1. What does CASLI stand for?
Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation, LLC
2. What is CASLI and what is this organization about?
The principal activity of the Company shall be the development and administration of knowledge and/or performance tests that measure the proficiency of an individual to interpret between deaf individuals who use sign language and individuals who speak English.
The interpreter tests developed and administered are solely for the purposes of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) national certification and will not serve as an alternative credentialing option to regulatory entities.
3. What tests will be available for us to get certified? (NIC, CDI, etc.)
CASLI will offer the administration of tests. To gain certification, a candidate will need to work with RID for eligibility of that credential, including the verification of passing scores on the tests administered through CASLI.
When CASLI begins operations on July 1, 2016, the exams that will be administered include the following:
National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam
National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Interview and Performance Exam
Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Knowledge Exam
IF YOU PASS BOTH THE NIC KNOWLEDGE EXAM AND THE NIC PERFORMANCE EXAM, your exam results will need to be conferred with RID to obtain your RID Certification/Credential. RID will initiate this verification of your exam scores and will award you the NIC credential and enrollment in the Certification Maintenance Program and Ethical Practices System.
IF YOU PASS BOTH THE CDI KNOWLEDGE EXAM AND IF YOU MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CDI BRIDGE PLAN, RID will award you the temporary CDI credential and enrollment in the Certification Maintenance Program and Ethical Practices System.
4. What will the process be of getting scheduled for NIC testing?
For the NIC Knowledge Exam, the process for scheduling the exam will remain as it has been today.
Check all NIC Knowledge Exam eligibility requirements
Pay for NIC Knowledge Exam
Receive Castle Worldwide Registration Email
Schedule NIC Knowledge Exam Appointment following Castle instructions
Receive Confirmation Email from Castle
Once you pass the NIC Knowledge Exam and your scores are uploaded to your RID/CASLI profile, you will be issued an email, which states you are ready for your next step in the process – the NIC Interview and Performance Exam.
Please note that you will have five years from the date you pass the NIC Knowledge Exam to take and pass the NIC Interview and Performance exam.
For the NIC Performance Exam, scheduling for exam administration at RID test sites will not be available until September 2016. In order to provide a streamlined testing experience for candidates, as well as a mechanism for the delivery of quicker results time frames, CASLI has retained Comira, a full-service licensure, certification, and educational testing services organization, to deliver the NIC Interview and Performance Exam, as well as manage proctored testing nationwide.
CASLI will be working with our existing test sites to transition to Comira test sites. Comira will also work to add more test sites throughout the United States for greater convenience of testing location.
Individuals can begin applying for the NIC Interview and Performance Exam as of July 1, 2016, but the administration of the exam at the Comira test sites will not occur until September 2016.
5. Will the exam fees stay the same?
Exam fees will remain the same. It is possible that the exam fees will increase with the development of new testing instruments for the NIC and CDI. The testing fees are as follows:
If an individual has previously paid for an NIC Knowledge Exam, NIC Interview and Performance Exam or CDI Knowledge Exam, CASLI will honor that exam purchase as long as the candidate qualifies for that exam.
6. Who will I send the exam fees to (RID or CASLI)?
You will be able to purchase exams through your RID/CASLI portal. All revenues collected for exam fees and exam prep materials will be allocated to CASLI’s budget.
7. How can we apply for the test under CASLI?
You will be able to apply for a CASLI test through your RID/CASLI portal – the same portal for your RID membership. If the test for which you are applying has specified eligibility requirements, you must meet those requirements before applying for an exam. Eligibility requirements for testing are managed through the RID Certification Department. There are also paper applications available on the CASLI website.
8. Is CASLI separate from RID?
CASLI is a Virginia limited liability company that is solely owned and controlled by RID. CASLI was formed in Virginia because RID’s offices are located in Virginia, which allows CASLI to benefit from certain costs efficiencies. CASLI will be housed in RID’s office at 333 Commerce Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. For more information about the structure of CASLI as it relates to RID, please view our Information Release About CASLI webpage.
