AIIC Groups

AIIC Working Groups & Committees

Basic Texts Group is a technical group set up by decision of the Executive Committee according to the terms of article 23-10 of the Statutes and is responsible to that body.

Functions:

  1. The Group helps the Executive Committee ensure coherence of basic texts and the application thereof. The Executive Committee submits to the Group requests for opinion on the following:
    • Regulations which are within its remit prior to their approval
    • the interpretation of AIIC texts
    • draft amendments to the basic texts which the Executive Committee intends submitting to Assembly for its statutory approval
  2. The Executive Secretary may approach the Group for assistance on any question relating to the basic texts. He may consult the Group when preparing the pre-Assembly Bulletin and the Assembly web site.
  3. Any body within AIIC may approach the Group for an opinion.
  4. During Assemblies, the Basic Texts Group provides assistance to the President and the Assembly in the application and interpretation of the Regulations relating to the Assembly.
  5. The Assembly may request the Group to introduce in its texts technical amendments resulting from decisions by the Assembly; through the Secretariat, the Group may suggest consecutive amendments to the concerned bodies.

Composition: the Basic Texts Group consists of a maximum of 3 members appointed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Secretary takes part ex-officio in the work of the Group.

Term of office: the duration of the term of office of its members is unlimited.

Working method: the Group works in French and in English.

The Group has no budget and, under normal circumstances, communicates by email thereby not incurring any expenses.

If any other body consults the Basic Texts Group regarding texts within the remit of the Executive Committee, the Basic Texts Group submits a written report to the Executive Committee before the latter takes a decision.

Amendment procedure: Any modification to these terms of reference must be approved by a simple majority of the Executive Committee.

The Consultant Interpreters Standing Committee manages the AIIC Consultant Interpreters online Directory.

The History of the Profession group has the dual task of writing both the history of the profession of conference interpreting and of AIIC. This is a long-term project that involves collating all the documents the Association and many colleagues have produced over the years

This future publication will express AIIC’s historical commitment to those who made this profession what it is today.

The group is grateful for any outside help.

Every year many civilian interpreters working in conflict zones are killed or wounded in the course of their duties; their countrymen often see them as traitors.

AIIC acts through the Interpreters in Conflict Zones Project to draw the attention of the public, the authorities, governmental and non-governmental organisations to the plight of these interpreters. It seeks to win greater recognition for the importance of their work and better protection for them and their families both during and after conflicts.

We believe that our actions can help:

  • Guarantee them better physical and legal protection;
  • Provide them with more detailed information and better training;
  • Ensure that contractors accept a duty of care towards them, and that users of their services know how to use this vital resource more effectively.

If you support our aims, please keep in touch via the AIIC website and visit our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/interpretersinconflictzones

Interpreting at national and international courts is an important and expanding activity. Communication at court proceedings implies a special responsibility for interpreters because human rights – and indeed the right to a fair trial – are at stake. Interpreters working in this environment must therefore have considerable forensic knowledge in addition to their professional skills. Interpreting services are provided in a diversity of settings.

The Court and Legal Interpreting Committee engages in dialogue with the users of court and legal professional interpretation services such as legislators, courts, judges and bar associations. We cooperate with other professional associations and provide interpreters offering their services at national and international courts with a platform for networking and learning. To this end, the Committee organises regular training and information seminars.

Due process and the right to a fair trial are the underlying principles of the work of the Committee Legal interpreters work in the simultaneous (including whispering) and consecutive interpreting modes applying their professional qualifications and skills, exercising linguistic and intercultural competence.

The instruments used to implement these goals also include cooperation with other professional associations. AIIC is an associate member of EULITA (European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association). In addition, active participation in events related to legal and court interpreting target the same objectives.

The work of the Committee is supported by corresponding members who carry out particular tasks on behalf of the Committee, addressing the specific interests and situations of various regions.

The Public Relations Network serves as a forum to facilitate the exchange of information between AIIC Regions on regional PR initiatives. It is composed of representatives from AIIC Regions around the world. The Network also includes a liaison from the AIIC Communications Committee to ensure a link between general AIIC communications strategy and regional PR activities.

