With so much misinformation about interpreter qualifications please read below the differences between these two qualifications.
The Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting (DCI for short) is a portfolio based qualification, which means that there is no exam. You complete a portfolio of coursework mainly written in English, that includes reflective learning, reports and presentations which must show that you know the role of a legal or medical interpreter (depends on the pathway you choose). You are also assessed in your other language by means of role plays, sight translations and written translations, but these are evaluations not an exam. You need to meet the strict criteria of this qualification as imposed by the Awarding Body (there are several, check with your course provider) to be awarded a Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting.
The Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) is exam based, and although a preparatory course is not mandatory nor required by the CIoL (who offers the exam), those who follow a good course have better chances of passing this exam. By good course I mean a course that provides a tutor in your language and colleagues to practice with as you need to master both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting to pass this exam. Therefore practice is of the utmost importance.
At DPSI Online we believe that interpreters need to be trained in both languages to achieve accuracy, hence all our courses have language tutors (e.g. Polish tutor trains Polish students) who offer the best language specific guidance throughout the duration of the course.
Want to know more about interpreter courses and qualifications? Watch our video by clicking here.