We are often asked why we deliver our interpreter workshops; the inference sometimes being made that it must be because they are very profitable.
Coming as we do from a background in the police, with a great deal of experience of interviewing witnesses, victims and suspects in criminal investigations; and in training others to conduct such interviews, we noticed something missing. Over the last 10 or 15 years, it has become much more common place for the interviewer to require the services of an interpreter in order to properly communicate with the interviewee. However, training tends to focus on such things as questioning skills, models of interviewing, policies and procedures, with training in working with an interpreter being patchy at best.
We conducted some basic research, and soon discovered that the situation was not that dissimilar for interpreters; they generally lacked training in what they should expect from police officers and other agencies during the investigative interview process. As anecdotal evidence has since suggested to us, this means that many interpreters have witnessed practice they do not fully understand and/or which is incorrect or flawed in some way; but which the interpreter often lacks the confidence or knowledge to challenge or query.
We therefore decided to put together the first of our workshops (Interpreting Police Interviews Effectively) and we were very pleased with the response we received. Since then, we have delivered this workshop at venues all over the country, and have also introduced our Interpreting Advanced Police Interviews workshop. We will also soon be advertising two new workshops (spoiler - they will be human trafficking and criminal court related).
We put the workshops together as we believe that victims of crime deserve the best possible service, and ensuring that the interpreter and interviewer work properly together is a vital part of that. Proper training minimises the chance of cases being lost or of suspects being wrongly convicted due to interpreting issues. It is also important that interpreters have a basic understanding of the policies, procedures and practices involved in good investigative interviewing so they have the confidence to speak up when appropriate and necessary, and they understand why certain things are being done in the way they are.
If we were doing this for purely financial reasons, we would choose less expensive venues, and would not limit the places available. However, we believe in providing a quality product, so we choose venues carefully, and always limit the amount of places to ensure everyone in the audience is able to fully participate.
We would welcome any suggestions for other workshops that fit our skillset and that anyone reading this would like to suggest. We have also delivered our workshops to individual groups for a flat rate fee at their own venue, or at a venue to suit them, which can make our day(s) even more value for money.
If you have any suggestions for future workshops, or want to enquire about us creating a bespoke day (or days) for you and your group or organisation, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.