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
- 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:
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
What 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.
How can I prepare for the exam?
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 order form.
Is there any other information I need to know?
You can download useful support material to help you prepare:
- Chief Moderators Report 2015 – presents an overview of candidate profiles and languages, exam results and other issues from the most recent DPSI session
- Written Markers Reports June 2015 – provide feedback on candidate performance and recommendations
- Recommendations to DPSI Candidates - offers advice and recommendations to candidates
- Recommendations to DPSI Centres - offers advice and recommendations to Centres
Sample exam papers
You may find it useful to read these despite not necessarily knowing the other languages:
- Interpreting bibliography – includes all required bibliography to prepare for the exam
- Preparation seminar – offers an overview of the quality standards, tips and advice about the exam
- Written translations FAQ
- Fatal errors FAQ
- Links and resources – recommended by translators, interpreters and examiners
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:
- 20-24 June 2016 Oral units
- 28 June 2016 Written units
- Information Sheet for June 2016 sessions
November 2016 - date to be announced
How much does it cost?
Candidates must pay exam fees and a centre fee. Fees are reviewed annually.
|June 2016 session||November 2016 session tba|
|Full registration fee (all units)||£666|
(Register and payment to be
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?
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.
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?
DPSI documents A-Z
Centres and courses (PDF version)
Chief Moderators Report 2015
Exam entry form
Fatal Errors FAQ
Links and resources
Recommendations to DPSI Candidates
Recommendations to DPSI Centres
Sample Paper order form
Sample Paper - Arabic - Local Government
Sample Paper - Cantonese - Health
Sample Paper - Polish - English Law
Written Markers Reports June 2015
Written Translations FAQ