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Do you work with public service interpreters?

Holding a conversation via a third party is a strange experience. It’s slow, it’s a little clunky and even with the best of interpreters it isn’t easy. Have you been trained yet in this difficult skill? Without training, you may not be making the most out of the interpreting services you receive.



A two hour course

This ten unit course is for people who work with public service interpreters (not conference interpreters.) It covers both face to face and telephone interpreting.

Is this training for you?

The course will be invaluable if you work in-


  • Health care
  • Social work and advocacy
  • Immigration
  • Social care
  • Legal and judiciary
  • Policing


Are you from outside the UK?

If so, much of unit 8 will not be relevant. You are welcome to enrol on this course – most of the course content is universal.

The two main skills gaps

By the end of the course you will have gained two skills. You will know how to work in harmony with an interpreter and how to identify competence in interpreter.

​​Can you work in harmony with an interpreter?

The reality is that it often falls to interpreters to educate staff on how to communicate appropriately. Furthermore, staff sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what the interpreter can and can’t be expected to do.

What you will learn

Among other things –


  • ​Where to seat everyone
  • How to communicate appropriately
  • Common mistakes: how not to drive your interpreter crazy
  • How to brief and debrief
  • Questions you shouldn’t expect your interpreter to answer
  • Tasks you shouldn’t ask your interpreter to do.


Can you identify competence in an interpreter?

Did you know that the role of interpreter is not a protected profession? Unlike lawyers or doctors, there is nothing to prevent unqualified people from working in this field in the UK. For this reason you will learn-


  • ​Levels of training within the profession
  • Signs that your interpreter is skilled and trained.
  • Things an ethical interpreter would never do.

How to work effectively with interpreters

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