PR activities are important in enhancing the visibility of AIIC and the Network is a great tool for finding out what colleagues in other regions are planning to do in order to promote AIIC as a reference point for professional conference interpreters.  As such, the Network also serves as inspiration from one region to another and as a forum for a “synergy of ideas”.

The Research Committee’s task is to research and report on issues pertaining to interpreters’ working conditions.

Based on their in-depth knowledge of the cognitive complexity of conference interpreting and mindful that working conditions affect performance, the members of the committee promote scientific research as part of AIIC activities.

The Research Committee’s remit includes forwarding research findings to:

  • AIIC members who negotiate interpreters’ working conditions,
  • Interpreters who work in the courts, health sector and to community interpreters,
  • The research community,
  • Users of interpreting services.

The Research Committee works closely with the Training Committee to ensure that training on interpreting research is part of the curriculum at university level interpreting schools.

The task of the sign language interpreters network’s is to establish and maintain dialogue between sign language interpreters (SLIs) and AIIC. The work has been entrusted to members of the network (SLI Contacts).

This international network has several objectives:

  • Provide information to AIIC members about sign language around the world (sign languages and their legal status, the profession, working conditions and training of SLIs)
  • Maintain contacts between AIIC and local, national and international SLI associations and with individual SLIs.
  • Promote AIIC’s principles and values among SLI associations and individual SLIs,

The Staff Interpreters' Committee represents staff interpreters in international organizations and national governments. It provides a platform for AIIC staff interpreters to share information on the latest developments in their organizations and to get feedback on any concerns they may have.

While the Staff Interpreters's Committee addresses cutting edge issues common to all AIIC interpreters: distance interpreting, quality of communication at meetings, stress management in the workplace, interpreter health and well-being, it also addresses issues specific to staff interpreters: employee issues, off-booth activities at work, management of interpretation services, etc...

AIIC staff interpreters are in a unique position to explain AIIC core values to their respective organizations: ethics, integrity, professionalism, quality, and to promote constructive dialogue between their respective organizations and freelancers.

AIIC negotiates pay and conditions for freelance interpreters working for several international organisations that are grouped into “agreement sectors”: UN, EU, Coordinated Organisations, GUFs and WCO.

The Standing Committee of the Agreement Sectors (SCAS) brings together representatives of the negotiating delegations from each sector. It speaks on behalf of the agreement sectors within the Association. Its aim is to facilitate communication between the various AIIC negotiating delegations and, in particular, to discuss negotiating techniques.

SCAS organizes inter-sectoral meetings to update interpreters and give them an opportunity to discuss matters of common interest, express their opinions and recommend courses of action. It also organizes training workshops in negotiating skills for the Association’s negotiators.

SCAS remains in close touch with the Standing Committee of the Private Sector and the Staff Interpreters’ Committee.

The Statistics Group manages all AIIC activities related to the collection and interpretation of statistical data on behalf of the Association.

The Technical and Health Committee deals with all issues related to simultaneous interpreting equipment and related technologies. In close cooperation with relevant stakeholders of the interpreting service business and the experts of several Working Groups of the International Standards Organization (ISO) it works on projects aiming to provide interpreters with optimum working conditions in permanent and mobile booths. It is also responsible for health and safety issues. It keeps abreast of technical innovations that affect the interpreting profession.

You should contact the committee if you are:

  • An architect or international institution that is planning to install interpreter booths or renovate existing installations,
  • A conference interpreter, researcher, interpreting school or conference organiser or anyone who requires technical information on simultaneous interpreting equipment.
  • An equipment manufacturer who want to improve and modernise his products.

The Committee’s remit is to provide conference interpreters worldwide with a working environment that helps them contribute to the success of conferences at which they work.

The Taskforce on distance interpreting has been created in recognition that new forms of distance interpreting are likely to affect conference interpreting and, consequently, conference interpreters.

