Letter to the ATA Board of Directors and Certification Committee

The purpose of this letter is to reflect the main concerns expressed by many ATA members about the new hours-of-credit system underlying the Continuing Education Requirements now applicable to formerly accredited members.

We respectfully ask the Board and the Certification Committee to consider the following points:

1) These requirements do not apply to all, since those who will be 60 plus in 2007 are exempt, and they seem therefore discriminatory and unfair for the younger members of our community.

2) Some members work in very specific cutting edge domains and cannot learn much from the programs approved by the ATA. They have to rely on specialized publications and/or seminars to stay abreast of the changes occurring in their discipline.

3) Considering the current economic situation of the translation industry in this country, many members cannot afford to travel to the places where seminars and conferences are held. Some members also have family, health or other kinds of problems that prevent them from attending ATA approved events.

4) Assuming that the proposed hours of credit are accessible to every member, they still raise questions. Why limit them to 10 points per year? Continuous education is not always evenly distributed in a translator’s life. Also, many certifying bodies test their members regularly to verify that they have actually learned something new. How can the ATA be sure that its certified members have become better professionals after attending approved conferences, courses and/or seminars?

5) Members who comply with the prerequisite conditions and pass a difficult, rigorously graded exam, deserve this credential. There should be simpler ways of insuring they are still worthy of it over time. If they are still ATA members, employed full time years after passing the exam, chances are they are competent enough to stay certified. Besides, many members have attended classes or followed courses to improve their training before taking the exam; are they supposed to do it again to obtain the necessary points?

—Michèle F. Landis, Language Chair for the English>French examinations.