Ethical Competency

Ethical competency is the knowledge and understanding of the relevant Code of Ethics required by interpreters and/or translators that allows them to apply this to situations in professional practice, client interactions and other professional activities.

If you are applying to NAATI to gain a certification for the first time, you will normally need to pass both the intercultural and ethical screening tests before you become eligible to sit a certification test. You will also have to satisfy other prerequisites depending on the eligibility pathway you choose.

The AUSIT Code of Ethics sets out the general principles that govern the practice of spoken language translators and interpreters. It was first launched in 1996 and has been endorsed by NAATI ever since.

It is split up into several sections that include a Code of Conduct (which explains how ethical principles are to be applied) and separate sections on conduct issues specific to translators and issues specific to interpreters.

All practitioners who hold a NAATI credential (in a spoken language) must abide by the AUSIT code. It is a condition of the credential they are issued. Visit the AUSIT website for the latest version of the AUSIT Code of Ethics.

AUSIT Code of Ethics

The ASLIA Code of Ethics articulates ethical principles, values, and standards of conduct to specifically guide sign language interpreters in their professional practice. It is intended to provide direction to interpreters for ethical and professional decision-making in their day-to-day work.

All practitioners who hold a NAATI credential (in a signed language) must abide by the ASLIA code. It is a condition of the credential they are issued.

Click here to download a copy.

You do not need to apply separately to sit an intercultural or ethical competency screening test. NAATI will make a determination and will advise you of whether you need to sit these screening tests once we begin processing your submitted certification application.

Click here to see the cost of the ethical competency screening test.

You should be aware that it may take 3-6 months for these tests to be offered. NAATI will contact you with more information on this once an application has been assessed. 

The ethical competency screening test will assess:

  • Your knowledge of the relevant code of ethics - AUSIT Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct (2012) or ASLIA Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct (2007)
  • Your ability to identify ethical issues in a broad range of interpreting and/or translation scenarios; and
  • Your ability to apply the relevant principle/value of the code to each scenario.

The test will consist of:

  1. Answering three knowledge-based short answer questions; and
  2. Answering three scenario-based short answer questions (from a choice of five)

NAATI expects that test candidates will have read and understood the following information prior to attending their test:

You can also click here to access some example test questions and answers to help you prepare for the test. 

Generally, NAATI schedules screening tests at least once every three months in all locations.

Please note that NAATI must have assessed your application as 'eligible for testing' before you can be invited to book one of these test dates:

  • Week Commencing: 1 - 31 January 2020

The list of dates and languages above is not exhaustive. Further dates and languages will be published as they become available. NAATI reserves the right to amend test dates up to eight weeks before the scheduled test date.

NAATI has developed a set of two online training courses to assist people wishing to prepare for the intercultural and ethical competency screening tests.

These two courses are not a replacement for tertiary qualifications and it is not compulsory to complete them. Completing these courses (on their own) will not be enough to satisfy the training requirements to access certification testing. 

Enrolments for the current round of courses are now closed.

If you have completed a NAATI Endorsed Qualification, you will not need to sit this screening tests as this content was covered in your tertiary course.

If you have completed other training at a Higher Education (HE) or Vocational Education and Training (VET) institution within the last three years, NAATI may exempt you from having to sit this test. You will need to attach evidence of completing this training with your application form for NAATI to make an assessment.

If you already hold a NAATI credential, Certification or Recognised Practising, there are special pathways available if you wish to gain a higher credential (in the same language or skill) or equivalent credential (in a different language or direction).

If you only hold accreditation or recognition under the previous credentialing system then these special pathways are not accessible.

If you are looking to obtain another credential in a different skill (e.g. you are an interpreter wanting a translating credential), NAATI may not require you to sit the intercultural and ethical competency screening tests. You will be advised if you need to sit these tests once NAATI begins to process your application. You would still need to meet all other prerequisites.

All applications for additional credentials should be made through myNAATI.

Click here for our FAQ page.

Still have questions or are unsure? Email info@naati.com.au.