For Hopkins providers and staff to speak with a patient in the patient’s target language, one must pass the applicable language assessment administered through our vendor, ALTA Language Services. If any providers or staff in your division are speaking with patients in the patient’s language and have not become certified to do so, please provide them with the below instructions to initiate the process to become certified.
Go to the Language Interpretation and Translation Services Website.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Qualified Bilingual Staff Program".
- Complete the required fields on the registration form.
- To become certified in multiple languages, submit separate registration forms.
There are two assessments available:
- Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment (CCLA): for providers (physician, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse) who want to directly communicate with patients in the patient’s language.
- Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) Assessment: for any individual (including providers) who wants to interpret for patients and other members of the healthcare team.
NOTE: To communicate with a patient in the patient’s language, a provider does NOT need to complete both assessments; however, if the provider wants to function as an interpreter, the provider must complete the QBS.
Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Cantonese, Farsi, French, German, Haitian, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, Vietnamese.
CLINICIAN ASSESSMENT (~40 minutes)
The Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment (CCLA) is required if the provider wants to perform direct communication with patients. This test requires the candidate to elicit symptoms, give diagnoses, report findings and prescribe treatments in the target language. Candidates are presented with background information on the patient, and then will hear a brief monologue given by the patient. The candidate must respond in a manner that is appropriate to the patient background, age and register used in order to obtain and impart medical information. This test is administered via a recorded system, requiring only a landline telephone and a unique PIN to access. Candidates are scored on objective and subjective criteria per section, which include giving directions, giving equivalents of medical terminology, general conversation, and customer service scenarios.
The Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) assessment is for any Hopkins employee (including physicians) who would like to interpret for patients and other members of the healthcare team. This assessment is taken over-the-phone via a recorded system, requiring a landline telephone and a unique PIN to access, and computer with an internet connection for completing the sight translation portion. QBS consists of conversational exercises, customer service interpretation role-lays, and interpretations of medical terminology and measures fluency and ability to interpret in non-critical medical scenarios. Passing candidates qualify as either Level 1 or Level 2:
- Level 1 bilingual staff demonstrate the skills to converse in English and the target language, provide directions and simple instructions in English and the target language, and provide customer service where knowledge of medical terminology and concepts is not required.
- Level 2 bilingual staff meet Level 1 requirements, plus demonstrate the ability to provide simple medical and/or non-medical related instructions within their scope of practice. All clinical staff are required to pass Level 2 in order to communicate clinical information within their scope of practice.
The cost of the test is $100 and must be covered by the individual’s respective division.
You can call 1-844-SPEAK2US (1-844-773-2528) or go to JohnsHopkinsSpeak2Us.com, 24 hours a day, to share any concerns and help ensure that our patients and employees are safe and protected. You may also report safety concerns through Hopkins Event Reporting Online (HERO).