FAQs

DPSI scholar

What is an ‘interpreter’ and how does it differ from a ‘translator’?

An interpreter is a qualified individual who speaks two (or more) languages. They are trained in specific fields and terminology, and they are used to enable communication between an English speaker and a limited English speaker (LES). An interpreter can be used in community settings (NHS, social services, local government), for the Police, courts and immigration services, or in conferences. The interpreter provides a spoken (oral) rendition of the message.

A translator also works with two (or more) languages, but this time in written format. Translators are used to translate legal documents, books, manuals for tools, websites…anything and everything you can think of. You need a translation qualification to work as a translator in the UK.

I have no qualifications, can I still become an interpreter?

Yes, of course. The Level 3 Certificate is the foundation level course, perfectly suited to beginners. You need to be fluent in English (at least at B2 level) and you need to be able to speak one other language. For the Level 3, you do not need to know how to read or write in the second language.

Can I find work with a Level 3 certificate?

Yes, the Level 3 is the minimum requirement for most agencies to take you on as a community interpreter. You will be able to get paid assignments in the NHS, mental health, social services, local government, education, as well as all telephone interpreting settings.

I want to work in the courts and police, do I need a different qualification?

Yes, in order to work for the courts (Ministry of Justice), police and Home Office, you need a Level 6 qualification. We offer two types – the DPSI and the Level 6 DCI. You can read about the difference between them here and find the one that suits you most.

Can I go straight to a Level 6 if my English is good enough?

The Level 6 assessments are not recommended for complete beginners. If you’re unsure, call us on 0203 475 7771 and we will be able to advise you.

Are your courses accredited?

Yes, of course. Our courses are accredited by an awarding body and regulated by Ofqual. You can find more information on this in your learner handbook, or by calling us. When you complete the course, you will receive an accredited, nationally-recognised certificate or diploma.

Once I’ve made my decision, how can I join your courses?

It’s very simple – you only need to make your first payment. Once your first instalment is made you can join the course immediately and start learning.

Are your interpreting courses run online?

Yes, our courses are run completely online so there is no need to travel or attend classes. You have 24 hour access to our portal, and any assessor sessions take place at a time that suit you.

Exams and assessments are also done on online platforms – you will be provided a guide on using these.

Do your courses have a start date?

As our courses are all online-based, they are fully flexible and you can start them anytime.

If you have any more questions, make sure to give us a call on 0203 475 7771 or email info@islinguists.com and one of our friendly team will get in touch!