EXPECTATION OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
An interpreter working for HITS is expected to act in a professional manner at all times. This document sets out the basic professional standards to be followed at all times and in all circumstances. This is the assurance of quality and reliability that is offered by HITS to all its customers.
A professional interpreter working for HITS is expected to interpret truly and faithfully everything that is said by all parties at all times, without anything being added, omitted, or changed.
An interpreter must offer true and complete record of what has been said. A professional interpreter must not impose their own personal opinions or moral judgement upon the utterances of any other party or in any way edit what has been said.
A professional interpreter working for HITS is expected to disclose any difficulties encountered with dialects or technical terms, and if these cannot be satisfactorily remedied, withdraw from the assignment.
It is not acceptable to muddle through. If an interpreter finds themselves in a situation where the booked language has been given incorrectly or where there are circumstances making it difficult for them to offer a professional service, they should bring this to the immediate attention of the Service Provider.
Please also remember that the ultimate recourse in such circumstances is to contact HITS. Our highly knowledgeable and experienced staff will be able to offer advice on how to proceed and will assume ultimate responsibility for any actions to be taken.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not enter into the discussion, give advice or express opinions or reactions to any of the parties.
An interpreter must be an impartial, neutral professional presence. On occasion, an interpreter may be required to interpret utterances that are uncomfortable or unpleasant or heart-breaking or just ridiculous or hilarious. In all circumstances, they are are expected to remain a professional presence.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not intervene in an interpreting session other than for the following reasons:
- to ask for clarification
- to point out that a party may not have understood something
- to alert the parties to a possible missed cultural inference
- to address any physical factors that may be compromising performance
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not delegate work or accept delegated work without the consent of HITS.
All interpreting assignments offered by HITS are confirmed through a formal recorded process via email. Any unauthorised substitution or impersonation of interpreter on the part of the confirmed interpreter will be considered a fraudulent act and will lead to dismissal from the HITS Register (pending a disciplinary hearing).
HITS reserves the right to pursue legal action in any circumstance in which an interpreter has claimed payment for an assignment undertaken by another person on their part.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will be reliable and punctual at all times and must ensure that they attend any accepted assignment.
A formal reminder of forthcoming assignments is issued by email at both 48-hours and 24-hours prior to a scheduled assignment and it is expected that the interpreter will ensure attendance at the confirmed assignment.
HITS reserves the right to fine an interpreter in circumstances where they have failed to attend an assignment without good reason.
Failure to Attend also covers telephone and video interpreting assignments. The failure to log on for a video session or to answer the phone for a pre-booked telephone session will attract the same sanctions as those which apply to face-to-face or in-person assignment.
In any circumstance where an interpreter believes they may be late for an assignment, they should contact HITS immediately.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not withdraw from accepted assignments at short notice.
It is imperative that we protect the interests of our organisation and our customers. Late withdrawal from an accepted assignment compromises our ability to provide the best possible service. An interpreter is free to accept or decline an initial job offer but is expected to fulfil the booking once accepted.
HITS reserves the right to fine an interpreter in circumstances where they have withdrawn from an assignment within 24-hours of the due start time without good reason.
Persistent late withdrawal will lead to the removal of the interpreter from the HITS Register.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will respect confidentiality at all times and not seek to take advantage of any information disclosed during their work.
As communicated strongly in all HITS training courses, confidentiality is absolute. It is expected that the privacy of all parties will remain sacrosanct.
Any action which is found to have compromised the confidentiality of a service provider or a service user or of HITS itself will lead to disciplinary action up and including dismissal from the HITS Register.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will act in an impartial and professional manner.
It is expected that an interpreter working for HITS will respect the boundaries of their job and not in any way represent the interests of one party above another. The interpreter must provide an impartial and uncompromised service equally to all parties in the interpreting session.
For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that a professional interpreter is not a Social Worker or an advocate or teacher or confidante or chauffeur or moneylender or nursing assistant or psychiatrist or psychologist or advice worker or babysitter or “mother or father the client never had” or indeed spokesman/woman for every other person in the world who speaks their language or shares their culture or religion.
In all circumstances, an Interpreter should solely fulfil the role of a language professional
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not initiate contact with either the client/patient or service provider outside of the interpreting situation unless specifically requested by HITS and not pass their own personal contact details to either party.
It is strongly advised that an interpreter should refrain from any social contact with anyone for whom they interpret. In circumstances where a potential interpreting client is a known social contact, the interpreter should decline the assignment.
An interpreter should endeavour to protect their personal details from any interpreting client. It is wholly inappropriate for an interpreter to pass personal details (including telephone number, email address or physical address) to any party involved with an interpreting assignment.
Any communication required outside of an interpreting assignment should be facilitated solely by HITS.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will disclose immediately if the interviewee or immediate family is known or related to them.
If an interpreter attends an assignment and discovers that the member of the public is known to them outside of their interpreting work, this prior acquaintance must be disclosed immediately to the service provider in attendance. It will be the decision of the service provider whether the interpreter should remain in attendance or leave the assignment. The interpreter must always abide by the decision of the service provider. In such circumstances, the interpreter should notify HITS as soon as is practicable.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will disclose immediately any information which may make them unsuitable in any particular case.
If an interpreter attends an assignment and becomes aware of any information which may make them unsuitable for the booking, this information must be disclosed immediately to the service provider in attendance. It will be the decision of the service provider whether the interpreter should remain in attendance or leave the assignment. The interpreter must always abide by the decision of the service provider. In such circumstances, the interpreter should notify HITS as soon as is practicable.
This information may include (but not be limited to) any business, financial, family, or other personal or professional interests which they might have in the matter being discussed.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not discriminate against parties, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, age, nationality, religion, gender, disability sexual orientation, or HIV status.
The services of HITS are provided with due regard to fairness and equity and in line with relevant Equality legislation. The expression of any perceived prejudice or display of discriminatory attitudes or behaviour exhibited by an interpreter at any time will be held to be a significant breach of professional standards.
A professional interpreter working for HITS will not accept any form of reward, whether in cash or otherwise, for interpreting work other than payment by HITS.
An interpreter will be due an agreed fee for the completion of an interpreting assignment. They should neither solicit nor accept any further payment or reward from any other party.
Any attempt by another party to offer any further payment should be reported immediately to HITS.
A professional interpreter working for HITS should not at any time in the course of any booking engage in any activity that may bring disrepute to HITS or associated parties.
Over the course of 20 years, HITS has achieved and maintained a reputation for propriety and ethical conduct. HITS is managed by Community Action Dacorum, a registered charity of 75-years-good-standing with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
A professional interpreter must not engage in any conduct likely to damage the reputation of HITS or Community Action Dacorum or customers or associated parties.
This conduct includes (but is not limited to) drunkenness, licentiousness, aggressive or threatening behaviour towards another party or criminal conduct.
This Expectation of Professional Conduct is updated periodically.
[Last Update – June 2021]