IoLET Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI)

About the exam

Is it right for me?

The Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) is a qualification for those who work, or would like to work, in one of these areas:

  • Law: courts, solicitors, immigration
  • Healthcare: hospitals, clinics, GP practices
  • Local Government: housing, social work, education

Level: first degree-level qualification in terms of language skills required.

The qualification is available in the following pathways:

  • English Law
  • Scottish Law
  • Northern Irish Law
  • Health
  • Local Government

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to holding the qualification:

What format does the exam take?

The qualification is composed of five units for each pathway:


  • Unit 01 (Level 6): Interpret consecutively and simultaneously (whispered) in the public services
  • Unit 02 (Level 6): Provide a sight translation into English in the public services
  • Unit 03 (Level 6): Provide a sight translation from English in the public services
  • Unit 04 (Level 5): Translate into English in the public services
  • Unit 05 (Level 5): Translate from English in the public services

For detailed information on the content and format of the qualification please refer to the PDF iconDPSI Handbook and the DPSI qualification overview.

Which languages can I take the exam in?

You can take the DPSI in a wide range of languages. View the DPSI languages list for more information.


It is the responsibility of each Candidate to ascertain that they are sufficiently prepared for the exam and are familiar with public service procedures and specialist vocabulary relating to the pathway chosen. The exam is available both to Candidates attending courses in Centres recognised by the IoLET and to independent Candidates.

How can I prepare for the exam?

It is essential that you read the PDF iconDPSI Handbook and our Candidate Regulations to find out detailed information about the exam format, criteria, topic areas and regulations.

It is good practice to prepare for a professional qualification by following a course of study. Courses are available in different regions of the UK. Please refer to the list of centres and contact course providers directly. Please note that as the Awarding Organisation for the DipTrans, we are unable to endorse or recommend any particular course.

In order to prepare for the DPSI exam, you must become an IoLET Affiliate member of CIOL. This will give you access to a number of past papers and examiner reports via a tab in this section of the website.

Please see the IoLET Affiliate page for further information and to register online.   


Examination topics are published on our website around 1 June.

Is there any other information I need to know?

You can download useful support material to help you prepare once you've become an IoLET Affiliate.


When can I take the exam?

All five units of the exam, three oral and two written, can be taken in June. The two written units only can also be taken in November.

November 2016 session date:

  • 22 November     Written units only

Registration is open until 14 October 2016

June 2017 - dates to be announced


How much does it cost?

Candidates must pay exam fees and a centre fee. Fees are reviewed annually.

Exam fees


November 2016 session

June 2017 session

Unit 01



Unit 02 



Unit 03 



Unit 04



Unit 05



Full registration fee (all units)




Centre fees

If you register to sit the exam at one of our centres, centre fees are arranged and payable directly to the centre.

If you register to sit the exam at the IoLET Open Centre, London, the following fees apply:

  • Unit 01: £53.00
  • Unit 02 and/or 03: £53.00
  • Unit 04 and/or 05: £53.00


Where can I take the exam ?

See our list of exam centres to find the one nearest you.

Please note that for the November 2016 session candidates may register with the following centres only:

  • The IoLET Open Centre
  • Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Diversity NI
  • Global Language Services
  • The Language Academy Birmingham
  • The Language Academy Sheffield

The IoLET Open Centre in London accepts candidates who haven't attended a course or can’t find a centre locally and wish to take the exam.


Entry Criteria

The examination is open to anyone who wishes to take it. There are no absolute entry requirements, but regular attendance on a course is strongly recommended.

How do I register ?

To register for the DPSI exam, simply download the PDF iconExam entry form and follow the instructions. Please submit the completed and signed form by post or by emailing a scan to .  A Candidate is only fully registered when the exam fee has been received and payment has been cleared.

Candidates will be notified in writing as soon as possible whether there is sufficient demand to set an examination in a particular language/pathway or whether a supplement fee will be payable.

Candidates wishing to register for the examination may register with one of the following institutions:

  • The IoLET Open Centre, London
  • Teaching Centre – where they are attending a course
  • Teaching Centre – willing to accept External Candidates

Candidates preparing for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting are supported through membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists as an IoLET Affiliate. This membership grade provides access to resources to support preparation as well as other membership benefits. Exam candidates are encouraged to join CIOL as an IoLET Affiliate as soon as they know they intend to take the exam to ensure they get the most out of their membership. Registration with CIOL as an IoLET Affiliate or in professional membership grades is a pre-requisite for exam registration. The applicant's current membership number must be quoted on the exam entry form in order to be processed. Please see IoLET Affiliate membership for further details.     

You should also peruse the Candidate Regulations.

The registration period for the June session runs from 1 November – 31 January.

The registration period for the November session (written units only) runs from 1 September until 14 October.

After the exam

From marking to issuing results

Quality assurance is built in throughout the life of a qualification. The diagram below describes a set of procedures IoLET follows from the examination taking place to issuing results. Rigorous checks are crucial to the quality of each of the IoLET qualifications and ensure the accuracy of the assessment decisions.

After the exam - from marking to issuing results

*DipTrans results are issued within 14 weeks of the examination day. DPSI / DPI results are issued within 12 weeks of the examination day.


When do I get my certificate?

DipTrans: Your certificate will be issued in July and sent to your home address.

DPSI: Certificates are issued at the end of October and sent to centres. Candidates who sit the exam at the IoLET Open Centre, London, receive their certificate directly.

DPI: You will receive your certificate within two months of the release of results.

All: Please advise IoLET immediately of any change of address as certificates cannot be reissued.

What if I have a complaint?

You have 21 days after the end of the exam session to submit a complaint in writing. Please see the complaints policy and procedures.

What if I want to lodge an appeal?

You have two weeks after receiving your results to lodge an appeal. Please see the enquiries on results and appeals policy and procedures.