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 Engagement 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 more than 2700 interpreters in more than 150 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.
Video remote interpreting
Video remote interpreting allows agencies to connect with an interpreter via a video conferencing platform rather than on-site or via phone. TIS National offers all agency clients the ability to book interpreters for video remote interpreting services through our online booking system, TIS Online. See Video remote 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:
- National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credential level; and
This ensures that clients receive the most qualified available interpreter.
In some circumstances, we may take limited additional factors such as those outlined below into account when determining allocation. TIS National may also depart from this policy in other exceptional circumstances. However, the highest available NAATI 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 if this is important. We will then allocate the most highly credentialed available interpreter of that gender wherever possible.
Clients working in health or legal settings may request an interpreter with specialist interpreting credentials. For these requests, TIS National will allocate the most highly credentialed available interpreter who holds the required Certified Specialist Interpreter credential1.
Worker screening checks:
Occasionally, clients may specify that a worker screening check, such as a Working with Children’s Check, is required in order to comply with relevant legislation. In these circumstances, we will allocate 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, as this:
- may limit our 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 interpreter with the highest NAATI credential available for your booking.
We will only agree to a specific interpreter request if the client can clearly demonstrate what exceptional circumstances apply to warrant allocation outside our normal Allocation Policy. To make a request, clients must complete an Acknowledgement of requirements for the provision of a specific interpreter form, including details of the exceptional circumstances which apply.
Requests are assessed on a case by case basis and are more likely to be considered favourably if 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.
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 booking will either be offered to the most highly credentialed available interpreter or cancelled, depending on your selection as to whether TIS National can assign another interpreter.
No other considerations are ordinarily taken into account when allocating interpreters to bookings.
- 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
- 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
- will not accept previous performance or prior knowledge of an interpreter as reason for the provision of a specific interpreter, except where related to continuity of care or service.
 Clients should note that the number of interpreters with specialist credentials is currently very limited. TIS National recommends that clients who request a specialist interpreter should also select the option for the most highly credentialed available interpreter. This will allow us to supply an interpreter if there are no specialist interpreters available.
Interpreters should refer to the Allocation Policy Procedural Instruction in the TIS Online interpreter portal for further details on how the Allocation Policy applies to them.
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