Norms and Creativity: Tensions Between the Status Quo and Innovation in Quality Standards for Public Service Interpreting in the United Kingdom

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This article will examine the validity of existing assessment procedures in the UK and compare and contrast these models with other possible assessment and accreditation models. It will also examine the possibilities for quality assessment (QA) procedures offered by the use of digital technologies. Implicit in this descriptive and analytical process will be an examination of the linkages between these models of assessment and the opportunity for professional registration.

Issues addressed in this article will be: the status quo in the assessment and registration of interpreters and translators for the public sector in the UK; the impact of new social, political and economic realities on the existing assessment and registration regime; the opportunities and/or threats to quality norms represented by online digital technologies.

The material will be of particular interest to: end users of interpreter and translator services in the public sector; interpreting and translation test developers and QA procedure designers; interpreting and translating practitioners, in-service and aspiring

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Public Accounts Committee hearing on Ministry of Justice language services, 15th October 2012. Available at

The Lawyer, 23rd February 2012. ‘MoJ ditches new court interpreting system in face of major backlash.’ Available at

The Review of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters, 2009. Available at


The Journal of Linguaculture Centre for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

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