Professional Conduct & Ethics Workshop – Gwenda McManus writes

Despite heavy rain and flooding in some parts the previous week, York was still open for business on Saturday 29 September. A number of us gathered for lunch beforehand at Plonkers which, like a number of other properties on the riverfront, was pumping out the lower ground floor – access was literally only a couple feet from the river. Happily, the food preparation and serving areas were upstairs and were not affected.

Lunch gave us an opportunity to catch up and also to meet Sue Leschen informally before moving on to the Friends Meeting House for the workshop. This was attended by 11 members, both translators and interpreters. Although there were more translators, many points were common to both disciplines. Sue had provided a list of potential issues as a starting point, but she threw the session open to the floor and ultimately there were several points raised. These included establishing our own terms and conditions – very strongly urged by Sue in a business where the client seems to be in the driving seat – and checking clients’ terms and conditions before accepting a job. This led on to helpful pointers by Sue about what to do in the event of slow or even non-payment, and a general discussion of experiences. Another area discussed was ownership of translations and acknowledgement of published work, with Sue again providing some very practical advice. She also emphasised the increasing importance of CPD and gave some examples of personal experience in this area.

It was very much an interactive session, with helpful guidance by Sue. The time passed all too quickly, and since we didn’t actually refer any of the prompt scenarios provided, there would seem to be scope for further discussion, especially as she provided some very comprehensive notes for further consideration.

Thanks again to Charlotte for organising this event – and for negotiating a discount!