IoLET Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (QCF)

From 1 September 2016 candidates entering for the DPSI must first register with CIOL as an IoLET Affiliate. See here for more information. You will need to quote your IoLET Affiliate membership number on your examination form.


  • About the exam

  • Preparation

  • Dates, fees & venues

  • Registration

  • After 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:

  • Ofqual-accredited, nationally recognised qualification
  • Exemptions for the DPI qualification
  • Improved career prospects. You will be entitled to:
    • Use the title 'DPSI' after your name
    • Apply for membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists 
    • Apply for registration on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)

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 DPSI pdfHandbook and the DPSI qualification overview.

What languages can I take the exam in?

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


How can I prepare for the exam?

It is essential that you read the DPSI pdfHandbook and our pdfCandidate 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. You can find out more about these courses by contacting the centres directly. Please note that as the awarding organisation for the DPSI, we are unable to endorse or recommend any particular courses.

You can purchase past papers and a DVD offering valuable insight into the DPSI exam using this pdforder form.

Is there any other information I need to know?

You can download useful support material to help you prepare:


Sample exam papers

You may find it useful to read these despite not necessarily knowing the other languages:


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.

June 2016 session dates:

November 2016 - date to be announced

How much does it cost?

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

Exam fees

  June 2016 session November 2016 session tba
Unit 01 £222  
Unit 02 £182  
Unit 03 £182  
Unit 04 £182  
Unit 05 £182  
Full registration fee (all units) £666  

(Register and payment to be
cleared by 31 January 2016)



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: £52
  • Unit 02 and/or 03: £52
  • Unit 04 and/or 05: £52

Where can I take the exam?

See our list of registered centres (pdfPDF version) to find the one nearest you.

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.

Advanced Learner Loans

The DPSI qualification is available for Advanced Learner Loans which as of the 2016/17 academic year are expanded to learners from the age of 19 and to include designated qualifications up to level 6.

The loan applies to tuition fees for DPSI preparation courses delivered by colleges or training providers in England approved to offer loans by the Skills Funding Agency. Please check with the course provider to find out about their eligibility and availability of a course.

Loans are available for learners starting a course after 31 August 2016. The last date for enrolment in any future course will be 31 July 2017.

Please note that IoLET does not offer courses and therefore does not deal with any aspects of these loans. As the Awarding Organisation our role is limited to nominating the qualification for Advanced Learner Loans designation.

Find out more from the Advanced Learner Loans Qualifications Catalogue, and Advanced Learning Loans.

How do I register?

To register for the DPSI exam, simply download an exam information pack consisting of:

and follow the instructions.

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.

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.


*DPSI results are issued within 12 weeks of the examination day

When do I get my certificate?

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.

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

Candidates who sit their exams in November receive their certificate at the same time as their results.

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.