Skip to content

The Professional Society

Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC)

STIBC was founded in 1981. The Society is not an agency but a professional body that serves to promote the interests of its members (translators and interpreters), all of whom follow a professional Code of Ethics. The Society offers its members the opportunity to become certified, either by exam or by presenting a dossier.

‘Associate Members’ are invited to join STIBC after a review of their professional work, and/or by passing exams as determined by the Admissions Committee. Associate Members are not entitled to represent themselves as certified. However, they must subscribe to the code of ethics before being issued a membership card.

“Certified Members’ have passed a rigorous test or a review of their professional work. In BC, Certified Translators, Certified Court Interpreters, Certified Conference Interpreters, and Certified Terminologists have title protection, which means that by law, no one else is permitted to use these titles.

Theoretically, certification and/or membership can be revoked for serious violation of the code. We are not aware of any membership being revoked for violation.

In the early 1980s, STIBC began conducting certification examinations for translators and in 1987 for Court Interpreters. These exams were once standardized across Canada and are given by each provincial society under close national guidance by the Canadian Translators Terminologist and Interpreters Council (CTTIC). The CTTIC exam was originally based on the STIBC exam which was in turn originally based on the VCC final exam. All grading was done by certified or accredited Canadian interpreters and translators or, failing them, other well-qualified language professionals.

Certification for translation refers to one specific language into another specific language but not vice versa. However, one may become certified in both directions by separate examinations. One of the languages must be English or French. Many translators are certified in more than one language pair.

Many of our professional associates are certified members of STIBC. One of our partners was a founding member of the society, left and returned some years later and served two terms as President of STIBC and coordinated for CTTIC the first national court interpreter exam in Canada.

The Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario fills the same role as STIBC. STIBC is quite a bit smaller than ATIO but has rather more Certified Court Interpreters in a broader selection of languages. There are similar associations in most or all other Provinces.