CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Police Interpreting (DPI)

About the exam

Is it right for me?

The Diploma in Police Interpreting (DPI) is a professional qualification for those who work, or would like to work, as interpreters for Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Level: first degree-level qualification in terms of language skills required.

What are the benefits?

  • Ofqual-regulated, nationally recognised qualification
  • Recognition of professional skills and career development
  • Exemptions for the DPSI (Law) qualification, subject to meeting specific registration criteria
  • Use the title DPI after your name
  • Eligibility for membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
  • Widely recognised both by organisations who previously recognised the Met Test and those who will now use the DPI as a standard of eligibility for work. This includes acceptance of the DPI as qualification:
    • To apply for registration on the list of Police Approved Interpreters and Translators (PAIT) scheme
    • To apply for registration on the List of Metropolitan Police Interpreters (Metropolitan Police Service)
    • For registration on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)
    • For interpreting work with UK Visas and Immigration and the National Crime Agency
    • For work in courts through the MoJ Framework Agreement
    • For work in public service interpreting through the Crown Commercial Service Language Services Framework Agreement 

What format does the exam take?

The qualification is composed of five units:

  • Unit 01 (Level 6): Interpret consecutively two-way in a police context and take a police statement
  • Unit 02 (Level 6): Interpret simultaneously from English in a police context
  • Unit 03 (Level 6): Provide a sight translation from English in a police context
  • Unit 04 (Level 5): Translate a police statement into English
  • Unit 05 (Level 5): Translate from English in a police context

Which languages can I take the exam in?

You can take the DPI exam in a wide variety of languages. View the DPI languages list for more information.


How can I prepare for the exam?

Please read the DPI Qualification Specification and the Candidate Information to find out detailed information about the exam format, criteria and regulations.

It is good practice to prepare for a professional qualification by following a course of study. Courses are available from external providers.

Preparing to take the DPI online

An online demo test is available if you are preparing to take the DPI online. This recommended to familiarise yourself with the exam software in advance.

Sample exam papers

Non-members and Study Affiliates can purchase past DPI papers using this form: File DPI Past Paper Order Form


Registration for June sessions of DPI closed at 5pm on 8 April 2022. The next DPI session will be held in November 2022.

Exam dates: 20 - 24 June 2022  -  all oral and written units.


To register for an exam two sets of fees are payable - Exam Fees plus mandatory CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees.


Exam Fees

Unit 01 Interpret consecutively two-way in a police context and   
take a police statement


Unit 02 Interpret simultaneously–from English in a 
police context

Unit 03 Provide a sight translation from English in a police 

Unit 04 Translate a police statement into English



Unit 05 Translate from English in a police context



Full exam registration (all five units)*



*Exam Fees are capped at £675; if the total cost of the units you are sitting exceeds this amount, the maximum Exam Fee is still £675.


CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees

  • Unit 01:                                       £60
  • Unit 02 and/or 03:                     £60
  • Unit 04 and/or 05:                     £60

Full CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fee (all five units): £180*

*The CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fee is capped at £180, if candidates are taking 3 units or more.


For more information, please check our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy on our Policies page.


The examination is open to anyone who wishes to take it. There are no formal entry requirements, but regular attendance on a course is strongly recommended.

How do I register?

Registration for the June 2022 session is closed at 5pm on 8 April 2022.

Please send any enquires regarding registration to

Please note that Centre enrolment fees are independent from CIOL exam fees; you must ensure the payment for the Centre and the exam are cleared before your exam takes place – a candidate is only fully registered when the exam fee has been received and payment has been cleared.

Where a minimum number of candidates is required for a particular exam, and where that number has not been reached by the close of registration, CIOL Qualifications reserves the right to withdraw that exam at which time the candidate will receive a full refund of the exam fee.

After the exam - FAQs


Due to illness/personal circumstances I could not attend the exam. Can I request a refund?
Candidates unable to sit an exam due to personal ill health may apply to be considered for the issue of a credit note to the value of 50% of the exam fee received. The credit note is valid for the next available exam session only and has no alternative cash value.

To apply for a credit note, submit a current medical certificate from your doctor to, no later than two weeks after the exam date. In the absence of any such proof, candidates are liable to forfeit the full exam fee paid. Any difference arising due to increased fees at the next exam session is payable by the candidate.

Please refer to our Policies page to find all the information you need for the questions below:

Something went wrong on the day of the exam. How do I report this?
Please refer to the Special Consideration policy.

How do I submit an enquiry, deliver a compliment, or lodge a complaint?
Please refer to the Enquiries, Compliments and Complaints policy.

What if I want to appeal my result?
Please refer to the Enquiries about Results and Appeals policy and Stage 1 application form.

I have passed a unit, but not the full qualification. Will I receive a certificate?
Yes, you will receive an electronic certificate for the unit which you have passed.

When and how are e-certificates released?
Please refer to the qualification Key Dates document. This gives you the date by which the electronic certificate will be emailed to you.

What is the cost of a resit?
Please refer to the Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing policy. To resit a unit, you will need to pay the Standard Qualification Fee for the unit plus the Virtual Centre Fee for the unit.

How many times can I resit a unit?
You are required to complete the full qualification within a three-year period. CIOLQ does not specify how many times you resit a unit. The three-year full exam completion period applies from the first year that you receive a unit certificate.