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This document articulates ethical principles, values, and standards of conduct to guide all interpreters in their pursuit of professional practice. It is aimed at providing direction to interpreters for ethical and professional decision-making in their day-to-day work. The code of professional standard is the mechanism by which the public is protected in the delivery of service. It should not be considered a prescriptive set of rules, but rather a set of principles and values which should be inherent in professional practice.
Interpreters shall maintain confidentiality at all times and treat any information which may come to them in the course of their work, as privilege information, not to be communicated to any third party, without authority.
I. This does not preclude disclosure when legally required to do so or when not disclosing information could render the interpreter liable to prosecution.
II. This also does not preclude sharing information on a strictly confidential basis within recognized structures of professional support and training, whilst respecting client confidentiality.
I. In professional settings, your client is not your friend. Therefore, interpreters should understand the difference between professional and social settings. Interpreters will establish and maintain appropriate boundaries between themselves and participants. They will assume responsibility to ensure relationships with all parties involved are reasonable, fair and professional.
b) Also, interpreters shall demonstrate high sense of professionalism;
I. To be on time for an assignment.
II. To dress appropriately for an assignment.
III. Avoid conflicts of interests.
IV. To negotiate fees, preferably in writing or contract form, before service is provided and to charge reasonable fees.
V. To negotiate for an additional interpreter for a programme exceeding one hour.
c) Interpreters shall not accept an assignment they do not have the matching interpreting skills to executive. In that instance, the interpreter shall inform the contractor the same way he or she was contacted or look for a more qualified interpreter for that specific assignment.
I. Interpreters shall render the message faithfully, always conveying the content of the message and the spirit of the speaker, using language most readily understood by the person (s) whom we serve.
II. Interpreters shall not advise, counsel or interject personal opinions during interpreting assignment. They will refrain from altering a message for political, religious, moral, or philosophical reasons, or any other biased or subjective manner.
III. If an interpreter is not able to put aside personal biases or opinions which threaten impartiality, the interpreter will examine options available to him or her. These may include not accepting the work, or withdrawing their services from the assignment or contract.
I. An interpreter shall respect his or her fellow professional for instance; following the code of professional standard for interpreters is a clear expression of solidarity towards colleague interpreters.
II. The interpreter shall not make evaluative or critical comment about another interpreter. If an interpreter, however, finds another interpreter acting unprofessionally, he or she shall point this out to the colleague in question first, and if necessary, also inform the NASLIG. If an interpreter is given feedback about another interpreter, the person giving the feedback should be instructed to give the feedback directly to the interpreter in question or his or her employer.
III. Interpreters shall act toward colleagues in a spirit of mutual cooperation, creating and portraying them to others with respect, courtesy, fairness and good faith. Interpreters have a professional obligation to assist and encourage new interpreters in the profession.
IV. Interpreters shall not abuse the good faith of other interpreters, breach trust, or use unfair tactics in dealings with colleague or others. Interpreters will refrain from any unfair competition with their colleagues, including, but not limited to:
❖ Engaging in comparative advertising.
❖ Willfully undercutting
❖ Intentionally inflating fees during times market demand exceeds supply.
I. In addition to good language and interpreting skills, professional interpreting skills include a command of interpreting techniques and a broad knowledge of general subjects. Interpreters are to practice and develop these skills actively.
II. Language change and develop with the changes in society. Interpreters develop their language skills by following the media and cultural life of their working languages and by
taking part in training opportunities offered in their working languages. Interpreters also do continuous terminology work (including new terms and their counterparts )
III. Interpreters develop their interpreting skills by taking part in training offered to interpreters. Interpreting skills can be developed independently (or together with colleagues) by studying ones interpreting output with the help of a feedback.
IV. Interpreters recognize their personal limits. They take care of their psychological and physical well being in order to maintain their working capacity and to assure the quality of their work.
I. Interpreters do not function as assistants or representatives to the person they Interpret for. Their responsibility is to convey the message. They do not give advice or guidance about the transactions to the persons that are being interpreted.
II. Interpreters are expected to support NASLIG & GNAD at the National and Regional Association and other organizations representing the Interpreting profession and the Deaf Community.
III. Interpreters may also provide pro bono service in situations where the Interpreting profession and the livelihood of other practitioners will not be threatened.
IV. Interpreters are to understand that each of these core values are to be considered when making ethical and professional decisions in their identity and capacity as an interpreter. These values are of equal weight and importance.
V. The provisions of this code of professional standard may be amended by the Executive Committee, in line with the decision made by members of the NASLIG.