The soon-to-be-updated National Occupational Standards* in translation look pretty exciting (in a way that only a standard can be) and a great opportunity to prove your worth as a newcomer to the industry.
At a session at the recent ITI Conference, Gill Musk from CILT explained that these standards have been developed by professional translators for professional translators, and are designed to describe two levels of expertise. In this way, they meet the needs of both end users and translators themselves in establishing clarity and transparency on the skills required by a good translator.
This will be helpful in a range of situations and can only serve to increase visibility of the profession. Those considering careers in translation can establish a realistic idea of the skills required before embarking on studies. Employers of translators can appraise staff, write job descriptions, assess candidates and create development plans. Providers of translator training can map their courses to an approved set of criteria. Finally, because they define competence, are a distillation of best practice and are updated on a regular basis, translation professionals can ensure their skills remain sharp.
So how do I plan to use these standards once they’re released? I’ll use them to:
- identify my strengths and weaknesses (eek! always scary – but necessary :))
- highlight opportunities and priorities for my CPD
- reflect and develop skills by assessing my own work
- get a clear understanding of current best practice
Bring it on!!
(BTW, Gill also mentioned that there is such a severe shortage of native English speaking Spanish interpreters, that EU bodies are forced to cancel conferences and meetings on a daily basis. Encouraging for anyone considering a career as an interpreter then! 🙂 )
*(Not to be confused with the CEN standards for translation, which focus more on procedures and procurement practices)