Identifying gaps in professional development opportunities for Translators and Interpreters in Australia

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Executive Summary The Translation and Interpreting Studies Programme at Monash University was commissioned by NAATI to identify current gaps in professional development (PD) opportunities for translation and interpreting (T&I) practitioners in Australia. We conducted an online nationwide survey of practitioners between October-December 2019, aiming to identify: practitioners’ current engagement in PD; the factors that guide practitioners when selecting PD activities; their satisfaction levels with existing PD opportunities; the barriers to PD participation, and their opinions on how PD offerings could be improved. We obtained a sample size of 3,268 respondents with the following profile: • 68% lived in Victoria and New South Wales, and 87% lived in a capital city • 86% spoke a LOTE as their first language • 37% had lived in Australia for over 20 years • 53.2% had worked as a T/I for less than 10 years • Nearly 50% worked only as interpreters, 28% worked as both interpreters and translators, and 23% worked only as translators Summary of key results PD participation • 78% of respondents had engaged in PD over the past 24 months. • Most PD activities undertaken were less than 3 hours and webinars were a popular format. • PD was provided mainly by AUSIT, as well as educational institutions, LSPs • New practitioners with less than five years’ experience were most likely to find PD useful in developing their skills and knowledge as well as clarifying their understanding of their role. Barriers and concerns • Cost was the most frequently mentioned factor in deciding what PD to attend and the most significant barrier to PD participation. Compulsory PD was seen as a burden by many practitioners, due to the significant investment of money and time. • Nearly 40% of practitioners did not think that there was sufficient suitable PD available: there were calls for more PD across Australia, including in regional areas, more online offerings, and more short sessions after work hours/on weekends. • Respondents asked for better communication of PD opportunities through a central website. • Many experienced practitioners identified that existing PD was too basic. • Respondents who practiced as translators sought more translation-focussed PD. • Respondents wanted more PD in health and legal topics, as well as interpreter self-care, with curricula being more specialized, skills-focussed, and relevant to current workplace requirements.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMonash University
Commissioning bodyNational Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI)
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020


  • Interpreting
  • Translation
  • Professional development
  • Language Services Sector

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