A connected community without language barriers


What is a role-player?

Some of our interpreting tests include live role play dialogues. During these interpreting tests, the role-players act out a conversation. For example, an English-speaking doctor will discuss a health matter with a patient who speaks another language (we refer to this as a “LOTE”: a language other than English). The test candidate will interpret between the two speakers. The tests are video and audio recorded to allow it to be marked by NAATI.

This is integral to our interpreter certification tests, as we can ensure they closely resemble real-life situations that interpreters will find themselves in. It also allows us to assess specific skills that are vital to professional interpreting, such as interactional management.

We recruit role-players who are native speakers of the languages we offer interpreting tests in: NSW (Sydney), SA (Adelaide), Vic (Melbourne), Qld (Brisbane) and WA (Perth). Many of our tests are run online, however we recruit role-players that are linked to our regional offices that run testing. Role-players may be asked to deliver tests either in person at a testing venue or online.

Role-players are casual employees of NAATI and are engaged as needed when tests are run.

Selected role-players will be trained before taking part in a role-playing test situation. Role-players attending this training will be paid.

Selected role-players are bound by a confidentiality agreement. The agreement requires no aspect of the test or the candidates being shared with people outside the organisation.

Work hours and conditions
Role-player work is casual and conducted during business hours. Depending on the language you speak, hours per year could be between 20 and 200 depending on the number of candidates that apply for testing and potential additional invigilator work. Although the work is irregular our test days are scheduled months in advance giving sufficient time to plan. The work offers a great opportunity to use your language skills to contribute to the interpreting profession in Australia and New Zealand, and work with a diverse group of professionals.

English-speaking role-players must be able to speak clearly in readily recognisable English with a high level of fluency. Mild accents are required, avoiding phrases and words not commonly used in Australia or New Zealand.

LOTE-speaking role-players must be able to speak and read the LOTE clearly and in a readily recognisable standard accent of the language, with a high level of fluency. Where the language is spoken in several countries, you may speak with any standard accent providing you can be easily understood by speakers of the language in Australia. For example, Arabic speakers must speak in Arabic that is generally understood in other Arabic speaking countries or communities.

Auslan role-players must be native Auslan users and be able to sign clearly and with a high level of fluency.

Other requirements include:

  • good performance ability
  • ability to read and write in English
  • ability to work as part of a team in a respectful way
  • excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • willingness to adhere to strict confidentiality and security requirements
  • availability to take on assignments during business hours
  • being receptive to feedback.

Employment with NAATI requires you to have Australian citizenship or be a permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand or have a valid visa that provides work rights. For non-Australian and NZ applicants your eligibility to work within Australia will be checked via VEVO with your passport details. 

Below is an example of a face-to-face dialogue task in a Certified Provisional Interpreter test.

Please note: This video is intended as a demonstration of the test setup only.

An example of a face-to-face dialogue task. The candidate sits in the middle with an English Role-player on one side and the LOTE (in this case Malay) Role-player on the other.

Languages currently recruiting

NAATI is only accepting applications for the following language role-players in these states and territories:

  NSW Qld Vic WA
Non-conventional Sign Language (NCSL)      
S’gaw Karen      

List of language role-players being recruited in each state and territory

Apply now!

If your language is being recruited in your state or territory (see the above table) fill out the expression of interest form below and one of our friendly staff will get back to you. 

Practitioner details

credential result