Examples of unqualified interpreters used by ALS/Capita
I am not sure whether it is an appropriate subject to discuss on this website but I have been getting more and more frustrated by the “quality” of ALS interpreters who work in UK courts. I know everyone knows about it (and ALS constantly denies it) but I thought we could give examples of nonterpreters we have met/seen ourselves.
What prompted me to write this post was a phone call I received earlier today from a person I did community interpreting course with (some 5 years ago). That person did not, in fact, finish the course, she decided to drop out. Later and on various occasions I met her at one of my local police stations (she was working for the police as a Lithuanian/Russian interpreter). Today she phoned to enquire how to finish her community interpreting accreditation. It seems that ALS has been pressuring her to get some qualifications. Having said that, she has been working for them for some time and so far no one was bothered by the fact she did not have any relevant qualifications at all.
I also know of another (this time Polish) interpreter who hasn’t got any qualifications (in fact, she has failed her Met Test, yet still she has been allocated to Tier 2 and has been working as a court interpreter for ALS).
Third (local) example is another Polish interpreter who does have some (conference) interpreting qualifications but has never had anything to do with the English legal system. Again, ALS believes she is good enough to be in Tier 2 and she interprets in courts on a regular basis.
From my experience the framework agreement allowed unqualified interpreters to enter the court rooms. Before 30th January these people would not have been allowed to interpret in a courtroom. Somehow, overnight, they become good enough.