Help using TIS National services
Become a TIS National client
Agency and business clients that need access to TIS National interpreting services need to register to become a TIS National client.
Not sure? Talk to someone about becoming a client, by contacting the TIS National Client Liaison Team.
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 2300 contracted interpreters across Australia, speaking more than 140 different languages.
TIS National provides access to the following interpreting services:
Immediate phone interpreting (131 450).
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 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.
Telehealth video interpreting
If you are a general practitioner, medical specialist, nurse practitioner and allied health professional, you can book an interpreter to join a Telehealth video consultation using your choice of video conferencing platform. These may include: healthdirect Video Call, Zoom, WebEx and Skype. See Frequently Asked Questions for agencies 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 Interpreter Allocation Policy
TIS National’s policy is to allocate work to interpreters on the basis of their:
- National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credential level; and
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. TIS National may also depart from this policy in other exceptional circumstances. However, the highest available credential level always remains a primary criterion.
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 (or equivalent). 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.
- 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 acknowledgement of requirements for the provision of a specific interpreter 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 standard TIS National interpreter 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 with sufficient notice, in accordance with TIS National's Cancellation Policy in order to avoid charges. Cancellations must be made in TIS Online or in writing, as appropriate.
No other considerations are ordinarily taken into account when allocating assignments.
- does not keep records on interpreters’ ethnicity, nationality, country of birth, 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.