Continuing Education – Easy & Inexpensive

 By Tuomas Kostiainen 

As you probably know by now, ATA’s continuing education requirement took effect at the beginning of this year. All ATA-certified translators need to accrue 20 Continuing Education (CE) points during each three-year period, with a maximum of 10 points per year, in order to maintain their certification. For further information, see ATA’s website at

This new requirement provides NCTA with an opportunity to organize more workshops, since more people are likely to participate in them, but it also means that we’ll have an even greater obligation to organize workshops and other educational events so that our members have as many different options as possible available to fulfill the requirement. Naturally, this wider selection of offerings will also benefit all the non-certified members. You don’t have to be a certified translator in order to enjoy the increasing selection of our workshops. After all, the point of CE points is not to collect points for points’ sake but to learn and become a better translator.

Obviously, the easiest way to fulfill the CE requirement is to attend the ATA Annual Conference two out of three years. You can earn 10 points with each annual conference, which means that two conferences in three years would be enough. Unfortunately, the cost can be relatively high, particularly if the conference locations happen to be far away.

However, the CE requirement doesn’t have to break your bank, since the credit grid also offers many other, less costly options. As an example, I wanted to show you a low-cost way to collect your required CE points with the help of NCTA. Our General Meetings, workshops and other educational events are the key to a versatile, affordable and local way to accomplish this. The table below gives an example where the only additional cost (in addition to your ATA membership fee) is the cost of one workshop in three years (generally only about $40!).

Naturally, you can mix & match various items depending on your preferences. If you can’t come to every General Meeting, take a workshop or two each year. Two 4-hour workshops each year already give you more than enough points at less than $100 a year—all tax-deductible.

Also, remember that local colleges and other organizations offer many interesting and useful courses that will give you CE points. However, if you feel that you can’t find suitable courses or workshops anywhere, let us know what you would like to learn. We are constantly looking for new workshop ideas.

As you can see from the table above, fulfilling your CE requirements does not necessarily mean long trips, expensive hotels and high conference fees. You can do it all here locally and affordably.

ATA membership – 2 points –  Maximum allowed per 3 years is 2 points.
NCTA General Meetings – 1 point  – Maximum allowed per 3 years is 12 points.
Published article on translation/interpreting (e.g. in Translorial) – 2 points – Maximum allowed per 3 years is 4 points.
NCTA workshop – 4 or more points – Maximum allowed per year is 10 points.