Free Interpreting Service general information
The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency.
The following groups can access the Free Interpreting Service:
- Medical practitioners: when delivering Medicare rebatable services in private practice. Nurses, reception and other practice support staff can also access the service when working with the registered medical practitioner.
- Pharmacies: to provide community pharmacy services.
- Non-government organisations (NGOs): when providing casework and emergency services, where the organisation does not receive substantial government funding to provide these services.
- Real estate agencies: to discuss any private residential property matter.
- Local government authorities: to communicate about most local government services.
- Trade unions: to assist workers to access support and advice.
- Parliamentarians: for constituency purposes.
- Eligible allied health professionals: when delivering Medicare rebatable services in private practice within specific local government areas (LGA).
You can check your eligibility for the Free Interpreting Service using the eligibility calculator on the TIS National website.
Why should eligible groups engage an interpreter?
Australia has rich cultural and linguistic diversity. The 2021 census revealed that over 5.5 million Australians speak a language other than English at home. Furthermore, Australians represent over 250 different ancestries and speak more than 350 languages.
The Free Interpreting Services helps eligible groups to communicate with clients who have limited or no English language proficiency. Engaging a credentialed interpreter can facilitate better access to essential services for these clients and is particularly important for conversations in technical, legal or health contexts.
Using the Free Interpreting Service is easy and convenient. It is quick and simple for service providers to register and they can be connected to a phone interpreter within a few minutes of calling.
Eligible groups can use the Free Interpreting Service to access interpreting services delivered by TIS National, including:
- immediate phone interpreting
- Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS)
- pre-booked phone interpreting
- on-site interpreting (not available to pharmacies or real estate agents)
- video remote interpreting.
Register for the Free Interpreting Service
Each eligible individual, group or organisation will need their own unique client code to access the service. To register for the Free Interpreting Service, complete the online client registration form on the TIS National website. If you require assistance with registering, contact TIS National on 1300 575 847, or email@example.com
- Read: about the Free Interpreting Service: tisnational.gov.au/FIS
- Read: about how to access TIS National’s online booking system TIS Online
- Watch: videos about TIS National services and how to work with interpreters tisnational.gov.au/videos
- Order: free promotional materials from the online TIS National catalogue: tisnational.gov.au/promomaterials
- Contact: TIS National on 1300 575 847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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