ASTM-F3516 Standard Guide for Testing Interpreting Performance


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Standard Guide for Testing Interpreting Performance



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1.1 Purpose: 

1.1.1 This guide describes factors to be considered for the development and use of language interpreting performance tests, referencing the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale. It is intended to help people commission, develop, or select assessment tools for the evaluation of interpreting skills.

1.1.2 The purpose of any test developed following this guide is to rate a candidate's interpreting skills according to the Interagency Language Roundtable Skill Level Descriptions for Interpreting Performance (ILR SLDs for Interpreting). Any pass/fail rating assigned should reference the specific ILR level at which the candidate has tested.

1.1.3 The objectives for all tests should be clearly defined and convincing evidence presented to justify any claims, inferences, and decisions.

1.1.4 This guide focuses on two types of assessment; one is for screening candidates, and the other is for evaluating actual interpreting skills. It also outlines the appropriate characteristics and uses of each.

1.1.5 When evaluating actual interpreting skills, it should be noted that according to ILR, it is at the Professional Performance Level 3 that all necessary skills align to enable a reasonably accurate, reliable, and trustworthy interpretation.

1.2 Limitations: 

1.2.1 This guide is not intended to address test development for use in the following areas: Translation, Audio Translation, Transcription/Translation, Diagnostic Assessments, Less-commonly tested languages, and Other job-specific language performance tests.

1.2.2 This guide also does not purport to prescribe definitive descriptions of every possible approach for testing interpreting performance, nor does it prescribe the exact parameters that must be used in a valid and reliable test of interpreting skills. It does, however, suggest approaches to help test designers and users determine whether the use of a test is appropriate and justifiable.

1.2.3 This guide is not intended to address ancillary processes and procedures governing how organizations provide interpreting services.

1.3 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Significance and Use

4.1 Intended Use: 

4.1.1 This guide is intended to assist in the design or evaluation of screening and interpreting tests, or both.

4.1.2 This guide also satisfies the need for testing interpreting performance identified in other relevant ASTM standards (see Practice F2889 and Practice F2089).

4.2 Compliance with the Guide: 

4.2.1 Compliance requires the user to identify which sections of this guide apply to their specific use and circumstances. The decision to not adhere to any sections should be fully explained.


assessment; foreign language; ILR scale; Interagency Language Roundtable; interpreter testing; interpreting; language proficiency; testing;

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Publication Date

April 28, 2022

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Page Count

7 pages

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