Why do you need the Level 3 Community Interpreting qualification?

  • 04/03/2019
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  • Admin

As it is with all professional interpreting agencies in the UK, to become an interpreter here at Vandu requires the Level 3 Community Interpreting Qualification (which we’ll refer to as Level 3 CI from here on) to join our active interpreters list. One might balk at the idea of enrolling on a course to become an interpreter – “I speak two languages perfectly well, why do I need a separate qualification for interpreting?” but the fact of the matter is that it requires much more than speaking two languages to become a professional interpreter. In this blog post, we’ll have a look at the requirements you may not have considered for interpreting, as well the benefits you’ll receive from the Level 3 CI course.


The first thing that many people don’t consider is who you’ll be interpreting for. Though it varies from agency to agency, the majority of work comes from the public sector; a professional might be needed to interpret for a young man coming from a war-torn country, another needed for an elderly lady at a GP appointment. Would you know your roles and responsibilities in these situations? Perhaps the social worker is not quite up to date on the current affairs or cultural norms of the young man’s home country – what and when is the correct way to appropriately explain or intervene? In the case of the elderly lady at the GP the cultural norms issue could be applicable, but what if you notice the GP staff discriminating against her, would you know the process at that point? While it may be unusual, unfortunately it's not unheard of. All these skills and more are what you’d learn on our Level 3 CI course.

As for the benefits, there are several. As mentioned, the course is the base level required to become a professional interpreter here in England and means you’ll be able to sign up with agencies up and down the country. We also look at your strengths and weaknesses on the course so that you can review and improve upon them, making yourself a better professional which makes you more likely to be requested to provide interpreting. You’ll develop a better understanding of your local community and social services and be a great help to both.

If you’re interested in applying or learning more about our Level 3 Community Interpreting Course, please call us on:

01273 473986

or email:

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