Introduction to Public Service Interpreting

Herts Interpreting & Translation Services > Training > An Introduction to Public Service Interpreting

NHS interpreting

Introductory Short Course

This specially designed introductory ‘short-course’ offers a solid grounding in the technical skills (note-taking, glossaries, management of interpreting exchanges, etc) and ethics (confidentiality, impartiality, etc) of public service interpreting.

This course includes an internally assessed Certificate of Interpreter Proficiency (the minimum level of professional attainment required in order to work for our Service).

This course is not only an entity in its own right but also a formal introduction to our full Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) course.

Since HITS launched its ‘short-course’ format in 2002, over 2000 students at various locations throughout the UK have taken their first steps into professional public-service interpreting via this course.

Trainees should be completely fluent and fully literate in both target languages. Speakers of languages without a written form should be literate in the relevant national language (e.g. Sylheti speakers must be able to read and write Bengali, Pakistani Punjabi speakers must be able to read and write Urdu).

  • Applicants must be aged 18 or over.
  • They should be both fluent and literate in English and at least one other language. All languages are welcome.
  • Enthusiasm, the ability to learn, and a proven commitment to helping others is more important than formal qualifications or previous experience.

After completing the initial ‘short’ course and successfully undertaking an assessment of interpreter proficiency, trainees will be eligible to undertake paid sessional work for HITS on behalf of Health Trusts and Local Authorities throughout the East of England and beyond, helping people who are not fluent in English to access information and services.

For more information about our ‘short’ courses, please contact our Training Department on 01442 867213 or email


Working in partnership with Norwich Job Centre, HITS will deliver an in-person training course in Norwich from Monday, June 24th.

Day Date Time
MondayJune 24th10.00am – 4.00pm
TuesdayJune 25th10.00am – 4.00pm
WednesdayJune 26th10.00am – 4.00pm
This in-person course is also open to external applicants. If you would like to join this course, please contact HITS on 01442 867213.


Our next online introductory (“short”) course will commence on Monday, July 1st, 2024.

MondayJuly 1st11.00am – 3.00pm
FridayJuly 5th11.00am – 3.00pm
MondayJuly 8th11.00am – 3.00pm
FridayJuly 12th11.00am – 3.00pm
MondayJuly 15th11.00am – 3.00pm
This online course is open to applicants from anywhere in the UK. If you would like to join this course, please contact HITS on 01442 867213.