terptree: 10 Questions to ask before you appoint an interpreting agency

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Monday, 16 April 2012

10 Questions to ask before you appoint an interpreting agency

Last week we covered some professional advice for those that wish to train as an interpreter.

This week we would like to give some advice to people that are looking to book a Communication Professional. What are those key questions that you should be asking of an interpreting agency before you place your booking.....

1. Who are you? What makes you an expert at providing this service?
This will tell you whether the agency has the expertise that you are looking for, and will give you an understanding of their skills within this area.

2. Do you only use Communication Professionals who are registered with the NRCPD?
The NRCPD safeguard the wellbeing and interests of people who rely on Communication Professionals. They do this by checking that each of these professionals are properly trained to do their job safely and consistently.

3. How do you regularly monitor your services to ensure high quality?
It is vital that the agency seeks feedback from the client, the Deaf person and the Communication Professional - to ensure that they are consistently providing high quality services.

4. How do you decide which Communication Professional to book? Do you use specific criteria?
You want to be assured that the agency will choose the Communication Professional who is the most suitably skilled and suited to the particular booking, not just the one that will give them the most profit.

5. How quickly and regularly will you communication with me about the progress of my booking?
Communication is key when placing a booking for a Communication Professional. As the customer, you need to know when you will find out if the agency has been successful or not so that you can make other arrangements if necessary.

6. How do you ensure that the Communication Professionals health and safety is looked after at all times?
This is a very important question to ask. As a customer you want to ensure that you are receiving the best possible service at all times. Should the health and safety of the Communication Professional be compromised; not allowing for enough breaks, only booking one interpreter when two interpreters are needed - this will have a direct impact on the quality of service.

7. What information do you need from me in order to prepare the Communication Professional?
It is always helpful if you can give the agency information that will help prepare the Communication Professional for the booking. This can be in the form of an agenda for the meeting, notes from previous meeting, presentation or even a brief explanation of what will be covered in the booking. This will make the Communication Professional aware of the content and of any specialist language that will be used.

8. If I book for 1 hour and you are charging a 3 hour minimum, will the Communication Professional be available to me for the whole 3 hour duration?
This is a question that is worth asking. Although you as a customer are only booking for 1 hour, if you are being charged for 3 - you will want to ensure that should your booking run over, you will still have the Communication Professional available for you.

9. If something has happened during the booking and I give feedback, how will this be dealt with?
This is not to suggest that it is likely that something untoward will happen; but it is always reassuring to know that there is a process in place if it does.
As a customer, you will want to know that any feedback that you have regarding the Communication Professional - whether it is positive or negative, is passed back to them.

10. If I wish to place another booking, how would I go about this?
If you have been happy with the Communication Professional that was booked, it is always advisable to try and book the same person for the next booking. This ensures consistency and also saves time, as the Communication Professional will already be familiar with the content of the booking.

We hope that this has been a useful blog for you and should you need to book a Communication Professional or ask any questions of terptree; get in touch

tel: 01635 886 264
SMS: 07944 655 810

interpreting@terptree.co.uk

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