New framework for public sector language professionals

Published: 27 June 2024

The National Accreditation Authority for Translator and Interpreters (NAATI) framework, a new program setting standards and certifications for public sector language professionals, will come into effect on 1 July 2024.

The Language Assistance Services (LAS) Programme is a cross-government initiative to improve language services for people with limited English proficiency in New Zealand, focusing on migrants and former refugees.

 From 1 July 2024, Government agencies will begin the transition towards using NAATI-credentialed interpreters or those working towards certification. 

Interpreters in New Zealand must be NAATI-credentialed to continue providing interpreting services to the public sector from this date. This means:

  • those interpreters for rare languages for which no test is available will be assessed and may be awarded a “Recognised Practising Interpreter “credential
  • all other interpreters will be either “Certified Provisional Interpreters” or “Certified Interpreters”, depending on their level of skill, qualifications and experience and availability of testing. 

Before this change, there were no set standards for interpreter qualifications in New Zealand. With NAATI credentials, government agencies can confidently choose interpreters who consistently showhigh skill levels in real-life situations and have demonstrated a strong understanding of the ethics of interpreting.

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