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The objective of the WA Language Services Policy is to ensure equitable access to Western Australian public sector services, through the provision of language services.The Government of Western Australia is committed to ensuring that all Western Australians are provided with access to services that are responsive and of high quality. This includes those who are not able to communicate effectively in written and/or spoken Standard Australian English, including some Aboriginal people, some people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

To achieve this State Government agencies must:

  • be client focused in the delivery of services, including responding to clients’ language needs
  • inform clients who are not able to communicate in spoken and/or written Standard English of:
    • their right to communicate in their preferred language and dialect and to request an interpreter
    • the agency's complaints/feedback processes
  • provide free of charge and targeted language services that adequately address the client’s rights, and risks to their health and safety
  • maximise the cultural and linguistic knowledge and skills of appropriately trained agency staff to help improve the provision of front-line services
Aboriginal language interpreter working in health setting
  • provide cultural competency training to staff, especially front-line service staff, including when and how to work with interpreters and translators
  • provide better planning, management and delivery of language services by incorporating interpreting, translating and multilingual information needs into budgeting, human resource and client service programs
  • incorporate appropriate arrangements for funded non-government service organisations to engage interpreters and translators for service delivery and making these organisations aware of how to access language services through the Western Australian Government Common Use Arrangement (CUA) for Interpreting and Translating Services
  • ensure that the interpreters and translators engaged are tertiary qualified and/or National Authority of Accreditation for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credentialed
  • use multilingual communication and marketing strategies.

The WA Language Services Policy statement is supplemented by comprehensive guidelines that include information about:

  • how to assess the need for an interpreter
  • how to engage interpreting services
  • engaging translating services
  • tertiary qualifications and National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) credentials
  • quality control and assurance in interpreting and translating
  • planning for the provision of language services
  • data collection and reporting
  • multilingual communication strategies

Supporting information sheets, diagrams and charts can be downloaded from this page.

Locating interpreters and translators

Relevant statistics

Page reviewed 11 October 2023