As such it has been created with representatives of:

  • The Executive Committee
  • The Advisory Board
  • The Technical and Health Committee and ISO Group
  • The Research Committee
  • Freelance Interpreters
  • Consultant Interpreters
  • Staff Interpreters

Mission

  • To be a representative focal point within AIIC for issues related to all forms of distance interpreting, in recognition that these new modalities affect all members of the association and may well go to the very notion of what conference interpreting constitutes.
  • To explore the field of distance interpreting by collecting data on technologies available on the market for the delivery of distance interpreting services and reviewing research that has been done on Distance Interpreting.
  • To give guidance to the Executive Committee for policy decisions concerning technical, physiological, psychological and practical aspects related to distance interpreting.
Work packages
  • Research review (Kilian Seeber)
    • listing of available literature by main topics/parameters
    • identifying desirable research subjects to support evidence-based development of standards on Distance Interpreting
    • devising user tests in cooperation with THC with a focus on methodology and monitoring
  • Technological review (Klaus Ziegler)
    • devising user tests in cooperation with Research Committee
    • listing technologies to be tested, with their respective technical specifications: comparative feature/parameter analysis of current technologies
    • developing matrix for compliance with ISO standards
  • Practical review and Coordination (Andrew Constable)
    • implementing Distance Interpreting Survey so as to enable structured input on Distance Interpreting from wider membership
  • Contacts and neutral collaboration with providers of platforms/technical Equipment
Deliverables
  • Guidelines for members
  • Guidelines for Consultants
  • Guidelines for PCOs
  • Guidelines for providers of platforms
  • Proposal for amedments to Professional Standards

What does AIIC Training & Professional Development do?

AIIC Training & Professional Development sets and monitors training standards for interpreting schools around the world, offering guidance to both schools and students about good training practice. For more detailed information see our Best Practice and Schools Finder pages.

AIIC Training & Professional Development also trains interpreter trainers and interpreters as well as representing AIIC at international training events.

AIIC is an associated member of CIUTI (Conférence internationale permanente d’instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes) the world’s oldest and most prestigious international association of university institutes with translation and interpretation programmes.

VEGA is a worldwide network of professional conference interpreters - all of them members of AIIC - dedicated to helping budding and junior interpreters pursue their fledgling career. To this end, we hold outreach events, visit interpreting training facilities and liaise with other professional organizations with a view to raising awareness about AIIC-sponsored professional standards.

Budding interpreters:

If you think you would like to work as an interpreter and want to know more, see our FAQs.

Beginners:

If you are just starting out our tips for beginners may be just what you need.

Our checklist guides you through the process of getting your first offers of work.

Before going to work take a look at our booth manners advice. And with that first contract tucked under your arm take the time to think about your interpreting career.

Professional conference interpreters:

AIIC is an inclusive and representative professional association. Whilst not all conference interpreters are members, those of us who are remain convinced that it is in our interest to come together and that a world association that unites staff and freelance interpreters is worth fighting for. Here's why.

Communicate! – The AIIC Webzine

The AIIC Webzine provides news and views on all aspects of interpreting and related fields. It is meant to be a resource and a forum for all involved - or simply interested in - the language professions, and accepts submissions from members and non-members alike.

The range is broad, from interviews with interpreters to burning issues affecting them, passing through personal stories, research, standards, opinions, theory, training, history, current events, the business of interpreting, book reviews and even an essential touch of humor.

Come in – the door is open!

The Young AIIC Interpreters’ Network (YAIN) is a forum that brings together young AIIC members and provides them with the possibility of establishing a continued dialogue. It facilitates exchanges of views and addresses the specific concerns young interpreters must grapple with. It also provides young members with the possibility of directing queries or concerns to more seasoned AIIC interpreters who have volunteered to act as mentors.

YAIN was founded by a core group of young interpreters during the 2006 AIIC Assembly in Brussels.

YAIN’s main objectives are:

  • to increase the number of young AIIC professionals who contribute to and are involved in AIIC through dialogue and exchanges of views;
  • to foster a spirit of collegiality and solidarity among young AIIC interpreters;
  • to ensure a professional and seamless continuation of AIIC’s values and principles into the distant future;
  • to counteract the feeling of isolation young interpreters sometimes feel because, more often than not, they are a minority within their region and the Association;
  • to allow young AIIC interpreters to discuss issues pertaining to their professional lives and address complex ethical questions with the help of mentors;
  • to help young interpreters understand AIIC rules, regulations, procedures and structures, so as to be well-equipped to defend and promote the Association’s values and principles.

YAIN is open to full-fledged AIIC members under 40.