HM Courts now being supplied with professional Tier 1 Interpreters...but there's a shortage!
Since the beginning of this month, Capita-TI has drastically changed their system on providing interpreters to HM Courts, Tribunals and Police jobs – respectively.
Interpreters are now allocated different Tiers to different languages they offer. For example, if a Kurdish (Sorani) interpreter holds a DPSI in Kurdish (Sorani) and has listed Arabic as their second language but only holds an IND qualification in Arabic, - Kurdish (Sorani) will be registered as Tier 1 and Arabic will be registered as Tier 3. Before, both languages would have been registered as Tier 1.
Another change is that every interpreter is now Tier 3, only if they don’t hold a DPSI or Met Police test certificate for HM Courts and Police jobs. While they remain Tier 2 for Tribunals – which is a bit strange.
This would suggest Capita have enough qualified Tier 1 interpreters to handle the amount of HM Court and Police bookings. This doesn’t seem to be the case; I used to be a Tier 2 interpreter, but due to the new system, I’m now Tier 3 but I sometimes get urgent job offers or I get job offers to places, which are 200 miles away from me because the booking had been created by the court staff but Capita couldn’t find any Tier 1 interpreter within a month, so that’s why they resorted to Tier 3 interpreters. So if Capita can’t find a Tier 1 interpreter, within 1 month, they’ll simply go to a ‘Tier 3’, or in other words a Tier 2 interpreter. This means there are simply not enough Tier 1 interpreters. So why have they done this? Because of the NAO?
In essence, this means there is going to be better interpreting at HM Court and Police jobs but there’s going to be less interpreters available for those jobs. This sounds like quite a stupid business move for Capita-TI because it’ll mean more jobs going off-contract; implying that they’ll make less money. Therefore, they must have been forced to do this. However, ‘Tier 3’ Interpreters can be used at HM Court and Police jobs, only if the Judge approves them or the police officer handling the case (respectively).
Capita’s fulfilment rates were already below the 98% mark, and now are going to get even lower – so what’s the MOJ/Capita going to do now? Raise the hourly rate for Tier 1 interpreters or bring back Tier 2 interpreters?