Frequently Asked Questions for interpreters

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) has produced some Frequently Asked Questions designed to answer some common questions for current and potential interpreters.

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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Becoming a TIS National interpreter+Expand content

Can I work from home?

Yes. TIS National interpreters can work from home by completing telephone and video remote assignments. Interpreters working from home are required to have a quiet area to complete assignments without distractions. See clauses 192 to 196 in the operational manual which comprises part of your Deed of Standing offer.

Do I need a police clearance to join the panel of service providers?

Yes. You are required to provide a certified copy of a current (less than one year old) National Police History Check/National Police Certificate (NPC) when applying to become a TIS National service provider. Please note that you are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining the NPC.

When does my NPC need to be certified? 

The following types of National Police History Checks/National Police Certificates (NPCs) can be verified online by TIS National and therefore do not need to be certified before you upload them:

  • NPCs obtained online from organisations accredited with Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). These NPCs are likely to be emailed to you
  • Electronic NPCs issued by Western Australia Police. 

All other NPCs, including paper NPCs issued by Western Australian Police or other police agencies, are not able to be verified online and therefore must be certified before you upload them.

Do I need an Australian Business Number to work as an interpreter?

No. TIS National interpreters are contracted as individuals not as a business therefore you do not require an Australian Business Number (ABN). TIS National automatically deducts tax from interpreter pay.

Do TIS National interpreters receive superannuation?

Yes. Superannuation is paid to a superannuation fund of the interpreter’s choice.

Does TIS National appoint interpreters in my language?

TIS National welcomes enquiries from Australian citizens and permanent residents who are interested in becoming interpreters.

TIS National contracts interpreters in more than 150 languages and always looks to appoint interpreters in line with demand from our clients.

See career opportunities for interpreters to view our current priorities for appointing new service providers.

How do I apply to become an interpreter?

To become a TIS National interpreter, you must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand citizens residing in Australia and highly proficient in English.

We encourage interpreters to have certification from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) where available.

See career opportunities for interpreters to view our current interpreter credential requirements.

TIS National encourages interpreters to be available to provide services between 9 am and 5 pm (AET), Monday to Friday.  However, TIS National offers services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in becoming an interpreter with TIS National and meet the criteria, complete the interpreter application form and submit with the following documentation. (Please note applicants are not guaranteed appointment to the TIS National panel):

  • a certified copy of any NAATI credentials you hold

  • a copy of your National Police History Check/National Police Certificate (NPC). Your NPC must not be more than 12 months old. If your NPC is from Australian Federal Police or State Police, you will need to provide a certified copy. Click here for more information

  • a certified copy of a Working with Children Check from your state or territory of residence, where required (Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and South Australia). Also see FAQ: What do I need to know about Working with Children Checks?

  • certified copies of 100 points of identification documentation.

  • a certified copy of proof of your Australian citizenship or permanent residency, or New Zealand citizenship

  • your resume

  • details of any interpreting experience you have including reference letters

How do I contact TIS National about becoming an interpreter?

Detailed information on becoming a TIS National interpreter is available on the TIS National website. If you have further enquiries you can contact the Interpreter Liaison Team. 

TIS National appoints interpreters from around Australia in more than 150 languages. 

All requirements for joining TIS National, are conducted online and by telephone, video conference or email. 

How many assignments will I receive from TIS National?

When you have been appointed to the TIS National panel you can choose your hours of work and whether to accept or decline assignments TIS National offers you. 

TIS National offers assignments to available interpreters with the highest level of National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credential first.

The number of assignments offered to service providers is based on demand from our clients and can vary based on a variety of factors. We cannot guarantee the volume of assignments you may be offered. However, we encourage Interpreters to be logged in whenever available.

How much will I earn as a TIS National interpreter?

As an interpreter your pay will depend on the number of assignments offered, accepted and completed by you, so your pay will vary during each pay cycle.

TIS National offers work to available interpreters with the highest level of National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credential first.

I speak multiple languages. Can I interpret in all of these languages?

Interpreters can only interpret in languages included in their Deed of Standing Offer with TIS National.

It is possible to join the TIS National interpreter panel in more than one language.  However, TIS National requires you to have National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) certification in any additional languages (where it is available) before you can provide services in other languages.

