Using translators with your training

Posted in Safety, Training on Feb 23, 2017 Comments

All of our courses are in written and verbal English only. When a course is booked we explain this in writing to all customers and do inform them that they are welcome to send down a translator provided that they are there solely to translate, they cannot actually participate in the course.

I am now quoting from the IPAF Guidance for Training Centres with regards to Training candidates that do not speak the instructor's language fluently;

"IPAF recognises that some students may not be fully proficient in the language being spoken by their instructor. Measures can be taken to improve their ability to comprehend the course material and these are set out below. The instructor must satisfy him/herself that the candidates have understood the course and passed all relevant tests before passing a candidate.

Main Points;

  • It is the employer's legal responsibility to training their staff.
  • Training must be conducted in accordance with the legal requirements of the country in which training is taking place. Other legislation can be referenced if appropriate.
  • The employer or their appointed person must conduct a risk assessment (names may vary depending on country) for the work to be carried out and communicate it to their staff.
  • Machines should have documents and decals of the country in which they working.
  • Communication on site is often a potential problem.

Effects of Main Points on IPAF Courses;

IPAF Training centres and instructors must hold the IPAF courses in the language of the country they are in using local legislative course material. It will remain the employers' responsibility to overcome the language barrier for their staff. The same will apply to familiarisations, understanding decals, referencing the machine manual and on site communication issues.

The risk assessment is a perfect format for looking into these issues and documents the manner in which any potential hazards will be overcome.

Training Centres and Instructors;

You have a duty to establish as far in advance as possible if there may be language problems for candidates attending your courses. If you become aware of a potential language barrier, ask the candidates' employer of their steps to overcome any potential language issues. (We do put in our confirmation e-mails to let us know if a translator will be required.)

If the employer proposes using a translator, then the instructor must satisfy him/herself that the translator has not helped the candidates answer the questions in any way (an independent translator is often useful). If the instructor believes any attempt to cheat has taken place, the he/she must fail the candidate(s) involved and document the reasons on the course paperwork and notify the employer in writing.

Note that the use of a translator may double the amount of time required to complete the course."

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