The experiences referred to by Mr Martin and Mr Coxall of interpreters failing to turn up for court cases are far from unique. Sadly, I am aware of nearly 4,000 similar complaints that have been reported since the MoJ outsourced court interpreting to Capita.
I would urge solicitors always to check that the interpreters they engage, or which are engaged on their behalf, are registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters – as specified by the ‘national agreement’ referred to by Mr Martin. If the worst happens and problems are experienced with the interpreter, NRPSI provides a free, transparent complaints process.
The professional interpreters on the National Register are horrified by the way their hard-fought reputation is being gradually eroded by the poor standards that have resulted from government outsourcing.
Stephen Bishop, executive director, National Register of Public Service Interpreters, London EC2