MoJ has no procedures to monitor qualifications or CRB checks for interpreters booked through other agencies
Our Reference: FOI/79255 7 December 2012
Dear Ms Ionescu,
Freedom of Information Request
Thank you for your email of 15 November, in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
“Please disclose minutes of any meeting or copies of letters or E-mails confirming:
(1) Whether the Ministry of Justice or any organisation known to the Ministry has procedures in place to monitor if the interpreters engaged through various agencies (other than Capita/ALS), are qualified to interpret at court hearings in England and Wales, and if so what procedures.
(2) Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are carried out on interpreters engaged to work in the criminal justice system through various agencies (other than ALS-Capita), and if so how is this monitored by the MOJ.“
Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
I have taken your request to be asking for any minutes, letters or emails which discuss if the Ministry of Justice has in place its own procedures for checking qualifications or vetting over and above any checks which may already have been carried out by organisations offering interpretation services.
I can confirm that the Department does hold information that you have asked for. The Department does not currently have procedures in place to monitor qualifications or Criminal Records Bureau checks where interpreters are engaged through other agencies.
Outside of the Act and on a discretionary basis I can inform you that as a temporary measure for short notice bookings HM Courts and Tribunals Service uses interpreters from companies other then ALS. These interpreters may be a current National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) registrant. It is for the NRPSI to ensure that its registrants are in possession of the requisite qualifications and CRB checks. For Tribunals assignments, interpreters should have a valid Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (Law Option) or the Metropolitan Police Test.
The lack of an opportunity to check an individual’s security status was one of the prompts which led to the move across to the Framework Agreement.
You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act (available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents) and further guidance http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/freedom-of-information.htm.
You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is incorrect. Details can be found in the ‘How to Appeal’ section attached at the end of this letter.
You can also view information that the Ministry of Justice has disclosed in response to previous Freedom of Information requests. Responses are anonymised and published on our on-line disclosure log which can be found on the MoJ website:
The published information is categorised by subject area and in alphabetical order.