Find a translator or interpreter
All Queensland Government agencies are required to provide and pay for qualified interpreting services for customers who are hearing impaired or have difficulties communicating in English.
It is important to ensure that all, particularly frontline, staff are aware of the requirements under the Queensland Language Services Policy (PDF, 1.3MB) (DOCX, 25 KB), and the Queensland Language Service Guidelines (PDF, 651KB).
These guidelines detail your organisation’s responsibilities and obligations regarding:
- when and how to engage qualified interpreters
- procedures to obtain interpreters in planned and unplanned (emergency) situations
- how to respond to and distribute the Queensland Interpreter Card
- budget considerations for the payment of interpreters by your agency
- the benefits and importance of working with qualified interpreters for effective communication in legal, health and other government situations.
Refusing to provide these services can be considered discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act (Queensland) 1991 (PDF, 889KB).
Determine if you require an interpreter or translator
Check if your customer:
- has trouble communicating in English—refer to the Queensland Language Services Guidelines (PDF, 650 KB) for help determining this
- presents a Queensland Interpreter Card
- is deaf or hearing impaired.
Find the right service
To help find the right type of service for the customer, you’ll need to check:
- if immediate on-the-phone or onsite interpreting is required (video conferencing or Skype services may be available)
- the customer’s language and dialect (indicated on their Queensland Interpreter Card if presented)
- if there are specific cultural requirements or sensitivities such as gender or ethnicity of the interpreter
- if the provider is appropriately qualified (accredited at the Professional or Paraprofessional level, or recognised by certifying body NAATI).
Please be aware:
- Interpreters without NAATI credentials should only be used when the situation is an emergency and a qualified interpreter is unavailable. The potential for misinterpretation, addition of personal opinions or advice and/or misreading of language or cultural nuances is increased by using interpreters that are not qualified.
- Bilingual/multilingual staff can support customers speaking their common languages, but they should not be used by agencies instead of qualified interpreters.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are unique to Queensland. Make sure that interpreters are qualified in Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages when using interstate language service providers.
Access the following list of service providers, depending on your customer’s needs—you can also find accredited providers through the NAATI online directory or Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc.
Translating and interpreting service providers
- Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)
- Auslan Connections
- MultiLink Interpreting Services (MIS)
- ONCALL Interpreters and Translators
- Queensland Interpreting and Translating Services (QITS)
- National AUSLAN Interpreter Booking and Payment Service (NABS)
- National Interpreting and Communications Services (NICSS)