Business, Professions and Government Division

The BPG Division promotes the diversity and values of language skills across all professional sectors. Its aim is to support those linguists employed in industry and commerce, in professions such as medical, legal and academia, in the armed forces or government service. These are the language practitioners not usually engaged specifically as translators or interpreters, but whose language skills facilitate their work and benefit the organisations for whom they work. Or they may be standing in a classroom or lecture theatre full of students, inspiring them to greater depths of language learning.

Using both spoken and written skills, their work may involve communicating face-to-face, by phone and email, or negotiating contracts, giving presentations, reading, reviewing or summarising documents, resolving problems, handling cultural differences, assisting overseas visitors. They may also translate or interpret.

However they use their skills, BPG linguists know that their language expertise enhances their ability to do their job; they are appreciated by their colleagues and clients and know that their language skills give them a competitive edge in the employment market.

Throughout the year, the BPG Division organises CPD events, both online and face-to-face, which provide an opportunity to network and gain experience from presentations given by other like-minded language practitioners. The Division has a Twitter profile @CIOLBusiness, allowing its members to stay in touch with current issues, and the wider public to access information about BPG, its events, and the role of linguists worldwide.

Forthcoming events are currently being planned and will be publicised here soon.

BPG runs a variety of professional development events, benefitting CIOL members and non-members alike. Click an event to see its original listing and, if applicable, event reports and downloadable materials:

Role Bio
Mrs Judith Ridgway



Judith’s life with languages started at school, where she thoroughly enjoyed French which was then superseded by German. Judith graduated from the University of Nottingham in German with French subsidiary, and looking back, Judith realises that she always wanted to use her language skills to “make things happen” in the world of industry and commerce. After a period of time in other work which improved her language skills, Judith joined the UK subsidiary of an Austrian steel company, which was to become the most worthwhile and longest-serving role of her career in industry. Judith was involved from the start in steel and nickel alloy products which were produced specifically to customers’ requirements for applications ranging from power generation to medical equipment. Ultimately Judith became Business Development Manager for aerospace products and was involved not only in developing the customer base and turnover, including many visits to Austria with customers and presentations at sales conferences, but also in initially developing a range of appropriate steel grades for UK applications and securing approvals from the major UK aerospace companies, an essential requirement for suppliers into the industry. Judith joined CIOL in 1986 as a Member and was Chair for a time of the then West Midlands Regional Society. During that time she became active in the Industry and Commerce Division (subsequently re-named Business, Professions and Government) as Treasurer and is currently Chair of the Division. Judith was elected a Fellow in 2010. Judith has served on the Council of the CIOL for some years, and is currently Chair of the Applications Committee and a member of the Finance and Executive Committee. It is her hope to continue to serve the CIOL in some capacity as the world of languages changes and evolves.

Ms Bibiana Jordan-Horvath


Committee member

Bibiana has been an active member of CIOL and BPG for more than two decades, and joined the steering group in January 2021. Her LinkedIn profile describes the passion and professionalism she brings to the group:
Born in Czechoslovakia • Building cultural bridges in Britain • Justice seeker • Communication Facilitator• Language barriers breaker • Intercultural Mediator • Educator and Empowerment Coach
Arriving in the UK in the 90's from recently split Czechoslovakia with almost no English was a culture shock, but she quickly grasped the English language and embarked on a varied career.
As a fluent Russian speaker, and growing up with German and Hungarian, Bibiana landed a job with a London-based international company, breaking down post-'cold war' cultural barriers with Eastern-Central Europe and Russia.
Several qualifications followed, including the IoLET DEIC (Diploma in English for International Communication), the class as a whole winning the prestigious David Crystal Trophy. Gaining the DPSI (Slovak/English Law in 2006) allowed her to register with NRPSI, and she is now an examiner.
Her knowledge of different dialects related to Slovak language often used by Roma people settled in the UK has greatly helped her tireless interpreting work.
An experienced and expert communicator, intercultural consultant, conference and public service interpreter as well as a mentor and speaker, she holds a special interest in the areas of Modern Day Slavery, Domestic Violence and Mental Health within multilingual settings. Bibiana has been part of the Business Language Champions programme, addressing young people in schools and promoting modern language learning, and is known in the Czech and Slovak community in the UK for her various activities and cultural diversity mediation. She participates in CPD and networking events.
She has varied and unique personal insights from her experiences in the UK and in other countries such as Canada, USA, Russia, Siberia, Czechia, Slovakia, Ireland, Japan, China, Norway, Italy, Brazil, Austria, France and Spain.
She is very excited to be working with BPG colleagues to promote the division's aims of professional use and learning of foreign languages.



