The profession of translator/editor/interpreter is unregulated in South Africa. However, SATI has put an accreditation system in place where members are tested to prove their competence.
Clients, however, often require assurance that the language practitioner they employ is able to do a good job. For this reason, SATI began a system of voluntary accreditation in late 1990. Only accredited members have voting rights within the Institute.
Accreditation is voluntary, but the system has become widely recognised. Accreditation is available only to members of the Institute. If membership of the Institute lapses, accreditation lapses as well. Members need to have certain qualifications and/or levels of experience in order to do an exam or a practice test.
Members can acquire SATI accreditation ONLY through testing. Academic qualifications are also not considered in the granting of accreditation.
Accreditation is offered at professional level only. This means that a high standard is required of candidates and that a high percentage do not pass the exams. Over the years it has been shown that it is rare for candidates without a reasonable amount of experience to pass the exams.
A practice test is available in certain disciplines and certain languages, which enables prospective candidates to ascertain whether they are proficient enough to attempt an exam.
The accreditation system is expanded as required and where the necessary resources are available. The following types of accreditation are currently available:
- Sworn translation
- Simultaneous (conference) interpreting
- Language editing
- Corporate accreditation (for language offices only)
You can download general pamphlets on the accreditation system on the links below. Further information is available on the other menu items under Accreditation.