In the last two decades, we have seen significant changes in the Public Service Interpreting sector in the UK. It went from a largely unregulated industry with no global standards to an increasingly more bureaucratic and regulated industry.
That means that we have moved from a situation where any bilingual speaker could be an interpreter, to one where public service interpreters are now expected to be trained and encouraged to get the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) from the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
I have been involved in training interpreters for the DPSI for 15 years. It has always been my mission not only to prepare students to pass the exam, but to empower them to deal with real life assignments: e.g. court, police and immigration for the legal option and GP, hospital and mental health appointments for the health option.
Since many of these standards are fairly recent – some of them were only produced or formalised while I was working as a senior manager in the industry and I was involved in some of those discussions with the courts and police, for example – I was faced with a big problem of lack of training materials to use when training my students. For that reason, I started to laboriously write my own materials, seeking to prepare my students as best as I could for a profession where the unexpected always happens, and if an interpreter is not confident of his/her role it becomes easy to make mistakes and ‘get in trouble’.
This first volume of the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting Resource Pack Library is a collection of some of those DPSI preparation materials, produced in the same format as Unit 1 of the DPSI exam, to serve a dual purpose: assist DPSI candidates to prepare for the exam and assist all other interpreters to learn what happens in real-life settings, such as police station interviews, home office asylum screening interviews and more.
I hope you enjoy it!
Author: João Madeira, MBA, MA, PgD IT, CIoL DPSI, CIoL DipTrans,