Free Interpreting Service for pharmacies


The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency.

Pharmacies can access the Free Interpreting Service to provide community pharmacy services by calling the Pharmacy Priority Line.

Watch an educational video for pharmacists

Why should pharmacies engage an interpreter?

Australia has rich a 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. 

Pharmacists dispense medicine that can be dangerous if taken incorrectly, and information about medications can be complex. It is essential that people can communicate effectively with pharmacy staff about the medications they are taking, how to take them correctly, and any risks or side effects that may be associated. Engaging an interpreter can also protect pharmacists from professional risk.

Using the Free Interpreting Service is easy and convenient. It is quick and simple to register, and you will be connected to a telephone interpreter within a few minutes of calling.

Services available to pharmacies

Pharmacies can use the Free Interpreting Service to access interpreting services delivered by TIS National, including:


Pharmacists and other staff working in pharmacies are eligible for the Free Interpreting Service if:

  • the pharmacy has a PBS approval number OR a pharmacist is registered with AHPRA
  • they are working in a community setting (hospital pharmacies should refer to their hospital’s interpreting policy)
  • the client is eligible for Medicare.

Pharmacies can use the Free Interpreting Service to dispense medication, provide general advice, and deliver other general pharmacy services, including but not limited to:

  • screening and risk assessment
  • immunisation
  • wound care
  • smoking cessation
  • opioid substitution therapy
  • providing leave certificates.

The Free Interpreting Service can also be used for programs delivered under the Community Pharmacy Agreement. This includes:

  • Medication Management Programs
  • Home Medicine Reviews
  • MedsChecks, including Diabetes MedsChecks
  • Residential Medication Management Review and Quality Use of Medicine Services
  • Medication Adherence Programs
  • Dose Administration Aids
  • Clinical Interventions
  • Staged Supply Programs.

Register for the Free Interpreting Service 

Each pharmacy will need a unique client code to access the service. Pharmacists not associated with a pharmacy can register for their own code.

To register for a client code, 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

More information

Pharmacy Priority Line
1300 131 450
24 hours a day, every day of the year

Download the PDF version of the Free Interpreting Service - pharmacy information sheet
Download the DOC version of the Free Interpreting Service - pharmacy information sheet