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Liaison Interpreting Theory and Practice

In conjunction with the Liaison Interpreting Contexts (Systems, Culture and Ethics), 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.


Language interpreters are in demand in various settings, including community, legal and health. 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 effectively as a liaison interpreter in Aotearoa, you must complete our micro-credentials: Liaison Interpreting Theory and Practice and Liaison Interpreting Contexts (Systems, Culture and Ethics).  

Using your competency in more than one language, you’ll build the specific set of skills and knowledge that liaison interpreters and translators require to work in community, medical, legal and business settings for New Zealand government departments and agencies such as Immigration NZ, Auckland Council, MBIE and community organisations. 

By the end of this micro-credential, you’ll understand the role and ethics of a liaison interpreter, be able to perform liaison interpreting tasks using accurate language and register and apply appropriate techniques, specialised vocabulary, and interpreting skills in a wide range of contexts and settings. 

Here’s what topics this micro-credential covers:

  • The nature of interpretation (process, techniques, modes)
  • Speaking skills for interpretation
  • Face-to-face and telephone interpreting
  • Consecutive and simultaneous interpreting
  • Short-term memory (techniques and practice)
  • Sight interpreting and translation
  • Error analysis
  • Note-taking 
  • Bilingual translation
  • Terminology (specific and detailed vocabulary) relevant to the community and some specialised settings.
  • Ethics of interpreting (in context, dilemmas)
  • Managing interpreting events

A key part of this micro-credential is building cultural competence specific to Aotearoa and the role of interpreters. 

This includes:

  • 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.
  • Marae protocol for diplomatic, government and business interpreting settings. 

Programme highlights:

  • Current work practices. Our micro-credentials are reviewed annually to ensure they remain relevant and fit for purpose. You can be confident you have the skills and knowledge you need to join the liaison interpreting industry.
  • Blended course delivery. Learn in various ways including interactive lectures, guest speakers, role plays and simulations and practical or work-based components.
  • Small 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 can 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 into Liaison Interpreting Contexts first, then this micro-credential 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 experience, you may be able to apply directly for this micro-credential via APL (assessment of prior learning);

Full-time study: You will need to enrol into both micro-credentials together within the same semester. If studying full-time, 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, and;
  • Enrolled in or successfully completed Liaison Interpreting Contexts or completed relevant higher-level study or relevant work experience. 

If you have prior interpreting experience, you may be able to apply directly for this micro-credential using APL (Assessment of Prior Learning).   

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 Theory and Practice (LSLIMC6002) 30.0 credits (0.25 EFTS) Learners will have the necessary practical skills to work effectively as a liaison interpreter in community and some specialised settings