CIOL welcomes the recent statement in the House of Lords by Lord Wolfson committing to commissioning a full independent review of the existing qualifications and standards requirements for assignments with the UK Ministry of Justice. The review is due to be completed before the new contract in 2023 and was in response to CIOL Vice President Baroness Coussins’ amendment and questions during recent debates in the House of Lords on the Police, Crime and Sentencing Courts Bill.
In line with its Royal Charter, CIOL has for a number of years offered advice and guidance to the UK government, the private sector and public service institutions, with a view to increasing the recognition of professional qualifications and standards and improving rates of pay and working conditions for professional interpreters and translators working within the UK courts, police and criminal justice system and the wider public services. We will continue to do so.
Lord Wolfson said:
I am confident that there are no systemic quality issues with the current arrangements. None the less, I discussed this in some detail with the noble Baroness and others and we want to improve the quality of the service we provide, if that is possible, right across the justice system. That is why I am commissioning a full independent review of our existing qualifications and standards and the requirements for each type of assignment our contract covers. There are over 1,000 of these — I do not have a list to hand.
This will also consider experience levels and rare language requirements. The review will be completed in time to inform the retendering of our contracts in 2023. It will establish a detailed framework of the standards and qualifications required for all assignments covered by the contracts, with clear explanations and justifications for each. The aim is to ensure that our contracts continue to meet the demands of all our court users.