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Queensland Health Interpreter Service - interpreter quality

interpreter quality

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Queensland Health aims to ensure that all interpreters used by the Queensland Health Interpreter Service adhere to the highest possible quality standards.

The Queensland Government Language Services Policy states that National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) accredited or recognised professional interpreters should be used and that non-professional interpreters should not be used unless the situation is urgent and a professional interpreter is unavailable.

Queensland Health requires that all interpreters engaged by the Queensland Health Interpreter Service abide by the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators code of ethics.

Feedback on the Queensland Health Interpreter Service

Queensland Health encourages staff and clients to provide feedback on the quality of interpreter services provided by the Queensland Health Interpreter Service.

Report on client perceptions of the quality of the Queensland Health Interpreter Service

In 2012, a review of client experiences of the Queensland Health Interpreter Service was completed.

The results of the survey indicate that the service is well placed as a quality service in terms of its capability, appropriateness and accessibility.

Interpreter training

Queensland Health also supports training programs for interpreters who wish to improve their skills in interpreting within a general health context and within a mental health context. 

Queensland Health's preference is to work with interpreters who have participated in this training.

Interpreter accreditation and recognition

Interpreter accreditation

NAATI accredits interpreters whose language skills have been reviewed and certified as meeting the official requirements to operate as a professional interpreter, usually by way of an exam. The assessment tests interpreting skills, as well as the candidate's knowledge of the code of ethics.

NAATI has responsibility for setting and maintaining the standards of interpreting and translating in Australia.

Interpreter recognition

For new languages to Australia, a language test for accreditation as an interpreter may not be available.

NAATI has organised testing that is based on English proficiency and people who pass this testing are awarded NAATI recognised interpreter status.

The Queensland Government Language Services Policy states that NAATI accredited or recognised professional interpreters should be used and that non-professional interpreters should not be used unless the situation is urgent and a professional interpreter is unavailable.


Last updated: 15 June 2012

What's new?

Queensland Health's 2017-18 report on Our Story, Our Future: Queensland's Multicultural Action Plan 2016-17 - 2018-19
Queensland Health's progress against achieving actions in Queensland's Multicultural Action Plan.

Report on client perceptions of the quality of the Queensland Health Interpreter Service
A new report on the perceptions on clients on the quality of the Queensland Health Interpreter Service is now available.


National Interpreter Symbol

The blue interpreter symbol is the nationally recognised interpreter symbol.

national interpreter symbol

Click here for more information about this symbol.


Complaints about health or other services

Do you have concerns about a government or non-government health service or are you unhappy with the way an issue has been handled? Do you think you have been treated unfairly or are you concerned about a decision or action of a health professional?

It is ok to complain, and there are organisations that are independent of the government that can help you, free of charge.

Go to the Queensland Independent Complaint Agencies' website for more information.