About Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap (BTG) medical interpreter training was the first 40-hour training program of its kind and continues to be a pioneer in this field. Bridging the Gap set the standard on how to best train individuals to be professional medical interpreters, a legacy that we are proud of and that we seek to grow every day.

BTG is taught in English and is open to bilingual speakers of all languages. No medical interpreting experience is required! BTG will prepare you with the foundational skills and specialized information to become an effective, competent, and professional medical interpreter. We offer a 40-hour and a 64-hour BTG course.

Do you want to attain national certification as a medical interpreter? The BTG 40- and 64-hour courses qualify as prerequisites for the national certifications provided by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and the Certification Commission for Health Care Interpreters (CCHI).

What You Learn

Learn the necessary skills and best practices to become a qualified medical interpreter through lecture-based lessons, interactive role plays, case studies, and group discussions. At the end of the course, participants receive a signed and individually numbered certificate of successful completion after passing the final exam with a score of 70% or higher. This certificate does not expire and is widely accepted across the country as the gold standard for medical interpreter training. You will also receive a copy of our Bridging the Gap textbook, a bilingual medical glossary, and either a mental health glossary (for the 64-hour BTG course) or a Guide to Common Medications (for the 40-hour BTG).

Among the topics you’ll learn are:

  • Basic interpreting skills
  • Interpreter roles
  • Codes of ethics for medical interpreters
  • Integrated medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology
  • The United States health care system
  • The role of culture in interpreting
  • Communication skills for advocacy
  • Professional development

Ask us about the 64-hour BTG course that includes interpreting in mental health and considerations for interpreting for LGBTQIA communities. Our 64-hour course also addresses health disparities and includes additional medical terminology. Oregon requires at least 60 hours of formal health care interpreter training to become a certified health care interpreter in that state. Our 64-hour BTG training program is approved by the Oregon Health Authority as a prerequisite to becoming a qualified or certified health care interpreter in the state of Oregon.

Who Should Apply

College or Grad Students

Bilingual college or university students with a passion for languages and serving their community will love this interactive course. Working as an interpreter is an excellent part time, flexible job.

Health Care or Human Services Professionals

For those working in – or planning to work in – health care or in human services, medical interpreter training can enhance your skills and engagement with your patients or clients.

Life-Long Learners

If you are a bilingual retiree or interested in pursuing a new career, medical interpreting allows you to have a flexible work schedule and achieve your goal of giving back to your community.


  • Applicants must be able to attend all 40 or 64 hours of training.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a high school diploma, GED certificate, or university/college degree. This will also count as proof of proficiency in the language spoken at the institution you have a degree from.
  • Have or obtain proof of language proficiency in English and one other language that you will be interpreting in. Please refer to the application form for a list of acceptable documents.
  • Submit a completed application packet.

If you don’t have proof of language proficiency, you will need to take an over-the-phone language assessment. The assessment is scored on a scale of 1-12, and a 9 or higher is required as admission into this course. The language assessment costs $75.

Once the language proficiency requirements have been met, we will send you an invoice via email for the course payment. If you are unable to attend the training, your course payment can be used for a different class with CCHCP within one year.

For questions about the course requirements and application process, please email us at bridgingthegap@xculture.org or call us at 206.860.0329, ext. 1236.


There are 15 spots available in each class. When a class becomes full, it will be indicated on the class event below. If you want to be added to the waitlist for a particular class, please submit an application. If a spot becomes available in the class, CCHCP will contact you via email and you will be asked to confirm your attendance and complete the remaining enrollment steps. You will need to communicate with CCHCP staff via email in a timely manner to complete the enrollment process.

Upcoming Classes

Bridging the Gap 40-hour Training – October

Oct 21 - Nov 1, 2024
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

Online via Zoom
Payment & application deadline: September 23, 2024
Cost: $785

Apply here!

Bridging the Gap 40-hour Training- December

Dec 2-13, 2024
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

Online via Zoom
Payment & application deadline: November 4, 2024
Cost: $785

Apply here!

BTG Scholarships

We offer 2-3 scholarships each year for our BTG courses. For more information, visit our Scholarships page.

For more information, email us:


Thank you for teaching me new medical interpreting skills and ethics these past two weeks. I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot! The Cross Cultural Health Care Program is a truly inspirational organization, and I continue to believe strongly in its mission!


Hospital Staff in Washington state