Interpretation, Translation and Alternative Format Policy


1. Aim of Policy

1.1. The aims of the policy are:
• To enable customers to:
• Have fair and equal access to City West’s services and information through the use of interpretation , translation and alternative formats;
• Have their needs identified and services and information tailored to meet them.

• To assist staff to communicate with customers with specific communication needs including:
• People from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds
• People with disabilities (sensory impairment and learning disabilities)
• People with poor literacy skills.

• To develop a learning culture that encourages the usage of customer profiling to tailor services and information to meet the needs of individuals, embrace legislation and good practice.

2. Policy

2.1. City West will:
• Capture and maintain up-to-date communication needs and preferences of our customers;
• Eliminate discrimination by ensuring that services are accessible to all - in terms of making information available in different languages and formats;
• Consistently use customer profile information to inform communication;
• Have a positive and proactive approach to effective communication by exploring examples of best practice and looking to develop and build on these where appropriate;
• Provide translation or alternative formats upon request for corporate leaflets and literature in the six core languages. Information about this will be at the front and back of each publication. Where appropriate, City West will publish on its website publications that have already been translated;
• Consider a request for translation or interpretation into a language other than the six core languages depending on the individual customer’s needs;
• Review the six core languages for translation and interpretation on an annual basis by using the baseline customer profile information;
• Promote learning opportunities for customers (whose first language is not English) by sign-posting them to providers of classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). City West believes that customers will have improved opportunities to access jobs, social activities and services if they are able to speak English;
• Make public meetings like (Customer forums and Customer Conferences) more accessible to those with visual impairment and hearing difficulties;
• Be creative in using other forms of communication to address the needs of customers. These may include home visits, sign language, reading on the phone, family or friends reading to customers, social media such Facebook and Twitter and SMS text. The suitability of these options will depend on the needs of the customer making the request;
• Use external services like Language Line to provide a telephone interpretation service to customers where a person is unable to communicate effectively in English, gather information from a customer in order to book an appointment and in emergencies where it would take too long to get an interpreter;
• Develop a voluntary ’language register’ which will list all City west’s staff who speak languages other than English or who can sign.

3. How the Policy will be delivered

3.1. All staff that interact with customers in any way will be responsible for the delivery of this policy.

3.2. The Business Excellence Team has the responsibility for ensuring the maintenance, regular review and updating of this Policy.

3.3. If staff become aware that there are problems with effective operation of the policy or the associated procedures, they should report this to the Policy Owner. This feedback will be incorporated into the policy / procedural review process.

4. Related Procedures

4.1. The following procedures need to be followed to implement the policy:
• Interpretation, Translation & Alternative Formats Procedure.