The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) has been the benchmark qualification for public service interpreting for over 30 years, and is now available fully online.
The qualification is composed of five units:
For detailed information on the content and format of the qualification please refer to the DPSI Qualification Specification.
The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting is a professional qualification, set at degree 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.
An online demo test is available to help you in preparing to take the DPSI online. This is recommended, to familiarise yourself with the exam software in advance.
This YouTube video guide (click the link or on the picture below) offers advice on joining the DPSI Oral Unit.
This YouTube video guide (click the link or the picture below) offers advice on joining the CIOLQ Online Exam Delivery Platform for written units.
For the DPSI Law pathway, you may wish to supplement your preparation and 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 DPSI Past Paper Order Form.
Candidates may also be interested in recent DPSI Examiner Reports which set out recommendations for candidates based on previous DPSI candidate performance by language. A sample Law paper in English is also available here.
Please click here for the Role Play topics for the November 2023 DPSI exam.
CIOL Qualifications (CIOLQ) listened to feedback received from candidates and training providers and made the decision to change the way in which Unit 01 of the CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) is examined. The initial move in 2020 to online assessment (due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic) and our decision to continue to offer online assessments presented an opportunity for us to review and improve the way in which we assess this unit.
Following the success of this approach in June and November 2022, Unit 01 will continue to be assessed via Microsoft Teams using an audio recording for Unit 01 – Part B. You will listen to the audio recording through headphones and interpret simultaneously. In the live exam each audio recording will be approximately 4 minutes in length.
An English Unit 01 paper is available here: DPSI Sample Paper U01.pdf
Part A – Interpret consecutively between an English Speaker and a speaker of the Other Language. Both speakers will be present and the exam will be conducted on Microsoft Teams. A recording will not be used for Part A. Role play topics will be published on our website in advance of the March 2023 session. You will be required to interpret consecutively for approximately 20 minutes.
Part B – Interpret simultaneously. You are not required to whisper.
You will listen to two audio recordings which you will be required to interpret simultaneously. On the day of the exam an invigilator will share the audio recordings with you. The two recordings cannot be slowed down and there will be no repetition. The recordings will be as follows:
Both Recording 1 and Recording 2 will be on the same broad topic but could be from a different area. Role play topics will be published on our website in advance of the March 2023 session. You will be required to interpret simultaneously for a period of 10 minutes.
The format of the assessment has been changed for online delivery, but the learning outcomes and assessment descriptors remain the same. The marking and moderation of completed assessments and results processing remain unchanged.
If you have any questions please contact our Client Services Team (CST) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration for the March 2024 DPSI exams is now open. Please note candidate numbers for certain languages may be restricted, so please register early to avoid disappointment.
The March 2024 exam dates are:
Oral units: 11th-15th March 2024
Written units: 20th March 2024
The March 2024 key dates document provides useful information about dates and deadlines.
NB: for registered candidates the November exam dates are:
Oral units: 20th-24th November 2023
Written units: 28th November 2023
The November 2023 key dates document provides useful information about dates and deadlines.
For March 2024 the following fees will apply:
Unit 01 - £300
Unit 02 - £250
Unit 03 - £250
Unit 04 - £250
Unit 05 - £250
Full exam entry (or a combination of any four units) - £995
For more information, please check our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy on our Policies page.
Registration for the March 2024 DPSI is now open. Please note candidate numbers for certain language combinations may be restricted, so please register early to avoid disappointment. You can register and pay using the Register Now button below.
Once you have submitted the registration form, you will be taken to PayPal to complete the payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account to book and pay, you can pay securely via PayPay using a debit/credit card. Your payment will be taken by the IoL Educational Trust, CIOL's associated educational charity.
If you are interested in other languages or in taking the DPSI later in 2024, please express an interest here.
For help and support with registration and payment contact us at email@example.com
Please refer to our Policies page to find further information on all aspects of our exams.
Due to illness/personal circumstances I could not attend the exam. Can I request a refund?
Candidates unable to sit an exam due to personal ill health may apply to be considered for the issue of a credit note to the value of 50% of the exam fee received. The credit note is valid for the next available exam session only and has no alternative cash value.
To apply for a credit note, submit a current medical certificate from your doctor to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than two weeks after the exam date. In the absence of any such proof, candidates are liable to forfeit the full exam fee paid. Any difference arising due to increased fees at the next exam session is payable by the candidate.
Something went wrong on the day of the exam. How do I report this?
Please refer to the Special Consideration policy.
How do I submit an enquiry, deliver a compliment, or lodge a complaint?
Please refer to the Enquiries, Compliments and Complaints policy.
What if I want to appeal my result?
Please refer to the Review of Marking and Independent Review Appeals policy.
I have passed a unit, but not the full qualification. Will I receive a certificate?
Yes, you will receive an electronic certificate for the unit which you have passed.
When and how are e-certificates released?
Please refer to the qualification Key Dates document. This gives you the date by which the electronic certificate will be emailed to you.
What is the cost of a resit?
Please refer to the Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing policy.
How many times can I resit a unit?
You are required to complete the full qualification within a three-year period. CIOLQ does not specify how many times you resit a unit. The three-year full exam completion period applies from the first year that you receive a unit certificate.