TIA consult with NAATI: update

As promised, TIA has continued to listen to your concerns and address them at our regular meetings with NAATI, CEO, Mark Painting.

In turn, Mark has shown us that, as the new certification system rolls out, he is open to discussion and exploring solutions to some of the challenges that members raise. TIA welcomes and congratulates NAATI on their cooperation and endeavours to address our concerns. Here is an update on the issues :
  • Clarification regarding evidence of work practice
  • NAATI advises that the requirement in relation to demonstration of work practice for pre-2007 transitions to certification can be a simple as a statement made on your own undertaking that you have been actively practising as an interpreter or translator or both.
  • Other options such as statements from your accountant or a logbook are suggested alternatives and therefore not compulsory.
  • You need only state on your application that you are practising and that you have not maintained records to date.
  • Allocation of space on the directory for non-transitioning practitioners (pre-2007)
NAATI held the position that non-transitioning practitioners would not be included on the directory. In a subsequent agreement with AUSIT, NAATI agreed to redirect the consumer to the AUSIT website for access to details of listed accredited TI. On behalf of members, TIA proposed to NAATI : That, ­in line with our case for professional standards and aligned remuneration, that practitioners’ qualifications be included in the directory in addition to NAATI credentials. NAATI’s response is that the reason qualifications are not included is:
  • Any additional information included in the directory would be seen as endorsed by NAATI; For NAATI to endorse such information, it would have to verify it. This is beyond NAATI’s purpose, which is to verify NAATI credentials.
  • The field where practitioners were previously able to provide further information about their subjects of expertise, interest etc. has been eliminated and has now been replaced with a field where practitioners can add a url link to their own website where they can offer more detailed information about themselves and their services.
  • Translators and Interpreters Australia invites members to write to us and let us know how we can further support you to promote your qualifications and experience. tia@professionalsaustralia.org.au
  • One way in which NAATI addresses the matter of qualifications is through its new policy of offering testing only to candidates who have completed training. Ie. You cannot apply for a certified interpreter credential without first completing a formal interpreting qualification (advanced Diploma or higher) at a tertiary institution.
They have also teamed up with TAFE SA and RMIT University to offer four (VET) units of core competency to candidates in new and emerging languages – where tertiary training is otherwise unavailable. More info: https://www.naati.com.au/news-events/news-events-container/media-releases/seselja-announces-funding/ TIA welcomes initiatives that promote training and building the professional profile of TI practitioners, particularly in view of the supply/demand constraints that have to date, undermine d professional standards.

Once certification is fully implemented, accreditation numbers, or applicant numbers as they were originally known, become defunct. How can accredited translators’ or interpreters’ work completed before the introduction of certification, be verified? This applies to transitioning and non-transitioning practitioners as there is no link between old and new NAATI numbers.

For example: A translation that was completed by an accredited translator should still be considered current, particularly if it is provided for bureaucratic or legal purposes, which are generally subject to lengthy processes.

The work of an interpreter or translator used as evidence in a legal trial eg. witness statements, translation of transcripts. NAATI has considered these matters and has agreed to provide access to a facility for verification of accreditations and will be announcing this shortly. Photographs and identifying data TIA became aware of considerable objection to the requirement to submit a current photograph to NAATI upon transitioning.

It was understood that NAATI had indicated to AUSIT that practitioners had the right to determine how their photograph could be used. TIA therefore sought clarification for members and NAATI has confirmed that practitioners may state, either on their transition application, through the MY NAATI online facility or with an email to NAATI that they do not wish their photograph to be published, with a statement along these lines: “I do not give permission for NAATI to display my photo anywhere that is publicly accessible”. The only other use of a photograph as we understand it is for the issue of a NAATI ID card. NAATI confirms that they will work harder to make people aware that the display on the verification system can be turned off. Date of birth Some members have queried the purpose of submitting a date of birth on their application for transition.

NAATI advises that the purpose of collecting a DOB is for integrity of identification purposes. Irrespective of what individuals put in or how they configure their My NAATI info, DOB will NEVER be displayed publicly. The system won’t allow it. The MY NAATI facility will allow practitioners to manage the amount of personal data visible to the public so that members with privacy and safety concerns may have some control of their information. To alleviate your privacy concerns, NAATI will be issuing a new, updated privacy policy statement in the near future. TIA encourages members to carefully consider their security and privacy when sharing their information with the organisations and businesses with which they engage.

Always ask questions and seek advice if you are uncertain. Professional Practices To assist in the enforcement of engaging credentialed practitioners, NAATI will be introducing an online tool for Language Service Providers (LSP) to be able to readily verify credentials of the practitioners that they engage. Integral to TIA’s campaign for better pay and conditions, are measures that will encourage LSPs to prioritise job allocation to qualified and credentialed TI.