Frequently Asked Questions for agencies

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) has produced some Frequently Asked Questions designed to answer some common questions for agencies and businesses about our services.

If you cannot find what you are looking for on our website please contact us and a TIS National staff member will help with your enquiry.

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Getting started with TIS National-Expand content

What is a ‘NES initiated’ call?

A ‘NES initiated’ call is a call where a non-English speaker (NES) calls TIS National directly and requests the assistance of an interpreter to speak with your agency.

If your agency has elected via your account’s communication settings to accept NES initiated calls, TIS National operators will connect the NES to your agency with an interpreter already on the line.

When TIS National receives a NES initiated call, our operator will phone your agency and introduce themselves. When your agency has agreed to accept the call the operator will connect you with the NES and interpreter and provide the job number before leaving the conversation.



Service charges, free services and invoicing-Expand content

I am a Medical Practitioner. Am I eligible for free interpreting services?

Medical practitioners (defined as general practitioners, nurse practitioners and approved medical specialists) are eligible for the Free Interpreting Service and access to the Medical Practitioner Priority Line when providing services that are:

  • Medicare-rebateable 
  • delivered in private practice, and
  • provided to non-English speakers who are eligible for Medicare. 

Nursing and practice support staff who are working with a private medical practitioner registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code. Please note that doctors must use their own code and not share these details with other doctors.

Doctors who meet the above criteria can apply for access to the Free Interpreting Service and the Medical Practitioner Priority Line by completing the Register agency form.

What is the Medical Practitioner and Pharmacy Priority Line?

The Medical Practitioner and Pharmacy Priority Line is a free phone interpreting service which helps medical practitioners and pharmacists quickly connect to an interpreter to communicate with their non-English speaking patients.

The Priority Line is available to eligible medical practitioners and pharmacists 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Contact the Free Interpreting Service Team on 1300 575 847 for more information about this service.

TIS National services-Expand content

Does TIS National provide conference interpreting?

No, TIS National does not provide conference interpreting services.

TIS National endeavours to develop services in line with feedback received from our clients. To provide TIS National with feedback about services you require which are not currently available complete our online feedback form to let us know.

TIS Online for agencies-Expand content

I work in a medical practice. Can all of our doctors share a TIS Online account?

In some instances, TIS National can provide a single client code for a medical practice. Please call TIS National to discuss your medical practice’s needs on 1300 575 847.

Working with TIS National interpreters-Expand content

Can I contact a TIS National interpreter directly?

Clients must contact TIS National directly with any queries relating to its services. Clients must not request interpreters to provide their contact details to facilitate direct contact between the agency and interpreter. To ensure services are delivered in line with TIS National standards, clients must call TIS National on 131 450 for all interpreter job bookings, this also includes when a call disconnection takes place.


What should I expect when using a TIS National interpreter?

TIS National gives priority to interpreters who have National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credentials, which provides a guarantee of interpreter skill and accuracy.

TIS National interpreters understand their responsibilities and perform under the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) Code of Ethics. Our interpreters maintain professional behaviour and keep the content of a conversation confidential whilst abiding by their Code of Ethics. Our interpreters maintain professional behaviour and keep the content of a conversation confidential whilst abiding by their Code of Ethics. Our interpreters facilitate communication with the non-English speaking client and do not conduct interviews, give advice, complete forms or provide their own personal opinions.

For more information on what to expect, please refer to our Working with TIS National Interpreters webpage