Offering your interpretation services in visual languages
To offer the Translation Bureau your interpretation services in visual languages (American Sign Language [ASL] and Langue des signes québécoise [LSQ]) as a self-employed individual, freelancer or firm, you must follow the steps below:
- meet the eligibility criteria
- obtain your Canada Revenue Agency business number and your procurement business number
- apply for registration in the Translation Bureau’s directory of linguistic services suppliers
- pass the Translation Bureau’s accreditation exam
Note: Reliability or security clearance
Suppliers themselves cannot request reliability or security clearance. They must be sponsored by a federal department. Only after they have passed the Translation Bureau’s accreditation exam or been registered in its directory of suppliers can the Translation Bureau sponsor them if it finds that they need such clearance.
1. Meet the eligibility criteria
You must ensure that you meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
- have a community college diploma and provide evidence of at least five years’ experience as a visual interpreter in a professional environment in the public or private sector
- have a community college degree and be a certified member of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ) as an LSQ interpreter or be a certified member of the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) as an ASL interpreter
If you are a firm, you must ensure that each proposed resource meets the eligibility criteria.
2. Obtain your Canada Revenue Agency business number and your procurement business number
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you must obtain the following required numbers:
Canada Revenue Agency business number
The business number (BN) is a numbering system that streamlines the way businesses deal with the federal government. If you have a Goods and Services Tax (GST) number or a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) number, you already have a business number. The first nine digits of your GST/HST number constitute your business number (such as 123456789RT0001). This number is required to obtain your procurement business number (PBN).
To obtain your BN, you have to complete form RC1 Request for a Business Number (Canada Revenue Agency).
For more information on the business number:
- Registering your business (Canada Revenue Agency)
- Contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1‑800‑959‑5525 (for service in English) or 1‑800‑959‑7775 (for service in French)
Procurement business number
To obtain a procurement business number (PBN), you must register with the Supplier Registration Information (SRI) system, a database of registered suppliers who want to do business with the federal government, or call 1‑800‑811‑1148 (and select option # 2 for assistance regarding the SRI).
3. Apply for registration in the Translation Bureau’s directory of linguistic services suppliers
After obtaining your business number (BN) and your procurement business number (PBN), complete and submit the registration form for the Translation Bureau’s directory of linguistic services suppliers online, or print it and send it to the Translation Bureau by email (in scanned format), by fax or by mail.
Remember to attach the supporting documents required according to the services being offered. (Meet the eligibility criteria)
If you are offering your services as a firm, you must provide the name of and the supporting documents for each candidate on your team.
4. Pass the Translation Bureau’s accreditation exam
If, upon review, your file is found to be complete and if you meet the eligibility criteria, the Translation Bureau will contact you to invite you to write the accreditation exam and inform you of upcoming exam dates.
The visual languages accreditation exam has two parts:
- a written exam in English (ASL) or in French (LSQ)
- a practical exam (English to ASL / ASL to English, or French to LSQ / LSQ to French)
If you are offering your services as a firm, each candidate on your team must pass the accreditation exam.
If you fail the written or practical part of the exam, you must wait 12 months before retaking it.
- Offering your interpretation services in the official languages
- Offering your interpretation services in Aboriginal or foreign languages
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