Highlights from the first CIoL Conference on 7 March 2020

Highlights from the first CIoL Conference on 7 March 2020

Who would have thought that the CIVID-19 outbreak we would all be invited to the beautiful building of the British Medical Association for the first CIOL conference? What a location! 

The main room filled up quickly for Ellie Kemp’s talk from Translators Without Borders (TWB). Being a volunteer translator myself I was keen to hear her presentation and was surprised like many others to hear that Ebola was in its 10th outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was very impressed with the awareness raised by the TWB with regards to the importance of minority languages such as Kinande, Mashi and other local dialects.

I then rushed to Ian Fraser’s talk to learn about the new Police Framework and the future of language services procurement that will start from September 2020. There finally seem to be some promising signs ahead of us, especially for those who have not worked in courts since the MOJ awarded its first contract to ASL in 2012. I hope the new framework will bring back some of the experienced interpreters we lost to other professions due to lack of work in the criminal justice system.  

In the afternoon I attended Mike Orlov’s talk about the challenges and the new opportunities for PSIs and PSTs too. He insisted on the importance of having professional interpreting services in the public sector. He urged us all to a ‘Clarion Call to Action’ and highlighted the importance of the NRPSI as a register and regulator. 

Later on it was time to hear Vasiliki Prestridge talk about going from freelancer to entrepreneur and revisiting the skills necessary to increase our client base and grow our businesses. Her approach to customer care made a lot of sense and what better time to be working on your client outreach than during the current lockdown when most of our work is done from home?

The usual panel discussion then rounded up the day.  All in all, it was a well attended first conference with a little bit for every professional. I am looking forward to the second conference in 2021.