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Wednesday, 17 November 2021

PQ: 17th November 2021


Asylum: Translation Services

Home Office written question – answered on 17th November 2021.

Patrick Grady Scottish National Party, Glasgow North

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to make sure each individual applying for asylum in the UK has access to adequate translation services to support (a) their application and (b) communications with her Department.

Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Home Office Interpreter Language Services Unit (ILSU) delivers interpreting and translation services for most immigration customers. ILSU manages a database of 1,759 freelance interpreters as well as a commercial contract with TheBigWord for interpreting and documents translating. ILSU provides interpreters for 191 languages, including dialects.

ILSU arranges appointments, manages invoices and payments and has a quality assurance role to ensure reliability and to ensure the level of interpretation and translation is consistently high. ILSU works with other commercial providers and public sector bodies which provide interpreters and linguists (as well as the National Register of Public Service Interpreters) to ensure the best sector-wide standards are applied.

As with other Home Office contracts, ILSU works with commercial specialists to ensure contracted service are cost effective, and delivered to a high standard, with in-built quality measures. These contracts are reviewed annually.

ILSU operates tight quality control processes on interview appointments both internally and externally, whether face-to-face or by video. These measures include close management of interpreters through a dedicated team (recruitment, security, training and qualifications), virtual interviewing enablement training and mentoring, mandatory interviewer feedback forms, frequent dip surveys, and risk analysis and checking.

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