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Professional Development in the T&I Sector

Since I started working for NAATI in 2018, I’ve often had questions from practitioners asking about the Professional Development requirement for recertification.

What is it? Why is it important? How can I complete it? Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to answer these questions.

What is it?

Professional Development (PD) is a broad term that covers the ongoing process of learning and improvement that you engage in throughout your professional life. When NAATI talks about PD, we are referring to any events you have attended or activities that you complete on a regular basis which have helped you to maintain and improve your ability to work as a translator or interpreter.

Why is it important?

Not only is the commitment to lifelong learning through PD a requirement under the AUSIT and ASLIA codes of ethics which all certified translators and interpreters are required to follow, but it is key to ensuring your clients are receiving the best possible service.

I’ve also read an interesting report written by Dr Erika Gonzalez (2019) that talks about the increasing professionalism of the translation and interpreting industry, and the important role that PD plays in this journey. Read Dr Gonzalez’ report: Professional development as a vehicle on the road towards professionalism, inTRAlinea, Vol. 21.

The more we can push for the professionalisation of this incredibly important industry, the better the likely outcomes for translators and interpreters, both in terms of acknowledgement of their professional status and the willingness of clients to pay appropriate rates.

How can I complete it?

Through my work assessing recertification applications, I have had the pleasure of seeing the commitment and passion translators and interpreters have for their work and the many ways through which they are improving their skills.

NAATI’s PD catalogue provides a great starting point for practitioners when filling out their logbooks, but it is not meant to be a restrictive list!

In addition to the wide range of formal workshops and webinars that many practitioners choose to attend, I’ve assessed applications where people have formed discussion groups to share their experiences with other translators and interpreters, completed training in stress management, acted as an administrator for Facebook groups in their LOTE, and even one who submitted their own poetry as evidence of language maintenance.      

So, I guess the main point I’m hoping you take away from this post is don’t be stressed or scared about the PD requirement. You are likely already doing a lot as part of your daily life, and if not, see this as an opportunity to expand your knowledge, show your professionalism, and provide the best possible service to your clients!

In closing, I would add that, as a practitioner, you can earn these valuable PD points by contributing to NAATI’s blog. We want to hear from, and share the stories of, the many practitioners that form this essential part of the translating and interpreting industry.

If you are interested in creating a post, get in touch with our communications team by emailing communications@naati.com.au

Sarah Lattimore is NAATI’s Team Supervisor, Certification Testing and Endorsed Qualifications.

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