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Guidelines for working with BTIS interpreters


These guidelines are provided in order to facilitate the interpreting process and to ensure accountability and compliance with our code of conduct, safeguarding procedures and professional indemnity insurance cover.

Upon receipt of your booking request form BTIS will select the most suitable interpreter based on the information provided. To ensure that neutrality of our interpreters is maintained alternate interpreters may be allocated for repeat bookings.

The role of the interpreter is to facilitate communication ONLY. This is usually between the service provider and service user. BTIS interpreters are NOT trained as advocates or counsellors. 


·         At the time of booking provide us with as much background information relating to the meeting as possible. This can be anonymised if preferred.
·         Allow a few minutes beforehand to advise the interpreter of the attendees and the content of the meeting.
·         Allow the interpreter to introduce themselves (in both languages) and to explain their role to all parties before the meeting begins.
·         Confirm with the interpreter that they speak the same language/dialect as the service user.
·         Ideally arrange the seating in a triangle so that the interpreter can observe facial expressions & body language of both parties.
·         Keep sections of speech short but use full sentences to allow the interpreter to interpret correctly.
·         Always address the service user directly, rather than through the interpreter.


·         Use jargon or acronyms.
·         Ask or expect the interpreter to ask questions of their own.
·         Ask the interpreter to provide written translations at the meeting.
·         Ask the interpreter to sight translate or summarise lengthy documents instead please read or paraphrase in English the information be interpreted.
·         Give your contact details to the interpreter or ask the interpreter for theirs. All communication should be via BTIS.
·         Wait for the interpreter inside the property. For home visits we ask all of our interpreters to meet professionals outside the property.
·         Forget to sign the interpreter’s timesheet at the end of the session and provide feedback. If preferred please e-mail any feedback to BTIS directly.


10 Oct 2018

Birmingham Translation & Interpreting Services
Birmingham Translation and Interpreting Services
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