Virginia's Judicial System

Program Information and Registration

Program Information

Orientation training consists of three mandatory pre-orientation webinar classes and a 2-day orientation course that will familiarize students with the Virginia Judicial System, courtroom protocol, the role of the interpreter, specific skills needed for the different modes of interpreting, and the "do's and don'ts" of the job. Each webinar will be a 1-hour long session, offered live and prerecorded. Candidates will receive instructions to log-in to the webinars, and all candidates will be required to participate in all three webinars prior to the orientation class. Each candidate will also receive an electronic binder with information on how to access court-related glossaries and documents that will give an understanding of the court system and legal procedures. The training also includes an overview of self-study techniques, practice sessions, available resources, and tips for preparing for the oral certification examination. The 2-day orientation class, which follows the three mandatory webinars and is open to all languages, is not intended to prepare you for the written exam. Likewise, the materials provided at the orientation class are a source of general information for court interpreters, and not test prep. Success on the written and oral exams will depend on extensive independent preparation in addition to a solid linguistic foundation. Moreover, while successful court interpreters are often in part self-taught, many have also benefitted from formal instruction.

Written Exam: It is an intermediate level exam and requires extensive self-preparation. It is given only to candidates seeking certification in the following languages: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The written exam may be taken only one time within a 12-month period. The Written Exam is administered in Hanover, VA.

Oral Exam: It is open to those currently enrolled for certification in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese who have successfully completed the Orientation and Written Exam within the past 3-years. The oral exam may be taken only one time within a 12-month period.

The certification process begins by registering for the Orientation and Written Exam. Only candidates who have participated in the Orientation and passed the Written Exam, both within the past 3-years, are eligible to register for the Oral Exam.

Spring Registration:

  • Orientation and Written Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website in mid-February. (class/exam is generally given in March or April)
  • Oral Exam: Registration dates/locations are generally posted on this website during the month of May or June (exam is generally given in June or July)

Fall Registration:

  • Orientation and Written Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website in mid-August (class/exam is generally given in September or October).
  • Oral Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website during the months of December or January (exam is generally given in January or February)

Note: All dates are tentative and may be subject to change without prior notice. Registration will close when classes are full and/or when class lists are finalized. This can be several weeks before the start of the in-person orientation.

To Register:
Registration is now open for the Fall 2022 Orientation and Written Exam. Orientation can be taken either in-person on October 11th and 12th at the Virginia Public Safety Training Center in Hanover, Virginia, or virtually on October 24th and 25th. You register for the in-person orientation or the virtual one, not both. Please note that the virtual orientation must be attended in real time. Unlike with the three pre-orientation webinars, you will not be able to view recordings of the practice sessions, as no recordings will be made. Successful completion of the orientation session is a pre-requisite for taking the written exam.

Registration for the Fall 2022 Orientation and/or Written Exam is now closed.

Notes about pre-registration, space, and payment:
Registration for the Fall 2022 Orientation and Written Exam will be open until August 31, 2022 or whenever capacity is reached, whichever occurs first. Please bear in mind that you might not receive confirmation of your enrollment for 5-10 business days.  The payment deadline for the orientation and/or written exam is September 22, 2022. If payment is not received by the deadline, you will lose your slot. No late payments will be accepted. You will receive payment instructions via email. You must mail in your payment. You may not pay in-person at the Supreme Court or anywhere else. No refunds will be given.

Space is limited.  Pre-registration and inclusion on the wait list will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not send any payment unless and until you receive a confirmation email of pre-registration. 

Required Pre-Orientation Webinars:
The webinar sessions will be offered live on the following dates and times:

  • 9/16/2022, 11:30am to 12:30pm
  • 9/23/2022, 11:30am to 12:30pm
  • 9/30/2022, 11:30am to 12:30pm

Registered candidates are expected to participate in the live webinar sessions; if registered candidates are unable to view the sessions live, they will be permitted to view the prerecorded sessions prior to the orientation course.  A live viewing will allow participants to ask and receive answers to course-related questions during the webinars. Participation in the 3 webinar sessions is mandatory to complete the orientation class.  All pre-registered candidates are welcome to participate in the first webinar even if payment has not yet been received.  

Orientation: All Languages $225.00
Written Exam: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese $125.00
Oral Exam: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese $225.00

Note: Fees are subject to change without notice. There are NO refunds given to those who register and do not attend the class or exam. If, after registering, you ask to postpone the class or exam, you will receive a credit for the amount that you paid minus a $50.00 rescheduling fee.  We cannot guarantee that there will be space in the next class or exam or that there will not be a fee increase.  You will have to determine whether the postponement still allows you to complete all three elements (orientation, the written exam and the oral exam) within the allotted 3-year period.  The Supreme Court of Virginia will NOT reimburse your travel, parking, meal or lodging expenses.

Skills-Building Workshop
There are no workshops at this time.

For questions regarding certification, please email