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Executive Summary (Extract)

"The results of a UK-wide online survey commissioned by Interpreters for Justice and carried out independently by Involvis. The online survey was designed to elicit the opinions and experiences of both ALS and non-ALS registered public service interpreters and to provide insight into the way in which the Framework Agreement has impacted the Criminal Justice System.

965 interpreters responded to the survey; 84.9% (818) of whom are registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) and 11% (106) who are registered with Applied Language Solutions (ALS).

Key findings:

  • Just 11.1% (91) of professional interpreters, registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters, are currently registered with Applied Language Solutions (ALS)
  • 95.7% of NRPSI interpreters refuse to register with Applied Language Solutions, representing a significant loss of highly qualified, experienced interpreters from the sector
  • The most common reason for refusing to register with ALS was due to the agency lowering the standards of professional interpreting (95.1%), closely followed by the low hourly attendance rate (90.9%) and the lack of quality assurance/poor assessment process (85.1%)
  • 79.8% of NRPSI’s continue to receive direct calls from courts wishing to book an interpreter, highlighting the inability of ALS to supply
  • Despite the persistent direct calls from courts, 61.4% (462) of all respondents continue to turn down these requests with just 18.1% of interpreters accepting bookings outside of the Framework Agreement
  • 32.1% (222) of NRPSIs are planning to supplement their income through other related work whilst 16.8% (116) of NRPSIs have either changed careers or are planning on changing careers altogether and working in a different field of work
  • Of those respondents who are currently registered with Applied Language Solutions (ALS), almost a third of them (30.3%) are not currently accepting jobs
  • 27.5% of those currently registered with ALS stated that whilst they did some work for the company, they have now ceased accepting jobs. The main reasons for ceasing to work for ALS include the low hourly attendance rate (87.0%) and partial travel time payment (87.0%); closely followed by the unethical practices of the agency (73.9%) and partial reimbursement of travel costs (78.3%)
  • 42.1% (32) of ALS interpreters were not required to undergo the mandatory assessment
  • Furthermore, 86.8% (33) of ALS interpreters stated that they had been offered work despite not having undertaken the required assessment
  • Just over a quarter of respondents (25.3%) stated that while they were registered with ALS, they had not been asked to undergo vetting / CRB checks
  • 90.3% (28) of ALS interpreters stated that they were still offered bookings for legal interpreting despite not having been vetted / CRB checked"
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