I’ve been reviewing my membership with some of the UK’s professional translation bodies lately as part of my CPD planning, and thought it might be useful to post my notes for anyone else at a similar stage of their career. My aim for the short to medium term is to upgrade my status with the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) to Qualified Member, and then apply for Chartered Linguist (Translator) status. I’ve written before about the benefits of membership, so there is no doubt in my mind as to the value of this.
I first became a student member of the ITI in 2002 or 2003, then upgraded to associate membership after I became a full-time freelance translator in 2005. I joined the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) around then too, qualifying for full membership status immediately. It does require planning to meet some of the requirements of these associations, and I’d recommend that if you are considering joining a professional organisation, check the requirements and start preparing the necessary paperwork well in advance. (Full details and membership requirements here, here and here.)
Here’s a summary of the requirements for ITI Qualified ITI Member status (MITI). Details on Chartered Linguist (Translator) status (CL (Translator)) in a separate post here.
• References – 2 professional, 1 character: I know from experience that these take longer to gather than you might initially expect, and as I work out of three languages, I need to think carefully about who to ask in order to properly represent my experience. I really do dislike asking clients to complete these kind of reference forms though!
• Experience: A minimum of five years’ full-time work experience PLUS either successful assessment of work or a Pass in the ITI Membership Examination. The exam costs £200 + VAT per language combination, so I don’t believe that it’s a worthwhile option for me. I’m not sure what kind of work I’ll need to submit for assessment, so there’s my first action: I’ll need to speak to the ITI’s membership officer and clarify this. I’ll also speak to other translators about their experience of having work assessed.
• Work volume: supply details of work volume (word counts) per language combination for the previous 5 years. Again, I’m not clear on what the ITI expects in terms of volume, or indeed if there is a cut-off of some kind. Their 2001 survey found that most translators and presumably, therefore, their members, work part-time though, so as a full-timer I should be fine on this. I’ll have to trawl through my invoices from the past few years as I’ve not kept specific data of this, but at least I can start keeping note on future jobs. In addition, a lot of my work isn’t easily measured in word count, so I’ll have to speak to the membership officer about how best to quantify it.
• Cost: £200 + VAT annual membership fee. No charge for the application as I’ll be upgrading from my current associate status (it’s £30 + VAT for new ITI members).
Details on Chartered Linguist (Translator) status in a separate post here.