What is the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI)?
The BEI is a set of performance assessments used to assure that prospective interpreters are proficient in their ability to meaningfully and accurately comprehend, produce, and transform American Sign Language (ASL) to and from English.
What are the certification levels of the BEI?
The BEI certification levels are Basic, Advanced, and Master.
What is the Test of English Proficiency (TEP)?
The TEP is a written test that assesses a prospective interpreter’s understanding of the English language. It consists of 80 multiple choice questions.
Can I take a BEI performance assessment without taking the TEP?
No. All new applicants for BEI certification must pass the TEP before being eligible to apply for any BEI performance assessments. This also applies to nationally certified interpreters wishing to become certified at the BEI Basic, Advanced, or Master level.
Will a passing score for the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) be accepted in lieu of the TEP prerequisite?
No. Individuals who wish to take a BEI performance assessment must first take and pass the TEP.
If I pass the TEP, will it expire?
No. Individuals only need to pass the TEP once.
Can I skip the Basic performance assessment and take the Advanced or Master performance assessment?
If you have never held a BEI Basic certification, you are required to take the BEI Basic performance assessment before you are eligible to take the Advanced performance assessment. However, if you currently hold the National Interpreter Certification from RID, you may choose to skip the Basic performance assessment and take the Advanced performance assessment.
All individuals are required to pass the BEI Advanced performance assessment before being eligible to take the BEI Master performance assessment.
Does the BEI Basic certification expire every two years like the Wisconsin Interpreting and Transliterating Assessment (WITA)?
No. Your BEI Basic certification will not expire.
You will need to follow The Department of Safety and Professional Services’ (DSPS) licensure requirements for the Sign Language Interpreter—Restricted #151 license. Please see 2009 Wisconsin Act 360 for more information on these requirements.
Are there continuing education units requirements to maintain my BEI certification?
Yes. Continuing education units will be required to maintain your BEI certification status. More information on this will be available at a later date.
Will the BEI Basic, Advanced, and Master performance assessments be available in Wisconsin at the same time?
No. The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) will be focusing their efforts on implementing the BEI Basic performance assessment process first. Once the BEI Basic is implemented, ODHH will begin implementing the BEI Advanced and Master performance assessments in Wisconsin.
Will the WITA be offered at all anymore?
No. As of March 1, 2019, the WITA will no longer be offered, as the BEI certification has been approved as the successor to the WITA program. All individuals who have a current and valid WITA status as of March 2019 will be eligible to apply for the WITA permanent status.
When is the last test date for the WITA?
The last WITA test dates will take place between February 20 and February 26, 2019.
Where can I find more information about the WITA?
Visit the ODHH WITA webpage.
What if I have a WITA passing status that expires while ODHH is still working on implementing the BEI?
If an individual has a passing WITA status as of March 1, 2019, they are eligible to apply for permanent status.
What is the WITA permanent status?
This is an extension of an individual's passing WITA score.
Please note that this permanent status is limited to the WITA verification status and does not grant a holder a permanent Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) restricted license. Sign language interpreters are still required to follow the policies and procedures for license renewal per DSPS and Wisconsin Act 360.
How long will I be able to maintain the WITA permanent status?
The WITA permanent status will expire when the individual is no longer able to renew their Sign Language Interpreter–Restricted license, or they pass the BEI advanced or NIC, making them eligible to apply for the Sign Language Interpreter–Renewable (#150) license.
Who is eligible to apply for the WITA permanent status?
Individuals who have received a WITA passing score since March 2017 are eligible to apply for this extension.
How do I apply for the WITA permanent Status?
Individuals eligible for the WITA permanent status will not be automatically granted this extension. They must fill out and submit the WITA Permanent Status Request Form (PDF) to the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Can I apply for the WITA permanent status at any time?
No. The WITA permanent status option will be available until June 30, 2019.
If I passed the WITA and the time to hold my Sign Language Interpreter—Restricted (#151) license has run out, do I get additional time to hold my restricted license if I get my BEI Basic Certification?
No. Taking and passing the BEI Basic does not give individuals additional time to hold their Sign Language Interpreter—Restricted (#151) license. If an individual’s restricted license will expire or has expired, they will need to pass the NIC or the BEI Advanced assessment, which would make them eligible to get their Sign Language Interpreter—Renewable (#150) license.
Why do I have to take the RID written exam if I am taking the BEI?
Individuals still need to take the RID written exam because the 2009 Wisconsin Act 360 requires that individuals pass the written examination administered by RID, or its successor.
If I currently have my NIC, do I have to take the BEI?
No. You can choose to take the BEI, but you are not required to. The NIC is still accepted by DSPS for the Sign Language Interpreter—Renewable (#150) license.
What certification do I need in order to obtain a Wisconsin State Interpreter License?
For the Sign Language Interpreter—Restricted (#151) license, the BEI Basic Certification will be accepted in lieu of the WITA.
For a Sign Language Interpreter—Renewable (#150) license, you must have one of the following:
- Recognized national certification from RID
- BEI Advanced certification
- BEI Master certification
Is DSPS involved with the transition from the WITA to the BEI?
Yes. ODHH is working in collaboration with DSPS.
Will DSPS still accept BEI certifications from other states?
Yes. DSPS will continue to accept BEI certifications from other states.
Who can I contact for questions regarding current sign language interpreter licensure in Wisconsin?
The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) handles sign language interpreter licensure in Wisconsin. Please visit the DSPS website to learn more about sign language interpreter licensure in Wisconsin.
Where can I find the most up-to-date information about the implementation of BEI in Wisconsin?
Who should I contact if I have questions about BEI in Wisconsin?
Please email the ODHH BEI inbox if you have more questions.