Why is RID Certification Valuable?

Our certifications provide a recognized standard of effectiveness in the sign language interpreting profession. It demonstrates to employers, customers, and peers that the individual has achieved a rigorous baseline level of knowledge, skills, and experience.

RID’s certifications can open doors to new job opportunities and career advancement. It may be a requirement for certain positions or assignments and can also lead to increased earning potential.

RID requires individuals to expand and maintain their knowledge and skills through ongoing education and training. This requirement helps our members stay current with industry trends, improve their job performance, and foster personal growth and development.

RID’s certifications provide a level of credibility and trust with customers, stakeholders and the public. It assures them that the individual has met the baseline standard of effectiveness and quality. Our members must demonstrate a commitment to ethical conduct and ongoing professional development to remain certified.

Being certified helps to standardize practices and procedures within the sign language interpreting profession. The standardization promotes consistency and quality and helps to ensure that individuals working in the field are held accountable for their provision of services.

Holders of both the NIC, available since 2005, and CDI certification, available since 1998, have demonstrated general knowledge in the field of interpreting, ethical decision making and interpreting skills. Candidates earn NIC Certification if they demonstrate professional knowledge and skills that meet or exceed the minimum professional standards necessary to perform in a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments.

Holders of this certification are hearing and have demonstrated general knowledge in the field of interpreting, ethical decision making and interpreting skills. Candidates earn NIC Certification if they demonstrate professional knowledge and skills that meet or exceed the minimum professional standards necessary to perform in a broad range of interpretation and transliteration assignments. This credential has been available since  2005.

Learn more here!

Holders of this certification are deaf or hard of hearing and have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of interpreting,  deafness, the Deaf community, and Deaf culture. Holders have specialized training and/or experience in the use of gesture, mime, props, drawings and other tools to enhance communication. Holders possess native or near-native fluency in American Sign Language and are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This credential has been available since 1998.

Learn more here!

Each RID credential has unique requirements that must be completed before it can be awarded. Some certifications involve passing a series of exams and others involve submitting documentation of training and experience. In all cases, if the candidate is determined to meet or exceed RID’s national standard, they are awarded certification. Detailed information about these requirements can be found on the corresponding certification page.

Start the NIC Certification Process HERE

Start the CDI Certification Process HERE

There are specific conventions and a hierarchy of how you should display your certifications. Please see the information below:

  1. Valid generalist certifications no longer offered (IC, TC, CSC, MCSC, RSC, ETC, EIC, OIC, CI and/or CT, OTC, NIC Advanced, NIC Master) appear before all others. IC and/or TC appear first (e.g. IC/TC, CSC).
  2. OIC certifications appear directly after all other old generalist certifications (e.g. TC, CSC, OIC:C)
  3. Current generalist certifications (CDI, NIC) appear after generalist certifications that are no longer offered (e.g. IC, CI and CT, OTC, NIC)
  4. NIC certification appears after the CI and/or CT
  5. The OTC certification appears after the NIC certification
  6. Specialist certifications (SC:L and SC:PA) appear after all generalist certifications
  7. NAD certifications appear after all RID certifications
  8. Ed:K-12 appears after NAD certification
  9. CI and CT are always expressed together as “CI and CT” or “CI & CT”

Follow this hierarchy:


If you have a college degree from an institution that is accredited by the US Department of Education and would like to submit proof to RID that you meet the educational requirement, visit our Available Certification page to learn more: https://rid.org/certification/available-certifications/

To request verification of your certification, please complete and submit this form. Note that the Certification Department has gone paperless and is no longer accepting submissions mailed to HQ. Submissions mailed to HQ will not be processed.

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Certification reinstatement is the process of reinstating an RID certification(s) that has been revoked due to either failure to comply with the CEU requirement, or failure to pay membership dues by July 31st. Please read below to determine if you are eligible for certification reinstatement as well as the required steps to take to request reinstatement.

The Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) is the vehicle used to monitor the continued skill development of certified interpreters. Certification maintenance is a way of ensuring that practitioners maintain their skill levels and keep up with developments in the interpreting field, thereby assuring consumers that a Certified interpreter provides quality interpreting services.

To take advantage of the Continuing Education Center, you will need to be an Associate, Certified, or Student member of RID. For assistance, contact webinars@rid.org. If you are a current member, you have received email instructions from RID with your log-in information for the Continuing Education Center.

To request verification of your certification, please complete and submit this form. Note that the Certification Department has gone paperless and is no longer accepting submissions mailed to HQ. Submissions mailed to HQ will not be processed.

Certification reinstatement can be needed for a multiple of reasons, and may be requested via an official RID form.

Click here to learn more about submitting a reinstatement request.

