Translators Associations North America: STIBC

Serving the profession and the public

Translation Associations North America: STIBCThe Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC) was founded in 1981. It is a non-profit professional Canadian interpreters and translators association, affiliated with CTTIC, the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council, which is the umbrella organisation for interpreting and translation associations all across Canada. CTTIC is a member of FIT, the International Translators Federation.

The main goals established by this translators association from Canada are the promotion of interests of translators and interpreters in British Columbia and also to serve the public, particularly those people who hire the services of translation and interpretation professionals, by providing them with a Code of Ethics. This is a document that all members of STIBC agree to observe. There is also a system of certification for translators and interpreters. STIBC’s certified professional “benefit from occupational title protection” in British Columbia.

This Canadian society is governed by an elected Board of Directors. Its membership comprises 12 founding members and approximately 300 certified translators and interpreters. Members of the translation association are certified in over 80 language combinations (translators: 60 unique combinations; court interpreters: 18; conference interpreters: 4) and more than 140 associate members.

STIBC makes a point of remind everyone that it is not a translation agency. The Canadian translators association requests people not to send to its office any documents for translating. They have a members’ directory for that purpose.


As usual in any translation association, STIBC has established a group of principles that set the bar high. Members shall abide by the organisation’s code of ethics and shall answer to the society for any breach thereof. They are responsible for all aspects of their work and must not contract out of that responsibility by asking a client to agree to an unconditional waiver of liability.

In case anyone makes any claims against the translators association in connection with a member’s work for damages, costs and expenses, it is the member who is responsible and will “fully indemnify and hold harmless the Society from any such claims and all associated legal costs”.

All members are obliged to conduct their business in accordance with competency charts approved by the board of directors. Only in case they are duly qualified will members accept any assignment (this concerns both the languages involved and the skills required). They must never make misleading statements concerning their level of competence or their certification.

The Canadian translation association ensures that, when advertising, its members clearly indicate their certification in terms of languages and membership class (translator, court interpreter, conference interpreter or terminologist). Moreover, members will refrain from unfair tactics when practising the profession.


Any language professional who wishes to join the translators association from British Columbia must first pass an admission examination that will assess his / her translation or interpreting skills or, alternatively, be admitted upon evaluation of his / her credentials or experience. If the application is successful, he / she becomes an associate member of the society. Obviously, they will agree to abide by STIBC’s code of ethics and pay their annual dues.

As associate members, they benefit from reduced rates for professional development workshops, health and dental insurance, errors and omission insurance and opportunities for networking as well as for working with a mentor. Furthermore, only associate members of a provincial translation association are allowed to apply for national certification as translators, terminologists or interpreters.


STIBC confers the status of certified member to professionals who have provided evidence of possessing professional skills as demanded by CTTIC.

Translators are certified after passing a written examination in a specific language combination. Alternatively, their skills and expertise are assessed by the on-dossier method.

As for court interpreters, they are certified after written and oral examinations in a specific pair of languages as well as on knowledge of Canadian law. They can also be assessed on-dossier.

Finally, conference interpreters get certification after passing an oral simultaneous interpreting examination, also in a specific combination, or by the on-dossier method.

All certified language professionals benefit from title protection.

Requirements to apply

To become a member of STIBC, you must be proficient in two languages and have at least one year of experience as a translator or interpreter.

You must fill out the application form and pay the required fee (credit card or cheque). A resume must be submitted, together with documents and additional information. STIBC advises every candidate in case he / she has sufficient education or experience to apply by the on-dossier method or go through admission by exam.

Keep in mind that Canada’s two main languages are English (58.8 % of the population) and French (23.2 %). In British Columbia, there are around 4 million inhabitants and 83% of the population speaks English. Around the world, there are around 328 million native English speakers (the actual figures are estimated to be much higher), whereas French native speakers are about 125 millions.

Lexis is happy to receive and publish news on events and other initiatives by your translators association. Please send us the press releases by your translation association to the email address Lexis – Connections with meaning

Read other news about Translators Associations from North America

back | print


Are you a language service provider?

Become a member of the LEXIS professional community and an official SYNTAX provider