If TIS National appoints you to provide services in more than one language, the languages you can provide services in will be listed on your TIS National identification card. 

You must not interpret for any languages not approved in your Deed of Standing Offer signed with TIS National as you may not meet the required credentials or hold the appropriate skills required for that language. 

If you think you meet the requirements to interpret in more than one language, please contact the Interpreter Liaison Team.

What do I need to know about Working with Children Checks

What is a Working with Children Check (WWCC)? 

A WWCC (or its equivalent depending on the jurisdiction) provides a level of screening designed to protect children from possible harm perpetrated against them by workers. It is a legal requirement for workers to hold a valid WWCC before undertaking certain types of work involving children. The requirements currently differ from state to state.

Why do I need a WWCC?

It is a legal requirement for workers to hold a valid WWCC before undertaking designated types of work involving children. This can include certain interpreting assignments with children. To ensure compliance with the law, TIS National policy requires interpreters to hold a WWCC to undertake these assignments. A valid WWCC is required to meet eligibility to be offered Illegal Maritime Arrival (IMA) deployments.

How do I obtain a WWCC?

To apply for a Working with Children Check (or equivalent) see the relevant link below for your state or territory.  

Please note that TIS National applicants are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining the WWCC.

How long is a WWCC clearance valid for?

Working with Children Checks (or equivalent) have different validity periods in each state or territory. To find out more information about each state or territory, see links listed under ‘How do I obtain a WWCC?’ above.

Do I need a WWCC for every state or territory for phone interpreting involving children?

WWCC requirements differ from state to state. In some states or territories, interpreters undertaking certain jobs involving children (including telephone interpreting) will require a valid WWCC from the state or territory where the child is located. TIS National is developing systems to ensure compliance with this requirement.

How do I show TIS National my WWCC card/letter?

You can upload a certified copy of your WWCC certification to your interpreter profile by logging into your TIS Online portal. For more information on certifying documents, see question: ‘Who can certify my documents?’

What is the NDIS-WSC and do you need the check?

The NDIS – WSC is the new National worker screening arrangement to assess whether the person carrying out work on behalf of the registered/unregistered provider poses a risk or threat to the person with a disability/client. 

  • While similar to a Working with Children Check (WWCC) or Working with Vulnerable People Registration (WWVPR) this is a separate requirement specifically for the NDIS.  
  • NDIS Worker Screening Clearances expire every five (5) years.
  • They are portable across all states and territories.
  • More information on NDIS Worker Screening Clearances and associated checks can be found at NDIS Worker Screening Check | NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (ndiscommission.gov.au).

TIS National requires all interpreters completing work for an NDIS agency to hold the worker screening clearance.  

You will not be able to undertake work for NDIS agencies without the clearance.

State agency links:

What is the process to apply to become a TIS National interpreter?

TIS National uses the following process to appoint new service providers:

  1. Application: You submit your application, including relevant documentation to TIS National via the online application form
  2. Review: In line with our current demand, a decision will made based on your qualifications, experience and availability about whether your application will progress to the next stage.
  3. Due to the large number of applications we receive each week, the assessment of your application may take some time. 
  4. Interview: We may conduct an interview with you. You can prepare for your interview by developing your understanding of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) Code of Ethics and preparing some of your own examples to demonstrate your understanding of the code. 
  5. Outcome: TIS National will email you about the outcome of your application.
  6. Official paperwork: If your application has been found suitable you will be progressed to the next stage of our appointment process. TIS National will send you a Deed of Standing Offer to sign and paperwork which you need to complete and return to TIS National.
  7. Induction interview: Upon receipt of your correctly executed deed and further documentation you will be invited to attend a one on one telephone induction with a TIS National
  8. Interpreter Liaison Officer. The induction is a process that every interpreter joining the TIS National panel of service providers must complete. Induction helps our new interpreters to gain knowledge about completing assignments, how to use our systems and other important information. You will also meet a TIS National Interpreter Liaison Officer.
  9. Panel Appointment: After you complete the one-on-one induction session your interpreter profile will be activated and can start accepting assignments from TIS National.
     

When do I need to be available to work as an interpreter?

