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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Multicultural Language Services Guidelines

Interpreter assisting client at doctors appointment imageThe Multicultural Language Services Guidelines for Tasmanian Government Agencies reflect the Tasmanian Government's commitment to the development of whole-of-government communication strategies that address language barriers.

The Guidelines aim to enhance access to interpreters and translated information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to enable equitable access to the full range of services.

The Guidelines provide guidance on the following matters:

  • establishing agency policies and protocols for the use of translating and interpreting services:  This includes promoting the engagement of credentialed interpreter (ie NAATI Accredited or Recognised Translators and Interpreters) in circumstances where people experience difficulties communicating in English;
  • facilitating staff awareness training and development;
  • improving data quality;
  • the provision of multilingual information; and
  • agency planning and budgeting.

The Guidelines provide guidance on the general principles and approach to be undertaken by agencies in the development of their own translating and interpreting policies and procedures, as well as the provision of multilingual information services specific to their core business.

Guidelines and Information Sheets

Open the guidelines:

Use of the National Interpreter Symbol

The National Interpreter Symbol is a national public information symbol which provides a simple way of indicating where people with limited English proficiency can ask for language assistance when using government services.  Government service providers are encouraged to display the symbol in a variety of settings including client contact areas where language services are available.  By displaying the symbol Tasmanian Government agencies indicate to people with limited English that they are committed to providing accessible and equitable services, and that they can arrange an interpreter if needed.

Tasmanian Government agencies should provide a direct link on their website contact details page to information on interpreters, which incorporates the National Interpreter Symbol.

Australian interpreter symbol Download the National Interpreter Symbol


Tasmanian Regional Advisory Committee: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI)

NAATI is the standards organisation responsible for setting, maintaining and promoting high professional standards for the Translating and Interpreting sector. It is jointly owned by the Australian Government and State/Territory Governments.

NAATI Regional Advisory Committee members are drawn from a cross-section of the profession including representatives from professional associations, language service providers, government agencies, educational institutions and individual practitioners.

Members are appointed via nomination through their Local NAATI Office. The major role of the Tasmanian  Regional Advisory Committee includes:

  • providing advice to NAATI on all local matters to do with industry needs and professional issues in Tasmania;
  • considering advice or requests for advice from NAATI;
  • assisting in raising community awareness of NAATI and the value and appropriate use of credentialed practitioners;
  • facilitating the exchange of information among local networks of practitioners, educators, industry, government and other stakeholders;
  • assisting the NAATI Board in its periodic consultations with industry stakeholders; and
  • undertaking local initiatives as approved by NAATI.

Information about NAATI certification may be found on-line.