Community Interpreting at REAP

March 2019  (four days) – by Voluntary Action Harrow  Introductory Training for Community Interpreters starts.  Please see their website for contacts to their booking team. 

Putting ‘Community’  into Interpreting

  • Local interpreters building relationships and knowledge of local services;
  • Face to face interpreting from basic to professional level by trainee, volunteer and fully qualified, professional interpreters
  • 60+ community languages;
  • Non-profit;
  • Interpreting training, work experience and ongoing support and work for refugees as they rebuild their lives in the UK.

Who is the service for?

REAP’s community interpreting service is for professionals who provide support services to refugees & migrants in primary  & community health, schools and education, housing, social care, information, advice & guidance, and equality & human rights.  It serves both statutory and voluntary bodies in West London.   REAP’s interpreters support face to face communication.

Who are REAP community interpreters?

The prime goal of creating and running the community interpreting service at REAP has always been to support people who have sought refuge in the UK (refugees and asylum seekers) as they try to rebuild their lives as valuable and valued members of British society.

What services do the community interpreters offer?

The interpreters can provide you with a basic to intermediate level community-style service.  Although we also have some advanced and professional interpreters, in most cases you should not ask the interpreters to take on tasks requiring advanced skills and training such as legal work, counselling, appeals panel etc. without checking with the REAP office first.  However, many interpreters have now been with REAP for up to 10 years, and several have gained extensive experience and more advanced (Level 3+) training.  The REAP team will always try to find the right person for your job, so please do discuss the demands and responsibilities with us.  If we can’t help, we will help you find another service that can.

Client Organisations’ Terms & Conditions (March 2018)

Important information about the Interpreting service for client organisations

1. REAP is a service, but is not an employment agency and is non-profit.

Through Interpreting @ REAP, REAP provides a point of contact, communication, advice and referral designed for trainee, basic and intermediate interpreters.  Interpreters sign REAP’s General Members’ Code of Conduct, and the Interpreters’ Code of Conduct.  If they are allowed and entitled to paid work, once they have completed core training REAP can put interpreters on REAP’s payroll under a casual contract and they are paid via PAYE.  Many of REAP’s interpreters have now completed Level 3 and level 4 professional exams and regularly work for the NHS and Local Authorities in London.

2. REAP provides ‘community’ interpreters NOT ‘public service’ interpreters.

Community interpreters, whilst remaining neutral, have a responsibility to improve communication between the parties by clarifying issues and terms, reducing cross-cultural misunderstanding, confirming that people have understood the role of the professional, encouraging people to speak etc.  At times this may include, for example, reassuring the service user of confidentiality so that s/he can relax and are able to explain themselves better.  (A ‘public service’ interpreter translates the exact words being said, regardless of the quality of communication between parties – typically used in court rooms or legally sensitive situations.)

If you feel your interpreter is not following good practice please tell us straight away so we can offer further training and assessment before they take on any more bookings

3. REAP invoices you for sessional ‘jobs’ or ‘bookings’.

Invoices are according to timesheets signed by a member of your staff as evidence that the job was done, with start and end times, which the interpreter then sends to REAP.   Invoices include a schedule of jobs done, dates, times, length, which key contact etc.

4. We believe that best practice

… is for client organisations to employ community interpreters on their own staff payroll wherever possible, as regular, though probably part-time employees.

This is considerably cheaper for your organisation than using interpreters through agencies and improves quality as staff interpreters can be properly trained and contribute to strategy in the organisation’s relationship with its refugee and ethnic minority clients.  It also provides far better employment and other prospects for the interpreter.  Where interpreters depend on agency income and are required to register as self-employed they are vulnerable to exploitation and often end up trapped in poverty.  Many who are new to the UK also do not understand the self-employment system and do not realise the obligations on them, ending up in trouble with the law and the tax system.

We can make arrangements to pay your chosen interpreter on your behalf, through our system of casual contracts and payroll service. 

5. REAP Community Interpreters’ pay is designed as an incentive system

It increases with experience and qualifications, designed to encourage interpreters to develop their skills and work towards higher qualifications through which they can move onto other work.

6. Minimum charge is 1 hour.  Minimum cancellation is 2 hours.

Please email and ring if you need to make a late cancellation.  Please note, rates change from time to time – please check if you haven’t used our service for a while.  Updated terms and conditions are sent to current client organisations a quarter (3 months) before any substantial change.

The person/organisation using REAP’s community interpreters:

Must: give the interpreter the necessary details for them to do the work well, and try to allow the interpreter enough time to prepare for appointments,

Must NOT: ask the interpreter to take on tasks that are not part of their role (e.g. child care, shopping, form filling etc.), or above their assessed level for interpreting (e.g. counselling, legal work).

Fee rates for client organisations, invoicing and payment

Example Charges per job (Correct from April 2019)

Admin/training costs

£ 13.50 /booking
Administration/training cost : The administration and training cost of £13.50 per sessional job contributes a proportion towards staff and overheads, providing core training and upgrade training sessions and materials, employer’s NI, insurance etc.  Interpreting @ REAP is no longer subsidised from any source.

