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 are new to the BEI performance test, you will need to start with the BEI Basic level assessment unless you meet one of the prerequisites established by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services BEI program (see section F).
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—intermediate hearing license. Please see 2019 Wisconsin Act 17 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.
When are the test dates for the TEP and performance assessments?
Due to COVID-19, our in-person testing site is currently closed to the public. We do not have any test dates available at this time, but will send out emails and update the BEI webpage regarding test dates as we learn more.
Why is ODHH accepting applications now if there are no test dates available?
ODHH wants to be able to gauge demand so we can better prepare for test administration once our testing site is open to the public.
What happens after I send my completed application to ODHH?
Applicants will be added to a wait list in the order their application is received.
How will I know I've made it onto the wait list?
You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received.
Do I have to send my payment to be added to a wait list?
No. Applicants are not required to send payment to be added to the wait list.
Once test dates become available, applicants will be contacted via email to finalize a test date and time. Applicants will have two weeks from the date of confirmation to send payment to ODHH. If payment is not postmarked by two weeks from the date of confirmation, the the applicant will lose their test slot and be put back on the wait list.
Can I send my application to the TEP and BEI performance test at the same time so I can get a test slot right away for my performance test if I pass my TEP?
No. Individuals must have proof of passing the TEP before they are eligible to sign up for any of the performance assessments.
When the test site is opened to the public, will ODHH be ready to offer both the TEP and BEI performance tests?
ODHH has received the TEP test materials and is ready to offer it once the testing site is open to the public.
To administer the performance tests, test administrators are required to have additional training, which is provided by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. This training typically happens in person. However, due to COVID-19, Texas is modifying their in-person training so it can be provided virtually. This training has not been provided to Wisconsin BEI test administrators yet, so it is unlikely that ODHH will be ready to administer the performance tests right away when the testing site opens to the public.
If I currently have a certification recognized by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), do I have to take the BEI?
No. You can choose to take the BEI, but you are not required to. Please see 2019 Wisconsin Act 17 to learn more about RID-recognized certifications that qualify an individual to get an interpreting license in Wisconsin.
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.
Will the WITA be offered at all anymore?
No. As of March 1, 2019, the WITA was no longer offered, as the BEI certification has been approved as the successor to the WITA program.
When was the last test date for the WITA?
The last WITA test dates took place between February 20 and February 26, 2019.
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.