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Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS)


The Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS) is a diagnostic and proficiency screening instrument designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities of interpreters and transliterators who use sign language or Cued Speech to facilitate the communication process between persons who are hearing and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The VQAS is administered by the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) in accordance with "Regulations Governing Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing." This assessment process is designed to assist developing professional interpreters to grow their interpreting competence.

The VQAS is administered in two phases: 

The Written Assessment:  The candidate must demonstrate 90% competency on the Written Assessment to become eligible to participate in the Performance Assessment. The Written Assessment registration fee is currently $20 (note, as of January 1, 2023, the fee will increase to $30) and is proctored onsite at the Henrico VDDHH office at least once per month.

The Performance Assessment: The candidate interprets and transliterates from recorded source material to demonstrate receptive and expressive skills while being video recorded.  Each performance is reviewed by a group of trained raters to determine the skill Levels demonstrated, and reviewed by a diagnostician for constructive feedback. The Performance Assessment registration fee is currently $80 (note, as of January 1, 2023, the fee will increase to $100) and is proctored onsite at the Henrico VDDHH office on most Mondays and Thursdays.

Please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the VQAS Assessments and processes.


More VQAS Information

Assessment registration must be completed online with a credit card payment. We do not accept mail-in registrations or payment by check, cash, or money order.

Be aware that you must have a passing score recorded in our database on the Written Assessment before you are eligible to register for the Performance Assessment.

Be aware that you cannot take the Written and Performance Assessments on the same day, and we do not offer the Written and Performance Assessments on consecutive days.

Assessment slots are posted about 8 weeks in advance, on or around the 10th of each month. Slots are limited and tend to fill up quickly.

The online registration system will only display the assessment slots that you are eligible for according to our records. Use the email address that VDDHH has on record for you in order to register. If you do not see any assessment slots displayed, it means either that all of the posted slots are full, or that you are not eligible. Please contact qas@vddhh.virginia.gov if you feel there has been an eligibility error.

If you have never taken and passed the Written Assessment, then you are not eligible for the Performance Assessment.

If you passed the Written Assessment more than 3 years ago, and did not take the Performance Assessment and earn a Screening Level during those 3 years, then you are no longer eligible to take the Performance and you must take the Written Assessment again.

If you were awarded a Screening Level more than 3 years ago and that Level has expired, then you are no longer eligible to take the Performance and you must take the Written Assessment again.

The registration system will not allow you to register for a Performance Assessment slot that occurs after your most recent Level expires, so be sure to register well in advance of your Level expiration date (we suggest 120 days in advance).

Candidates must wait a minimum of 6 months between Performance Assessment sessions.

The online registration system will only display the assessment slots that you are eligible for according to our records. Use the email address that VDDHH has on record for you in order to register. If you do not see any assessment slots displayed, it means either that all of the posted slots are full, or that you are not eligible. Please contact qas@vddhh.virginia.gov if you feel there has been an eligibility error.

Generally, the Written Assessment is offered once per month. Generally, the Performance Assessment is offered on Mondays and Thursdays. VQAS assessments are not available on weekends. Generally, VQAS assessments are held at our Henrico office.

Once you have registered using our online system, expect to receive an email confirming your payment transaction, and an additional email which confirms the time and date of your assessment session. Do contact us if you do not receive these emails within 2 business days of your registration attempt.

VDDHH is not responsible for reminding candidates of their Screening Level expiration date, nor their assessment session appointment. Please be sure to note these dates for yourself.

You must provide VDDHH with a minimum of five (5) working days’ notice if you need to cancel a scheduled assessment. That means if you are scheduled for a Monday Assessment, you need to cancel by 12pm on the Monday PRIOR to your appointment.

If you do not give at least five (5) working days’ notice if you need to cancel, you forfeit your registration fee and will be required to register again. Exceptions are only made in case of emergency, are reviewed on a case by case basis, and may require submission of documentation.

Do commit to an appointment date and time and honor that commitment. There is a high demand for VQAS Assessment slots and, if you schedule a slot and then cancel it, you may be keeping someone else from testing in a timely manner.

Candidates who are “no call/no show” forfeit their testing fee, and must register again for a future assessment slot.

VDDHH does not provide refunds of assessment fees. In some cases, assessment fees may be held for use at a later date.

Your VQAS Written Assessment is valid for 3 years or as long as you maintain a Screening Level on the Performance Assessment.

All VQAS levels are valid for three years from the date of award.

Do not expect VDDHH to alert you when your Screening Level is going to expire. Expiration dates for Screening Levels are clearly noted on the results letter you will received from VDDHH.

If your Screening Level expires, you must retake the Written Assessment before you can take the Performance Assessment again. For this reason, VDDHH recommends that all candidates schedule their Performance Assessment retake at least 120 days PRIOR to their Level expiration date to allow for processing of results.

Written Assessment results are generally emailed to candidates within 5 business days of the testing session.

Screening Level Results from a Performance Assessment may take up to 90 working days (around 4.5 calendar months) to be processed.

Do check the paper you were given on your assessment day to see what your “90 Working Day date” is before you call VDDHH to check on the status of your results. If that date is still more than a week away, please do not call. We know you are eager to receive your results and we are working hard to ensure that you get them well before the 90 Working Day date.

Screening Level Results are typically emailed to candidates. Hard copies of assessment results, including a laminated card, are available by request.

Diagnostic Reports may be delivered at the same time as Screening Level results, but more often than not they are delivered later by separate email.

Do read all of the VQAS Policy Statements posted on this website and provided with your results letter. These are the policies that guide the program. These policies have been developed to ensure that VQAS is a valid and reliable program.

Do ask questions about the policies if you do not understand them.

Do know that the policies are strictly enforced. Exceptions are possible but not common.

Do check the VQAS Policy Statements for changes and updates periodically.

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