Ethical Dilemmas for Interpreters in the Digital World & ID AGM

ID AGM – Chair's Report

The Interpreting Division (ID) has continued to organise three main CPD events each year, developed by the committee at a special planning meeting in August. All the events offered are based on suggestions from ID members and participants in previous workshops and seminars. This last year was no exception and we were delighted to host some 180 members and non-members during the year.

Our first event of the 2016/17 programme was a three-session day on 19 November 2016 entitled: “Voice & Stress Management for Interpreters”. This proved to be a very eventful day with all three presentations involving plenty of physical activity. The first was led by Gabriela Bocanete MCIL CL, not only a multi-faceted interpreter but also a qualified personal performance coach and yoga teacher, who looked in detail at “Breathing for Performance”, including powerful and helpful yoga techniques. Frances Parkes followed with a seminar entitled: “Max Your Voice – find out more about your voice quality and how to exploit it”. She was able to call upon the considerable experience gained over the past 10 years from training actors, interpreters, other professionals (including Voice Coaches) and business people on how to release, develop and use their voice. The final session of the day was run after lunch by Joseph Hudson, the founder of Pronunciation Studio speech school in London and author of the pronunciation course, ‘The Sound of English’. This was a fun hands-on taster session, entitled “Improving the way you sound in English – the four aspects of accent reduction”.

Our second event on 22 April, entitled: “Digital Marketing for Interpreters” looked at how to grow business in the freelance market. With that in mind, Martina Eco of 3P Translation opened the day with a presentation on “Unlocking the power of digital marketing for freelance interpreters”. She focused in particular on how the internet offers numerous ways to market freelance businesses effectively and at very low cost, in addition to digital marketing tools which can be used to establish a digital presence. The second session with Jonathan Downie, entitled: “Writing Content that Gets Your Clients’ Attention” explored what can happen when members start writing and pitching copy expressly to catch the clients eye - from adding ‘how-to’ posts to your own blog, right through to writing for the magazines that clients read. The final presentation of the day was led by Meg Dziatkiewicz  of “Websites for Translators”, which specialises in web design, marketing, brand development and account management within the translation and interpreting industry. She looked in particular at how to mark an interpreter’s presence, make a website client-friendly and then went on to explore how the right blend of design, content and branding can work to the interpreter’s advantage.

Today’s final event of the year, included two presentations and the ID AGM. The practical seminar, entitled: “Interpreting Dilemmas & Professional Conduct in the Digital Era” was led by our very own Teresa Grau MCIL, a professional interpreter and translator herself and a senior language trainer/lecturer who has worked at several universities, including Westminster, London Metropolitan and Alcalá in Spain. She looked at a variety of scenarios, including situations members have made us aware of, which have the potential to give rise to ethical dilemmas for interpreters both inside and outside the work place – some of which may be challenging in terms of the Professional Codes of Conduct interpreters’ must abide by. Our second session on “Copyright and Confidentiality” was led by Richard Delaney FCIL CL, who explored the issues of copyright and confidentiality and the way in which these two aspects relate to the professional conduct of linguists. Having originally trained as a lawyer and called to the Bar at Lincolns Inn, he later decided to combine his linguistic and legal skillsets to go on to develop and teach an MA in Legal Translation at City University in London, making him amply qualified to talk about these two topics. He has since happily returned to the life of a freelancer, based in Berlin.

Marketing our events

Direct mailing of ID event information and application forms to members’ desktops has become the norm and is much appreciated. We do, of course, still advertise in The Linguist, on the CIOL website, the ITI ICE, CIOL e-groups, a special ID Facebook event page and other relevant social media. Student members at training establishments are also routinely informed about our events through the CIOL database and their tutors. With their permission, non-members also receive notice of our events via our ‘advanced notice email list.


Our moderated e-group interpreter’s network continues to grow – some 240 members to date. There is a healthy flow of messages, much supported by input from our InterpNet coordinators, Gabriela Bocanete MCIL CL and Diana Singureanu MCIL CL.

InterpNet, as the name implies, is a network of interpreters working in a variety of languages and offering different types of interpreting. InterpNet members are willing to support and cooperate with other members on the list (all members of professional language associations), in terms of work and linguistic assistance. For those not familiar with its concept, it is a forum for mutual support, exchange of interpreting-related ideas, the posting of questions about anything from terminology to IT, to how to draw up a contract, negotiate with a customer, or even where to find a CPD event or course – and our ID events definitely qualify as such.

CIOL consultation & exchange of information

The Chair and generally the Hon. Treasurer of each Division are invited to meet with other Divisions and the Head of Membership in regular joint Divisional meetings.

The Divisions have seen considerable and wide-ranging changes over the last year or so, including a new constitution and a major change to how finances are managed (moving to monthly management accounts provided by TAD – CIOL’s Accounts department). A recent VAT review stated that the CIOL is not an eligible body for education VAT exemption, which means that all event sales and income must be standard rated; in practical terms, this means that Divisional event ticket prices are now subject to 20% VAT.

Furthermore, in addition to planning and organising events, members of the Divisional committees are now also required to comply with new or updated policies covering data protection, volunteers and equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI), as well as produce risk assessment reports and an annual report for Council.

The ID committee, through its Chair (also Vice-Chair of Council), has continued to liaise with the Chair of Council and CEO regarding the new MoJ Framework as it affects our PSI colleagues. The Division also raises with and responds to interpreting related matters raised by members, the Membership department, Council and the CEO, as appropriate.

Our thanks

Your committee should very much like to thank all our members and visitors for supporting the events and giving us important and objective feedback during the year. We can assure you that we do listen and where possible act upon it.

We also wish to offer our sincere thanks to the Institute staff at Dunstan House – Julie Hobbs & Jack Sellen in particular – who continue to give the Division extremely valued support in preparing for our events, sometimes way beyond the call of duty.

And last, but not least, I wish to thank my committee of volunteers, who have all given many hours of their free time to ensure that the Division's affairs and events are dealt with to the very best of their ability and in a timely manner.

Christine Pocock FCIL
Chair, Interpreting Division
3 June 2017

Original listing

Complementary seminars looking at how to cope with copyright, confidentiality and ethics, followed by AGM of the CIOL Interpreting Division.

The first seminar with Maria-Teresa Grau will involve members in discussion about a selection of scenarios which give rise to dilemmas for interpreters.  Please come with your thinking hats on and a copy of the code of conduct you follow!

The second talk with Richard Delaney will be looking at two aspects of our profession that tend not to be discussed all that often; copyright and confidentiality, and the way in which these two aspects relate to our professional conduct as linguists.

Translators and interpreters work creatively, which gives rise to the question of copyright. To what extent is the work of the translator or interpreter protected, and what does this mean in practice?

As far as confidentiality is concerned, it should go without saying that certain client communications must be treated as confidential. But how far reaching is this obligation, and are there exceptions to this? 


10:30-11:00     Registration, welcome and coffee
11:00-12:15     "Interpreting Dilemmas and Professional Conduct in the Digital Era" with Teresa Grau
12:15-13:30     "Copyright and Confidentiality" with Richard Delaney
13:30-14:30    Buffet lunch and networking with colleagues
14:30-15:00    Interpreting Division AGM (any ID members not wishing to attend the seminars or networking lunch are welcome to attend the afternoon AGM session free of charge, but you must still book).


June 3rd, 2017 10:30 AM   to   3:00 PM
Hotel Novotel London City South
53-61 Southwark Bridge Road
London, SE1 9HH
United Kingdom
Events +
Category Interpreting Division
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Interpreting Division