The demand for language services, such as translation and interpreting, is increasing year on year, especially in the Public Sector. An area that has experienced one of the sharpest increases is the Police Force, approximately a 64% increase in demand for language services since 2003/04.
According to government guidelines, the first port of call for the Police Force when they require an interpreter or translator is the NRPSI - the National Register of Public Service Interpreters - which is overseen by the Institute of Linguists. However, even though the demand for interpreters has strongly increased in recent years, the number of interpreters registered with the NRPSI has virtually remained unchanged during this period, currently amounting to around 2000 interpreters at present.
With a static supply of interpreters and an increasing demand for their services, it is not surprising that a variety of problems can occur when 52 Police Forces in the UK depend, as their first port of call, on the NRPSI to meet their language needs.
The NRPSI is a professional register and requires interpreters who wish to be listed to pay a joining fee which is then renewable each year. Furthermore, the register has one standard of selection criteria which is by no means a measure of quality in itself. Bearing in mind the financial outlay with no guarantee of securing work, there is a significant number of highly qualified linguists, many of whom are also security vetted, who choose not to sign up to the register. By limiting themselves solely to the NRPSI, Police Forces are missing out on a valuable resource.
The system of using the register to engage an interpreter can itself be problematic. Depending on the language required and also the location of the interpreter, it may take a busy Police officer several phone calls to different interpreters to find one that is available. Not discounting the time involved in this process, it may then be followed by a delay of several hours before the interpreter arrives on site. That’s if they turn up, of course.
The management and administration of this system, whether it be the time involved in searching through the register, finding an available interpreter in the required language, or the plain admin involved in handling invoices and payments for individual interpreters, can tie up much needed Police resources.
However, this is where language services companies step in.
To overcome the associated problems of engaging the service of an appropriate and qualified interpreter, many constabularies are turning to language services companies, such as Prestige Network, to meet their needs.
Prestige Network can provide a managed service for Police Forces and, as it has access to around 5000 linguists based across the UK, is keeping up with the increasing demand for language professionals.
A managed service is a much easier solution for securing an interpreter and takes away the headache involved in what, in theory, should be a simple procedure but, in reality, can turn out to be a problematic and time-consuming process for Police officers. With one number to ring, over 300 languages catered for, on-time delivery of interpreters, total accountability, access to full management information, plus a single invoice - the benefits can be seen immediately.
All Prestige Network's language specialists are CRB verified and adhere to a strict code of conduct. By using Prestige's services, Police Forces can access a vast number of independent, highly qualified interpreters.
Prestige Network’s one-stop solution and its motto of 'any time, anywhere, any language' is meeting the language needs of Police Forces across the country.