CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Police Interpreting (DPI)

About the exam

Is it right for me?

The Diploma in Police Interpreting (DPI) is a professional qualification for those who work, or would like to work, as interpreters for Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The DPI replaced the Metropolitan Police Test as a regulated qualification recognised by Ofqual.

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

What are the benefits?

  • Ofqual-regulated, nationally recognised qualification
  • Recognition of professional skills and career development
  • Exemptions for the DPSI (Law) qualification, subject to meeting specific registration criteria
  • Use the title 'DPI' after your name
  • Eligibility for membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
  • Widely recognised both by organisations who previously recognised the Met Test and those who will now use the DPI as a standard of eligibility for work. This includes acceptance of the DPI as qualification:
    • To apply for registration on the List of Metropolitan Police Interpreters (Metropolitan Police Service)
    • For registration on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)
    • For interpreting work with UK Visas and Immigration and the National Crime Agency
    • For work in courts through the MoJ Framework Agreement
    • For work in public service interpreting through the Crown Commercial Service Language Services Framework Agreement 

What format does the exam take?

The qualification is composed of five units:

  • Unit 01 (Level 6): Interpret consecutively two-way in a police context and take a police statement
  • Unit 02 (Level 6): Interpret simultaneously – whispered – from English in a police context
  • Unit 03 (Level 6): Provide a sight translation from English in a police context
  • Unit 04 (Level 5): Translate a police statement into English
  • Unit 05 (Level 5): Translate from English in a police context

Which languages can I take the exam in?

You can take the DPI exam in a wide variety of languages. View the DPI languages list for more information.

For detailed information on the content and format of the qualification please refer to the PDF icon DPI Qualification specification


How can I prepare for the exam?

Please read the Qualification Specification and the Candidate Information to find out detailed information about the exam format, criteria and regulations.

It is good practice to prepare for a professional qualification by following a course of study. Courses are available from external providers. Please refer to the list of centres and contact course providers directly. 

Please note that as the Awarding Organisation for the DPI, we are unable to endorse or recommend any particular courses.

Preparing to take the DPI online

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

Sample exam papers

Non-members and Student Affiliates can purchase past DPI papers using this form: Past Paper Order Form. Remember however that you can access these as a membership benefit through becoming an IoLET Affiliate:
All candidates for the DPI exam are required to become an IoLET Affiliate of CIOL. This will give you access to exclusive preparation resources, including past papers.

*Higher grades of membership (Career Affiliate, Associate, Member and Fellow) are also eligible to enter for exams and access the same exam preparation resources


When can I take the exam?

All five units of the exam can be taken in June and November.

Exam dates for November 2021

  • 22 November 2021 (all oral units only)
  • 26 November 2021 (all written units only)



How much does it cost?

As well as the exam fee, candidates must pay the CIOLQ Virtual Centre Fee. Fees are reviewed annually. 

Exam fees

Unit 01 Interpret consecutively two-way in a police context and   
take a police statement


Unit 02 Interpret simultaneously–whispered–from English in a 
police context

Unit 03 Provide a sight translation from English in a police 

Unit 04 Translate a police statement into English



Unit 05 Translate from English in a police context


Full exam registration* 
(all five units)

*Fees are capped at £635.00; if the total cost of the units you are sitting exceeds this amount, the maximum payment is still £635.00.

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

CIOLQ Virtual Centre fees

If you register to take the exam via the CIOLQ Virtual Centre (online) the following fees apply:

  • Unit 01: £55.00
  • Unit 02 and/or 03: £55.00
  • Unit 04 and/or 05: £55.00

Full Enrolment Fee:  £165.00
(all five units)


Where can I take the exam?

The November 2021 DPI exam is only available online at CIOLQ Virtual Centre.

Advanced Learner Loans

The DPI 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 DPI 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 1 August 2018. The last date for enrolment in any future course will be 31 July 2019.

Please note that CIOL Qualifications 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 Learner Loans.


The examination is open to anyone who wishes to take it. There are no absolute entry requirements, but regular attendance on a course is strongly recommended.

Candidates are required to register with CIOL as an IoLET Affiliate before registering for any of our exams.

How do I register?

We are now in the extended registration period for the November 2021 DPI session. Please submit your application no later than 17:00 on 22 October 2021. Applications received during this period will be subject to a late registration fee. Please refer to the Invoicing, Fees and Billing Policy.

To register, download the DPI Entry Form. Complete all fields electronically and save to your files. Please submit the completed form by email to A Candidate is only fully registered when the exam fee has been received and payment has been cleared.

Candidates preparing for the Diploma in Police Interpreting are supported through membership of CIOL as an IoLET AffiliateThis membership grade provides access to resources to support preparation as well as other membership benefits. Exam candidates are encouraged to join CIOL as an IoLET Affiliate as soon as they know they intend to take the exam to ensure they get the most out of their membership. Registration with CIOL as an IoLET Affiliate or in professional membership grades is a pre-requisite for exam registration. The applicant's current membership number must be quoted on the exam entry form in order to be processed. Please see IoLET Affiliate membership for further details.

You should also read the PDF icon DPI Qualification specification and Candidate Information.

Please send any enquires regarding registration to