CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI)

About the exam

Is it right for me?

The CIOL Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) is a qualification for those who work, or would like to work, in one of these areas:

  • Law: police, courts, solicitors, immigration
  • Healthcare: hospitals, clinics, GP practices
  • Local Government: housing, social work, education

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

The qualification is available in the following pathways:

  • English Law
  • Scottish Law
  • Northern Irish Law
  • Health
  • Local Government

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to holding the qualification:

What format does the exam take?

The qualification is composed of five units for each pathway:

  • Unit 01 (Level 6): Interpret consecutively and simultaneously in the public services
  • Unit 02 (Level 6): Provide a sight translation into English in the public services
  • Unit 03 (Level 6): Provide a sight translation from English in the public services
  • Unit 04 (Level 5): Translate into English in the public services
  • Unit 05 (Level 5): Translate from English in the public services

For detailed information on the content and format of the qualification please refer to the DPSI Qualification Specification.

Which languages can I take the exam in?

You can take the DPSI in a wide range of languages. View the DPSI languages list for more information.


It is the responsibility of each candidate to ascertain that they are sufficiently prepared for the exam and are familiar with public service procedures and specialist vocabulary relating to the pathway chosen. The exam is available both to candidates attending courses in centres recognised by CIOL Qualifications and to independent candidates.


Role play topics for the DPSI exam will be posted here two weeks in advance of the exam.

How can I prepare for the exam?

Please read the DPSI Qualifications Specification and our Candidate Information to find out detailed information about the exam format, criteria, topic areas 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 DPSI online

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

If you are studying for the Law pathway, you may wish to supplement your studies with a five-part interactive preparatory online workshop available to CIOL members in our webinar library.

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


Registration for the June DPSI closed at 5pm on 8 April 2022. The next DPSI session will be in November 2022.

Exam dates: 20-24 June 2022 - oral units
                      28 June 2022 - 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          


Unit 02 



Unit 03           


Unit 04



Unit 05


Full exam registration (all five units)*





*Exam Fees are capped at £715; if the total cost of the units you are sitting exceeds this amount, the maximum Exam Fee is still £715.


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.


Entry criteria

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 exam session closed at 5pm on 8 April 2022. 

Please contact with any queries.

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.