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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Interpreting and Translation Services

Booking an interpreter

Prior permission from the Department to book an interpreter is not required for most interpreting services.

However, in some situations VITS LanguageLoop Interpreting and Translating Services will require permission from the Department before accepting the booking.

To book an interpreting service, schools must register with LanguageLoop and establish an account.

To register your school, contact LanguageLoop or call 03 9280 1955.

Services can then be booked online or by phone:

  • Online — visit LanguageLoop to arrange a booking. Each user is required to enter their username (usually the account holder's email address) and a password (provided by VITS LanguageLoop).
  • Telephone — Call 03 9280 1955 (24 hours, 7 days a week). Each user is required to quote their pin number (provided by VITS LanguageLoop on registration).
  • Emergency bookings — the emergency number is available for any issues that may occur at the booking commencement time and for a genuine interpreting emergency (24 hours, 7 days a week) on 03 9280 1900.

Confirmation

Confirmation of bookings can occur upon request by the person/service placing the booking at the time the booking is made. Confirmation by LanguageLoop will be provided by the preferred method of communication. For example, phone, fax or email.

Booking procedures

Booking an interpreter as soon as possible after a need has been identified increases the likelihood that an interpreter will be available for the preferred time. Where possible, bookings should be made at least 5 business days before the interpreter is required. LanguageLoop will confirm the booking within 3 to 5 days if requested to do so.

Interpreting services should be arranged during normal business hours whenever possible. However provision for out-of-hours services is available.

During periods of high demand, such as when end of term parent–teacher interviews are being undertaken, longer notice may be required, for example 10 business days’ notice. Longer notice may also be required when a more highly accredited and experienced interpreter is required to be assigned to the booking, for example, when the communication involves complex or sensitive information.

Unless otherwise requested, a minimum 90 minute booking period per engagement will apply. However, a 60 minute booking period is only available upon request. Where a shorter booking period applies, consideration should be given to using telephone interpreters instead of on-site interpreters where appropriate (for example, low complexity matters).

For parent–teacher interviews, schools are required to arrange appointments to maximise the use of interpreters during the period for which they are booked.

Booking details

The specific language(s), dialect (if relevant), time and duration, purpose, precise location and contact person must be specified.

Requirements relating to the assignment need to be specified at the time of booking. For example:

  • gender
  • specific interpreter
  • for school bookings, the student year level must be provided

For schools, all interpreter bookings must be authorised by the principal and coordinated by 1 person.

Unable to provide interpreting service

Notification that LanguageLoop is unable to provide an interpreter for a booking will be provided (via the preferred method of communication) as soon as possible with provision to reschedule as required.

Guidance chapter on booking an interpreter through the Department funded interpreting service provider

Reviewed 23 April 2021

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