9. If I have questions about testing who can I contact?
CASLI Contact Information:
Phone: 571-527-1461 and 571-527-1463
10. If I am retaking the exam will the process stay the same?
Yes, there will continue to be a waiting period before you can apply and retake the exam.
11. Will the process of becoming a certified interpreter stay the same?
Yes, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements via the RID Certification Department, which includes conferring your passing exam scores from CASLI with RID.
12. Who will I need to contact about my scores?
Any questions regarding the testing process or test results can be directed to CASLI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. Who will I submit my Educational Equivalency Application to?
You will submit your Education Equivalency Application to the RID Certification department at email@example.com. You will receive confirmation of receipt as well as the status of your approval from RID.
14. Who would I need to contact if I am having problems with my test date?
For scheduling related to the NIC Knowledge, you will contact Castle Worldwide. For scheduling related to the NIC Interview and Performance, you will contact Comira once that platform becomes available in September 2016. For scheduling related to the CDI Knowledge exam, you will contact one of the CASLI test sites.
15. If I already have a RID account will I have to make a separate account with CASLI?
Since CASLI is solely owned and controlled by RID, all of our testing information will be housed in your RID member portal now referred to as your RID/CASLI portal. You will be able to have access to all of your testing and certification matters within one online portal.
16. Will CASLI also be in charge of certification as well as processing my testing scores?
No, certification will be managed and maintained by RID. CASLI is solely the testing entity for the exams that RID recognizes for certification.
17. Once I receive my scores, what will be the process of getting my certification?
IF YOU PASS THE NIC KNOWLEDGE EXAM AND THE NIC PERFORMANCE EXAM, your exam results will need to be conferred with RID to obtain your RID Certification/Credential. RID will initiate this verification of your exam scores and will award you the NIC credential and enrollment in the Certification Maintenance Program and Ethical Practices System.
18. Will the Authorization To Test (ATT) letter come from CASLI?
Yes, your ATT letter will come from CASLI and will be available in your RID/CASLI online portal. If you have any questions about your ATT letter, please contact CASLI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. Why did the RID Board lift the moratorium on the CDI and NIC? What is different now than when they decided to implement the moratorium back in August 2015?
The RID Board instituted the moratorium based on a number of different factors. Those factors were raised in the testing and certification risk assessment and included some of the following:
The operational issues identified in the testing and certification risk assessment (such as the backlog of results, inefficient technical processes and lack of autonomy). The financial commitment needed for funding test maintenance and development. The plans for carrying out test development and maintenance, both now and into the future. The governance issues such as the motion from the 2007 conference related to criteria for accepting other certification/assessments. Since the moratorium was instituted, there has been progress in many of these areas.
Staff have reduced the backlog of exams to reasonable and appropriate timeframes, even with the influx of exams as a result of the moratorium announcement.
Research has begun to explore new systems that will create more efficiency within the testing processes and enhanced experiences for testing candidates.
The issue of autonomy is being addressed through the establishment of the LLC.
Test Development Plans & Fiscal Deficits:
A two-year operational plan has been laid out for the LLC that provides the funding to continue to move the NIC test development and maintenance forward.
The RID Board approved the test development plans for both the CDI and the NIC.
The RID Board approved the creation of a CDI Bridge Plan Workgroup.
The RID Board approved the creation of a new Certification Committee with a scope of work that is still to be determined but will include identifying alternate approaches to specialty credentialing.
The RID Board created a workgroup to address CM2007.4 and bring recommendations before the membership for a vote. This is anticipated in the summer of 2016.
In addition to looking at the systematic issues in place, the RID Board also considered the urgency from the community for a resolution to return candidates to the pipeline for certification. That, coupled with the progress in the areas mentioned above, moved the RID Board to lift the moratorium on the NIC, as is, and the CDI, with the implementation of a Bridge Plan until CDI test development returns a new exam.
20. How do all of these decisions relate to the creation of the Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation, LLC (CASLI)?
