Principles of Professional Practice

InterpreteronCameraThere are references to the principles of professional practice throughout the National Occupational Standards in Interpreting. 

The text below distills the common essentials of the principles of professional practice, drawn from the codes of ethics of a range of professional and registration bodies.

You the professional interpreter, must show that you adhere to the follow principles of professional practice.  This means that you:

  • meet the standards of performance as described in the National Occupational Standards in Interpreting
  • treat all information you receive in the course of your duties as confidential, unless required by law to disclose information
  • are impartial, maintain integrity and professionalism, keeping a professional distance, even in challenging situations
  • intervene only to clarify meaning or to manage situations, e.g. to prevent misunderstanding and incorrect cultural inference, or to ensure that participants do not all speak at once
  • do not accept an assignment which is beyond your competence
  • if appropriate, request a briefing session and sight of documents to be used in advance
  • explain the principles of professional practice if unethical demands are made of you
  • demonstrate a commitment to continuing professional development
  • support colleague interpreters sensitively in the course of their duties
  • disclose any information, including conflicts of interest, which may be relevant to make you unsuitable for an assignment
  • respect the ethics and the working practices of other professions
  • do not discriminate against parties on any grounds
  • do not bring the profession into disrepute