Consultant Interpreters, at your service

Introducing the Consultant Interpreters Group, and their role in a hectic business environment

Photo credits: Pexels

In the tumult of Brexit-era Europe, the market environment for interpreters is going through dizzying changes. This will mean a new set of challenges in organising interpreter services. 

Consultant interpreters – professional interpreters who offer a range of additional services such as arranging teams, hiring equipment, and making logistical arrangements – are well placed to navigate this new environment to meet the needs of both clients and interpreters.

For this reason, AIIC PRIMS invited the AIIC Consultant Interpreters Group to introduce themselves and explain the value they offer to the private market sector at the PRIMS Interregional Meeting in London. The CI Group will give a presentation on the afternoon of Saturday, 12 January.

A high-pressure juggling act

The services that consultant interpreters offer cover a lot of territory, and frequently they must be delivered at short notice, entailing a high-pressure juggling act. (A nail-biting account of what is involved in an ordinary weekend in the life of a consultant interpreter was published in Communicate! – it is well worth a read!)

These preparations will surely become more complex in the UK and Ireland, France, The Netherlands and Belgium, especially if freedom of movement is restricted, and work permission needs to be secured for interpreters working between the UK and EU.

Distinct advantages

There are agencies that offer similar services in arranging interpreting, but consultant interpreters offer distinct advantages.

AIIC consultant interpreters are themselves professional interpreters. They understand what is required to make things work well. Their criteria for recruiting teams are firmly rooted in quality of service: professional skills and language combinations, areas of specialisation, location, and soft skills. Consultant interpreters will usually themselves be part of the working team, and so have a vested interest in making sure the arrangements are done right.

As remote interpreting (RI) setups become more commonplace, with the acceleration of technical capacity, it will become more critical that those organizing the teams for RI hubs have a solid understanding of the interpreters’ environment.

Agencies, on the other hand, are more inclined to view the interpreters as just another logistical arrangement. Too often, their primary concern is costs, and so they might cut corners, without even realising the effects on quality.

The fresh face of AIIC Consultant Interpreters

The AIIC Consultant Interpreters Group – previously known as BizOrg – is a forum to facilitate discussion and information exchange on relevant topics. A landing page on the AIIC members’ website presents essential information about the group, as well as a directory listing AIIC Consultant Interpreters and their services.

Watch this space!

The AIIC PRIMS meeting in London is on Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 January, with welcome drinks on the Friday evening before.

Please note –the PRIMS Interregional meeting may move to a different venue (with better technical facilities, and room for more people). Watch this space for details!

All 120 places for the meeting are filled but please let us know if you’d like to join the waiting list! 

Visit the PRIMS Interregional meeting page for more information.

Further reading: 

PRIMS is coming to London

Brexit means Brexit!

- Follow #PRIMSLondon19 on twitter

Recommended citation format:
Communications officer. "Consultant Interpreters, at your service". December 15, 2018. Accessed May 27, 2020. <>.

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