SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Diploma: Legal Interpreting 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
50023  National Diploma: Legal Interpreting 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Translation, Interpreting and Language Editing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
SAS SETA - Safety and Security SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Diploma  Field 04 - Communication Studies and Language  Communication Studies 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  240  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2028-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

The purpose of this qualification is to improve the professional status of court interpreters by obtaining recognised professional competence. Credited learners will be able to render specialised interpreting services within the South African legal system, professionally and ethically. A National Diploma: Court Interpreting will allow credited learners to contribute to social and economic transformation by ensuring human rights in the court setting and equal access to a fair trial in terms of effective communication.

Interpreting dialogue from source language to target language, and vice versa, means that qualified learners will be capable of:
  • Applying written and oral communication strategies in a legal interpreting context.
  • Applying interpreting skills within a legal interpreting environment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of law to solve interpreting problems within the South African legal context.
  • Demonstrate relationship-building skills within a legal environment.
  • Exercise ethical conduct, values and professionalism in a legal interpreting context.
  • Apply basic knowledge and skills to effectively manage a business within a legal interpreting environment.

    Rationale:

    The individual's right to be tried in his/her own language is ensconced in the Constitution. In a courtroom where the languages of the court still exclude the vast majority of South Africans, this results in interpreting services having to be provided for speakers of the indigenous African languages (roughly seventy-five per cent of the population). The complexity of the court interpreting process demands of the court interpreter to integrate interpreting, legal, and social knowledge, skills and values. Despite the enormity of the court interpreting task, court interpreters have been marginalised, not only in terms of professional remuneration but also academic training.

    A National Diploma: Court Interpreting (NQF Level 5) will allow credited learners to become professionals employed in the lower courts and tribunals alongside their legal colleagues and, as such, to facilitate access to information, mutual participation and protection of human rights, whilst improving their own earning ability.

    Additional roles that qualified learners will be able to fulfil, include interpreting in Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration cases, disciplinary hearings and telephone interpreting. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners have already attained the following competencies:
  • FETC or similar at NQF Level 4.
  • Communication skills at NQF Level 4.
  • Numeracy skills at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

    Learners who have met the requirements of any Unit Standard in this qualification may apply for recognition of prior learning to the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA). The applicant will be assessed against the specific outcomes and with the assessment criteria for the relevant Unit Standard or Unit Standards. A qualification will be awarded should a candidate demonstrate that all the Unit Standards outcomes have been attained.

    Access to the qualification
  • Further Education and Training Certificate at level 4. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
  • The Fundamental Component Unit Standards (51 credits) are compulsory.
  • All the Core Component Unit Standards are compulsory (163 credits).
  • For the Elective Component, learners are required to attain a minimum of 26 credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Apply written and oral communication strategies in a legal interpreting context.
    2. Apply interpreting skills within a legal interpreting environment.
    3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of law to solve interpreting problems within the South African legal context.
    4. Demonstrate relationship-building skills within a legal environment.
    5. Exercise ethical conduct, values and professionalism in a legal interpreting context.
    6. Apply basic knowledge and skills to effectively manage a business within a legal interpreting environment.

    Critical cross-field outcomes:

    In particular when assessing the applied competence (practical, foundational and reflexive competencies) of this qualification, assessors must assess the ability of the learner to:
  • Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions, using critical thinking, have been made.
  • Work effectively with others as a member of a team, organisation or legal community.
  • Organise and manage the learner and the learner's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Communicate effectively using visual and language skills in the modes of written and oral presentation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that solving of interpreting problems in the legal context takes place across fields/disciplines.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the learner's role in participating as a responsible citizen in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the learner's role in generating sensitivity to diversity and culture across a range of social contexts.

    Examples of specific assessment of the above Critical Cross-Field Outcomes may be described in each Unit Standard. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    1.
  • Identified communication strategies are explained and distinguished in terms of their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Selected ccommunication strategies are evaluated in terms of their various uses in a court interpreting environment.
  • The uses of communication strategies are applied and demonstrated in a controlled situation.
  • Personal glossaries and lists are prepared to enable fluent interpreting.

    2.
  • Recalled messages from memory are analysed in terms of communicative content of source language message.
  • Messages are analysed and reformulated for short consecutive interpreting.
  • Fit-for-purpose interpreting modes are justified in terms of interaction type and context.
    Range: Short consecutive interpreting mode, long consecutive interpreting mode, chuchotage, sight interpreting and summary interpreting mode.
  • Messages are organised into a logical structure to convey communicative intent of sender and meet target language norms.
  • Reformulated target messages are assessed and justified with regard to communicative intent of source message and expectations of target audience.
  • Produced messages reflect intended communicative intent of source message.

