About

The Hawaii Quality Assurance System (HQAS) offers qualified sign language interpreters who do not hold national certification an opportunity to obtain credentials valid within and recognized by the State of Hawaii.

What do the levels mean?
The Hawaii Quality Assurance System establishes interpreting and transliterating standards at various skill levels. Level V is the master level interpreter.

Level V is a master level interpreter-transliterator. This interpreter can function expressively and receptively in a majority of situations. A person holding a Level V credential should be pursuing national certification. While no restrictions are indicated, this interpreter demonstrates professional judgment in accepting assignments.
  • HQAS V+H is an interpreter-transliterator who satisfactorily met the requirements for local Hawaii language competency in addition to the requirements defined for the Level V credential.
Level IV is an accomplished interpreter-transliterator. This interpreter can function expressively and receptively in most complex and technical situations. A Level IV interpreter may accept assignments for one-on-one and group sessions, as well as workshops and platform assignments. This interpreter is qualified for most medical and dental appointments, and limited legal interpreting including client/lawyer meetings, and traffic or small claims court. A Level IV interpreter should be pursuing continuing professional education or national certification. A Level IV interpreter should avoid critical medical situations, criminal court and civil court jury trials.
  • HQAS IV+H is an interpreter-transliterator who satisfactorily met the requirements for local Hawaii language competency in addition to the requirements defined for the Level IV credential.
Level III is an intermediate level interpreter-transliterator. Level III is the lowest level receiving a credential as a qualified interpreter. This interpreter may accept assignments for many group sessions and workshops and most one-on-one situations. A Level III interpreter should be actively involved in professional development efforts. An interpreter holding a Level III credential should not accept assignments for legal, mental health, or critical medical situations.
  • HQAS III+H is an interpreter-transliterator who satisfactorily met the requirements for local Hawaii language competency in addition to the requirements defined for the Level III credential.
Level II is an entry-level communication assistant. The Level II communication assistant will be able to interpret during orientation sessions and basic tutoring sessions. A Level II communication assistant may accept assignments where communication can be interpreted consecutively in one on one situations, limited group sessions and workshops; and may accept limited platform assignments when accompanied and supervised by a qualified mentor. A person holding a Level II credential should not accept assignments for legal, mental health, medical, employment interviews or critical situations of any nature.
  • HQAS II+H is an interpreter-transliterator who satisfactorily met the requirements for local Hawaii language competency in addition to the requirements defined for the Level II credential.
Level I is a beginner level candidate. A Level I candidate is not considered qualified for professional assignments. This candidate may provide limited interpreting in low risk situations as an unpaid apprentice when accompanied by a qualified mentor. Further professional development is required prior to reevaluation.

(No credential is issued for Level I)

What does the HQAS test involve?
The HQAS consists of a written ethics test and a two-part interpreting/transliterating performance test. Materials, processes and training protocols were drawn from the Kansas Quality Assurance Screening, which has been shown to be a valid and reliable testing instrument. The HQAS+H includes an optional test on Hawaii Creole English, referred to as Pidgin. The +H accompanies the standard HQAS and is designed to assess an interpreter’s local language competency with both spoken and sign language styles common in Hawaii. Candidates may not take the +H separately or at a later date. The HQAS is administered using local interpreter evaluators to ensure that test results accurately reflect the candidates’ ability to interpret within our local community.

How does an HQAS interpreter maintain his/her credential?
Upon completing the Hawaii Quality Assurance System, applicants who have achieved Level II to V will receive a credential which is valid for two (2) years. Interpreters who wish to maintain their HQAS credential are encouraged to enroll in the HQAS Continuing Education Program. The HQAS Continuing Education Program provides interpreters the opportunity to develop and increase knowledge and competency in the interpreting field while maintaining their credential.

Comments