Interpreter certification

Credentials from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) are the only qualifications officially accepted for the interpreting profession in Australia.

There are three main levels of interpreter credentials available through NAATI:

  • Certified Interpreter (or higher)

  • Certified Provisional Interpreter

  • Recognised Practising Interpreter

Some TIS National interpreters hold none of the credentials outlined above and are referred to as 'Nil-credentialed'. This generally occurs in very low demand languages where NAATI offers neither certification nor recognised practising status. These interpreters undergo TIS National interview and reference checking processes to ensure their work is of a high standard.

TIS National allocates interpreters in order of the allocation preferences in the table below:

Allocation preference

NAATI Certification Model

Suitability

1

Certified Conference Interpreter

Suitable for international or high level events and meetings involving conference type settings, which require consecutive or simultaneous interpreting. Use of conference interpreting booths and equipment are often required by the interpreter to deliver interpreting services.

2

Certified Interpreter

Suitable for specialisations such as health, legal and formal proceedings. Also suitable for general conversations and interpreting non-specialist dialogues.

3

Certified Provisional Interpreter

Suitable for general conversations and interpreting non-specialist dialogues.

4

Recognised Practising Interpreter

Granted in emerging languages or languages with low community demand for which NAATI does not offer certification. Interpreters with this credential have recent and regular experience as an interpreter and are required to complete regular professional development. Suitable for general conversations and interpreting non-specialist dialogues.

5

Previous NAATI credentials

There are some interpreters who are yet to transition to the new certification scheme introduced by NAATI in January 2018. As new NAATI credentials are preferred, TIS National will endeavour to allocate interpreters with new credentials ahead of those with old credentials.

If there are no transitioned interpreters available at the time of booking, TIS National will allocate the job to interpreters who hold older NAATI credentials, starting with the highest old credential available. While these credentials do not have all the benefits of the new NAATI certification scheme, they do remain valid.

Senior Conference Interpreter

Conference Interpreter

Professional Interpreter

Paraprofessional Interpreter

Recognition

6

Nil credentialed

Some TIS National interpreters hold none of the credentials outlined above and are referred to as ‘Nil credentialed’. This generally occurs in very low demand languages where NAATI offers neither certification nor recognised practising status. These interpreters undergo TIS National interview and reference checking procedures to ensure their work is of a high standard. For languages where certification/accreditation is not available, TIS National may be able to allocate a Recognised Practising or nil-credentialed interpreter.

 

More information is available on the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) website.