    3.
  • Identified sources of law are explained for selection of terminology and phraseology for interpreting purposes.
  • Knowledge is demonstrated of the terminology specific to the legal and law enforcement system.
  • Identified legal terms and concepts which have no equivalents in the target language are explained consistent with the communicative content of the source language message and target language norms.
  • Selected terminology and phraseology are explained in terms of communicative intent of source message.

    4.
  • Power and status dynamics are identified in order to manage the interpreting context and the transfer of the communicative intent of the source message.
  • Selected management strategies are applied with regard to power and status differences and interaction between parties.
    Range: Turn-taking, conversational maxims, politeness strategies, court etiquette.
  • Identified stress management skills are compared in terms of applicability to personal and work situations.

    5.
  • The contextual norms and expectations associated with professional practice within a legal interpreting setting are identified.
  • The role of the interpreter as cultural mediator is clarified in terms of current interpreting theory.
  • The contextual norms and expectations of the legal interpreting setting are adhered to.
  • The conduct of the interpreter is evaluated in terms of international interpreting codes of ethics and professional practice.

    6.
  • Identified general managerial processes are adapted for institutional procedures of legal interpreting contexts.
    Range: Managerial processes such as planning, organising, leading and controlling.
  • Identified management tasks are demonstrated in terms of a case study.
    Range: Management tasks such as decision-making, communicating, controlling, disciplining, motivating, coordinating, evaluating and delegating.

    Integrated assessment

    Applied competence (practical, foundational and reflexive competencies with regard to interpreting, legal and social knowledge and skills) of this qualification will be achieved if a candidate can integrate the various unit standard outcomes to be able to perform as an interpreter in legal settings under simulated courtroom conditions. This will require learners to interpret between at least two languages.

    Ongoing formative assessment is required so that learners are given feedback on their progress in the achievement of specific learning outcomes. Summative assessment is concerned with the judgement of the learning in relation to the exit level outcomes of the qualification, which tests the learner`s ability to integrate interpreting, legal, and social knowledge, skills and values. The assessment methods must include observation (e.g. during interpreting in a legal context), product evaluation (e.g. interpreting notes, compiled glossaries, tape recordings of interpreting performance) and questioning (oral and or written) to provide sufficient opportunity to the learner to demonstrate applied competence.

    Integrated assessment at the level of this qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show they are able to integrate concepts, ideas, skills, values and actions across unit standards to achieve competence that is grounded in and coherent in relation to the purpose of the qualification. An interpreter in a legal context must demonstrate a range of interpreting and legal knowledge including theory and procedure; utilise key interpreting skills including consecutive, simultaneous, whispered and summary interpreting and note-taking, as well as management skills like power and status management, and finally demonstrate professional and ethical conduct. An assessment of legal interpreting in at least two languages would thus examine competence in a range of unit standards.

    Integrated assessment must judge not only the quality of the observable performance but also the thinking and understanding that underpin it. This applies to both formative and summative assessment. In formative assessment an equal weighting should be given to the application of knowledge in real work or simulated situations and the actual demonstration of skills. A greater weighting may be given to the practical demonstration of knowledge, skills and attitude in the summative assessment.

    Assessment tools must also encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that forms the basis for their demonstrated performance. An integrated mix of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools should be used with the ultimate focus being on the assessment of applied competence.

    In other words, the assessors must use a range of tools to test demonstrated competence in a practical situation (e.g. simulation of court procedure) as well as oral or written examination, that integrates the assessment of all specific outcomes for all the unit standards.

    Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated. The assessment of the critical cross-field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of specific outcomes and embedded knowledge. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Interpreters are used for legal interpretation in court on a world-wide basis. Bilingualism is the minimum requirement and following a screening of some sort, ranging from an interview to tests in both language and law, the candidates are required to take an oath or make a statement. In some cases, the screening is preceded by a short induction. In countries where formal training is available, the training mostly involves generic interpreting, with specialisation in court interpreting offered by a few institutions. Comparisons with the following countries were made, as they have multilingualism policies similar to that of South Africa or are alternatively centres of excellence: Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, Brazil and Botswana.

    Australia has both TAFE (Technical and Further Education) qualifications and university degrees. The TAFE qualifications include the following:
  • Diploma in Interpreting and Translation.
  • Advanced Diploma in Interpreting and Translating.

    Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas recognise capacity for initiative and judgement across a broad range of technical and/or management functions. The former qualification is comparable to this South African qualification. The Advanced Diploma is a more specialised qualification and signifies skill and knowledge of a greater complexity and a higher level of personal accountability than is required at a Diploma level.

    The university degrees offered are a BA in Interpreting and Translation, a Graduate Diploma in Interpreting and Translation, and an MA in Interpreting and Translation. These are all degrees in community interpreting containing the subjects Legal Interpreting and The Language of the Law.

    In the United States of America, interpreters are deemed competent if they are able to interpret effectively, accurately and impartially, using any necessary specialised vocabulary. Standards are set for practice rather than education and training, and differ depending on the context, for example, educational interpreting standards are distinguished from medical interpreting standards. Training of interpreters is primarily based on the ASTM International Standard Guide for Language Interpretation Services. Competence is required in terms of the setting where interpreting takes place, and includes ad hoc interpreting, simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpreting, business interpreting, community interpreting, conference interpreting, court interpreting, dialogue interpreting, diplomatic interpreting, health-care interpreting, liaison interpreting, medical interpreting, and telephone interpreting. Court interpreters have to pass the federal exam which tests for oral proficiency in simultaneous, consecutive and sight interpreting.

    American entry-level programs take a minimum of 45 hours of learning for certification, for example, in medical interpreting - this is much shorter than the South African entry-level certificate qualification at NQF Level 4, and at the level of this qualification (South African NQF Level 5) as continuing education. The closest equivalent to this qualification builds on the 45-hour program, and contains 270 classroom hours for six courses, in any two-language combinations. The competence required of learners includes introducing participants to the role of the interpreter, managing the spatial configuration of the interpreting situation, developing terminology, linguistic competence, analysis of the environment, analysis of cultural aspects, ethical conduct, self evaluation, adhering to protocol, creating a list of resources, developing a record of phrases and guidelines, and translation of simple texts - the latter is also included in the entry-level South African occupation, although this is not included in this level of qualification.

    The New Zealand National Qualifications Framework has ten levels of progression. The Translating and Interpreting Unit Standards (no qualification exists on the New Zealand framework) are registered at Levels 6 and 7. Level 6 is described as involving carrying out processes that require a command of wide-ranging highly specialised technical or scholastic skills, a wide choice of standard and non-standard procedures, often in non-standard combinations, in highly variable routine and non-routine contexts. This is the equivalent of the South African NQF Level 5 or 6. The University of Auckland offers a one-semester postgraduate certificate in advanced interpreting to take learners from liaison to advanced consecutive interpreting in three professional settings: law, business and medicine. Entry requirements are a bachelor's degree.

    In Germany, there is one degree offered in Court Interpreting. It is a bachelor degree in Court Interpreting offered by the Fachhocscule Magdeburg. The generic interpreting qualification that is offered is a Diplom-Dolmetscher which is equivalent to a masters degrees in interpreting (South African NQF Level 8). Competence for all qualifications includes linguistic competence, and content area of specialisation knowledge (e.g. information technology).

    In the United Kingdom, occupational certificates are registered on the National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications framework, at their levels 3 and 4. At levels 3 and 4, units that can be stand-alone, or form part of other qualifications are available. In addition, at level 4, a National Vocational Qualification in Interpreting and a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting are available. These qualifications are equivalent to the National Certificate in Liaison Interpreting (NQF Level 5) in South Africa.

    For the National Vocational Qualification in Interpreting, the following are compulsory:
  • Develop your Performance as an Interpreter.
  • Communicate Complex Information Relating to Work Activities.
  • Understand Complex Information Relating to Work Activities.
  • Prepare for Interpreting Assignments.
  • Conduct Interpreting Assignments.

    In addition, learners can select from the following:
  • Improve Own Management of the Business.
  • Produce Sight Translations of Everyday Documents to Support Interpreting Assignments.
  • Produce Written Translations of Everyday Documents to Support Interpreting Assignments.
  • Work with Other Interpreters.

    For the Diploma, learners specialise by achieving interpreting competence in one of the following units:
  • English Law.
  • Scottish Law.
  • Health.
  • Local Government.

    A half-year in-service Diploma, as preparation for the professional examination, is also being offered, and another qualification (a certificate) allows specialisation in Deafblind Interpreting (not included in the South African qualification). An MA in Interpreting and Translating is offered at a higher level than this qualification. For the above qualifications in the United Kingdom, learners are typically graduates, whereas the South African qualification builds on NQF level 4 only.