TIS National encourages interpreters to be available for work between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday. This is when TIS National receives the majority of our calls from clients.

TIS National provides services 24 hours a day, every day of the year so you may still be able to accept work outside of these hours.

Interpreters can choose to accept or decline work offered from TIS National.

When does my NPC need to be certified?

The following types of National Police History Checks/National Police Certificates (NPCs) can be verified online by TIS National and therefore do not need to be certified before you upload them:

  • NPCs obtained online from organisations accredited with ACIC  (Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission) (these NPCs are likely to be emailed to you)
  • Electronic NPCs issued by Western Australia Police.

All other NPCs, including paper NPCs issued by Western Australian Police or other police agencies, are not able to be verified online and therefore must be certified before you upload them.

Who can certify my documents?

When TIS National requests supporting documents, you must provide a certified copy of the original document.
 
What is a certified copy?
 
A certified copy is a copy of a document which has been endorsed as a true copy of the original by an authorised person. 
 
This is usually a photocopy of the original document which includes:
 
‘Certified true copy of the original’ (or similar) wording 
and is signed by the authorised person. 
 
The authorised person must also include the following details:
 
their name and contact details
which authorised profession or occupation they belong to
the date the document is certified.
 
Many authorised persons use a stamp to provide the required information, but hand written certification is also acceptable as long as all the required information is provided.
 
When getting a document certified, you need to take the both the original document and the copy with you so that the authorised person can compare them before certifying the copy. 
 
Who is an authorised person to certify documents?
 
Any of the following authorised persons can certify a document as being a true copy.
 
1. A person who is currently licensed or registered to practise in one of the following occupations:
  • Chiropractor
  • Dentist
  • Legal practitioner
  • Medical practitioner
  • Nurse
  • Optometrist
  • Patent attorney
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Trade marks attorney
  • Veterinary surgeon
2. A person enrolled as a legal practitioner in the Supreme Court of a State or Territory, or the High Court of Australia 
 
3. Other persons:
  • Agent of Australia Post in charge of an office supplying postal services to the public 
  • Bailiff
  • Bank, Building Society or Credit Union officer with 5 or more continuous years of service
  • Chief executive officer of a Commonwealth court
  • Clerk of a court
  • Commissioner for Affidavits or Commissioner for Declarations
  • Fellow of the National Tax Accountants’ Association
  • Finance company officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • Holder of a statutory office not elsewhere specified in this list
  • Judge of a court
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Magistrate
  • Marriage celebrant (registered)
  • Master of a court
  • Member of Chartered Secretaries Australia
  • Member of Engineers Australia (other than at the grade of student)
  • Member of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants
  • Member of the Australian Defence Force who is:
    • an officer
    • a non-commissioned officer within the meaning of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 with 5 or more years of continuous service
    • a warrant officer within the meaning of that Act
  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants or the National Institute of Accountants
  • Member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory
  • Member of a local government authority of a State or Territory
  • Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Minister of religion (registered)
  • Notary public
  • Permanent employee of Australia Post with 5 or more years of continuous service who is employed in an office supplying postal services to the public
  • Permanent employee of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority, a State or Territory or a State/Territory authority, or a local government authority with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • Person before whom a statutory declaration may be made under the relevant State or Territory law
  • Police officer
  • Registrar or Deputy Registrar of a court
  • Senior Executive Service employee of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority, or a State or Territory or a State/Territory authority
  • Sheriff or Sheriff’s officer

Why should I be a TIS National service provider?

TIS National is one of the largest interpreting services in Australia. TIS National’s resources and depth of experience makes it ideally placed to provide professional interpreting services for all Australians.

TIS National:

  • provides telephone interpreting services 24 hours, every day of the year

  • offers immediate and pre-booked telephone, video remote and on-site interpreting

  • has more than 50 years' experience in providing language services

  • delivers Access and Equity to eligible persons with no or limited English language skills in the Australian community

  • offers assignments to the highest credentialed interpreter available in the language requested first 

TIS National also insures interpreters for professional indemnity, public liability and workers compensation.

Information for TIS National interpreters+Expand content

How can I be offered Specialist Services assignments?

