Help using TIS National services

Become a TIS National client

Agency and business clients that need access to Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) services need to register to become a TIS National client.

What services does TIS National provide?

TIS National provides interpreting services to agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients. These services also enable non-English speakers to independently access your organisations services and information.

TIS National has access to over 2500 contracted interpreters across Australia, speaking more than 160 different languages.

TIS National provides access to the following interpreting services:

  • Immediate phone interpreting.

  • ATIS automated voice-prompted immediate phone interpreting.

  • Pre-booked phone interpreting.

  • On-site interpreting.

  • Illegal Maritime Arrival (IMA) interpreting.

Immediate and automated phone interpreting

You can access immediate phone interpreting services through TIS National by using the ATIS automated voice-prompted service or through our premium operator-assisted service. See Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS) for more information.

Pre-booked phone interpreting

You may need to book a phone interpreting service in advance of a scheduled appointment or interview. See pre-booked phone interpreting for more information.

On-site interpreting

On-site interpreting is available to book an interpreter to attend an appointment face-to-face at a particular location. TIS National can arrange for any location in Australia (subject to interpreter availability). See on-site interpreting for more information.

Working with TIS National interpreters

Some useful information and tips about working with TIS National interpreters are available to help you ensure you get the most out of our services and communicate accurately with your clients.

TIS National's Allocation Policy

TIS National’s policy is to allocate work to interpreters on the basis of their:

This ensures that clients receive the most qualified available interpreter. 

In some circumstances, limited additional factors such as those outlined below may be taken into account in determining allocation. However, the highest available credential level always remains a primary criterion.

Gender:

TIS National accepts that there are sometimes circumstances where an interpreter of a specific gender is required.  For example, this may be necessary for sensitive matters, especially those of a medical nature. To facilitate this, clients can indicate the gender of interpreter required (where this is important). TIS National will then allocate the highest credentialed available interpreter of that gender, wherever possible.

Working with Children’s Check:

Occasionally, clients may advise TIS National that they require an interpreter with a Working with Children’s Check. Such requests are made in order to comply with relevant legislation and TIS National will therefore give such requests priority when determining allocation. In these circumstances, allocation will be to the most highly credentialed available interpreter who holds the required Check.

Specific Interpreter Requests:

TIS National strongly encourages clients to avoid requesting specific interpreters where possible.

Such requests:

  • limit TIS National’s ability to supply an interpreter, particularly for urgent requests (the specified interpreter may not be available when requested); and
  • may not result in allocation of the most highly credentialed interpreter available for your appointment.

In exceptional circumstances, TIS National may agree to fulfil a client’s request for a specific interpreter.  However, the client must first clearly demonstrate what exceptional circumstances apply to warrant allocation outside of normal policy. 

Whilst such requests are assessed on a case by case basis, they are more likely to be considered favourably where a client can demonstrate that allocation of the nominated interpreter is:

  • essential to maintaining the quality and continuity of care or service; and
  • of clear benefit to the non-English speaking client.

Clients will be required to complete an indemnity form, including details of the exceptional circumstances which apply, before TIS National will consider a specific interpreter request.

Specific interpreter requests must generally be made at least three business days prior to the appointment date. Requests made less than three business days in advance will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and will generally result in an interpreter being allocated in accordance with normal TIS National allocation policy.

If a specific interpreter request is declined, the client will be offered the highest credentialed interpreter available at the time. Where a client chooses not to accept the interpreter allocated in this manner and decides to cancel the request, this must be done at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment start time in order to avoid charges, in accordance with TIS National’s cancellation policy. Cancellations must be made in TIS Online or in writing, as appropriate.

No other considerations are ordinarily taken into account when allocating assignments. 

TIS National:

  • does not keep records on interpreters’ ethnicity, religion or political affiliations and is unable to allocate interpreters based on these considerations
  • will not provide a specific interpreter simply to meet the personal preferences of the client or non-English speaker (NES)
  • will not agree to allocate a specific interpreter outside of the usual allocation policy where there is no evidence to substantiate a history or continuity of care or service.