This is a question that maybe many ask; why is it important to have such a title?
I remember many years ago - to be precise 12 years ago - when I embarked on the journey of becoming an interpreter, that I was looking for an accountant for my self-assessment tax return. Yes, I know many people do this on their own, but I thought is better and safer to leave in the hands of an expert.
But on that first year, when I hired my accountant, it landed me with a fine from HMRC - the tax return wasn’t filed correctly. So yes I got a good price and I thought I'd made a good deal and I thought: "She knows what’s she is doing..."
That didn’t turn out well.
A close friend of mine recommended me her accountant and said that he is a Chartered Accountant. Of course, I had to pay a higher price. And from that point on the term “Chartered” kept coming into my mind in the years following - I found myself wondering if I could ever hold a such title... I must mention by the way that I still have this accountant today.
In 2014-2015 I took a course for the CIOLQ DPSI. I must say it felt like I was back in school, with all the hard preparation, and I still remember when I went for the exam; my fellow candidates were as nervous as I was! It makes me smile thinking about it. But I guess what left a very good impression on me was how well-organised the staff from the Chartered Institute of Linguists were with those exams. I passed the DPSI Law in Romanian and went on to work successfully with the Police and Courts; indeed I now give them advice at the national level.
So with these successes under my belt I made my research into being a Chartered Linguist, and the benefits of it. And because of my experience with the accountants, that was when I decided that I wanted to become a Chartered Linguist, to underline that I offer my services at the highest standards possible. Since becoming a Chartered Linguist I have never looked back.
For me being a Chartered Linguist is like having star next to your name; and it is something of great value to really hold on to. Yes, other qualifications, initials or titles are important I don’t deny that, but to me Chartered Linguist holds a special place. It is because it constantly motivates me to get better at what I do.
Today I am the CEO of my own company and I apply the principles and ethics of being Chartered Linguist within my company. One of the main questions I ask when a linguist applies to us is if they are a member of CIOL or a Chartered Linguist. If they are I know they will be professionals, and from my own personal experience know what it takes to become qualified, to become a CIOL member and to become Chartered.
I strongly believe that there is no short cut to becoming a professional - but it is always worth the investment to be a professional and to work with professionals - especially Chartered professionals.
Views expressed on CIOL Voices are those of the writer and may not represent those of the wider membership or CIOL.