Interview with the Certification Division of the Office of Court Administration
By Gabriela Siebach
This week, I had the opportunity to interview two representatives of the Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA). The OCA will assume responsibility of the licensure program for court interpreters effective September 1st, 2014. Jeffery “Jeff” L. Rinard, Director of the Certification Division, and Marco Hanson, Language Access Coordinator, briefly discussed the changes to the program, including a new change that was just adopted after months of gathering feedback from stakeholders.
Jeff Rinard focused on the few differences interpreters can expect, including new electronic fingerprinting and continuing education requirements. He clarified the purpose for the fingerprinting requirement and advised interpreters to ensure that they provide the correct Originating Agency Identification (ORI) Number when obtaining their one-time electronic fingerprinting through the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST). He also shared exciting information regarding continuing education. Licensed Court Interpreters will now have the opportunity to request conferences and other training events for approval as well as roll-over up to four continuing education hours from one year to the next, excluding ethics.
The OCA has also launched an effort to inform the Texas judiciary about the importance of using licensed court interpreters. This is an effort that Marco Hanson has been heading for the past year and the response has been positive.
Both Jeff Rinard and Marco Hanson have made themselves available to aid Licensed Court Interpreters during the transition. Watch the interview below.