CASLI will assume the administration and ongoing development and maintenance of the exams. Any and all testing assets, including testing materials, content, etc. have been transferred to CASLI. The RID Board does not want to delay any progress in test maintenance and development, knowing that any and all actions now in those areas have been easily transferred to CASLI.
However, the credentialing of any and all individuals will remain the responsibility of RID. When the CDI Bridge Plan is finalized, RID will utilize that list of requirements to then award the temporary CDI credential. CASLI will administer exams. They will not award credentials. As previously stated, that function will remain with RID.
21. What is the timeline for the CDI test development plan?
Exam development takes approximately 18-24 months. Our goal is to start the initial stages of development by the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017 (July 2016), which means we are looking at a target date of test administration for the new CDI in 2018.
22. How will the test be funded? I thought we didn’t have any money for test development?
The test will be funded via a new fundraising campaign conducted by RID. The RID Board has approved the reincarnation of the Golden 100 and Silver 250 fundraising campaign. This is a one-time payment for life-time benefits. The funds raised for this campaign will be allocated to the CDI test development. For more information about the progress of this campaign, go to http://rid.org/golden-100silver-250-fundraising-goals/
23. So, RID is not changing the NIC test at all?
The rationale to include the NIC within the moratorium was based on the need for the RID Board to review certification and testing from a holistic point of view. It was not instituted on the NIC because of any issues related to exam reliability and validity. The NIC has approximately another two years in its life cycle. The RID Board has approved an NIC test development and maintenance plan to proceed with the NIC so that we can be timely with the release of the new iteration as per certification industry standards. The first phase of test development has been completed with the Job Task Analysis (JTA). For more information about test development and the JTA, please review our JTA Survey – How did we get here? webpage.
24. How long from when I apply to take the NIC Interview and Performance Exam can I sign up? Will there be a lag time in available dates for testing?
Yes. Individuals, who meet the eligibility requirements for the NIC Interview and Performance Exam, can apply and pay for the exam as of July 1, 2016.
However, exam administration of the NIC Interview and Performance Exam will not begin until September 2016.
In order to provide a streamlined testing experience for candidates, as well as a mechanism for the delivery of quicker results time frames, CASLI has retained Comira, a full-service licensure, certification, and educational testing services organization, to deliver the NIC Interview and Performance Exam, as well as manage proctored testing nationwide.
CASLI will be working with our existing test sites to transition to Comira test sites. Comira will also work to add more test sites throughout the United States for greater convenience of testing location.
25. What is the timeline for the NIC test development plan? How long will this iteration of the NIC be current?
The NIC has approximately another two years in its life cycle. The RID Board has approved an NIC test development and maintenance plan to proceed with the NIC so that we can be timely with the release of the new iteration as per certification industry standards.
The first stage of the NIC exam maintenance and development is the Job Task Analysis (JTA). According to the exam development cycle, the JTA will initiate and inform all of the other steps of the development. It takes approximately 18-24 months from test development to test administration. If we begin development by July 2016, then we can anticipate that the next iteration of the NIC would be available no later than July 2018.
26. Should I wait to take the next iteration of the NIC or should I take this exam?
This is an answer that only you and your mentors can answer. The time at which you decide you are prepared to meet the standards of national certification is the time in which you should take the exam, whether it is the current iteration of the NIC or any future iterations. It is based on your level of preparedness to meet the standards.
27. What did you do to address the low pass rate of the NIC Interview and Performance Exam during the moratorium?
The moratorium and NIC Interview and Performance Exam pass rate are not mutually exclusive. We understand that there is an assumption that there is “something wrong” with the test because of the low pass rate. The pass rate is a function of how well interpreters are prepared for the exam. Since the exam has not changed in quite some time, any fluctuations in the pass rate are related to fluctuations in preparedness, not in the exam itself.
The pass/fail rate is an important topic to address, and we at RID must continue to communicate factually about it. The assumption that RID is trying to hide something or that RID knows something about the test that it is not admitting is inaccurate. If that were the case, why would we expose the pass/fail rate? We have reported and will continue to report what we know–that the pass/fail rate is low, that the majority of individuals who do pass it do so on the first or second try, and that we continue to see consistency in the way that raters are rating the exam.
