CAIS, the Centre for the Advancement of Interpreting Skills, is a non-profit organization supported by Simul International Inc, Japan’s leading language service provider. CAIS aims to improve the satisfaction of all actors within the interpretation industry in Japan, including interpreters, agencies, and companies using interpretation services.

The CAIS has been conducting TOBIS tests (Test of Business Interpreting Skills) twice a year since 2005 and provides interpreters with the TOBIS certification, as well as detailed feedback on their performance, helping them to spot their weaknesses and sharpen their interpreting skills. 

The challenge

Interpreting exams in times of social distancing

The TOBIS test consists of short conversations, sentences, and speeches that interpreters need to interpret in the target language in consecutive and simultaneous modes. Before Covid-19, the tests were held in person in Tokyo and Osaka twice a year, but with the pandemic, in-person examinations were no longer possible and an alternative needed to be found. 

The approach

Using a dedicated and reliable RSI platform for online tests 

Having tried other online meeting platforms for this exam, CAIS felt they needed a more stable platform that allowed for a higher number of participants. CAIS then asked the Simul Technical Communications department to get Interprefy involved. 

Interprefy has helped us by making changes to their platform so that it could be used for this exam. Ideas were given during meetings, so in a sense, this online exam was jointly produced. Yayoi Kamo - CAIS Executive Director says.

The outcome

Interpreters from around the world sat their TOBIS exam in Japanese and English on the Interprefy RSI platform in December 2021. 

By conducting the test through Interprefy RSI platform a large amount of people are able to take the exam. In the past, only people who lived near Tokyo or Osaka, or people willing to come to Tokyo or Osaka could take the exam. But now we have applicants from all over Japan and also outside of Japan.  Our mission is to increase satisfaction levels of all the people related to the interpretation industry, so with Interprefy RSI we've made good progress. Yayoi Kamo - CAIS Executive Director points out.

The next round of TOBIS exams will take place in July 2022 on the Interprefy RSI platform.