The TIS National Specialist Services Team maintains a list of interpreters available for specialist services assignments. If you indicated during your induction that you are interested in accepting these assignments, you may be added to this list.

Specialist services work offers depend on requests received from our clients and priority is given to the highest accredited available interpreter.

How do I cancel an assignment which I can now no longer complete?

You should only accept assignments you can commit to completing (time/day and complying with specific instructions) and only cancel an assignment for urgent matters. If you are no longer available to complete an assignment you have accepted, contact TIS National immediately.

If you need to cancel an assignment that is more than 24 hours away, please return the booking through your TIS Online Portal. If the booking is less than 24 hours away, please contact the Channel Support Team on 1300 655 082 or through email at tis@homeaffairs.gov.au.

How do I confirm a phone interpreting assignment?

You do not need to confirm telephone interpreting assignments. Telephone interpreting assignments are automatically confirmed in TIS National’s systems. 

A TIS National operator may call you to confirm an end time of an assignment where our system was unable to capture this information.

How do I confirm an on-site interpreting assignment?

Interpreters are required to confirm each interpreting assignment in their TIS Online portal the day after it is completed.

To confirm an on-site assignment using TIS Online, please use one of the following options:

  1. If the assignment was completed within the scheduled time, you can easily finalise the job in your TIS Online portal. Uploading your signed Service Delivery Form (SDF) is strongly encouraged. 
  2. If the assignment went for longer than the scheduled time, you need to vary the job in TIS Online within 48 hours of completion of the assignment within the new job end time entered. You are required to upload your signed Service Delivery Form (SDF) as soon as possible to ensure you are paid for the extra time you worked.
  3. If there were any other issues with your assignment that you wish to notify TIS National about, you need to dispute the job in TIS Online. Uploading your signed Service Delivery Form (SDF) is strongly encouraged. 

How do I let TIS National know I am on holiday or unavailable to work?

You can manage your availability in the TIS Online Portal by navigating to the Availability page on the My profile section of the Portal.

How do I log in to show that I am available to accept immediate phone work?

You should use the Interpreter IVR Application/ ATIS System to log in to indicate that you are available to accept phone interpreting work.

Since TIS National introduced voice biometrics, there are now two different processes to log in.

Interpreters who have provided consent to voice biometrics

To log in to Interpreter IVR Application/ ATIS System for phone interpreting:

  1. Call 1800 880 178.
  2. When prompted, enter your interpreter identification number followed by the # key.
  3. To confirm your identity, please repeat the phrase 'In Australia, my voice identifies me'.
  4. You will then be asked to enter the time you want to finish work. Enter a time using 24 hour format then press the # key.  
  5. Interpreter IVR Application/ ATIS System will confirm the time that you are available and the time you will be logged out of the system.

Interpreters who have not provided consent to voice biometrics

You should use the Interpreter IVR Application/ ATIS System to log in to indicate that you are available to accept phone interpreting work.

To log in to Interpreter IVR Application/ ATIS System for phone interpreting:

  1. Call 1800 880 178.
  2. When prompted, enter your interpreter identification number and PIN number.
  3. You will be asked to enter the time you want to finish work. Enter a time using 24 hour format then press the # key.  
  4. Interpreter IVR Application/ ATIS System will confirm the time that you are available and the time you will be logged out of the system.

How does TIS National allocate work?

TIS National allocates work using a digital list of interpreters who are logged in as available to accept work. The list is programmed to automatically give priority to the highest credentialed interpreter available, providing these interpreters with more work opportunities.

By offering work to the highest credentialed interpreter first, we are able to provide the best quality services to our clients.

To be offered as much work as possible from TIS National, ensure you log in as available using the Interpreter IVR and consider gaining a higher level National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credential.

What should I do if I am lost or running late for an on-site assignment?

If you are lost, cannot find the site contact person, or you are running late for an on-site or video remote assignment, contact the Channel Support Team immediately on 1300 655 082 so we can notify the client.

What should I do if I have not been paid correctly?

If you believe you have not been paid correctly, contact the Interpreter Liaison Support Team via email.

Interpreters are paid fortnightly on Thursdays. A detailed pay slip is emailed to interpreters prior to each pay day.

