Legal Aid Interpreter Instruction Under The 2018 Contract:

All interpreters now have to be qualified unless falling under the few exemptions (2.47-2.51 of Contract Specification): a. Providers must use interpreters with qualifications listed in para 2.48 (listed below) b. A note must be placed on each client’s case file for each use in para 2.49 There are some circumstances where you may be able to use a non-qualified interpreter (see list below). However, this MUST be accompanied by a solicitor’s file note to explain why. This means that EVERY time an invoice is raised for EACH instruction, a note will need to be present to show the qualification is in place or reason why not and we recommend that this is attached to the invoice in the legal aid folder.

To avoid unnecessary admin costs and issues at the billing stage, we recommend that all providers include in their instruction letters/contract agreements with interpreters the following as a condition of instruction/payment;

In order for fees to be remunerated from the Legal Aid Agency and paid, we require the interpreter instructed to have one of the following qualifications in place at the time of qualification;

AIT (formerly IAA) – (Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Immigration Appellate Authority))

Basic Interpreting Qualification

Community Interpreting Level 2

Community Interpreting Level 3

Community Interpreting Level 4 August 2018

DPI (formerly Metropolitan Police Test) Unit Pass - (Diploma in Police Interpreting)

DPSI (Health) Partial - (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting)

DPSI (Law) Unit Pass - (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting)

DPSI (Local Govt.) Partial - (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting)

IND (Home Office) – (Immigration Nationality Directorate)

UK Border Agency Certificate Language Related Degree

Language Related Diploma

All invoices will need to specify the relevant qualification clearly on the invoice in order for payment to be made;

a. Name of interpreter

b. Qualification from the list

If no qualified interpreter can be provided;

There are some rare circumstances where this will be exempt. So every time there is an instruction from the firm, if a qualified interpreter cannot be provided, then a discussion must be had with the solicitor and instead the following information must be on the invoice;

a. Name of Interpreter

b. Reason no qualification (quote one of the below reasons below)

(a) where it would cause undue delay and/or increased costs (above the prescribed rates);

(b) where the client requests an interpreter of a specific gender and such request cannot reasonably be accommodated otherwise than by the use of a non-qualified interpreter (e.g. where the client has been a victim of domestic violence);

(c) where there is a rare language or dialect which cannot reasonably be accommodated otherwise than by the use of a non-qualified interpreter;

(d) where there is an emergency requirement which cannot reasonably be accommodated otherwise than by the use of a non-qualified interpreter;

(e) where you have contacted three interpreters who meet the qualification requirements specified in Paragraph 2.48 above and none are willing or available as required.’’

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