Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct for Interpreters and Translators
“Interpreter” includes translators as well as interpreters
“Partner” is the public service organisation that is commissioning the work
1.1. You will interpret truly and faithfully what is said, without adding, omitting or changing anything. (A summary may be given but only if requested by the Partner).
1.2. You shall ensure you understand the relevant procedures of the professional organisation in which you are working, including any special terminology.
1.3. You shall only accept work which you believe you have the competence both linguistically and in terms of specialist knowledge to carry out.
1.4. You shall strive to produce work to the highest standard, and inform WITS or the Partner of anything which may impact on the standard of your work.
2.1. You must have up to date knowledge of your skill set and its delivery, including any relevant guidelines. You must incorporate that knowledge into your interpretation/translation delivery where appropriate.
2.2. You should adopt an understanding to developing your skills and pursue relevant educational opportunities (CPD*) at improving and gain additional skills/qualifications.
2.3. Where your lack of knowledge is such as to significantly impair your work, you shall inform all the relevant parties and withdraw.
2.4. You shall disclose any difficulties you encounter with dialects or technical terms and if these cannot be remedied, withdraw from the work.
*At your own cost
3.1. Any information you acquire through WITS by commission of work shall be treated as confidential and be handled in accordance to the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR), ensuring the security and confidentiality of the information/data you process on behalf of WITS Partners.
3.2. Information/Data shall not be disclosed to a third party unless instructed by the Partner or WITS to do so, and provided that such disclosure would not be unlawful. This will also include working practices, lists of clients, commercial secrets and manufacturing and technological processes.
3.3. Any consultation necessary to carry out your duties shall be conducted such that confidentiality is safeguarded.
3.4. You shall not seek to take advantage of information acquired during or as a result of your work now or in the future.
3.5. The duty of confidentiality shall not apply where disclosure is required by law.
4.1. You must always act impartially and not act in any way that might result in prejudice or preference on grounds of religion or belief, race, politics or gender otherwise than is necessary in order to fulfil your duty as an interpreter.
4.2. You shall immediately disclose to the Partner and WITS any factor that might jeopardise your impartiality. (Including any financial or other interest you may have in the contracted work.)
4.3. You shall not enter into discussion, give advice or express opinions or reactions to any of the parties that exceeds your duty as an interpreter.
4.4. You shall not share/exchange any personal information, including contact information, social media accounts, with the service user.
5. Conflict of Interest
5.1. You shall disclose any potential conflict of interest or other factors which may make it inappropriate to accept work in a particular case.
5.2. If working in the legal system, you must disclose at the outset any previous involvement in the same matter.
5.3. You shall disclose immediately if the interviewee or their immediate family is known, or related to you.
6.1. You shall not interrupt, pause or intervene except:
6.2. To ask for clarification; or
6.3. To point out that one party may not have understood something which you have good reason to believe has been assumed by the other party; or
6.4. To alert parties to a possible missed cultural reference or influence; or
6.5. To signal a condition or factor that might impair the interpreting process (seating, sight lines, audibility, inadequate breaks etc)
7.1. Travel – You can claim reimbursement of actual costs incurred in travel, provided you seek the most cost effective mode of transport, to and from the interpreting placement. The cost of taxi will only be reimbursed where there are no alternative modes of transport available or the placement is urgent. Contact the Partners representative prior for authorisation. If this is not possible, please contact WITS.
7.2. Sustenance – you can claim reimbursement of the cost of food & drink where the total travel and interpreting time exceeds 5 hours per booking. Any amount reimbursed will be limited to a maximum of £10.
7.3. Accommodation – You may be reimbursed the cost of accommodation costs incurred where a booking exceeds 10pm and your journey time exceeds 90mins. Contact the Partners representative prior for authorisation. If this is not possible, please contact WITS. Reimbursement will be limited to a maximum of £70 unless specified by the Partners representative.
7.4. Late arrival – If/when an interpreter is going to be late to a booking, interpreters are to contact the partners representative. If this is not possible, please contact WITS. If the period of time is acceptable to the partner, the appointment will go ahead as normal. If the period is not acceptable for any reason, the interpreter will not be paid. WITS will advise the interpreter accordingly.
7.5. Where the Partners representative is late, interpreters are to contact the partner’s representative. If this is not possible, please contact WITS. Where no contact can be made, the interpreter will wait 30mins. If after 30mins the representative hasn’t arrived and still no contact can be made by contacting the representative directly or via WITS the interpreter can leave.
7.6. Disputes/Confirmations – 24hrs after a booking, interpreters will receive a breakdown of fees [based on time spent]. WITS require confirmation of fees or disputes within 7 calendar days. If WITS do not receive confirmation within this time scale WITS will assume its accuracy. Any disputes sent within 7 calendar days will be acted upon. ANY disputes sent after 7 calendar days, WITS can not guarantee they will be authorised resulting in any additional costs not being reimbursed.
