Our internal Quality Management System is certified to ISO 9001:2008 and we are required to constantly monitor, measure and analyse our performance with regard to delivery and customer satisfaction. All the components of our Quality Management System are periodically and systematically reviewed both internally and externally and follow strict quality audit procedures.
In addition to our ISO certification we are corporate members of the ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) . To become a corporate member, companies must demonstrate not only quality and value for money for the client but also fairness and responsibility to the interpreter/translator.
Essex Interpreting holds Professional Indemnity Insurance of £2000 000 and Public Liability Insurance of £5000 000 and Employer’s Liability of 10 000 000.
Linguists suitably qualified and experienced
Since starting in 2002, our language base has grown and expanded depending on client needs.
For face to face, we are able to provide around 60 languages and the most frequently requested language list changes from one year to another. By having a large number of qualified interpreters on our books we are able to deliver the languages requested.
As we are ISO certified, our subcontractor recruitment processes are adhered to for every individual. As a prerequisite, all applicants need to either have, or be working towards, their DPSI (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting) and/or be on the NRPSI (National Register of Public Service Interpreting). In addition they must also supply as a minimum two references through which we can assess their skill and quality levels.
For each subcontractor, we hold files which contain an application form (for contact details, qualifications and referee details, education levels, tax status details etc), 2 x written references (this can be reduced to 1 reference if the interpreter is already on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters), a DBS check, a Contract for Services (outlining our freelance relationship), and a signed Confidentiality Agreement.
Confidentiality / Safeguarding procedures
Professional interpreters are all bound by a Code of Ethics which covers accuracy, impartiality and confidentiality, so all professional interpreters are fully aware at all times that confidentiality is paramount.
Essex Interpreting subcontractors all sign a ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ when they join us, and a copy of this is held in their HR file.
In terms of safeguarding, our face to face interpreters hold enhanced DBS certificates. As already explained, they are also subject to written references. For some specific subject matters, we also speak with the interpreters beforehand to ensure they are happy to interpret the subject matter and remain impartial (for example, pregnancy terminations, etc).
For some cases also, instead of working with local interpreters who may know the families involved, we offer the assignments to interpreters who do not live in the same community. This further protects the confidentiality and we often find the families are more open about situations than they would have been with a member of their community.
Our interpreters will be happy to meet service users earlier than the start time of the interview in order to be briefed by the professional requesting them.
Many of our interpreters are very experienced in working with children as well as vulnerable adults. They will always follow the lead of the professional as it is ultimately the responsibility of the employee to lead the interview, but our interpreters are sensitive to vulnerable individuals.
Our interpreters also wear photo ID badges which have been issued by Essex Interpreting OR an authorised interpreting trade organisation, eg National Register of Public Service Interpreters, ITI etc.
Effective account management
Essex Interpreting has dedicated account managers for each client. This person liaises regularly with the client to ensure everything is running smoothly, to deal with any complaints and to provide stats and data where required. The account manager will also work with the client to review processes and make improvements where necessary.
We keep stats to show each booking, any ‘unmet’ bookings (where we were unsuccessful in providing an interpreter), and the time sheets our interpreters bring with them to assignments show punctuality of the interpreters. We are able to provide electronic reports where requested. For example, for other clients, we are asked to produce reports showing the most frequently requested language, number of bookings for each language by department etc and costs associated with these.
The account manager will be available for face to face meetings, telephone contact as well as frequent e-mail contact to check everything is running according to plan.