If you do not hold the necessary degree to take your exam, you may apply for the Alternative Pathway Program.  The Alternative Pathway Program consists of an Educational Equivalency Application which uses a point system that awards credit for college classes, interpreting experience, and professional development.

You may submit this documentation…

  • by emailing certification@rid.org
  • by logging into your RID member portal and clicking on “Upload Degree Document.”

*RID Certification Department is going paperless! When we receive your completed application, we will email you with instructions for submitting payment online through your member portal.

*Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you’ll receive an email notification that your account has been updated. The standard processing time is 7-14 business days.

At the 2003 RID National Conference, in Chicago, IL, the membership passed motion C2003.05, establishing degree requirements for RID certification candidates.

View entire motion

The motion stated the following related specifically to the CDI Performance Exam: Effective June 30, 2016, Deaf candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, due to the moratorium, the RID Board of Directors has determined the following adjustment to the implementation to the CDI Performance Exam Educational Requirements: The moratorium began six (6) months before the implementation of the Bachelor’s degree requirement for the CDI Performance Exam (set to be implemented on July 1, 2016). To allow individuals who do not have a degree a fair opportunity to take this exam before the requirement changes, the RID Board of Directors has determined that six (6) months will be added to any date that is established for ending the moratorium on the CDI Performance Exam. For example, if the new CDI Performance Exam is launched July 1, 2018, individuals will have until January 1, 2019, to meet the BA requirement or alternative pathways to eligibility.

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Testing at CASLI.

CASLI, LLC, was created by RID to serve as a separate testing entity charged with the administration, maintenance, and development of exams that RID uses for their two certification programs; The National Interpreter Certification, or NIC, which is awarded to ASL-English interpreters who are hearing, and the Certified Deaf Interpreter, or CDI, which is awarded to ASL-English interpreters who are Deaf.

CASLI, LLC, operates separately from RID, with their own Board of Managers and testing committee, however, RID remains CASLI’s sole owner and shareholder and CASLI remains RID’s sole testing entity that administers national ASL-English interpreter certification exams.

This is a very basic checklist for our exam candidate to navigate through taking their exams

  1. Skills – Acquire the skills and knowledge that our exams are assessing
  2. Requirements – Meet all exam eligibility requirements listed here
  3. Create an Account – Create an account within RID’s member portal (an RID ID number is required) and an account within CASLI Exam System
  4. Exam for Purchase – Request an exam for purchase, contact CASLI with any accommodations requests.
  5. Pay for Exam – Once CASLI staff verify your eligibility and an exam is manually added to your account for purchase, pay for your exam
  6. Prepare – Read and utilize the CASLI Exam Content Outline and Preparation Guide
  7. Read Relevant Materials – Read any relevant CASLI web pages regarding the knowledge exams or the performance exams, as well as, any bridge plan or “gap” test
  8. Practice Sample Exams – Practice with the sample exams within CASLI Exam System to familiarize yourself with the user interface and navigation features
  9. Rest Up – Ensure all your physical, emotional, and mental needs are met in preparation for the exams (e.g. get enough sleep, practice stress/anxiety reduction techniques, etc.)
  10. Utilize Resources – Utilize the countless other resources and tips available to help you prepare for exams available on the internet!

When you’re ready

to take your exam, use this form to request an exam be added to your CASLI Exam System Account to be purchased. Once you have purchased and scheduled your exam, your next step will be to prepare for your exam day

If you plan to take the:

  • CASLI Generalist Knowledge Exam
  • Gap test and the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam
  • CASLI Generalist Performance Exam
  • NIC-Interview and Performance Exam

Request an exam (CASLI Staff will manually verify eligibility) and purchase through the CASLI Exam System.

If you have previously purchased an exam through the RID member portal and have credit for that exam in your RID account, use the request an exam form to have that credit transferred to the CASLI Exam SystemNote: candidate are responsible to pay any differences in original purchase prices and the current exam price they are eligible for.

** The CDI and NIC-Knowledge Exam has retired as of January 1, 2021 and these exams are no longer administered. 

After you have taken your exam it will take some time for your results to be reflected in your RID/CASLI Account. Once your results have come in, they will be uploaded into the RID/CASLI Portal and you will get an automated email, sent to the email address listed in your account, letting you know you can view your exam results. For information on the average results time, what your results mean, and what your next steps are, please view that specific exams “Exam Details” page.

If you did not pass your exam, you will have to wait the minimum required time before you will be able to purchase and take the exam again. Please know that the RID Portal /CASLI System will not allow you to purchase your retake until the waiting period has passed. If you have questions about a step in the process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Certification Archives

Previously Offered RID Certifications

NAD Certifications

RID Retired Certifications

Certifications Under Moratorium

Educational Certificate: K-12 (Ed:K-12)

Specialist Certificate: Legal (SC:L)

Oral Transliteration Certificate