Following my last post on ITI Qualified ITI Member status, here’s my take on the requirements for gaining Chartered Linguist (Translator) status based on an information evening run by the ITI London Regional Group in January 2008:
Note this does not constitute official information. Please check the relevant body for information on current requirements.
Chartered Linguist (Translator) status is evidence of having reached the very highest standards as a professional. It’s only been possible to apply for Chartered Linguist (Translator) status since September 2007, so it’s still a very new and very exciting development. The requirements may well change as the application process is further refined over the coming months, so keep an eye on the CIOL website for updates. Remember, it’s a lot easier to keep the correct records as you go along, rather than having to backdate everything when the time comes to apply.
NOTE: Although Chartered Linguist (Translator) status is awarded by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), the process is separate to applying for general membership of the CIOL (in fact, you don’t even need to be a member of the CIOL to apply). As I understand it, the requirements at the time of writing are as follows:
• Education: The CIOL Diploma in Translation or an MA level qualification which must include an assessed practical translation module in the languages for which you wish to register. Status: check.
• Evidence of CPD: Submit CPD records for the 3 years prior to applying. Status: I’ve kept CPD records based on the ITI’s record sheet for a couple of years now, so I don’t expect this to be a problem. Saying that though, a lot of it hasn’t been “signed off”. Firstly, because it’s not compulsory within the ITI and I think the idea of asking someone to sign my little book is a bit like being back in the Brownies. And secondly, because a lot of my CPD is self-directed so it’s not suitable to ask someone else to sign it.
• References: Three in total: Two from clients or other persons “in a position to assess or report on a substantial portion of your work over a significant period of time”, covering all language combinations. One from someone able to comment on my professional repute, “someone with whom you have been associated in a professional context or who is otherwise able to speak about your commitment to professionalism, personal development and other relevant factors.” Status: to be addressed when the time comes. (I’ve already hassled my poor clients for references a couple of times in recent years.)
• Work volume: Provide evidence of having translated an average of 300,000 words a year over the five years prior to applying. Status: this is a pretty achievable volume, even for a part-time translator. Assuming 45 working weeks per year (I like to be generous when I’m working these things out), this equals an average of 6,666 words per week. However unless they issue more specific guidance, I’ll have to contact admissions to see how best to calculate the volume of my non-traditional translation work.
• Attend an interview: To explore my understanding of professional ethics. Status: I think I can cope with this.
Now this is the point where it gets interesting. Registration as a Chartered Linguist will be assessed on an ongoing basis, and will need to be renewed every 3 – 5 years. As a result, the following will also be required:
• CPD: Submission of an annual report stating that you still meet the criteria for which you were awarded Chartered Linguist (Translator) status, including the number of words translated over the year and CPD activities and plans for the following year.
• Attend an interview: Further interviews every 3 – 5 years.
• Cost: £350 to apply initially, with this cost to be reviewed annually (expect upward), plus £50 to “register” for first year. £100 + VAT each year thereafter, PLUS another sum of money TBD when your registration is reviewed every 3 – 5 years. This is not an insignificant amount of money, so I expect the CL (Translator) designation really will come to represent those translators who are most serious about being recognised within the wider industry.
And there we go – looks like I’ll have a busy few years ahead of me.