COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and TIS National services
25 March 2020
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and TIS National services
With the COVID-19 situation changing rapidly, TIS National continues providing language services to the Australian community. This includes people with no or limited English language skills, agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their clients. This ensures that despite the unprecedented circumstances, Australian Government’s programs and services are accessible by all eligible Australians, responsive to their needs, and deliver equitable outcomes, regardless of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
As the coronavirus is first and foremost a public health issue, the Australian Government Department of Health is working across agencies and with states and territories to implement measures to manage the risk of COVID-19. For the latest information, see Department of Health - Novel coronavirus
Working together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia
Due to high call volumes, TIS National encourages agency clients to use the Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS).
ATIS provides fast and convenient access to telephone interpreters in over 50 high demand languages and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To connect with an interpreter through ATIS:
- Call 1800 131 450
- When prompted, say the name of the language you need
- Use the keypad to select the gender of your interpreter
- Enter your ATIS six digit account number and then your four digit ATIS access number
- ATIS will then connect you with an interpreter
- Write down the job number provided for future reference
If you call ATIS and say a language that is not covered, or no interpreters are available, you will be automatically re-directed to TIS National’s contact centre. You should have your client code at hand, in case of this event. An operator will then manually complete your request.
If you are not sure that you have an ATIS account or what your ATIS account and pin numbers are, check this by logging into your TIS Online account. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date on all your accounts.
If you have any further questions about ATIS or need to create an ATIS account, please contact TIS National’s Client Liaison Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
TIS National’s face-to-face interpreting service continues to be available for bookings. However many on-site appointments are being cancelled due to more widespread tight restrictions put in place by the Australian State, Territory, and Federal governments. As a result, many agency clients are now introducing screening processes for all site visitors at their premises. This includes interpreters who are reporting for onsite assignments. TIS National asks our interpreters to comply with instructions from agency clients for their own safety and that of others.
While the agency can book an on-site appointment using TIS Online, TIS National interpreters may choose to complete phone interpreting during this time. As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, on-site or face-to-face interpreting service may become limited.
Non-English speaking (NES) clients – clients with no or limited English language skills
Clients with no or limited English language skills can continue accessing interpreters through TIS National. Please contact the agency you wish to call and they will secure a TIS National interpreter for you. Alternatively, to connect with an interpreter call TIS National directly on 131 450.
With the recent reduction of onsite interpreting services, TIS National encourages all interpreters to log on and accept immediate telephone and ATIS interpreting assignments from your home to support the community during this challenging time. To accept ATIS assignments, follow the instructions under the heading Help & support in TIS Online.
TIS National encourages Interpreters to keep up-to-date with advice provided by the Department of Health including seeking treatment and self-isolating.
Professional support for interpreters
The health and safety of our interpreters is very important to TIS National. We provide free and confidential short term counselling for interpreters and their immediate families through the Department’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). To book an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist in Australia, interpreters should call the EAP provider directly on 1300 360 364.
TIS National has a wide range of promotional products on language service provision. These resources are available in electronic format to view, print or save. Some promotional products are also available in hard-copy format on request, using the promotional materials request form
The TIS National Multilingual poster can be displayed by your agency to help non-English speakers identify agencies, which provide access to our interpreting services. The poster can be printed in your preferred size by changing your printer settings.
The Language identification card is a tool to help an agency identify a non-English speakers’ language.
The I need an interpreter card is designed to assist non-English speakers to request an interpreter when they need to communicate with an English speaker.
The Instructional poster for non-English speakers calling 131 450 displays the process of a call initiated by a non-English speaker to TIS National. It is available in our high demand languages and is downloadable for agencies to display to their clients.
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.
Keep up to date
COVID-19 information and resources:
- Department of Health
- Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080
- Department of Home Affairs – travel restrictions, visas, visitor information
- TIS National contact us
TIS National encourages you to follow public health directives washing hands, maintaining social distancing, coughing in the elbow, sneezing in a tissue and discard appropriately, and other protective measures to get us through this challenging period and assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.
With the situation evolving rapidly, TIS National appreciates everyone’s adaptability, cooperation, and commitment to serving the Australian community under these challenging circumstances!