Committee member

After completing her degree in French and German, Gill worked at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in New York and in Ivory Coast. After returning to the UK, her roles included providing research and support services to Members of the European Parliament, managing the European unit of a government relations consultancy, marketing international trade fairs and editing a business magazine.
From 1991 Gill worked for a government relations consultancy that specialised in recycling policy. Initially, she did research and translations, but her role gradually expanded to consultancy. Since 2017 Gill has worked freelance, continuing her consultancy work. She also gained the CELTA qualification to teach English as a foreign language and she teaches in London as a volunteer.

Mr Richard Stanton


Committee member

Richard is a language enthusiast; a Chartered Electrical Engineer by training, a language user by chance. As a teenager he had (and still has) a German and a French penfriend both of whom he visited, lived with and went to school/university with. Throughout his service career he took the opportunities to gain Institute Diplomas in German and later Russian. He spent three years in the British Embassy, Bonn, and later, two years teaching German to service personnel and their spouses to Diploma level at the Services Language Training Centre in Rheindahlen. As part of his resettlement, he completed a CELTA course and then spent three years In Brussels as the Permanent Secretariat to the WEU’s International Military Working Groups where English and French were the working languages. He provides occasional cover for teaching English and German to adults.
He became AMIL in 1978 and a full Member in 1993. He joined the BPG Division shortly after its original formation and now serves on its Steering Group as well as the CIOL’s Membership Committee.
He believes BPG Division members like himself, who facilitate their employment by use of a foreign language rather than rely on it as their main source of income, bring diversity to the Institute. He hopes to see greater recognition and intake of academics who teach and promote foreign language acquisition.

Mrs Vasiliki PRESTIDGE


Committee member

Vasiliki started her career in 2011 when completing her MA in Business Translation and Interpreting at Surrey University. She has since held various roles including video game LQA testing, web editing, public service interpreting, and translation project management. She works with Greek and English and specialises in law, marketing and psychometrics. You will often find her interpreting at the Greek Embassy in London, and speaking at events. She writes articles for her blog or industry blogs and magazines. She teaches Greek for adults and she believes in CPD and holding the highest professional standards. She became a Chartered Linguist in December 2017 and joined the BPG Division Committee in September 2018, and the Translating Division Committee in October 2018. She manages the Division’s Twitter account.



E-group Coordinator None provided


Membership Secretary

James is an MCIL in French and also has Russian A-level, a Cambridge MA degree in Japanese and a working knowledge of German and Italian. From 1988 to 1993 he worked in the UK Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) on promoting UK exports to Japan. This included regular contacts with business. He did similar work (1993-1997) on secondment to the European Commission (Brussels) on behalf of all 15 EU Member States. He was involved in the initial meetings about setting up the Institute’s Regional Society there. He returned to London in 1997 and worked on UK bilateral trade relations with the Asia Pacific region and led for the DTI on the Economic Pillar of the ASEM (Asia Europe Meeting) regional dialogue. He transferred to the Department for Energy and Climate Change in 2010 and took early retirement from the civil service in March 2012. James was a member of Council from 2001 to 2009 and was re-elected to Council in March 2013 and again in March 2017. He has served on the committee of the Business, Professions & Government Division since summer 2002 and is a member of the London Society. From 2013-18 he was Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

If you are interested in supporting the BPG Division we'd be delighted to hear from you.

Simply fill in our Online Eligibility Check form and a member of the committee will contact you for a no obligation discussion.