of action.

It is anticipated that the BOD will review the report over several weeks and then meet face-to-face in December to discuss the findings, recommendations, and possible next steps. At that point, the BOD will formulate a plan of action in response to the risk assessment and direct the work of headquarters accordingly. As well, their plan of action will be reported to the membership and related stakeholders.