    In China, in-service court interpreting training takes an initial 3 years´ experience in court after which the candidate may write an examination to become an assistant court translator/interpreter in one language combination, namely English/Chinese. After a further minimum of 4 years´ experience, the candidate can write the examination to become a Court Translator/Interpreter in two language combinations, namely Chinese plus two other languages.

    Generic interpreting training is only provided on post-graduate level with specialisation in technical and non-technical fields. Duration of the training is 22 months after which a Professional Diploma in Conference Interpreting is awarded. Competence includes consecutive and simultaneous interpreting from and into Chinese and English only.

    Training for interpreters in Taiwan is aimed mainly at producing competent interpreters for government, business and the media, or as conference interpreters for international bodies. Both a post-graduate Professional Diploma in Conference Interpretation with Translation over 22 months and a two-year Masters Degree in Interpretation are offered. Learners have to spend at least a year in the country of their first acquired language before being allowed to continue with the second your. In their final semester, students participate in internships, simulated conferences and community service. Competence includes translation skills in addition to consecutive and simultaneous interpreting from and into Chinese, Japanese and English.

    Brazil offers a post-graduate Higher Education Certificate over 16 months for the training of conference interpreters. Competence includes consecutive and simultaneous interpreting from and into English and Portuguese.

    Court interpreting training in Botswana is limited to in-service experience. Specialised legal interpreting training is limited to short skills development programmes presented by the University of the Free State in South Africa, at the end of which a certificate of attendance is awarded. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Learners who have achieved the National Diploma in Court Interpreting may articulate vertically to the BA Court Interpreting.

    Horizontal articulation on the Framework is possible with:
  • National Certificate: Policing, NQF Level 5.
  • National Certificate: Paralegal Practice, NQF Level 5.
  • National Certificate: Resolving of Crime, NQF Level 5.
  • National Diploma: Corrections Science, NQF Level 5.
  • National Diploma: Liaison Interpreting, NQF Level 5.
  • National Diploma: Paralegal Practice, NQF Level 5.

    Competence in individual Unit Standards will be retained by the learner who exits the qualification before completion. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments. Moderation of assessments will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and agreed ETQA procedures. This qualification can be internally assessed by assessors of the provider and moderated by a moderator registered by the relevant ETQA. Moderation shall comply with SAQA requirements.

    Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification or its unit standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessment of learner achievements takes place at providers accredited by the relevant ETQA (RSA, 1998b) for the provision of programmes that result in the outcomes specified for this qualification. Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the ETQA. Assessors registered with the relevant ETQA must carry out the assessment of learners for the qualification and any of the Unit Standards that make up this qualification.

    Assessors for this qualification will hold a level 6 qualification in Interpreting/Translation or possess the expertise to achieve the outcomes of this qualification and have worked as a court interpreter for at least 5 years.

    Additional requirements for assessors may be specified in each unit standard. 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  115231  Determine the impact of crime and victimisation on individuals, society and ecological systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  116616  Analyse liaison interpreting contexts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  116613  Analyse linguistic structure of source messages  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  117449  Apply the general principles of criminal law to the investigation of crime  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  116620  Deliver target messages  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  119503  Demonstrate an understanding of procedure in courts and other fora  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Core  116617  Evaluate source and target content  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  11978  Identify and apply different sections of the Criminal Procedure Act  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  11977  Identify and apply relevant knowledge of specific common law and statutory offences  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Core  11979  Identify and apply relevant knowledge on applicable law related to policing  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  115326  Identify and apply the principles of law of evidence  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  116618  Manage interpreting situations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  116619  Produce target messages  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Fundamental  115006  Analyse various texts in different contexts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Fundamental  8647  Apply workplace communication skills  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Fundamental  115014  Decode source culture  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Fundamental  15096  Demonstrate an understanding of stress in order to apply strategies to achieve optimal stress levels in personal and work situations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  116484  Evaluate a specified code of ethics and/or code of conduct  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  114598  Demonstrate an understanding of an entrepreneurial profile  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  14667  Describe and apply the management functions of an organization  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  114215  Mentor a colleague to enhance the individual`s knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in a selected career path  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114278  Demonstrate and apply an understanding of the Labour Relations Act (Act 66 of 1995)  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Elective  15094  Demonstrate insight into the application of theories of Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence in personal development  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  15219  Develop and implement a strategy and action plans for a team, department or division  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  10043  Develop, implement and manage a project/activity plan  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  15238  Devise and apply strategies to establish and maintain relationships  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  15224  Empower team members through recognising strengths, encouraging participation in decision making and delegating tasks  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  15220  Set, monitor and measure the achievement of goals and objectives for a team, department or division within an organisation  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. JUSTICE COLLEGE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.