Certified Heritage Interpreter™

Our Certified Heritage Interpreter (CHI) certification is a professional level certification for those who have been in the field as a front-line interpreter for more than 5 years. If you have experience presenting programs and developing non-personal interpretation, then this is the certification for you.

What are the benefits of being a CHI?

  • Certification helps you cultivate and build a professional self-image.
  • Being recognized by your peers as a professional in the industry. 
  • Certification makes you more competitive and may improve your chances of being hired or getting a promotion. 
  • The process of becoming certified and maintaining the designation provides incentives to continue your professional development.

What are the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities I need to have to earn a CHI?

You should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:

  • The history of the interpretive profession
  • The basic principles of interpretation
  • Current literature in the interpretive field
  • Techniques for delivery of personal programs and for development of nonpersonal media
  • How to handle group dynamics 
  • Development and delivery of thematic interpretive presentations
  • Effective interpersonal communication
  • Writing measurable objectives
  • Development and conceptual design of publications, signs, exhibits, and other nonpersonal media
  • Interpretive writing

What are the Prerequisites for earning the CHI?

  • In order to apply for professional certification, the applicant must demonstrate their eligibility  either through academic study, work experience or a combination of both. 
    - Academic experience: the completion of a bachelor’s degree in science, business, arts or an area relevant/related to the field of interpretation.
    - Work experience: the completion of a total of four years (8,000 hours) experience in the category for which certification is requested.
    - Combination/hybrid: the completion of an associate’s degree in science, business, arts, or performing arts and 5,000 hours of experience in the category for which certification is requested

What do I submit for the peer review process of CHI certification?

  • 50 question, open book literature review
  • Answer four of six essay questions (500 words or less)
  • Two examples of non personal media you have helped to create
  • 20-30 min video of a thematic presentation

How much does the CHI certification cost?

Please see Fees page for this information.

How do I get certified as a CHI?

  1. Fill out the online Professional Certification Application and upload your eligibility.
  2. After submitting your eligibility you will be taken to a page where you can pay your certification fee.
  3. Receive in the mail the packet of materials including a checklist of things to do. You will have up to one year to send in your submission.
  4. Mail in your submission to the NAI office. You will receive a confirmation email that your package was received and sent to your peer reviewers.
  5. You will be notified in 2-3 months with your results.

NAI Courses or Trainings to help prepare you prior to attempting this certification:

For more in-depth information, please see our Certification Handbook & Study Guide’s section on the Certified Heritage Interpreter.