The ATA Certification Program's mission is to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and identify translators who demonstrate professional level translation skills. The program was established in 1973.
ATA certification is earned by passing a challenging three-hour exam designed to assess professional level translation skills in a specified source-target language combination.
The CT designation is used by translators to reference their ATA certification. Where possible, the language pair(s) and direction(s) of their certification should also be noted.
Are translators without ATA certification "bad"? Not at all! In some cases, there is no certification exam available in the individual's language combination. And often the translator is well-established and does not need the additional confirmation of skills.
ATA certification is a voluntary demonstration of translation skills. As such, it reflects a strong commitment to the profession and its ethical practice—a distinction that can attract clients and open doors to new business.
The seal is a way for translators to identify their ATA certification. In addition to the translator's name and language combination, it provides the information needed to verify certification online.
An individual's ATA-certification is designated in ATA's Directory of Translators and Interpreters.
Voting membership offers ATA members a direct voice in the governance and activities of the association. It's also an opportunity for individuals to expand their involvement in the profession.
A certification candidate must be an ATA member.for at least four weeks prior to the exam date.
A combination of education and work experience is required to be eligible for the exam.
As part of the exam registration, the candidate must sign a pledge to abide by ATA's Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.
A completed registration form, along with payment of $300, must be received by ATA Headquarters at least two weeks before the exam.
While there is no requirement to take the exam practice test, it is strongly encouraged. It's an excellent way to measure your readiness for the exam.