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Dear Registrant,

AN UPDATE FROM NRPSI

One of the main issues facing many of our registrants at present is the severity of the problems they face as a result of the changes made by the MoJ through the contract placed with ALS/Capita.

NRPSI has sought to engage with the MoJ officials on a number of occasions with, to be honest, little result other than the barest acknowledgement, and recently not even that. Therefore we have again raised our concerns, this time directly with Kenneth Clarke, both on the inadequacy of payments made to interpreters under the new regime and in particular on the very real threat to the maintenance of quality standards which threatens not only the professional standing of qualified interpreters but also undermines the delivery of a fair and equitable justice system.

A copy of this letter has been placed on our website (please click here to access the letter) and will also be sent to the increasing contacts we have made on this issue in the media and the many organisations with which we have been working to voice the concerns of the profession and get changes made.

We recognise that FW/ALS situation is detrimental to the interests of justice and of our Registrants. We have been impressed by the actions individual interpreters have been taking in refusing to sign up to ALS and take work through them. We think we could play a stronger role in opposing the threat to the profession and to our registrants by working more closely with others. Therefore at our next board meeting (29th May) we will be considering a recommendation that we move from being an observer only at the meetings of the Interpreters for Justice umbrella group to become active participants in seeking to overturn the present system and restore the quality provision of properly remunerated interpreting opportunities for our registrants. Recently we met with a number of interpreting organisations to discuss a variety of issues, principally the effect of the MoJ changes.

We met APCI – Association of Police and Court Interpreters, CIoL – Chartered Institute of Linguistics, ITI - Institute of Translation & Interpreting, NUPIT/Unite – National Union of Professional Interpreters and Translators, PIA - Professional Interpreters^ Alliance, SOMI - Society of Official Metropolitan Interpreters UK Ltd and SPSI – Society for Public Service Interpreting.

A report of the meeting is on our website (please click here to access the report). The website also contains a useful summary of what the NRPSI has been doing in its first year of operation as an independent regulator and the responses to a number of questions asked of us at the meeting.

In summary, all agreed that the prime purpose of the NRPSI was to retain the quality of public service interpreting and that the Board of NRPSI should ensure that there was no watering down of qualifications or registration criteria.

All the organisations agreed that they would continue to support the NRPSI and encourage their members and stakeholders to do so, encouraging registrants to renew their registration.

Whilst the MoJ issue is of major and immediate importance we recognise that not all our registrants are directly affected by it and that we need to have an eye on the future. We have therefore recently concluded a detailed strategic review that first of all outlines our vision -

To make the National Register the first choice for anyone who needs a qualified Professional Interpreter

and then moves on to:

  • state how we will achieve this
  • acknowledge a number of the changes that are taking place and how we should respond to them
  • describe those we will work with to achieve that vision
  • demonstrate why both interpreters and those employing them should use the National Register
  • make the case for improved recognition for interpreters
  • and acknowledge that “It’s a two way deal” . Registered interpreters sign up to a code of conduct that underpins the quality of the Register and in return clients that use our Register should treat them fairly
  • finally stating that “We are stronger together”

    This sets out our intent and commitment. The full strategy statement can be found on our website (please click here).

    Whilst it is important to have a long term strategy we also know that we must maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of what we do on a day to day basis.

    Thus, in response to recent criticism about errors in our register we undertook a detailed audit and found that two registrants were incorrectly listed as being current whereas in fact they had left the register. Whilst it was only two that was two too many, we apologise for this. As a Board we know how the mistake occurred and corrective measures have now been put in place.

    We plan to communicate openly with our registrants through emails such as this more regularly and frequently in the future.

    In the meantime any comments and suggestions from you would be very welcome.

    TED SANGSTER

    Chairman

    On behalf of the Board

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