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Professional Conduct in Public Service Interpreting - Distance Learning

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This course addresses common misunderstandings regarding the role of public service interpreters with reference to the Impartial Model of public service interpreting reflected in the codes of conduct of relevant organisations.

It aims to promote professional conduct amongst public service interpreters by raising awareness of the knowledge, skills, understanding and continuous professional development required including terminology research, assignment preparation and working on a freelance basis.

This course is designed for bilingual students already working or interested in working as public service interpreters. Their level of English and their other language should be such that they can understand newspaper articles and public service information texts on public service topics, write a 250-word text without serious grammatical or spelling mistakes and express themselves in a fluent, clear and coherent manner in both languages.

Students will need to have access to IT facilities as the course relies on their use of Cardiff University email and Learning Central (the CU Virtual Learning Environment) for communication with the tutor, access to course materials and information, and for submitting assignments.

Our courses are designed to support students in their preparation for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) which can be obtained by sitting an external examination run independently by the Chartered Institute of Linguists. Students who do not wish to sit the DPSI examination are also welcome to attend our courses.

Learning and teaching

  • Students will be introduced to the main principles of professional conduct for public service (PS) interpreters with reference to the Impartial Model of Public Service interpreting. Their application to some scenarios and settings will be demonstrated.
  • The skills required of a public service interpreter will be outlined and explained.
  • Students will be guided to research terminology and develop their own glossaries and introduced to the skill of paraphrasing.
  • Practical issues related to working as a public service interpreter in the UK will be outlined and discussed.

Coursework and assessment

In this course students will be guided, through the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (Learning Central), to undertake relevant reading and research and to participate in debates about professional conduct dilemmas.

You will not have formal examinations but you may have quizzes. You may be asked to write assignments, keep a course journal or put together a portfolio. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

For this course the assessments consist of short written case studies and participation in online discussions throughout the course. To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

The pages and resources related to the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) and The Linguist magazine, both from the Chartered Institute of Linguists website.

The Code of Conduct for the NRPSI (National Register of Public Service Interpreters).

Other relevant resources will be posted on Learning Central during the course.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.