Examiners & role-players

NAATI Role-player Information Guide


NAATI conducts interpreting tests by simulating real-life situations for test candidates. Role-players are central to these tests.  

The interpreting test presents a situation to the candidate, who will act as the interpreter between two role-players, each of whom, speak a different language.    

The Role-players have a conversation about a topic. For example, an English-speaking doctor will discuss a health matter with a patient who does not speak English, only the test language. This language is known as the Language Other Than English or LOTE.

NAATI also tests in signed languages such as Auslan, the sign language of the Australian Deaf community.  

Role-players receive prompts and background information in advance to help them to improvise during a test. This includes information about the role, attitude and how to behave, and a list of specific words that must be included in the dialogue.

A NAATI test supervisor will be present in the room to observe. The test will be video and audio recorded to allow NAATI to mark the interpreting ability of the test candidate.

Role-players are expected to play their part convincingly. Role-players may be required to undertake basic research ahead of a role-play to understand the subject matter (i.e. medicine or local council bin collections). Roles might include Government officials, customers, health care workers, legal professionals, domestic violence victims and so on. To be successful in this role, you need to be a quick-thinker, responsive and adaptable in new situations, and be as fluent as a native speaker. 


Training: If selected, you will receive training before taking part in a role-playing test situation. Role-players attending this training will be paid.

Confidentiality: If selected you are bound by a confidentiality agreement, that requires that you do not discuss any aspect of the test or the candidates.

Remuneration: If selected, you will be employed as a casual employee with NAATI. Role-players will be paid $63.72 per hour (including 25% casual loading) of work (including time spent training).

Selection Criteria

English-speaking role-players must be able to speak clearly and in a readily recognisable English, Australian accent with a high level of fluency. Slight accents from other countries are acceptable if you avoid using expressions not commonly used in Australia.

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 confidently and security requirements set by NAATI
  • Availability to take on assignments during business hours
  • Being receptive to feedback

Thank you for your interest in working with NAATI. 

Apply to be a NAATI