What title or certification does the CanopyCredential exam provide?

The CanopyCredential test helps healthcare organizations identify test-takers as “Qualified Bilingual Staff” (QBS) who can care for patients directly in languages other than English in accordance with ACA Section 1557.

Unlike medical interpreter certification, for which there are only two widely accepted national certifying bodies, determining whether someone can function as QBS, for example in the absence of an interpreter, is left up to each individual institution.

CanopyCredential is a validated and standardized medical language proficiency test that gives both test-takers and institutional administrators the most detailed report and feedback of any available test for bilingual clinical staff. CanopyCredential scores are mapped to the CanopyScale for Bilingual Proficiency in Healthcare Communication. We developed our own scale because there was no existing, recognized proficiency scale that was specific to the healthcare domain. To do this in a highly standardized and systematic way, we relied on the level descriptions of the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR), a versatile and internationally recognized scale designed to be adapted for different contexts. More information about the CanopyCredential scorecard can be found in our Toolkit for Bilingual Healthcare Communication

CanopyCredential is also the only available scenario-based QBS test, meaning that it includes a series of tasks that mimic real clinical encounters, with multiple test questions that pertain to a single scenario with a single patient. Unlike a phone-based test, test-takers watch authentic videos of patient encounters that serve as the basis for listening comprehension questions and speaking prompts.

In addition, for individuals who need to show proficiency in both English and Spanish, CanopyCredential provides this measure. However, if a test-taker does not need a medical English assessment, they can waive out of the English portion of the test depending on their language background, offering maximum flexibility.

To fully align with ACA Section 1557, CanopyCredential is also the only available test for QBS that measures socio-cultural communicative competence. This means that the test prompts and scoring include things like avoiding bias and being able to switch between technical and non-technical language.

Canopy does not prescribe a specific cutoff score for Qualified Bilingual Staff, as this is ultimately up to each institution or an individual's employer. However, we do have a recommended minimum of Canopy Conversational Level 2 (equivalent to CEFR High B2). An organization that prefers to be more conservative might choose Canopy Advanced Level 1 (equivalent to CEFR C1). It can also be appropriate for healthcare organizations to identify individuals at intermediate proficiency who may speak to patients in languages other than English in low-risk, routine situations, or with an interpreter also on the line. Canopy can work with organizations directly to determine this type of designation. Please contact us for more information.