7.7. If you need to cancel an accepted booking and are unable to source a substitute (see clause 8), you will notify the Partner and WITS at the earliest moment not to affect/impair WITS sourcing an alternative interpreter.
8. Provision of substitute
8.1. Interpreters/Translators are able to nominate a substitute whereby the below criteria is met:
8.2. Your nominated interpreter is qualified in the equivalent language and to the same level as you or higher.
8.3. Your nominated interpreter is vetted to the same level or higher.
8.4. You accept responsibility to guarantee the accuracy of your nominated interpreters work and will be in a position to correct failings if required*
8.5 Where special requirements are required IE Gender of interpreter. This must be adhered too in all cases.
8.6. You are required to inform the Public Body (WITS Partner) of the substitute interpreter as soon as possible.
8.7. Where a booking is delegated to a substitute, this code of conduct is applicable to the substituted interpreter.
8.6. WITS will pay the interpreter originally allocated to the booking. You will be responsible for paying the substitute interpreter/translator.
8.9. It is your (the interpreters/translators) responsibility to be in full control of your diary and organise your time in accordance with the bookings you have accepted from WITS and other agencies and not accept work if it conflicts with another appointment.
*At your own cost
9. Secondary Remuneration
9.1. You shall not accept any form of inducement or reward for interpreting work, whether in cash or otherwise, other than payment for work carried out.
9.2. You will not book additional appointments directly with clients or the Partner. All bookings are a matter for the Partner and WITS.
10. Honesty and Integrity
10.1. Although you will be vetted at the outset you must ensure that you bring any arrests/convictions or other matters that could affect your vetting status to the attention of WITS during the application process.
10.2. WITS reserves the right to charge interpreters for the necessary vetting to be completed.
10.3. Exaggerated claims for additional time or costs can be classed as theft and all claims must be verified by the Partner’s representative at the conclusion of the job and/or proof of purchase ie Receipt.
10.4. Any evidence of dishonesty or inappropriate conduct may be subject to investigation in line with the WITS Complaints Policy.
10.5. If information is disclosed to you, pre or post assignment by the service user that has any bearing on the assignment, this information is to be conveyed to the client’s representative or WITS as soon as possible.
11. Tax Liability
11.1. It is the responsibility of the freelance self-employed interpreter to inform the appropriate revenue authorities of payments received. WITS does not deduct monies for tax purposes.
11.2. WITS reserve the right to share details of payments made with HMRC.
12. Social Media Conduct
12.1. Interpreter Communications via Social Media are to not to infringe upon the confidentiality or impartiality stipulated within the Code of Conduct.
12.2. It is advised that all correspondence regarding sensitive information disclosed during appointments, remain confidential and not displayed on a public platform.
12.3. Should information that is confidential be already displayed on a public platform, interpreters must not discuss or confirm its validity and not to comment on the information.
12.4. Interpreters must be mindful not to contribute information to a public platform which may be used to ascertain the nature of a patient appointment or location at which they receive the treatment.
13.1. Translators who are carrying out work shall only carry out work that is within their linguistic and relevant specialist competence.
13.2. Translators shall only translate between the languages for which they are registered with WITS.
13.3. Translators shall to the best of their ability render a faithful translation of the source text. This applies to both meaning and register except where a literal rendering or summary is required.
13.4. If a Translator discovers at any stage that changes have been made to the final text of his or her document without prior agreement, he or she will inform WITS and they would no longer be responsible for the text.
13.5. Unless specified by the organisation, translations can be conducted at any location within reason; it is the responsibility of the translator to ensure security and the confidentiality of the document(s) is upheld while they are translating.
13.6. Where a translation is conducted at an organisation address for any reason, translation work is to be completed at the agreed location of both parties and no document is to be removed without prior authorisation and WITS knowledge.
14.1. CDL Matrix is the WITS Payroll Administrator. Upon signing the Code of Conduct for Interpreters and Translators you agree to WITS sharing your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) with CDL/Matrix so they are able to administer payroll for completed bookings you undertake. You will be asked to complete further registration forms for CDL Matrix.
15. Breach of Code of Conduct/Complaints
15.1. Any breach of the Code of Conduct or Complaints received by WITS shall be investigated in accordance with the WITS Complaints Policy which can be found on our website www.wits.wales
Any information you provide will only be used to deal with your enquiry and may be shared with other Public Services in accordance with your enquiry and CDL Matrix who administers our payroll. The legal basis allowing us to process your data will vary depending on your enquiry but mostly this will be necessary for the Wales Interpretation and Translation Service to carry out its official functions. For more information on your data protection rights please visit
I have reviewed and agree to the WITS Code of Conduct: