National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters
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The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (known as NAATI) is the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia. NAATI's mission, as outlined in the NAATI Constitution, is to set and maintain high national standards in translating and interpreting to enable the existence of a pool of accredited translators and interpreters responsive to the changing needs and demography of the Australian community. The core focus of the company is issuing credentials (known as accreditations or recognitions) for practitioners who wish to work as translators and interpreters in Australia.
The members of NAATI are the nine ministers who are responsible for multicultural affairs and/or citizenship in the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. Members may appoint a representative to exercise any of their powers in relation to NAATI. These Member Representatives are separate to the NAATI board of directors.
The current members of NAATI include:
|Senator Zed Seselja||Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs||Commonwealth|
|Ms Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA||Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Youth Affairs||Australian Capital Territory|
|The Hon John Ajaka MLC||Minister for Multiculturalism||New South Wales|
|The Hon Gerry McCarthy MLA||Minister for Housing and Community Development, Essential Services and Public Employment||Northern Territory|
|The Hon Ignazia (Grace) Grace MP||Minister for Multicultural Affairs||Queensland|
|The Hon Zoe Bettison MP||Minister for Multicultural Affairs||South Australia|
|Ms Sarah Courtney MP||Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Community and Veterans Affairs||Tasmania|
|The Hon Robin Scott MP||Minister for Multicultural Affairs||Victoria|
|The Hon Dr Michael (Mike) Nahan MLA||Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests||Western Australia|
NAATI provides eight key services to assist individuals gain and maintain a credential to work as a translator or interpreter in Australia. These services include:
- Accreditation testing
- Skills assessments for migration purposes
There are two types of NAATI credentials – accreditation and recognition.
NAATI accreditation is an acknowledgement that an individual has demonstrated the ability to meet the professional standards required by the translation and interpreting industry. NAATI assesses practitioners and aspiring translators and interpreters against these standards so that English speaking and non-English speaking Australians can interact effectively with each other.
There are a couple of different ways you can gain NAATI accreditation, including:
NAATI recognition is granted in emerging languages or languages with very low community demand for which NAATI does not offer accreditation. The granting of NAATI recognition is an acknowledgement that an individual has recent and regular experience as a translator and/or interpreter with no defined skill level.
Outline of NAATI credentials
Under NAATI's current system, there are ten different types of credentials. These are listed in the table below.
|Credential Name||Pre-1992 Level||Description|
|Conference Interpreter (Senior)||5||This is the highest level of NAATI interpreting accreditation. It reflects a level of excellence in conference interpreting, recognised through demonstrated extensive experience and international leadership. It encompasses and builds on the competencies of Conference Interpreter accreditation.|
|Advanced Translator (Senior)||5||This is the highest level of NAATI translating accreditation. It reflects a level of excellence in specialised translating, recognised through demonstrated extensive experience and international leadership. It encompasses and builds on the competencies of Advanced Translator accreditation.|
|Conference Interpreter||4 (I)||This represents the level of competence required to handle complex, technical and sophisticated interpreting, in both consecutive and simultaneous modes, in line with recognised international practice. Conference interpreters operate in diverse situations including at conferences, high-level negotiations, court proceedings or may choose to specialise in a particular area(s).|
|Advanced Translator||4 (T)||This represents the level of competence required to handle complex, technical and sophisticated translations in line with recognised international practice. Advanced Translators operate in diverse situations and may choose to specialise in a particular area(s) – including translating technical manuals, research papers, conferences, high-level negotiations and court proceedings.|
|Professional Interpreter||3 (I)||This represents the minimum level of competence for professional interpreting and is the minimum level recommended by NAATI for work in most settings including banking, law, health, social and community services. Professional Interpreters are capable of interpreting across a wide range of semi-specialised situations and are capable of using the consecutive mode to interpret speeches or presentations.|
|Professional Translator||3 (T)||This represents the minimum level of competence for professional translating and is the minimum level recommended by NAATI for work in settings including banking, law, health, social and community services. Translators at this level work across a wide range of subjects involving documents with specialised content.|
|Paraprofessional Interpreter||2 (I)||This represents a level of competence in interpreting for the purpose of general conversations. Paraprofessional Interpreters generally undertake the interpretation of non-specialist dialogues. Practitioners at this level are encouraged to obtain Professional level accreditation if available.|
|Paraprofessional Translator||2 (T)||This represents a level of competence enabling the production of a translation of non-specialised information (e.g. a birth certificate). Practitioners at this level are encouraged to obtain Professional level accreditation if available.|
|Recognised Interpreter||–||This credential is an acknowledgement that at the time of the award the applicant has had recent and regular work experience as an interpreter, but no level of proficiency is specified. Recognised interpreters are encouraged to obtain accreditation as it becomes available.|
|Recognised Translator||–||This credential is an acknowledgement that at the time of the award the applicant has had recent and regular work experience as a translator, but no level of proficiency is specified. Recognised translators are encouraged to obtain accreditation as it becomes available.|
NAATI translator accreditation (professional level or higher) is usually awarded in one of the following directions:
- From a Language other Than English (LOTE) into English; or
- From English into a LOTE; or
- Both directions.
NAATI interpreter accreditations (at all levels) are awarded in both directions.
Occasionally, NAATI has awarded accreditation in a language combination that does not feature English at the Conference Interpreter or Advanced Translator level e.g. Advanced Translator French to German or Conference Interpreter (Senior) French to/from Russian. This sort of accreditation can only be awarded on the basis of a professional membership of an international association such as AIIC or AITC.