The Certification Examination for Professional Interpreters (CEPI) is a professional certification system that examines competence in interpreting between English and Chinese. The CEPI represents the minimum level of competence for qualified interpreters and aims to set the national benchmark for professional interpreters in Singapore.
CEPI offers a range of benefits.
- Ensures that there is a consistent standard of professionalism in interpretating in Singapore
- Recognises the expertise and experience of interpreters
- Certifies the professional readiness of translators and interpreters in training to enter the business and service industry
- Enables employers to make informed hiring decisions and evaluate their staff who work as an interpreter
Candidates who pass the CEPI will be issued a Professional Certificate of 'Accredited Professional (Consecutive) Interpreter' (口译专业资格证书).
Holders of the certificate may be deployed to interpret for official and business functions by selected government and non-government agencies.
The Examination Advisory Committee has been set up to provide strategic advice and recommendations to the CEPI. Members are drawn from distinguished academics and expert interpreters:
- Adjunct Professor Lau Ping Sum (刘炳森兼任教授), Simultaneous Interpreter for live TV telecast of PM's National Day Rally speech from 1985 to 2015, part-time Simultaneous Interpreter in Parliament 1967 to 1980 and 1998 to date, former MP (Yio Chu Kang), MP (Ang Mo Kio GRC), and Political Secretary (Health).
- Professor Eddie Kuo (郭振羽教授), Emeritus Professor, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Academic Advisor, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Founding Dean (1992 - 2003) of NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, former member of the multi-agency Translation and Interpretation Steering Committee (2004), and former member of NTU council (2003 - 2006).
- Mr Lim Jim Koon (林任君先生), former Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Newspapers Division, Advisor to the Center for World Chinese Media Studies at Peking University, Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS.
- Professor Goh Yeng Seng (吴英成教授), Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group, National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), former member of the multi-agency Translation and Interpretation Steering Committee.
- Mr Lee Hui Huan (李慧垣先生), former Chief Interpreter of Parliament (retired in January 2007) and the first Singaporean member of International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC).
- BG Ng Pak Shun (伍柏舜准将), Group Chief, Policy & Strategy; and Group Chief, MINDEF Transformation at the Ministry of Defence.
- Ms Cindy Ong, Alumnus of BA Translation and Interpretation; Doctoral Student, Department of Education, University of Oxford.
To be eligible for CEPI tests, candidates should preferably satisfy at least two of the following criteria:
- A diploma or degree from a recognised institute of higher learning in any field as well as satisfactory proficiency level in English and Chinese;
- Relevant work experience in interpreting between English and Chinese to which an employer has attested;
- Relevant professional training in translation and interpretation between English and Chinese.
CEPI is a performance test that lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes. The examination is administered to candidates on an individual basis by a panel of examiners.
The examination consists of the following three parts:
- Part I: Dialogue Interpreting between English and Chinese speakers in consecutive mode
- Part II: Conference Interpreting from Chinese to English and English to Chinese in Consecutive mode
- Part III: Sight Translation from Chinese to English and English to Chinese
The examination presents common challenges posed to professional interpreters in Singapore context.
Preparation courses are offered to help candidates prepare for CEPI. Candidates can sign up for the part-time evening sessions offered in the BA Translation and Interpretation programme through Singapore University of Social Sciences' CET Modular Courses.
The recommended courses are:
- CTI113 Translation and Socio-Cultural Differences
- CTI205 Introduction to Interpretation
- CTI207 Consecutive Interpretation
- CTI392 Advanced Topics in Interpretation
Click here to read the course synopses.
Accepted candidates will be invited to an orientation which provides a practical introduction to the examination. A set of specimen examination materials will be given to the candidates during the orientation.
The examination will be held in every November. The examination fee is S$540 (inclusive of GST) per candidate.
Application fee is S$108 (inclusive of GST). The deadline for application is 30 September.
Interested applicants may submit their application online via this link with their supporting documents. Payments can be made via bank transfer (details in the link) or via cheque (payable to 'Singapore University of Social Sciences') to:
School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences
Singapore University of Social Sciences
463 Clementi Road,
For more information, please call us at tel: +65 6248 9129 or email: email@example.com.