Assignments must be confirmed in TIS National’s systems the Monday before the next pay day to receive payment for an assignment.

Remember to maintain records of all of your job numbers and the length of the assignments so that you can compare these with details on your pay slips.

If there are any assignments you believe you have not been paid for, or underpaid for, please email a list of the job numbers and details of what you think may be incorrect to the Interpreter Liaison Support Team and we will investigate them for you.

When am I likely to be offered a lot of work?

Our peak demand hours are between 10 am and 5 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Monday to Thursday.

TIS National currently experiences lower demand for services between 8 am and 10 am (AEST) from Monday to Thursday and all day on Friday.

To be offered as much work as possible from TIS National, ensure you log in as available using the ATIS system during our peak demand times.

Why do I need to transition to the new NAATI credentials?

It is not mandatory to transition to the new credentials, however, TIS National strongly recommends that you do.

Our allocation policy is changing to give preference to the new credentials. From 1 July 2018, all practitioners who have transitioned will be given priority when allocating work ahead of those who have chosen not to transition.

TIS National encourages you to transition before 30 June 2018 when our allocation policy changes.

Prior to this date, there will be no cost to transition. After this date, NAATI will charge a fee to transition.

When you transition, you will also receive a free listing in the NAATI online Directory.

If you gained your credential after 2007 and choose not to transition, your credential will lapse as NAATI will no longer revalidate these credentials.

TIS National supports the goals of the new certification model. It is an important step in the ongoing professionalisation of the interpreting industry in Australia.

For more information, please see the NAATI fact sheet, transitioning to certification: Why do it? www.naati.com.au/media/1633/why-transition-handoutpdf.pdf

Interpreter support+Expand content

Access to professional support

We consider the health and safety of interpreters on the TIS panel to be important and seek to provide programmes for their on-going support. TIS National provides free and confidential short term counselling for interpreters and their immediate families through the department’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Benestar is the department's provider of the EAP and their staff are professionally qualified psychologists or social workers.

The EAP can cover a broad range of topics for work related or personal issues including:

  • career counselling
  • workplace mediation

  • interpersonal issues

  • performance and learning issues

  • organisational change

  • discrimination/harassment

  • emotional or psychological health

  • family/relationship issues

  • legal/financial issues

  • addictions/gambling issues

  • health and lifestyle

Contact the Interpreter Liaison Team for more information about the EAP for interpreters.

Does TIS National provide sick leave or annual leave?

No. TIS National interpreters are independent contractors and are paid based on the number of assignments they accept and complete.

If you are sick and unavailable to accept work from TIS National, you can update your availability through TIS Online or please contact the Interpreter liaison unit to discuss further. 

How do I provide feedback to TIS National about an assignment?

TIS National values interpreter feedback as it helps us to identify potential issues and improve the services we provide to our clients.

To provide feedback about a TIS National interpreting assignment, please send an email to interpreters@homeaffairs.gov.au. Please ensure you include the assignment details in your email.

For any enquiries or to discuss feedback, please call the Interpreter Liaison Team on 1300 132 621 during business hours, 9 am to 5 pm (AET).

What happens if a client provides feedback about my services?

When TIS National receives feedback about an interpreter, it is recorded in our systems before being referred to the appropriate area in TIS National to investigate.

If we receive feedback relating to you, an Interpreter liaison officer will investigate the feedback and may contact you to discuss the details and provide advice and coaching to assist you with future assignments. Feedback should be seen as a learning opportunity and as part of your development, the Interpreter Liaison team handle all feedback in a non-biased, open and honest way.

What is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping assesses the performance of TIS National interpreters.

The performance of TIS National interpreters is assessed by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and the information is used to positively address performance issues with individual interpreters.

Interpreter Liaison officers may contact you to discuss findings from a mystery shopped assignment. We encourage you to use this opportunity to actively consider new techniques to improve the quality of service you provide to TIS National clients.

What support does TIS National provide to interpreters?

TIS National interpreters receive direct support from a team of dedicated Interpreter liaison officers to assist with enquiries relating to interpreting assignments.

Interpreter liaison officers can assist to clarify ethical issues, report workplace health and safety concerns and provide feedback about interpreting assignments. The team can also provide assistance if you need to de-brief after a particularly challenging assignment.

