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Liaison Interpreting Contexts (Social Systems, Culture and Ethics)

In conjunction with the Liaison Interpreting Theory and Practice, this micro-credential will develop the practical introductory skills you need to work effectively as a liaison interpreter in the community and some specialised settings. 

30 (0.25 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
16 weeks

Programme overview

Please note for MBIE funding and NAATI Certification:

  • For students who have MBIE entitlement notices, applications for study in Semester 2 2024 and Semester 1 2025 need to have been made by 2 April 2024 for funding eligibility.
  • Please note micro-credentials are not eligible for Study link loans and allowances.

Working as a professional interpreter, it’s your job to bridge the language gap. To do this effectively, you must understand the social systems, culture and ethics that impact communication in different settings to conduct your work appropriately, confidentially, and professionally.   

Our micro-credentials in liaison interpreting are designed to be condensed in format and timeframe, giving you the introductory skills you need to move into the workplace quickly. 

To work as a liaison interpreter in Aotearoa, you’ll need to complete both of our micro-credentials: Liaison Interpreting Contexts (Systems, Culture and Ethics) and Liaison Interpreting Theory and Practice

In this micro-credential, you’ll develop knowledge of New Zealand’s social systems and processes, ethnic groups, interpreting code of ethics and aspects of intercultural communication. 

In the second micro-credential, Theory and Practice, you’ll learn how to apply that knowledge in interpreting situations and explore a range of employment opportunities including formal skills training to become an accredited liaison interpreter.

By completing this micro-credential, you’ll be able to identify liaison interpreting contexts and describe how they relate to the broader characteristics of New Zealand social structures and institutions. You’ll also be able to identify and implement effective interpersonal and intercultural communication strategies using cultural theoretical frameworks.

Here’s what topics this micro-credential covers:

  • Interpreting needs of migrants, refugees, and tourists
  • Introduction to the interpreting code of ethics
  • Interpersonal communication including non-verbal communication 
  • New Zealand government and community agencies including legal and healthcare systems
  • Terminology (generic systems and processes vocabulary) relevant to community, medical, legal and business settings
  • The role of the interpreter in Aotearoa: how the Professional Code of Practice is applied to interpreting events and critically review principles governing the conduct of the interpreter – especially in medical and legal settings. 

You’ll also develop the ability to participate ethically and effectively in personal and professional intercultural settings.

Here’s how:

  • A dedicated workshop on the Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) focusing on two versions for translation.
  • The impact of the Treaty as legislation on all aspects of public services where interpreters and translators’ work.
  • Bi-cultural competence such as whanau involvement in medical, legal and social service contexts.
  • Opportunities to experience Marae protocol 
  • Te Reo Māori - learn and utilise common Māori words.

Programme highlights

  • Current work practices. Our micro-credentials are reviewed annually to ensure they remain relevant and fit-for-purpose, meaning you can be confident you have the skills and knowledge you need to join the liaison interpreting industry.
  • Blended course delivery. Learn in a variety of different ways including interactive lectures, guest speakers, role plays and simulations and practical or work-based components.
  • Work experience. You’ll have the opportunity to observe interpreting in a courtroom and hospital setting.
  • Face to face classes. Facilitated by experienced lecturers who will be there to guide you every step along your learning journey. 
  • Student support services. As a student, you’ll be able to take advantage of our on-campus Student Support Services.
  • Supportive learning environment. Become part of a close-knit group of students and staff who care about your success. 
  • Weekend and evening classes. You can enrol in our Saturday and evening cohort (classes begin at 5:30) to balance your study around work and other commitments.

How the micro-credentials work together

Part-time study: You will need to enrol in this micro-credential first, then Liaison Interpreting Theory and Practice in the following semester. You can still apply for these at the same time, provided both options are available in our enrolment portal. If you already have prior interpreting work experience, you may be able to apply for APL (assessment of prior learning) for the Liaison Interpreting Theory and Practice micro credential. You will be required to provide evidence that your work experience has met the outcomes of the Theory and Practice MC. There is a cost for this process. If you are successful, you will still need to complete the Micro credential in Contexts in order to be eligible to register with NAATI by 2024.

Full-time study: You will need to enrol into both micro-credentials together within the same semester. You will also need to select the same cohort for each: daytime and evening classes available. 

NAATI Certification

The Liaison Interpreting micro-credentials have been endorsed by the National Accredited Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) as a pathway to testing for Certified Provisional Interpreter status.

Graduates who have successfully completed both micro-credentials will be able to apply directly to NAATI to sit a certification test without meeting any other prerequisites. Note that certification is only awarded after a graduate has completed the micro-credentials and passed the NAATI certification test.

From July 2024, all interpreters working for government agencies or government-funded agencies (DHBs, Immigration, Courts etc) will be expected to be on the NAATI certification framework. Find out more about this requirement—including the financial and other support that you can receive - on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Admission requirements

General Requirements

To enter this programme, you’ll need the following:

  • Minimum four years of secondary education or equivalent, and;
  • 18 years old on your first day of study

Simply apply online and we’ll be in touch about your next steps.

Additional Requirements

When you apply for this programme, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity (ID) as well as other documents such as academic certificates – please have these handy when you’re ready to apply.

See what documents you may need to provide.

As part of your application, you’ll also need to provide evidence that demonstrates your proficiency in a Language other than English (LOTE).

This could include:

  • Evidence you completed high school in a LOTE as the language of instruction, or;
  • Have a degree in a LOTE as a major, or;
  • Provide two (verified) reference letters from your community or someone of standing from an educational institution who speaks your LOTE. 

We can help you with these requirements once we’ve received your application.

English Language Requirements

You’ll also need to meet the following English language requirements:

  • 10 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (5 in reading, 5 in writing), IELTS Academic 6.5, or equivalent

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Liaison Interpreting Contexts (Social Systems, Culture, Ethics) (LSLIMC6001) 30.0 credits (0.25 EFTS) This credential will enable learners to develop knowledge of NZ social systems and processes, ethnic groups, interpreting ethics and aspects of intercultural communication. They will be able to apply this knowledge in informal interpreting situations and explore a range of employment pathways including formal skills training in order to be accredited as a liaison interpreter