List of UK interpreting and translation associations

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There are numerous associations within the United Kingdom aiming in various ways to assist local translators, interpreters and/or translation/interpreting companies/agencies, as shown below (in approximate order of age).

General organizations[edit]

Charity founded 1910; around 6000 members. Name changed from IoL to CIOL in 2005.

Former part of the IoL; broke away to form the ITI (see below).

Trade union founded in 1958, as part of the Society of Authors. For literary translators.

Founded 1974. See

Founded in 1976; around 180 member companies.

Founded in 1976; around 140 members, of whom 75% are translators.

Non-profit organization founded in 1986; over 3000 members.

An independent regulator for interpreters working with public services, founded in 1994 and administered by the CIOL until 2011. Around 2000 registrants. See also SPSI (below).

Founded in 2001. Part of Unite, the largest trade union in the UK; around 100 members. See

Formed in 2009 to represent Metropolitan Police interpreters. Its purpose is to make representations on behalf of its members, to advocate for their rights and interests, and to liaise and negotiate with work providers and official bodies. See

Founded in 2009 (incorporated in 2010)[1] primarily due to concern about the effect of arrangements between Applied Language Solutions and certain police forces regarding the hiring of interpreters. Around 300 members. See (previously and, and see also PI4J below.

Formed in April 2011 as successor to some of the functions of the NRPSI.[2] Website dead since 2013 (archive copy)

Umbrella group formed in 2012 by 10 interpreters’ organizations to campaign against the new Ministry of Justice framework agreement for public service interpreting. See NUPIT page and

Founded in 2013 to "bring professionals and users of translators and interpreters together". In 2016 became ACCI (see below) - website dead since that time (archive copy)

Successor to AQTI, renamed in 2016 as a "global not-for-profit body for professional interpreters" (but still clearly UK-centric). See

Sign language and Lipspeakers[edit]

Founded in 1981, becoming independent the next year. Around 50 members (registered British Sign Language/English interpreters). Holds the public register of BSL/English Interpreters for Scotland. See

Registers used since 1982, although only formally founded in 2009. Administered by Signature (previously CACDP, the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People). Operates the Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) scheme. See

Founded in 1987, and formerly administered from the same premises as ITI. Around 500 members.[3] See

Founded in 2010. Includes not only sign language interpreters but also deafblind communicators, BSL/English translators and lipspeakers. See

Founded in 2014 as part of Unite, to represent BSL/English interpreters/translators. Represents approximately 30% of registered BSL interpreters in the UK. See

The ALS is the professional body that represents lipspeakers in the UK. We aim to promote lipspeaking and its good practice, and encourage the further development of lipspeaking as a communication service. See

Tourist guides[edit]

Not all Blue Badge tourist guides have to have interpreting skills, but many do, taking language exams administered by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and tested to CIOL or Foreign and Commonwealth Office standards.[4]

Founded in 1950 as the Guild of Guide Lecturers (renamed in 1995). Over 1700 members. See

An autonomous group within Unite, partly rebranded as Guide London. Around 470 members. See (previously Date of founding unclear: '1980',[5] 'the 1980s',[6] '1998'[7] or '2000'.[8]

Over 400 members. Date of founding unclear: 'over 50 years ago'[9] or '1996'.[10] See


Not strictly a professional association, although sometimes described that way. The AIT became part of a unified Tribunals framework (see, although in 2011 this merged with HM Courts Service to form HM Courts & Tribunals Service). What is now the Central Interpreters Unit (CIU) was established in September 2000, with a central database used by ports and UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) agency offices, and a remit that does include interpreter training.[11]

Founded 1953. Not UK-centric, but lists over 130 interpreters based in the UK / Ireland (as part of a global network of 3000).


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2015-07-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Blue Badge tourist guide
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Blue Badge tourist guide
  11. ^

See also[edit]