You can contact the Interpreter Liaison Team by phone or email.

On-site assignments+Expand content

How will I receive notifications for available on-site assignments?

What do I do if I am lost, running late or there is no site contact present for an on-site assignment?

If you are lost, cannot find the site contact person, or you are running late for an on-site assignment, contact the Channel Support Team on 1300 655 082 immediately so we can notify the agency client.

What should I do if an agency client asks me to relocate from the booked address of an on-site job to a different location?

In most cases, relocating to a different address on a client’s request is permissible. However, before relocating to the new address, you must advise TIS National of this request and the new address by calling Channel Support Team on 1300 655 082. This is important for Work Health and Safety considerations and insurance purposes.

If you are unable to call TIS National, you must send an email to tis@homeaffairs.gov.au. If extraordinary circumstances prevent you from advising TIS National prior to travelling to the new site, you must inform TIS National as soon as possible after arriving there. 

If a client asks you to travel to a new location during a job, you should use your own car or take public transport wherever possible.

You may decline a client request to relocate to a different address if it is not practical for you to do so.

What should I do if an agency client asks me to travel in their vehicle during an on-site job?

You should avoid travelling in an agency client’s vehicle. If a client asks you to travel to a new location during a job, you should use your own car or take public transport wherever possible. You may only travel in an agency client’s vehicle in exceptional circumstances where:

  • the NES is also travelling in the vehicle 
  • it is likely that the NES will require interpreting services during the journey, and
  • there are no other practical or appropriate options (such as using your own car or taking public transport).

In addition, you may also accept requests made by a law enforcement or intelligence agency client to travel in their vehicle. In this case, you must advise TIS National by calling 1300 655 082 wherever possible, preferably before you travel in the vehicle. If telephoning is difficult, you may send an email to tis@homeaffairs.gov.au.

In most circumstances, agency client requests for an interpreter to travel in their vehicle must be approved in advance. If a client other than a law enforcement or intelligence agency asks you to travel in their vehicle after you arrive at the site location, you must advise them to telephone Channel Support on 1300 655 082 to seek approval.

You must also satisfy yourself about the safety of the proposed travel before getting into an agency client’s vehicle. This includes satisfying yourself that the risk of COVID-19 is managed appropriately. If you have any concerns about travelling in an agency client’s vehicle, you must inform the client and immediately telephone the Channel Support Team on 1300 655 082 for further advice.

You must never travel in a NES client’s vehicle in the course of undertaking an interpreting job. TIS National does not permit this in any circumstances.

Pre-booked telephone assignments+Expand content

How will I receive notifications of available pre-booked telephone assignments?

Pre-booked assignments are booked through TIS Online, eligible interpreters can elect to receive notifications via email that a pre-booked assignment is available in the interpreter portal.

What do I do if I do not receive a call from TIS National at the scheduled start time?

You are required to remain available until the end of the booking period in case the agency does call before the scheduled finish time.

What happens if the call drops out while I am undertaking an assignment?

If the call drops out, you are required to remain available for the entire booking time for reconnection to the call.  You must not undertake any further assignments within this booked time.

TIS National assignments+Expand content

What happens if the client amends the date and time of the assignment or decides to cancel altogether?

TIS Online will alert interpreters automatically to any changes to non-urgent bookings. In some cases, interpreters will be required to accept amendments to dates and times. The TIS National Channel Support Team will liaise directly with the interpreter via email or telephone for changes to urgent (jobs scheduled to take place in the next 24 hours) bookings.

What happens if the client wishes to switch from one service channel to another e.g. from video remote interpreting to on-site?

Interpreters should follow the original mode of interpreting listed on the assignment. If an agency wishes to switch to another mode of interpreting during an assignment, they should cancel the existing booking and make a new booking for the desired channel.

What happens when the non-English speaker doesn’t answer during an agency-initiated immediate or pre-booked telephone assignment?

If the non-English speaker doesn't answer the call, the agency may request you to leave a message.

Please collect:

  • the non-English speaker’s name (if available)
  • the name of agency client
  • the name of agency.

