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Queensland Health Interpreter Service - training programs for interpreters

Training programs for interpreters

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Two training programs for interpreters are available:

Interpreting within a health context

The goals of this training program are to:

  • reinforce skills, knowledge and best practice in interpreting
  • enhance understanding of a health care interpreter’s role
  • develop awareness of issues involved in health interpreting, including a heightened appreciation of the relevance of professional ethics.

Interpreting is a life-long learning process, especially in health, where every consultation may present new and diverse challenges for an interpreter, both in the medical terminology aspect as well as other technical and ethical aspects.

The training program encourages participants to upgrade their subject knowledge and interpreting skills on an on-going, self-paced basis, and provides participants with a good foundation to respond well to ethical dilemmas that they may encounter from time to time.

The ultimate result being sought is to increase the self-confidence of interpreters in the performance of their duties in a health context, so that - together with clinicians and staff -  interpreters can help facilitate the best health outcomes for the Queensland Health patients they assist.


There are two modules:

  • Module 1 - for interpreters with less than five years experience as an interpreter, or those who are not accredited by NAATI.
  • Module 2 - for interpreters accredited by NAATI and with more than five years experience.

Program content

The training program will address the following issues to lesser or greater extents, depending on the training module:

  • Theory of interpreting
  • The interpreter’s toolbox - ethics, linguistic and interpreting skills, subject knowledge, technique, disposition, support system
  • Culture and equivalence in meaning
  • Role of the interpreter
  • Stress and the interpreter
  • Preparing for an assignment
  • Sight-translation and procedural consent forms
  • NAATI and AUSIT (accreditation authority and professional association)
  • The health system in Queensland and structure.

Who should participate?

All interpreters who provide services to Queensland Health should participate. Queensland Health's preference is to work with interpreters who have participated in this training.

Click here for more information on working with Queensland Health as an interpreter.

How do I enrol in training?

Training programs are offered each quarter at no cost to participants. Interpreters interested in participating in these programs should contact Queensland Health Multicultural Services on 3328 9871.

Interpreting within a mental health context

Click here to go to the Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre’s webpage to learn more about training programs for interpreting in a mental health context.

Last updated: 3 May 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.