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NRPST Qualifications and Experience

As the UK's independent voluntary regulator for the translation profession, NRPST recognises qualifications and experience needed to practise as a professional translator. It is part of our duty to ensure translators have the required qualifications and/or practical experience before joining the register, ensuring qualified and experienced translators offer their services to the public sector and for the benefit of the public. NRPST also offers a Student Status category. Qualifications and Experience Criteria is outlined below:


NRPST Full Status, Interim (a), Interim (b) and Rare Languages

Only translators who have gained the qualifications and experience meeting the high standards set by the Qualifications Committee can be listed on the register. Details of the qualifications and professional experience you need for registering with NRPST are:


Qualifications criteria for Full Status

  • Needs to be at RQF Level 6 (CEFR C1) or higher such as level 7 DipTrans
  • Must meet the competencies set out in the National Occupational Standards for Translation (last updated 2007) for Professional translator Units 1-4
  • The applicant's qualification will have been examined  in the stated languages/directions
  • The applicant's qualifications will have been independently assessed as comprising at least 16 credits for certificates, at least 40 credits for diplomas and at least 120 credits for university degrees for each language combination
  • The qualifications were managed by a provider that provides evidence of a robust teaching/assessment regime, including a convincing track record in running similar courses
  • The qualification does not need to be specifically public service orientated (as this is not commonly available)
  • Applicants do not need to have mother tongue if they have the relevant qualification
  • If a submitted translation qualification is not actually assessing language skills there would need to be other evidence to support language expertise. The expectation would be that the qualification provider would have assessed their candidate’s source language at overall IELTS band score of at least 6.5 (CEFR C1) and the target language at overall IELTS band score of at least 7.0 (CEFR C1)


Qualifications criteria for other Status

  • Interim (a) Status the application must meet the Qualifications criteria for Full Status only; no experience is required (the Registrant will then have five years to accumulate the 100% of experience required for Full Status).
  • Interim (b) Status for applicants who have accumulated at least two thirds (with an exception of certifcates) of the credits for the recognised examination (8 credits for certificates, 26 credits for a Diploma in Translation or 80 credits for a university degree excluding treatise; credits passed must be relevant to units 1-4 of NOST) and are able and committed to sit the outstanding modules within a period determined by the Qualifications Committee (usually three years). The experience criteria for Full Status must also be met.
  • Rare Language Status will be available; each application to register with NRPST will be assessed on its merits.
Experience criteria
Evidence of experience helps NRPST to assure that the translator is able to carry out the work required by public service users. In addition, the experience allows NRPST to allocate a specialism within public service translation to the translator. The requirements for applicants/Registrants to meet the experience criteria are:


At first application provide dated evidence of translation work in the public service sector gained in the last five years from the date of application. Older examples of work will not be accepted.

Evidence should be presented in one (or a combination of all) of the acceptable formats from the list below:

  • 100,000 words – evidence must state the number of words (usually in the source language) and state the language directions translated
  • 100 days of translation work
  • 100 translating engagements


When reviewing the application, NRPST will determine the status of registration: for Full Status registration the total evidence for the five years needs to amount to 100% or more; for Interim (a) Status the application must meet the Qualifications criteria for Full status only; no experience is required (the Registrant will then have five years to accumulate the 100% of experience required for Full status). For Interim (b) Status, in addition to the partial qualifications (as described in the Qualifications Criteria) the total evidence for the five years needs to amount to 100% or more.


At annual renewal: a minimum of (10,000 words) or (10 days) or (10 engagements) to be provided at each annual renewal for Full Status.

NRPST Student Status
Student Status is designed to help student translators at the very beginning of their career to develop a professional approach to translation. Student Registrants may have no qualifications or experience but must be registered as a student at one of the recognised teaching centres.

Students can register free of charge for their first year on the Register.

Student registrant’s details will NOT be searchable on the Register.


NRPST Security Clearances

NRPST translators MAY provide, evidence of a valid security clearances. This will often be influential in a client’s choice.

 Acceptable Clearances

  1. Some employers such as Police Services and the Home Office will provide security clearances for personnel working on their premises. For clearances which are notified by e-mail, we require both the e-mail message and letter attachment to be forwarded to us via e-mail (we will need to be satisfied that the clearances are genuine and may contact the vetting organisation to verify this). This correspondence must include the date you were cleared and the expiry date of the clearance. The following are acceptable for inclusion on the National Register:
  2. Police Clearances i.e. NPPV (Non-Police Personnel Vetting) Level 2 or 3 (police forces are standardising on level 3).
  3. Counter Terrorist Checks and higher levels of National Security Vetting.


At present vetting provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, NATO nor the NCA  will not allow publication on the open-source Register of the clearances they provide.

  1. We also accept the following Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks – we need to receive the original DBS certificate in our office (which we return to you by a signed delivery service):  
  2. DBS Standard and DBS Enhanced Certificates
  3. Disclosure Scotland – Standard and Disclosure Scotland – Enhanced level.
  4. Disclosure Scotland PVG Scheme Record.
  5. Access NI – Standard Disclosure Certificate and Access NI – Enhanced Disclosure Certificate.


IMPORTANT: Please note that we do not accept the Basic level certificate from Disclosure Scotland, Access Northern Ireland nor the DBS in England.  We recommend Registrants consider applying for the DBS Update subscription service (which NRPST recognises). For the latest information from the DBS visit:


We will need you to provide signed consent if NRPST is to be able to use your DBS Update subscription to keep your record up to date.

Applying for Security Clearances It is the responsibility of the translator’s employer to ensure translators are appropriately checked to work in their specific circumstances. It is not generally possible for translators to apply for a security clearance for themselves. The NRPST does not employ translators and is unable to assist in obtaining security clearances.

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