The Certification Examination for Professional Translators (CEPT) is a professional certification system that tests the ability of a candidate to produce a translation that is of a professional standard. With an emphasis on its relevance to the local industry, the CEPT represents the minimum level of competence for qualified translators and aims to set the national benchmark for professional translators in Singapore.
CEPT offers a range of benefits. The certification:
- Establishes and maintains high standards of translation in Singapore
- Certifies the professional readiness of translators-in-training or bilinguals who wish to enter the profession
- Enables translation service users to make better selection of translators in the context of their translation needs
- Addresses the need in the local industry to certify professional translation competence appropriate to the Singapore context.
A certificate of “Accredited Professional Translator (from Chinese to English)” will be issued to candidates who achieve a pass in CEPT (Chinese to English).
A certificate of “Accredited Professional Translator (from English to Chinese)” will be issued to candidates who achieve a pass in CEPT (English to Chinese).
The Examination Advisory Committee provides strategic advice and recommendations to the CEPT. Members are drawn from distinguished academics and expert translators and interpreters:
- 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).
- Adjunct Professor Lim Jim Koon (林任君兼任教授), 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 Lau Ping Sum (刘炳森先生), 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, Consultant (People's Action Party HQ), former MP (Yio Chu Kang), MP (Ang Mo Kio GRC), and Political Secretary (Health).
- 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).
To be eligible for CEPT, 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 experience in translation between English and Chinese of which documentary support is submitted
- Relevant training in translation
There will be two stand-alone examinations: (1) CEPT (Chinese to English); (2) CEPT (English to Chinese). Candidates may opt for either or both of the examinations.
Each open-book written examination lasting 1.5 hours, consists of two parts:
- Part I General Translation: This section comprises 1 compulsory passage of non-specialised nature.
- Part II Technical Translation: This section comprises 4 passages covering different subject matters, namely, (1) Science and Technology, (2) Business and Trade, (3) Law and Law Enforcement, or (4) Arts and Literature. Candidates translate 2 passages.
The passage set for translation represents a level of difficulty that translators would expect to meet in their daily work. However, each passage will avoid highly specialised terminology that requires extensive research. The challenge posed by terminology in the passages can be met with a good general dictionary.
Preparation courses are offered to help candidates prepare for CEPT. Candidates can sign up for the part-time evening sessions offered in the BA Translation and Interpretation programme through Singapore University of Social Sciences's CET Modular Courses.
The recommended courses are:
- CTI113 Translation and Socio-Cultural Differences
- CTI121 Chinese-English Fundamentals of Translation
- CTI122 English-Chinese Fundamentals of Translation
- CTI204 Media/Multimedia Translation
- CTI209 Translation of Business and Trade Documents
- CTI212 Redefining Translation in the Digital Age
- CTI213 Translation of Legal Documents
- CTI305 Financial Translation
Accepted candidates will be invited to attend 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 November every year (specific date to be advised). The examination fee is S$321 (inclusive of 7% GST) per candidate per examination, and S$535 (inclusive of 7% GST) per candidate if he/she registers for both examinations at the same time.
Application fee is S$107 (inclusive of GST). The deadline for application is 30 September.
Interested applicants may submit their application by downloading the application form here and mail it together with the supporting documents and 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: c2hic19jZXBpQHN1c3MuZWR1LnNn.