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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.


For those of you who wrote to your MPs, who then received an answer from the Ministry of Justice which did not answer the questions, please find here a . . .

They can insist on specific answers, rather than bland statements of confidence in the language services provision at HMCTS. Please copy and paste this pro forma and send to your MP . . .
Published:24 March 2021
Topic: General News
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HMCTS newly launched Complaints Procedure for issues in language services delivery

Please click here, review and follow up with any evidenced complaints you wish to bring to the attention of the Ministry of Justice . . .
Published:8 March 2021
Topic: General News
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Following answers on 25th February 2021 to questions asked by Alex Cunningham, Shadow Minister (Justice), regarding language service delivery . . .

Click here for further questions which need to be answered regarding the qualifications and experience requirements of HMCTS’s language services . . .
Published:2 March 2021
Topic: General News
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When engaging with a public service interpreter, be it in the courts, a doctor’s consulting room or in a vaccination centre, ensure they are . . .

Check if they have the right qualifications, have done the hard miles and gained over 400 hours of public service interpreting experience and abide by the Code of Professional Conduct - see their NRPSI badge . . .
Published:1 March 2021
Topic: General News
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Extract from an email sent to BBC Woman's Hour regarding professional interpreting services in the NHS

Read this short extract - superb reaction to a radio feature helping promote your National Register . . .
Published:25 February 2021
Topic: General News
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Template Letter for MPs

Copy and send to your local member of Parliament if you too are shocked by the latest news about interpreting services in the Ministry of Justice . . .
Published:18 February 2021
Topic: General News
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NRPSI Reacts to 'Fake Interpreter' Working in HMCTS Settings News Story

Click here for NRPSI's reaction . . .
Published:15 February 2021
Topic: General News
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Latest Trends in Remote Interpreting

NRPSI has been asked to share this latest, easy to read, update on remote interpreting . . .
Published:11 January 2021
Topic: General News
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Follow Up On Developing Changes To Handling Of Rare languages

Call to Action Re Handling of Rare Languages . . .
Published:11 January 2021
Topic: General News
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