CODE OF CONDUCT
OF THE HELLENIC ASSOCIATION OF CONFERENCE INTERPRETERS
- This Code of Conduct (hereinafter the Code) sets out rules concerning the integrity, professionalism and confidentiality which all categories of members of the Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters (SYDISE) are obliged to demonstrate when working as conference interpreters.
- Members must display solidarity to their colleagues. They must protect their own privacy and that of colleagues. Complying with the Code is, for example, a sign of solidarity towards colleagues. Where an interpreter finds that another interpreter is acting in an unprofessional manner, it is recommended that he/she point this out to the colleague, and -if necessary- inform the SYDISE’s competent body about that unprofessional attitude. In addition, members must avoid making any statement or engaging in any act which prejudices the interests of the Association or its members.
- Interpreters are obliged to prepare carefully and in good time for work prior to the conference. Preparation means familiarising oneself with the subject matter and vocabulary relevant to that subject matter in the working languages. When the task is assigned, interpreters are obliged to learn what the subject matter is, the precise location and time of the meeting, the client or their representative and the method of communication with them should further information be required. Obtaining adequate information about the conference is a vital condition for providing successful, quality services.
- Interpreters must not accept an assignment if they cannot adequately prepare for it.
- Interpreters are obliged to turn up at the work venue in time attired appropriately.
- Members of the Association should not accept work they are not adequately qualified to perform. Accepting work means the member making a moral commitment to work with the requisite degree of professionalism. In addition, each member of the Association who engages other conference interpreters -whether they are members of the Association or not- shall undertake the same commitment. Members of the Association must not take on more than one professional obligation (confirmed day of work) at the same time. If a second option for the same period if offered, interpreters are obliged to inform the client about this matter and that the assignment can only be accepted as a second option. In all events, interpreters are bound by options in the order in which they are received. Where a 2nd or 3rd option is confirmed before the 1st, interpreters are obliged to contact with client who had offered the 1st option, to confirm it or obtain a release.
- Members of the Association must not accept work or working conditions that could undermine the dignity of the profession. They should avoid any actions that could undermine the reputation of the profession.
- Members may, for professional purposes, publicise the fact that they are conference interpreters and members of the Association, either acting as individuals or members of a team.
- Interpreters must constantly improve their professional skills. In addition to having good knowledge of the language and good interpreting skills, they must also have knowledge of interpreting techniques as well as a broad general knowledge. Members of the Association are encouraged to participate in the seminars and CPD events the Association organises and/or in similar events.
- Interpreters must only interpret between languages they have registered for with the Association or are accredited by the EU or other international organisation for. Consequently, to add new language combinations, members must inform the Association when they acquire new language proficiency qualifications.
- Members of the Association are obliged to take into account and warrant, both to themselves and other conference interpreters whom they may engage -whether they are members of the Association or not- that the working conditions specified in the Annex hereto will be observed.
- Interpreters should comply with any rules and etiquette pertinent to a specific interpreting mission.
- Conference interpreters involved in bilateral negotiations or community interpreting or court interpreting or conference interpreting or in any other context must remain neutral, must not discuss, give advice or express views or reactions to any person involved, thereby going beyond their duties as an interpreter.
- Members of the Association are bound to observe strict confidentiality in relation to all persons and information disclosed to them in the practice of their profession at any meeting that is not open to the public. Members are prohibited from deriving any personal gain from confidential information they may have acquired when performing their duties as interpreters.
- Interpreters must attempt -even beforehand if possible- to ensure that the conditions needed for effective interpreting are provided (such as sitting in a location where they can see the speaker and the slides, from which they can hear clearly; that there must be adequate breaks during work, etc.).
Interpreters must not interrupt and/or intervene unless:
They wish to request clarifications.
They are obliged to provide clarifications about something which in their view one of the parties involved did not understand.
They are obliged to inform the parties involved about reference to a cultural detail they themselves did not understand or
They are obliged to point out a situation or factor which could impair the interpreting process (such as inadequate space for the interpreter, inadequate visibility or line of sight or poor sound, insufficient breaks, etc.).
16. Interpreters must set the fee levied for their professional services in a professional, equitable manner. Members of the Association must:
not engage in unfair competition.
respect the legal and regulatory provisions applicable to payments, credit, contracts, sales, and their tax and social security obligations.
behave well from a civic, social, professional and business viewpoint towards other members of the Association and to legal and natural persons, and in particular to clients and client employees.
pay within the agreed timeframe the fees of colleagues they may have engaged at their own responsibility, provided those colleagues have issued service invoices to the interpreter who is acting as employer, and irrespective of whether or not that interpreter has been paid by his/her own client.
17. Procedure for amending the Code
Proposals on amendments to the Code of Conduct and the Annex to it shall be submitted by the Board to the General Meeting and approved by a 2/3 majority of the members present..