Travel Expenses

£   6.50 /booking
Travel Expenses : The basis for travel expense calculations is ‘cheapest route’, usually using Oyster cards.  Car rates are paid up to a maximum of £6.50 and parking / fines are not paid.  Some interpreters with disabilities must use taxis, and these higher travel expenses are spread across all clients to avoid disproportionate costs falling on one.
Payments to Community Interpreters

Min. charge

1 hour

Different jobs require interpreters with different levels of skills and experience.  We aim to pay our more experienced interpreters rates that reflect their commitment and skill as an incentive to improve.


£   0 /hour  (First 10hrs after core training for CIs with no experience)


Int 1

Int 2

Int 3


£ 10.55 / hour  + 66p AL allowance from 1/4/19

£ 13 / hour + 81p AL allowance from 1/4/19

£ 17 / hour + £1.06 AL allowance from 1/4/19


usually negotiated individually, but likely to be £25+/hour depending on the professional’s own rates
Urgent/same day No extra charge but availability may be a problem
Unsocial hours: before 0900/after 1700 & Sat x 1.5 or negotiable
Sunday/Bank Holidays / Public Holidays x 2
Travel time (local work) See a) b) below Only paid after the booking has started eg. if travelling with a Health Visitor to a home appointment unless the work is outside West London, in which case please call (01895 441530)
Waiting time, etc.  See c) below See notes below
Cancellations – please ring AND email if making a late cancellation; please leave a message if you get the message service / out of hours One hour minimum notice
Others:  Eg Special purpose, Block bookings, C.London Negotiable
Translation 1st 200 words+per 1000 words Negotiable, but rarely available

Travel time

It is expected that interpreters will be travelling from within Hillingdon Borough and nearby, therefore travel time is not usually paid.

  • Minimum charges for an interpreting job is assumed to include up to one hour of travelling time within Hillingdon which is enough to allow a CI to travel across most of the Borough, except if using public transport to areas such as Harefield.  However, short notice or more jobs in more distant locations eg. central London, may increase travel expenses charged over the standard £6.50 per booking.
  • If your job is in another Borough or outside London and travel time is over one hour, we may ask you to pay towards the interpreter’s travel time if s/he is coming from far away, eg. at short notice.  Travel time over one hour will be individually agreed in advance, and will usually be charged for one direction only, at the same rate as is being charged for the interpreting job.

Waiting time

  • Where the CI waits at the same venue between two jobs booked by your organisation at that venue, waiting time can be charged in addition to charges for the jobs, up to a maximum of 1 hour, at the same rate as is being charged for the jobs, by agreement in advance.

Cancellation and late cancellations

Please give us as much notice as possible if you need to cancel a job so interpreters do not lose work elsewhere – at least 24 hours is best.  It is important for us to be able to give the interpreter as much notice as possible of a cancellation as they make considerable efforts to get to bookings (child care etc.), and we feel it is important not to damage their motivation by refusing to recognise their efforts.

Late cancellations

REAP is a small organisation.  We do not have guaranteed office cover on all days.

Please TELEPHONE REAP office AND EMAIL where you have a late cancellation, as we may not get email messages immediately.  If noone answers your call, please LEAVE A MESSAGE as we can pick up remotely and we will know what time you rang.

If there is less than 1 hours notice a standard minimum charge (1 hour +admin/exp) will apply so we can pay interpreters for any travel they have already started and their lost time/other lost work.  If you leave a telephone message more than 1hour before the booking is due to start, but we are not able to contact the interpreter in time and s/he still arrives at your location, REAP will pay her/his time and travel and you will not be invoiced.  Please do still sign their timesheet if they do arrive at your location, even if you cancelled in advance, as the timesheet gives us evidence that the interpreter did turn up – you will NOT be invoiced.

Invoicing and payment arrangements

We invoice client organisations monthly or quarterly depending on separate agreements, in arrears, based on receiving signed timesheets for the previous period.  We prefer payment direct to our bank please: Barclays Bank, Sort Code 20 38 83, A/C 9084607402.  Please send remittance notice to REAP.  Terms 30 days from receipt of invoice.  We will send a reminder and may charge a late payment fee if invoices are not settled in a reasonable time.  Please don’t hesitate to phone REAP if you have questions.  If you must pay by cheque, please make cheques payable to Refugees in Effective and Active Partnerships.  Please give our invoice number as reference.

Grievance, complaints and commendations

Client organisations or interpreters can give feedback via timesheets, directly to the REAP team or when contacted by the REAP team for M&E.  REAP will NOT contact your service users.  Please make more serious complaints or concerns verbally or in writing to Sarah Crowther, REAP Director: if not appropriate or available to Oleg Pasichnyi, REAP Chair, in a sealed envelope marked ‘private and confidential’ via REAP office.

REAP, Key House, 106 High Street, Yiewsley MIDDX  UB7 7BQ

01895 441530

Bookings and training : Rachaporn

Interpreters’ and project development : Sarah Crowther

Director : Sarah Crowther