Why book a NAATI accredited interpreter? What are the benefits?

The importance of booking NAATI accredited interpreters is frequently not understood by the wider community.  This applies to both signed and spoken language interpreters.

Much of the reason for this relates to the fact that the wider community frequently does not understand the actual skills required to be an accredited interpreter nor do they understand the professional standards and boundaries that an accredited interpreter is required to maintain.

Interpreting is much more than fluency in both languages; it requires:

  • an understanding of how to transfer the meaning between two languages in a culturally appropriate manner,
  • a capacity to rapidly deconstruct the words/signs of the first (or source) language to extract the meaning and then equally as rapidly re-build that meaning in the second (or target) language in a grammatically and structurally correct dynamic equivalence, and
  • the capacity to exert extreme concentration in order to harness the cognitive skills that are required to produce the interpretation in real-time, almost simultaneously.

The benefits of booking a NAATI accredited interpreter cannot be overstated.  By doing so, consumers of interpreting services – the service provider and clients – can be assured of a specific standard and quality of service as well as being certain that effective communication can occur between the two parties who do not share the same language.

In addition, ASLIA strongly encourages booking Auslan-English interpreters who are current ASLIA members.  By doing so, consumers of interpreting services can be assured that the interpreter working with them has access to the most current developments in the interpreting field.  Like all professions, interpreting is constantly reflecting upon and updating its professional practice; it is an organic environment that continually evolves.  ASLIA members have access to this evolving practice.

NAATI accredited Auslan-English interpreters are bound by the ASLIA Code of Ethics.  This has a number of core values, including requiring interpreters to:

  • facilitate communication faithfully and impartially, between all parties,
  • execute interpreting with an absence of bias, and
  • maintaining strict confidentiality.

Family members and friends are not appropriate interpreters in most settings.  The whole interpreting process may be undermined due to lack of competence, bias, or personal interest of the family member or friend.  An appropriately trained and accredited Auslan-English or Deaf Interpreter will adhere to the Code of Ethics so the quality of the interpreting process is assured.

To reiterate, by using NAATI accredited interpreters – accredited at the appropriate level for a given setting – clients can be assured that these vital professional standards will be maintained.  The rights of clients, the quality of interpreting services and the integrity of the interpreting profession is thus safeguarded.

In the case of unaccredited individuals being used to perform Auslan-English “interpretation”, the professional and/or agency needs to be mindful that by undertaking this practice, they could be at risk of breaching anti-discrimination legislation resulting in a formal complaint being lodged and/or potential litigation.


Auslan-English Interpreter Employers 


Employment Assistance Fund (EAF)

National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service (NABS)

On Call Interpreters & Translators

Translating and Interpreting Service National (TIS)

Auslan Services


Deaf Services Queensland (partner in Auslan Connections)

Deaf Society of New South Wales

Royal South Australian Deaf Society (Deaf CanDo)

Tasmanian Deaf Society (serviced through Vicdeaf)

The Western Australian Deaf Society

The Victorian Deaf Society – Vicdeaf (partner in Auslan Connections)

Community Relations Commission – Language Link (NSW)

NSW Health Care Interpreter Service

Echo Interpreting (Victoria)