We also know and are reporting that there have been no changes in the test since we reported last year’s numbers. So, the question as to why the drop in pass rate over several years is a good one. As we seek to answer that question, we looked at the previously mentioned areas with testing industry experts to gain further insight. To do so, we must consider the testing pool and the overall readiness of that pool to meet the standard. It is like standardized testing in schools. If a school performs poorly on a standardized test, does it mean the standardized test is wrong or might it be that the individuals taking the test were not adequately prepared to take the test?
In answering the question, you have to look at the test itself–are there biases built into the test, has the content of the test or the process of administering it changed, has the rating process changed, has the performance of the raters changed, etc. If the answer to these factors is no, then we begin looking for other explanations. Naturally, that includes looking at the testing pool. In talking about the pool of candidates, there is absolutely no disrespect intended. It is one of many factors that are being considered. In considering this factor, we look at what we know internally about the candidates–like what differences exist in those who pass and those who do not [ex: those who pass typically pass on the first or second try]. We also look at what the broader literature/research in the field tells us about the testing pool. So, for example, in the 2015 Trends Report produced by NIEC, the researchers stated the following:
“The field of interpreting is, in many ways, at a crossroads. Diminished program involvement with the Deaf community has impacted student language learning and cultural understanding. In addition, two-year degree programs are increasingly challenged to justify their existence in light of national certification requirements for a bachelors degree, and in general, programs are not producing ASL-fluent graduates. Many times the new interpreters’ ability to practice is sorely limited, and the gap between interpreter graduation and readiness to work has continued to grow. Interpreter education programs (IEP) provide little guidance for new graduates and there are few formal, structured post-graduation pathways for graduates to gain experience with minimal risk to themselves and their customers.”
Preparedness is a major factor in the success of an individual on an exam. The candidate’s ability to faithfully interpret the message in the exam stimulus has a direct bearing on their numerical score. RID’s standards are set using objective information gathered from the community or interpreters and consumers. This standard may be different than those measured by other exams, such as VRS exams, and thus candidates who are prepared for one may not be prepared for the other. A rigorous certification program, like RID’s, serves to protect the consumers of interpreting services. The pass rate is a clear indicator that we need to look beyond the exam to understand the issue at hand.
28. Where are the funds coming from for test development since it was indicated previously there were no funds?
Funds for the NIC test development and maintenance are going to be allocated from the revenue collected from NIC Knowledge Exam and NIC Interview and Performance Exam fees. These funds will further the work of the NIC. The creation of CASLI allows these “test” fees to be solely dedicated to the development of the NIC rather than other “certification” costs, as has been the case with testing functioning within the certification umbrella. RID has already paid for, in full, the cost for the first phase of test development and maintenance for the NIC – the Job Task Analysis (JTA).
29. Who is on the Testing Committee? What is their purpose?
The members of the CASLI Testing Committee are individuals who were previously appointed to serve on either the NIC or CDI Certification Development Maintenance Group. All of those individuals previously appointed were contacted and asked if they were willing to serve with a slightly adjusted scope of work (SOW) as members of the CASLI Testing Committee. The SOW has been created and will be shared once the CASLI website is operating.
The following is a list of individuals who confirmed their agreement to serve, and we are delighted to announce their official appointment.
Brian Cerney, CI, CT
Ray Kenny, CDI
Liz Mendoza, CI, CT, SC:L
Geri Mu, CI, CT
Jeffrey Levi Palmer, NIC, Ed:K-12
Amy Peterson, CDI
Keven Poore,, CDI
Christopher Tester, CDI, SC:L
30. Who is on the CASLI Board of Managers? What will be their function/role?
Miako Rankin, CI, CT
The Board of Managers has the authority to act on behalf of CASLI to the maximum extent permitted by the operating agreement. More information about the Board of Managers can be found on the CASLI Board of Managers webpage.