For example:

Hello [insert non-English speaker’s name]

I am an interpreter calling from TIS National on behalf of [insert agency staff member’s name] from [insert agency name].  Please contact TIS National on 131 450 and ask to be connected to an interpreter in [insert non-English speakers language] and to call [agency name]. 

What types of assignments may I be offered from TIS National?

TIS National may offer you the following types interpreting assignments:

  • Immediate operator-assisted and automated telephone interpreting services (ATIS) 
  • Pre-booked telephone assignments
  • Video remote interpreting assignments
  • On-site assignments

Assignments depend on the requests we receive from our clients. The duration of assignments, the location of assignments and the type of client you are providing services to will vary depending on the request.

See assignment information for interpreters for more information.

TIS Online for interpreters+Expand content

Are IMA deployment jobs managed through TIS Online?

No, you can’t see Illegal Maritime Arrival (IMA) deployment jobs in TIS Online.

If you accept an IMA deployment and you’ve already accepted other bookings for that period, you need to return them using TIS Online. You also need to update your ‘Special unavailability’ in TIS Online to show that you are not available for other work during that period.

Are jobs posted to TIS Online at a particular time of the day?

No. Our agency clients also have the ability to log into TIS Online to make new booking requests. New jobs become available as the agency makes the booking request. While most agencies typically operate during business hours, they can make a new booking request at any time of the day or night.

Can I accept a job from the email notification or do I need to log into TIS Online?

You need to log into TIS Online to accept a job. The email notifications include a link which you can click on to take you to the job in TIS Online. 

You are encouraged to review TIS Online regularly, as returned assignments will not trigger an updated email.

Do I need to stay logged in to TIS Online?

It’s entirely up to you how often you want to log into TIS Online.

TIS Online sends you notifications by email when new jobs become available to you, but you may also like to log into TIS Online when it’s convenient for you to view all of the jobs available to you (including returned assignments). You can opt out of receiving these notifications in the Email Communication Subscription section of your profile in TIS Online.

Do I still need to get SDFs signed at each on-site job?

Yes. You still need to get a Service Delivery form (SDF) signed at each on-site job and complete a digital SDF for video remote jobs. Please submit a copy to TIS National when the booking runs for longer than the scheduled time. All on-site jobs should be finalised through TIS Online.

Does TIS Online manage jobs in all languages?

Yes. On-site, video remote and pre-booked telephone bookings for all languages are managed through TIS Online.

Does TIS Online notify me when a new job is available to me?

Yes. TIS Online automatically sends you a notification by email when a new job becomes available to you. You will also receive notifications by email and/or SMS when:

  • your profile is updated
  • one of your bookings has changed
  • one of your bookings is cancelled
  • one of your bookings is ready to be finalised
  • one of your bookings is varied or disputed.

You can opt out of receiving these notifications in the Email Communication Subscription section of your profile in TIS Online.

A reminder to check TIS Online regularly, as Handbacks do not trigger an update email.

Does TIS Online offer jobs to all interpreters or just to me?

Jobs are offered to all of the highest-credentialed interpreters who meet the job requirements at the same time, before being progressively released to lower credentialed interpreters until an interpreter accepts it.

In line with TIS National policy regarding requesting a specific interpreter, it is rare that a job would be offered only to you, however in the case a job is offered only to you, you have 24 hours to accept it before it will be made available to other interpreters.

You can view jobs which have been offered specifically to you in the ‘Jobs offered only to you’ section in TIS Online.

A copy of the TIS National allocation policy can be found in the Help and Support section of TIS Online.

 

How can I access support using TIS Online?

You can contact the Channel Support Team if you need assistance using TIS Online. The team is available during standard business hours. For urgent enquiries outside of these hours, please call 1300 655 082. 

How can I provide feedback about TIS Online?

You can provide feedback about TIS Online by contacting the TIS National Interpreter Liaison Team on 1300 132 621 or via email at interpreters@homeaffairs.gov.au

How much will I be paid for jobs offered through TIS Online?

Jobs managed through TIS Online attract the same rates as on-site work as detailed in Schedule 3 of your Deed of Standing Offer.

Jobs are paid in accordance with the current pay calendar. Jobs which are finalised before the specified cut-off dates will be paid on the following pay day.

