Is NAATI Pro acc. equivalent to BA?
Thread poster: Malcolman
Malcolman
Australia
Local time: 21:28
Feb 11, 2010

Hello everyone,

I'm a new member.. Didn't think translators/interpreters has such a huge community of active members around the world!

I've been accredited by NAATI as a level 3 (professional) translator since 1997 (when I was just 18 years old) and as level 3 (professional) interpreter since 2001. My question is:

For immigration purposes, some countries require the applicant to have a minimum of Bachelor's degree (case in point USA) or equivalent. Also, since you require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree to even sit for a NAATI Pro test and that many universities offer BA programs which result in NAATI accreditation, it was only natural to assume that my qualifications were equivalent to a BA (especially since I have two).

1. Firstly, am I correct in making this assumption, and if so,
2. How can I prove this to immigration authorities.


There is nothing about any such equivalency (or lack thereof) on the NAATI web site so any help would be much appreciated.

Thank You


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Elisabeth Kissel  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:28
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
What qualifications did you have when you sat your NAATI test? Feb 11, 2010

Hello,

I am no expert, and I don't want to sound discouraging, but I don't think that it would be quite as easy as that.

The NAATI exam is not the same as a degree course, which is after all a min. of 3 years study, even if it results in the same professional qualification at the end.
Therefore, I don't think that you can just say NAATI Pro is equivalent to an officially conferred BA degree.
(Really wouldn't be fair on those that put themselves through years at university)

However, having said that, you can make it clear that you were accepted as having an equivalent academic level in order to sit the exam.
In this case I would use whatever proof you used to apply to NAATI, making it quite clear that they accepted it as equiv. to a BA.

Another option might be to investigate whether any university would give you substantial credit/recognition of prior learning for your two prof. qualifications and your experience and you might find that you don't have to do a lot to actually get a recognised BA.

I'd be interested to hear what others have to say on this,

Regards,
Elisabeth


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Patricia Will  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:28
Member (2004)
German to English
Naati professional level equivalent to BA? Feb 11, 2010

Sorry, I don't think you could persuade any immigration authorities in the world that the NAATI professional accreditation is equivalent to a BA. You can sit and pass the NAATI test (which I recall only takes a couple of hours) without any previous course of study or training in translating or interpreting whatsoever. There is also no requirement to have any sort of degree in order to take the test, although I do believe you have to have a school-leaving certificate of some sort. NAATI does recognise some T&I courses (B.A.s among them) as being "equivalent" but I think in most countries a B.A. is a rigorous, academic course taking at least 3 years of full-time study to complete. That is hardly the equivalent of the NAATI test. Why not go for the real thing, there are plenty of distance courses as well leading to a B.A. in translation and interpreting. Good luck!

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Malcolman
Australia
Local time: 21:28
TOPIC STARTER
Sure, but.. Feb 11, 2010

Thank you both for your feedback.. Generally speaking, immigration authorities accept 3 years of experience as equivalent to 1 year of university work, but this is based on not having any qualifications whatsoever.. i.e. pure work experience. Surely professional recognition (e.g. NAATI certificate) must be worth something?

I don't mean to be belittle a BA (it takes a lot of hard work to get a uni degree) but a NAATI accreditation isn't just a 2 hour test. It's a recognition that you have the language skills to work in a professional capacity. Those skills and tools are the result of many years of hard work, and the test merely affirms that fact.

Thanks


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
If you have a BA, why don't you use it directly? Feb 11, 2010

Malcolman wrote:
Since you require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree to even sit for a NAATI Pro test and that many universities offer BA programs which result in NAATI accreditation, it was only natural to assume that my qualifications were equivalent to a BA (especially since I have two).


If it is true that you require a BA to sit the NAATI exam, and you did sit the NAATI exam, then it follows that you have a BA already. So, why can't you just submit your actual BA to the immigration authorities?

2. How can I prove this to immigration authorities.


I'm not sure what procedure the Americans follow, but immigration authorities typically have some way of converting overseas qualifications to a local equivalent. Your best bet is to contact an immigration lawyer to find out what the procedure is and what kinds of documentation is required.

