Training for Groups

The University of Arizona’s National Center for Interpretation (NCI) has been the premier provider of interpreter training and assessment since 1983.

We can provide a training program to meet the needs of your agency or organization. We can bring interpreter or translator training to your agency onsite or online, and we can tailor our training to your needs. In addition, we can develop assessment tools to help ensure that your interpreters and translators are ready to do their work effectively. (Please note that interpreter/translator training for individuals can be found on our Webinar Schedule.)

Training Approach and Topics

NCI’s practice-oriented training approach dramatically improves students’ interpreting ability and advanced bilingual proficiency. In general, skill-building practice sessions constitute the majority of the training contact time, and may include small group work combined with critique and analysis from peers as well as the instructor(s). This work consists primarily of actual interpreting practice through role-playing and/or pre-recorded scripts and documents. These practice sessions are typically introduced or augmented by interactive lectures that include specialized terminology and conceptual background, register variation, specific interpreting techniques, and other areas as appropriate. There are also opportunities for roundtable work on ethical dilemmas, protocol, and other aspects of interpreting that have arisen for participants during the course of their work. NCI's principal training areas include Legal, Medical, and Education (see details for each below). We have also provided training in business interpreting, conference interpreting, community interpreting, document translation, immigration, and other areas.


The cost of group training depends on a variety of factors, including delivery format (onsite or online), length of training, number of participants, and so on. Interested organizations should contact NCI to discuss their specific needs and receive an individualized estimate. As a general reference, the base cost for onsite training is $200/day per participant, with a minimum of 2 days training and 10 participants. That base cost is then modified according to variables such as the ones mentioned above. Online training tends to be less expensive but takes more time to complete. For example, a 40-hour onsite training may be completed in five days, where a 40-hour online training typically takes about four weeks.

Principal Training Areas

Interpreter training—and the more comprehensive approach of combining training with assessment—provides significant opportunities for courts and other legal actors to meet their civil rights obligations to provide meaningful access for limited- and non-English speakers.  The curriculum focuses on topics essential to the court interpreter, including:

  • Ethics for court interpreters
  • Courtroom procedures and protocol
  • Legal procedure
  • Interpreting modes and techniques
  • Legal concepts and terminology
  • Skill development (consecutive and simultaneous interpretation and sight translation)
  • Specialized vocabulary, including slang, drug, weaponry, and so on

Interpreter training—and the more comprehensive approach of combining training with assessment—provides significant opportunities for healthcare providers to create meaningful access in support of their entire community.  Training expands the technical registers and semantic domains used in healthcare settings, and clarifies the role of the interpreter in fostering meaningful access to healthcare.  Together, these aspects of training reduce interpreter error, allowing doctor/patient communication and collaboration.  Assessment assures the healthcare provider that the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of interpreters are sufficiently present to ensure access.  In addition to ensuring compliance with regulations, the provision of appropriate language services:

  • Equalizes access to care
  • Reduces liability
  • Reduces the length of stay for LEP patients
  • Improves LEP patient outcomes
  • Reduces health disparities
  • Improves LEP patient compliance with care
  • Improves patient and provider satisfaction

Language access in Education settings has received increasing attention in recent years.  NCI has been working to improve interpreter proficiency in Education settings since 2006.  While our training can help ensure compliance with federal law and other regulations for schools and districts, we believe the impact on student success for limited- and non-English speaking students and their families cannot be overstated.

NCI has a variety of formats to offer to schools and districts for training their language access professionals is broad.  We offer individual webinars focused on essential topics, webinar series to develop a breadth of knowledge and skills, as well as in-person training of up to three weeks in length.

Topics include:

  • Ethics and Protocol in School Settings
  • Basics of Spoken Language Interpreting in School Settings
  • Interpreting in Special Education
  • Simultaneous Interpreting in School Settings
  • Consecutive Interpreting in School Settings
  • Sight Translation in School Settings
  • Working with Speech Language Pathologists