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National Register of Public Service Interpreters

NRPSI is the UK’s independent voluntary regulator of professional interpreters specialising in public service. We maintain a public register of professional, qualified and accountable interpreters. The National Register is free of charge to access and searchable online.

The need for defendants in court to be able to understand the proceedings, using an interpreter if necessary, was identified in the landmark R v Iqbal Begum Court of Appeal ruling which stated:

‘It is beyond the understanding of this court that it did not occur to someone that the reason for her [the defendant's] silence....... was simply because she was not being spoken to in a language which she understood.’

As a result, the 1993 Runciman Royal Commission on Criminal Justice recommended that a national register of qualified interpreters should be established with the aim of ‘using only interpreters with proven competence and skills, who are governed by a nationally recognised code of conduct’. NRPSI was established in 1994.

Every interpreter on our Register has met the standards that we set for education, training and practice in public service. All Registrants are subject to the NRPSI Code of Professional Conduct and we investigate allegations of professional misconduct.

Even today, parts of the public services are unaware of the need to use qualified interpreters. From the Serious Case Review following the death of Daniel Pelka, aged 5, in September 2013:

‘Without proactive or consistent action by any professional to engage with him via an interpreter, then his lack of language and low confidence would likely have made it almost impossible for him to reveal the abuse he was suffering at home.’

Using the National Register to find an interpreter ensures that you not only employ a qualified professional practitioner but that the interpreter can be held accountable should their conduct or competence fall below the high standards expected of a Registered Public Service Interpreter (RPSI).

There are around 1,800 interpreters in 100 languages on the National Register covering the whole of the UK. It is a dynamic database, with Registrants' details constantly being updated and new Registrants added.


DPSI Online Update; latest news on training and examinations

Share this news story with anyone you know who is keen to become a Registered Public Service Interpreter . . .
Published:27 November 2019
Topic: General News
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Mental Health Act Assessments and Interpreting

Project being proposal and your views are being sought . . .
Published:18 November 2019
Topic: General News
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Good Practice; A Timely Reminder

Paul Tomlinson, quoted in the Financial Times story last week, advises us to hold-fast to good-practice; great piece . . .
Published:11 November 2019
Topic: General News
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Financial Times article from 5th November as a pdf

The article from the FT is reproduced here as a PDF for those having difficulties in finding it online . . .
Published:7 November 2019
Topic: General News
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Letter to the Secretary of State for Business concerning the Debonair Languages debacle, copied to many other authorities and agencies involved . . .

Please copy and paste and send to your MP; more voices raising this issue the better . . .
Published:16 September 2019
Topic: General News
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Private Eye focuses on the Debonair debacle; click to see attached PDF. Make sure you are chasing the liquidators for your outstanding engagement . . .

NRPSI is writing to the authorities regarding this debacle and will keep you informed on progress . . .
Published:11 September 2019
Topic: General News
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Mike Orlov interviewed by Radhika Holmstrom in the latest edition of ITI Bulletin

Get to know the Executive Director of NRPSI . . .
Published:10 September 2019
Topic: General News
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Complete a survey regarding ICIBI Inspection of the Home Office’s use of language services in the asylum process

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) is carrying out an inspection to look at how the Home Office provides language services such as interpreters and translation services to those applying for asylum. Please note survey atta . . .
Published:9 September 2019
Topic: General News
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Removing 2014 Security Clearances in January 2020

Keep on top of when your clearances need to be renewed . . .
Published:28 August 2019
Topic: General News
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NRPSI Statement regarding independence and no commercial influence on the strictest accreditation, registration and regulation of Registered . . .

NRPSI believes that it should be made mandatory for public service organisations to only engage with accredited, registered and regulated interpreters. It advocates putting in place measures to ensure interpreters working for the public services have been . . .
Published:21 August 2019
Topic: General News
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