Certification and Job Task Analysis (JTA): Establishing Validity of Translator Certification Examinations


  • Geoffrey S. Koby
  • Alan K. Melby Brigham Young University


translator certification, job task analysis, American Translators Association (ATA)


Abstract: Translator certification examinations are offered by many entities worldwide. This article considers the question of how such examinations can be strengthened by applying certification theory and practice. ISO standards are used as a basis to describe how job task analysis is typically used in establishing the validity of a certification examination. The article describes a job task analysis that was conducted by the American Translators Association, then summarizes the literature on translator competence and compares a recent European project with the ATA job task analysis results. The ATA job task analysis results are compared with the current ATA examination and the broader certification program. Finally, the significance of the ATA job task analysis for both ATA and other professional translator associations is discussed.