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Advice on the DPSI (UK)
Thread poster: Charlotte Monnier

Charlotte Monnier  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
English to French
+ ...
Jun 25, 2007

Dear all,

I am French freelance translator (combination EN/IT>FR) with a Master's degree in technical translation and liaison interpreting. As I would like to acquire new skills and start interpreting, I am planning on starting the DPSI preparation course next September, with the Health or Local government option (still to decide).

I wanted to ask you all about your experience on this course:
- difficulty
- time to dedicate to homework
- any university preference for London-based courses, etc.

More specifically, could you tell me more about:
- The rates I can expect for medical/local government translations and medical/local government in the public service (is there any "official" rate for interpretation?)
- The recognition of this diploma in other European countries (i.e.: what happened to those of you who left the UK at some point? As this dipoma is aimed at the UK public service, is this diploma recognized abroad or only the experience gained from it?)
- Do some of you who took this diploma also work for private companies?
- Which type of market/clients both options apply to? If I can imagine you would interpret for a hospital having taken the Health option, I cannot picture which type of client you would be working for with the Local government option.
- Finally, is there a lot of demand on the UK market for interpreters having a DPSI with one of these two options?

Thanks a lot for your help,

Charlotte


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
DPSI Jun 25, 2007

Hello,

You don't seem to have had much luck with replies to this...

I can't really answer your specific queries, but do know that it is the Chartered Institute of Linguists who issue the DPSI, so have you thought of contacting them re your specifics. I know that they do have an interpreters' egroup which may be worth contacting; so does the Institute of Translators and Interpreters.

Here are their websites:

IoL - Examinations - Qualifications - Diploma in Public Service ...Chartered Institute of Linguists - IoL - Examinations - Qualifications - Diploma in ... The DPSI developed out of the 1983 Community Interpreter Project and ...
www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/exams_dpsi.asp - 34k - Cached - Similar pages


http://www.iti.org.uk

Good luck!

Liz Askew


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Jerome Devaux  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:35
English to French
DPSI Jun 25, 2007

Hi,
I passed the DPSI examination in 2006 (Law option). I cannot tell you much about the Health/Local government options except that people would tend to get more work with the Law option (especially in French in the North West area). it is paid approx. £38/hour (and about £58 pounds if you are working nights or at the weekends).
regarding the level of difficult, it is considered as a degree equivalent (so it is not that easy believe me!). I used to work about 5 hours a week on top of my 2 hour a week course.
The best way to get more information is to contact the IoL or go on their website as liz mentionned it.
Bonne chance!
Jérôme

[Edited at 2007-06-25 15:26]


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Sp and Fr to En  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
DPSI Jun 25, 2007

Charlotte,
I did the DPSI local government option, Spanish, in 1999 and the law option in 2000, I don't know how much they have changed since then.
If you are using the language in your job, then I would guess that six hours study a week would be enough, although it obviously depends on what you already know.
The local government option I did at Hackney College, but I think they stopped running it after our year. The law option I did as a correspondence course, and then went up to Newcastle for the exam.
I didn't pursue it as a career, so I can't really give you much advice about rates, but I don't think public service work is as well paid as work in the private sector.
The local government would be the client in the local government option; local authorities are duty-bound to provide such services to all members of the community, an issue which has been in the news recently and caused a bit of a fuss. An interpreter with the local government option might interpret for an official in a benefits office talking to someone claiming benefit. I did a few such jobs "on-site", but I think that much of this interpreting work is now done over the phone.
The courses were interesting and you get something out of them even if you don't go on to use the diplomas as a public service interpreter.
Good luck!


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Trans-Marie
Local time: 13:35
English to German
+ ...
London Metropolitan University Jun 25, 2007

Hi Charlotte,

I did a DPSI preparation course at London Metropolitan University and would highly recommend it.

http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/depts/hal/shortcourses/home.cfm

The senior lecturer, Danielle D'Hayer, was really excellent and very helpful.

Good luck!


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Charlotte Monnier  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
THANKS - DPSI Advice Jun 27, 2007

Hi all,

Thank you so much for your replies regarding the DPSI, I do appreciate as I find it difficult to find informations.

I am now considering to take the DPSI in Health at the London North West University. Another person who did their DPSI there told me that Danielle D'Hayer was brilliant.

Carlos, thanks a lot for the explanation. Indeed, I went on a borough website and found a link to the translation/interpreting page. I now understand better what the Local government option is about. You are right: I also think that even if you do not pursue a career as an interpreter, it gives you a good translation background anyway.

As far as the rates are concerned, I heard from a ITI colleague who took the Health option that it is paid very poorly by the NHS, at least in the North of England (from £10 to £15/hour, with trip expenses paid).

Jérôme, thanks for giving me information on the rates. I tend to think that pay might be higher at your end because of your option and/or your location.

Liz, thank for the links. I have tried to get more information about the options on the IOL DPSI forum and also by calling the certification board. In the first case I had no reply, and in the second case, they were not really able to reply to my questions. I contacted some ITI people who were able to reply to some of my questions (i.e. rates, difficulty of the course, etc.)

Once again, I thank you all for your replies.

Charlotte


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Dagmar Cook
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
English to Czech
+ ...
DPSI Jun 28, 2007

"I can't really give you much advice about rates, but I don't think public service work is as well paid as work in the private sector."


This could be misinformation.

At the end of the day, most of my work revolves around the public sector, paying anything between 28 and 38 GBP per hour (weekday, daytime rates). It is true that I am retained by several law firms who gladly pay me 50 to 75 GBP per hour, but private sector work, on the whole, doesn't come close to these rates - they simply don't want to pay a decent rate for professional services! They'd rather set on a student or au pair for a fraction of this.

I don't have the DPSI... I went for the Met Police Test, instead, since the vast majority of my work invovles the police and Courts. Passing the test allowed me to become a full member of the NRPSI - being a full member of the NRPSI is far more important (financially) than being able to show DPSI after your name!

My experience is that the health sector expect you to work for free (well, almost), whilst the legal sector (including the police and the courts) pay an extremely good day's pay for a professionally competent good day's work!

[Edited at 2007-06-28 09:48]


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xxxEmma R
Local time: 13:35
English to French
+ ...
DPSI WHICH OPTION? + TAKING SEVERAL LANGUAGES Jul 13, 2007

Hola,

I am also considering doing the dpsi in 2007/2008 and would like advice about which option to take, i.e. are there too many interpreters within one option and not enough within another? (let along how much it is paid).

Also, I am definitely going to do French but possibly Spanish too ; does that mean I have to register/study/pay twice?

Regards,
Emma


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