Certification Exam Review Appeal

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Certification Exam

Procedure to Appeal Certification Exam Review

Any candidate for ATA certification who receives a reviewed exam with a grade of Fail may dispute the error marking through the certification review appeal process, following the instructions outlined below.

A panel of three Certification Program graders will consider each appeal. The panel will include

  • a Certification Committee member (designated by the Committee Chair), who will chair the panel, monitor compliance with ATA Certification Program policies and procedures, and document the process for record-keeping at ATA Headquarters;
  • the original reviewer or the workgroup Language Chair; and
  • one grader who has not graded the exam before. In small workgroups, this may mean a grader from another workgroup.

The panel may consult other graders and outside experts as necessary.

The certification panel will decide whether to uphold or overturn the grade of Fail. The panel's decision is final.

The Certification Program Manager at ATA Headquarters will inform the candidate of the outcome and the reasons for the panel's decision. This concludes the appeal process.

If the certification panel overturns the exam outcome, the appeal fee and the review fee will be refunded, and the candidate will receive a Certificate of Certification dated as of the original notice of failure, upgraded membership (if applicable), and all of the rights and privileges of certification. The candidate's name will be published in the ATA Chronicle along with the names of other recently certified members. No disclosure will ever be made of the fact that the certification was awarded based on an appeal.

The Certification Committee reserves the right to disqualify from the appeal process any candidate who

  • does not follow the instructions;
  • attempts to challenge the exam outcome in any way not specifically permitted under ATA's Certification Program policy;
  • includes unprofessional statements (e.g., threats, invective, or personal attacks) in any written or oral communication about the review addressed to ATA Certification Program volunteers or staff.

If the Certification Committee disqualifies from the appeal process a candidate who has paid the appeal fee, the appeal fee only (less a $25 processing fee) will be refunded.

The Certification Program Manager at ATA Headquarters handles all communications from candidates about exam outcomes, reviews, and appeals. Communications about certification exam outcomes addressed to anyone else will not be read or forwarded.

Instructions to Candidate

  • Photocopy the graded review copy of your exam. Keep the original review copy for your records.
  • On the appeal copy of your exam, insert an asterisk beside each error marking you choose to dispute, and number them in the order that they appear.
  • In a separate document, list each numbered error marking and give the specific reasons you disagree.
    • State why the graders should accept your rendition or penalize it with fewer error points in the context of the exam passage.
    • For renditions marked as translation errors, support your statements with citations from dictionaries and/or other reference materials (complete with publication data). Keep in mind that not all renditions found in a multilingual dictionary apply in a given context.
    • For renditions marked as target-language errors (e.g., grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage), support your statements with citations from reputable usage and style guides and/or other reference materials (complete with publication data).
    • If you cite Internet search results to support your statements, give the complete URL and the date accessed. Quote as much of the content as necessary to establish the context and provide information justifying the authoritative character of the site.
  • Mark each page of supporting documentation with the test number that appears in the upper right-hand corner of your exam. Do not identify yourself by name in these materials.
  • Read the Certification Program policy on appeals and sign the statement that you agree to abide by the decision of the certification panel. This document will go on file at ATA Headquarters.
  • Send to the Certification Program Manager at ATA Headquarters
    • the appeal copy of your exam;
    • your supporting documentation;
    • the signed Request for ATA Certification Review Appeal; and
    • the appeal fee * by credit card authorization (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) or check payable to the American Translators Association.

*Exam Review Appeal Fee is $200.00 per passage.

Revised 10/09