Oct 16

How to become a qualified member of the UK Institute of Translation and Interpreting

In July this year I started to gather all necessary documents in order to apply for an examination for a qualified member of the ITI. The paperwork I had to compile was: two references from clients with whom I have been working for a minimum of three years, a character reference, a relevant experience form, a copy of earned qualifications, an application form and a signed Code of Conduct. There was also an application fee of £60.00. In the application form, I indicated in which subject areas I wanted to take the exam, and, of course, my choice was medicine and pharmaceuticals.

When all forms were ready, I submitted them to the ITI Admissions Office and waited for my application to be reviewed. A week or two later, I received an email saying that I was eligible to take the exam for a qualified member (MITI) of the ITI. I also received guidance notes on what to expect in the exam and also a sample commentary – both of these were very useful.

The exam of 1000 words was sat at home, over a chosen weekend. I received the exam paper on Friday midday and had to submit it until 5.00 pm the following Monday.

The examination paper was challenging and it took me a considerable amount of research to check specific terminology. Also, there were several instances of ambiguity, which even the help of a native speaker could not clear – yes, the rules of the exam allow to consult a native speaker for certain phrases, however, this has to be documented in the commentary. The exam paper also contained some “traps”, though these were unintentional and stemmed from poor punctuation or spelling of the source text so logical thinking was in demand.

The commentary was to be between 500 and 1000 words and have to admit that it took me some editing to keep it below the 1K words limit. The purpose of the commentary was to comment linguistically on the text and also to “show” the examiner how I work with a text, what problems I notice and how I tackle them. This part was very much like my M.A. project, therefore, I found this part of the exam quite enjoyable and relaxing.

The exam was sent to me in a .pdf format, therefore everything had to be formatted from scratch. It was not anything complex, yet I had to be extremely careful not to omit any styles used. Proofing my translation on paper was a great help here.

I finished both the translation and the commentary on Saturday, but spent the additional days polishing it and double-checking terminology. This actually paid off as on Monday a thought came to me and as I result I amended quite an important term!

After I submitted my examination paper, I was asked to destroy all copies and told that I would hear back in about 6-8 weeks.

When 6 weeks went by, I started to grow impatient and was even about to email the admissions officer. But the next day I received the news I had been waiting for – I PASSED!

I was extremely happy and went on to share the news with my colleagues and clients. Especially, that currently I am the only Poland-based English to Polish translator who is a MITI!

Next came the introduction pack and an issue of the Bulletin which I very much enjoyed reading. As for other benefits of being a MITI, I value members-only forum a and the ability to access credit reports which helps me choose my outsources carefully. One other important benefit is the listing in the ITI’s on-line directory and I have already been contacted with offers of work through there.

I have also joined the ITI’s Medical and Pharmaceutical network which is a great source of information both on medical and business subjects.

If you have any specific questions about being or becoming a MITI, please feel free to send an email.

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