Patricia Will wrote:
Why not go for the real thing, there are plenty of distance courses as well leading to a B.A. in translation and interpreting.


What Patricia is really saying is that you should wait another 3 years before you start thinking about emigrating. My opinion is that you should make sure about what the required qualifications are before you spend (and possibly waste) 3 years on a degree that you believe might be your ticket to America.


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Deborah Workman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not all NAATI certifications require BA or equivalent; also here is some info re: United States. Feb 11, 2010

As I read the eligibility criteria at http://www.naati.com.au/at-testing-eligibility.html, the minimum requirements to sit for NAATI certification is 4 years of secondary school or the equivalent. I think it's important to establish what level of certification you sat for. The fact that you took and passed the NAATI indicates that NAATI considered your credentials to be equivalent to what is needed for the type of certification you tested for. However, US authorities would have to come to the same conclusion to satisfy immigration/education authorities.

If it was the paraprofessional level that you sat for, note that the requirement is for 4 years of secondary school (what we call high school in the States, though it's possible that some of your secondary school classes might earn you credit towards first and second year college studies in the States). We would call this a baccalaureate. Our BA is a college degree. You might know this already, but I mention it just to be sure.

I'm not sure what credentials it is that you are trying to establish. That you have a high school diploma, a BA, the equivalent of one of these, or translation credentials. For the US market, these are all separate considerations.

In the United States, there is no single, central certifying body for translators, though the ATA tries to claim that position. There are other certifying bodies, too. However, most translators do not have to be certified to get work, so national certification has not gained traction. (Whether this is good or bad is a topic for separate discussion. I'm sure you will find it discussed heavily on ProZ and other translation sites.) Translators do have to present credentials that will get them an interview, however, and they do have to meet the employer's internal standards.

There is a certifying body for court interpreters, and agencies distinguish between certified and "qualified" (capable but not certified) interpreters, so if this is the direction you want to go, gaining certification will be more important.

If it's your general education you are concerned about, here are links to two of the many credential evaluation services. http://www.thedegreepeople.com/ and http://apostille.us/Documents/Service_Evaluation_Education.shtml. If you are applying for a work visa for the United States, you or your sponsor will need to ensure that your transcripts and credentials are evaluated by such a service. I know nothing about the particular companies at these link (there are many that promise quick or cheap services -- caveat emptor), so this is not an endorsement. I provide the links merely to show you what kinds of services are out there.

My personal belief is that your academic records, your NAATI certification and your work experience will count for something with educators, prospective employers and even the immigration service, but I don't believe that your NAATI certification in and of itself will be regarded as the equivalent of a BA. At best it will reinforce any finding of a credentials service that your academic records represent the equivalent of 4 years of secondary school (or whatever level NAATI found when it found you eligible to sit for the certification exam).

Deborah


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Patricia Will  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:28
Member (2004)
German to English
Minimum requirement to sit NAATI test Feb 11, 2010

See link below. You do not need a B.A. as a minimum requirement to sit the NAATI professional test, so your premise is incorrect anyway.

www.naati.com.au/pdf/Booklets/Accreditation_by_Testing_booklet.pdf

You also say: QUOTE Those skills and tools are the result of many years of hard work, and the test merely affirms that fact. UNQUOTE

yet you passed the test aged 18?

I think you will find that most authorities and indeed employers overseas have never heard of NAATI, it's hardly an internationally recognised "qualification" and is certainly not equivalent to a degree.

Best of luck anyway.


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Malcolman
Australia
Local time: 21:28
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 13, 2010

Thanks everyone for your comments.

You're right, I made a mistake with a BA being a prerequisite of NAATI tests. I thought this was a new condition introduced recently. I don't have a BA and that's my problem.. If I did, I wouldn't need to use my NAATI accreditation as its equivalent.

I guess, based on everyone's advice, I should use my collective experience as well as NAATI accreditation and present everything to an evaluation agency. Maybe they'll account for something.

Thank you once again for your valuable advice.

Malcolm


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