Chartered Institute
of Linguists

CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI)

About the DPSI

The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) is a qualification for those who work, or would like to work in:

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

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

The qualification is available in the following pathways:

  • Law (English/Scottish/Northern Irish)
  • Health
  • Local Government

What are the benefits?

What format does the exam take?

The qualification is composed of five units for each pathway:

  • Unit 01: Interpret consecutively and simultaneously
  • Unit 02: Provide a sight translation into English 
  • Unit 03: Provide a sight translation from English
  • Unit 04: Translate into English 
  • Unit 05: Translate from English

For detailed information on the content and format of the qualification please refer to the DPSI Qualification Specification.

Which languages can I take the exam in?

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

How can I prepare for the exam?

The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting is a professional qualification, set at graduate level. It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared for the exam, competent in both the source and target languages, have very good interpreting and writing skills and the ability to interpret at a professional level. It is essential that you read the Qualification Specification and our Candidate Information for detailed information about the exam format, criteria and regulations.

The exam is available both to candidates attending courses and to independent candidates. 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 courses and contact course providers directly. Please note that as the Awarding Organisation for the DPSI, we are unable to endorse or recommend any particular course.

Example Topics

Role play topics for the June 2022 DPSI exam are here: PDF icon DPSI ROLE PLAY TOPICS June 2022.pdf

Preparing to take the DPSI online

An online demo test is available if you are preparing to take the DPSI online. This recommended to familiarise yourself with the exam software in advance.

If you are studying for the DPSI Law pathway, you may wish to supplement your studies with a five-part interactive preparatory online workshop available to CIOL members in our webinar library. Non-members and CIOL Study Affiliates can purchase past DPSI papers using this form: File DPSI Past Paper Order Form


Registration for the November 2022 session of the DPSI will open soon. The exam dates will be: 

  • All oral units between: 21 November - 25 November 2022
  • All written units on: 29 November 2022


To register for the DPSI exam two sets of fees are payable - Exam Fees plus mandatory CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees which cover the costs of invigilation and online assessment.


Exam Fees

Unit 01          


Unit 02 



Unit 03           


Unit 04



Unit 05


Full exam registration (all five units)





*Exam Fees are capped at £715; if the total cost of the units you are sitting exceeds this amount, the maximum Exam Fee is still £715.


CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees

Unit 01:                                      £60

Unit 02 and/or 03:                    £60

Unit 04 and/or 05:                    £60

Full CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fee (all five units):     £180* 

*The CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fee is capped at £180 if candidates are taking 3 units or more.


For more information, please check our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy on our Policies page.


Registration is now open for the November 2022 DPSI. Download the DPSI entry form via the Register Now button below. 



Please complete and email your DPSI entry form to and we will contact you with confirmation and follow up on your selected secure payment option.