On completion of any of the Levels in Community Interpreting an accreditation is given meaning you will be given a qualification which is validated by an external examination board.
The course is an ideal opportunity for bilingual candidates who wish to pursue a career in Interpreting or gain an industry recognised qualification in the subject area. The course is nationally recognised qualification and will enable bilingual interpreters to work as a community interpreter in their local or wider community.
All interpreters are preferred to have qualifications in one of the following: Modern Languages, Translation & Interpreting, Deaf Studies, British Sign Language & Interpreting. Although we can sometimes accept other forms of qualifications e.g. a non-language degree together with a high level of language skill. The Level of the qualification and the amount of experience will affect the amount of jobs that will be available to you and your rate of pay.
This provides an introduction to the role of the Community Interpreter, including an understanding of some of the dilemmas that interpreters may face in their practice, allows you to develop your knowledge of how public services work in the UK and provides some further guidance as to how to secure Voluntary experience so that you can further your career as a Community Interpreter.
The Level 2 ‘Developing Your Skills as a Community Interpreter’ course is designed for those who may have completed the Level 1 course but who still may need to spend some more time developing their skills in written English, their Study Skills, and/or their knowledge of public service provision, in order for them to be confident of progressing on to the Level 3 course
The Level 3 Certificate covers the knowledge and techniques needed by an interpreter working with the community. This includes issues of professional practice, including knowledge of the code of conduct that interpreters must abide by, as well as the practical aspects of how to prepare for and carry out an interpreting assignment and how to deliver the best service for the parties involved.
Successful completion of this qualification is normally accepted by most Interpreting agencies as being the required qualification needed to be appointed to undertake paid professional assignments as a Community Interpreter in most areas of the public services.
All Community Interpreting courses are tutored by qualified and experienced Interpreters who have both industry recognised qualification and hands on Interpreting experience. They will also provide you with regular 1 to 1 tuition and guidance on any issues you have.
The coverage of all three community interpreting levels is split into 4 units which are covered in all 3 levels of community interpreting depending on your level of study.
Level 1 which covers one unit is Introduction to community interpreting is a basic introduction coving the topic area. Is includes 20 hours of tuitions and 10 hours of home study.
Level 2 and 3 covers the following units, Introduction to Advance Community Interpreting, Childcare and Child protection for community interpreters and Community Interpreting in the Health Services. Below is a explanation of each units:
Unit 2 – Introduction to Advance Community Interpreting, this covers level 2 or 3 in community interpreting and includes 40 hours of tuition and 24 hours of home study and covers the following topics:
- Listening Skills
- Interpreting Techniques
- Language Skills
- Communication Skills
Unit 3 – Childcare and Child protection for community interpreters, this covers level 2 or 3 in community interpreting and includes 40 hours of tuitions and 24 hours of home study, which covers the following topics
- Child Protection Terminology
- The Children’s Act
- Interpreting with Childcare Professionals
Unit 4 – Community Interpreting in the Health Services is covered in level 2 or 3 in the community interpreting course, this course includes 40 hours of tuitions and 24 hours of home studies and covers the following areas:
- Healthcare Terminology
- Interpreting With Health Professionals
To enrol onto the community interpreting course pre entry experience is not essential, but evidence of the following must be shown:
- Excellent command of English and fluent in a second or native language
- Knowledge of current affairs and cultural issues
- Must be reliable, flexible and committed
- Good communication and people skills
- Good memory
- Good ability to learn fast
- Must have the ability to use discretion
- Must have the ability to maintain confidentiality
The community interpreting course is open to all graduates who have studied in a variety of backgrounds and have a high level knowledge of a language or are native in a second language. For graduates who have a degree in Modern Languages, Language Related degree or a degree in Interpreting and Translating this is the ideal course for you, however graduates who have a background in an unrelated degree must have the required language skills. Graduates can come into the field of Interpreting having gained a qualification in an unrelated degree such as Business Studies, Economics, Law or any recognised UK degree.
There are various steps you can take after becoming certified in Community Interpreting, as well as it being an industry recognised qualification you can use this qualification to enhance your skills further in the area of interpreting:
- One step is to take additional modules that will enhance your skills in particular settings such as Health or childcare
- Take steps in becoming a counselling and Initial Teacher Training (PTLLS)
- Community interpreting qualification can help you secure employment or voluntary work in your community
- If you’re a candidate with sufficient spoken and written skills in your languages, you can complete and take the Bi-Lingual Skills Certificate; this will help you broaden your interpreting settings to various fields
Before embarking on a career in Interpreting:
Bear in mind: The demand for bilingual skills varies greatly from language to language, and the language you speak will, in many cases determine the type of work you can get.
Be Realistic: For example, a Pashto speaker is more likely to find interpretation work in the public sector (e.g. NHS) than as a translator of technical documents. Before deciding on which path you wish to take, research the demand for your language within your chosen field and the geographic area you wish to work.
Your long term goals: Whether you wish to pursue interpreting as a full time career and work towards gaining higher level qualifications such as the DPSI, or whether your using interpreting as a ‘in-between phase’; a way to making money for further studies, or just looking for work to match your professional background. Whatever your reasons maybe, bilingual work can act as work experience to help you progress in your chosen career. For example, a bilingual teaching assistant in the UK, with accredited qualifications, would be more likely to be employed with the education sector, as opposed to someone unaccredited.