In the United Kingdom, the amount of public money spent on interpreting services is considerable. The UK government has a legal responsibility to provide “access for all” to many of its public services, which means the public sector is one of the highest users of interpreters.
Public sector organisations requiring professional interpreters include the National Health Service, police forces, HM Prison Service, The National Probation Service, the Criminal Prosecution Service and central and local government.
It is crucial that public sector organisations delivering important and highly sensitive services such as health care and social services use only qualified and suitably experienced interpreters.
No matter how well a person speaks the same language as another person, it does not make them a qualified, experienced interpreter.
This article, published in MultiLingual Magazine and written by Marketing & Implementation Manager Mandy Davies, looks at the history of interpreting and how it has evolved; the impact of modern day life; the cost of providing a high-quality service to public sector organisations, and the risks associated with using interpreters who are not suitably qualified or experienced.