Is there a TIS Online app?

No. At this stage you need to access TIS Online using an internet browser, however if may be useful to bookmark TIS Online onto the home screen of your mobile device for easy access.

Is work distributed fairly through TIS Online?

Yes. All interpreters have the same opportunity to accept jobs in TIS Online.

TIS Online always offers jobs to the highest credentialed interpreters who meet the job requirements first. Jobs are only made available to interpreters with a lower credential level when they have not been accepted by a higher credentialed interpreter.  TIS National allocation policy is available in the Help and Support section of TIS Online.

What can I do through TIS Online?

TIS Online allows you to:

  • log into your personal TIS Online account and update your details and availability for pre-booked telephone, video remote and on-site work
  • view all of the pre-booked telephone, video remote and on-site interpreting jobs available to you
  • accept pre-booked telephone, video remote and on-site jobs and view and manage any changes to your jobs
  • finalise or dispute on-site jobs which you have completed
  • view historical jobs you have completed
  • update your notification status, receive notifications by email and SMS as new jobs become available to you or the status of your accepted jobs change
  • change your availability for phone, pre-booked and onsite assignments

What happens if an interpreter accepts a job just before I do?

TIS Online does not allow two interpreters to accept the same job.

In this case, you will see a message stating that the job is no longer available for you to accept. In this case, it’s a good idea to refresh your screen regularly when using TIS Online to make sure you only see jobs which are still available to be accepted.

What is TIS Online?

TIS Online is an automated booking tool which allows agency clients and interpreters to request and manage their TIS National pre-booked telephone, video remote and on-site interpreter bookings online.

What jobs can I see in TIS Online?

TIS Online shows you pre-booked telephone, video remote and on-site jobs which you meet the criteria for and are eligible to accept. This is based on:

Will TIS Online work on my computer?

TIS Online has been designed for both PC and Apple-based operating systems and is optimised for recent internet browsers. To ensure TIS Online renders most effectively, we recommend you regularly update your internet browser.

Video remote assignments+Expand content

Can the platform, meeting link and instructions change at any time before and during the booking?

The client can edit the videoconference platform, meeting link, and instruction fields up to two hours after the scheduled end time of the assignment in TIS Online. TIS National will send you updated notifications in TIS Online and via email without requiring you to accept these changes in the portal. You are strongly encouraged to check the assignment’s videoconference details at all times in TIS Online.

Do I need to complete a SDF form for video remote interpreting?

Yes, a specific video remote SDF form has been developed.  This is slightly different as it does not require agency signing.  This form is only available in PDF format and can be accessed here or in the Help and Support section of TIS Online.

How will I receive notifications of available video remote assignments?

Video remote assignments are booked through TIS Online, interpreters can elect to receive notifications via email that a video remote interpreting assignment is available in your TIS Online portal. The email will notify you of the video conference platform which the agency client has elected to use. No other video conference details will be provided. 

I am having trouble logging in to the required video platform e.g. cannot hear/see the client, or connect to the conference. Do I call the Channel Support Team for assistance?

All agencies will supply contact details to assist you with technical difficulties as this is a mandatory booking detail at the point of booking the video remote assignment.

Immediately call the Technical Support contact number recorded in the job for assistance.

If you have tried and there is no answer, the Channel Support Team will call the booking contact to ensure both parties can communicate for urgent resolution.

If both you and TIS National are unable to get in touch with the agency, please remain available until the assignment time has ended. 

If you are unable to join the meeting or you are having technical issues that cannot be resolved, please contact the Channel Support Team on 1300 655 082.

I have accepted a video remote interpreting assignment; however, I am unfamiliar with the platform.

You should research the platform and ensure you have the necessary software prior to performing the assignment. You should also test any platforms you are unfamiliar with well before the assignment begins.

I have accepted a video remote interpreting video assignment using Healthdirect. Do I need an account? How do I conduct a test prior to the call?

You do not need a Healthdirect account to connect to provide interpreting service. The Healthdirect Video Call service is browser-based. You can test your system using this link: https://vcc.healthdirect.org.au/precall.  

What do I do if I am running late for a video remote interpreting assignment?

Please contact the Channel Support Team on 1300 655 082.