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Boost for Welsh language skills with success at interpreters’ exam centre

28 March 2012

Language skills in Wales have received a boost as the first group of students celebrated passing their Diploma in Public Service Interpreting at Cardiff University.

The University’s Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning became Wales’ first examination centre for the Diploma last year. Around 100 students have now completed the first year’s courses, receiving their Diplomas at the Centre’s annual awards ceremony. Not only has the programme received high praise from students, but professionals working in the industry have noticed the positive impact it has made already.

Chief Inspector Tony Wilcox, Executive Manager of Wales Interpretation and Translation Service (WITS) and a special guest at the Award Ceremony, said: "Between 2005 and 2009 there was little change in the number of qualified interpreters living in Wales who had passed police security checks and could work for the police. In November 2009 there were 22 such qualified interpreters in Wales - they covered 15 languages between them. Now there are 41 qualified interpreters living in Wales who have passed police security checks and can work for the police, covering 20 languages between them. The most recent increase is entirely due to the courses run at Cardiff University."

Elsa Cowie, the Centre’s Academic Lead for Public Service Interpreting, said: "There was a real demand for the DPSI as it is a national qualification which many public bodies prefer interpreters to achieve before assigning work. In Wales, there are currently only 26 people on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) for which the DPSI is the main requirement, so the demand is there."

In addition to the DPSI students, more than fifty students received awards from Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning at the ceremony, in a variety of subject areas including: Humanities, Computer Studies, Science and Environment, Business Studies, Social Studies and languages. Louise Ackland who received a Foundation Certificate in Social Studies at the centre commented "The evening was a great chance to celebrate my achievement with my family, fellow students and tutors, studying at the centre has been a one of the best things I have done. The tutors and centre staff are so supportive they have made my going into higher education as a 'mature' student that little bit less scary. I would recommend studying at the centre to everyone even if it is just for the experience."

For more information on the part-time courses offered at the Centre visit

Notes to editors

1. Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Cardiff University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales. The Centre provides around 400 Lifelong Learning Courses a year. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides short courses for business, public sector employers and the individual. The Centre also provides business language training at all levels, including translation services and interpreters.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

For further information contact:

Kelly Cumiskey

Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

Cardiff University

Tel: 029 2087 9330