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Interpretation and Translation Services

Interpretation and Translation Services Q&A

How do I find an Interpreter or Translator?

An internal master roster of all TDSB approved interpreters and translators is available to all TDSB schools and departments. The roster includes the names of interpreters and translators who have renewed their employment with TDSB. Parents and school councils can access an interpreter or a translator by contacting the Principal or the Office Administrator of the school. The school will reserve the interpreter or the translator using SmartFind PCEO.

NOTE: Only interpreters/translators on TDSBs approved roster or those sourced through the PCEO are permitted to provide interpretation or translation services in TDSB schools/departments.

How are Interpreters/Translators paid?

Each year the PCEO allocates resources to support interpretation/translation and sign language services. The budget for this service is monitored and is administered by the PCEO. Schools/departments access this resource for events such as parent engagement and school council related initiatives and activities (e.g. parent conferences, parent meetings, school council meetings etc.).

Please note that special school translation projects engaged in by the school and/or the school council (e.g. parent manuals, Parent Reaching Out Grant projects, murals etc.) may not be covered by PCEO and will be charged to the school.

What happens if I’m Not Able to Source an Interpreter through the Approved Roster or SFE?

After you have exhausted the approved interpreter roster fill in the chart below and email it to ensuring that all cells are completed. The PCEO will source the language requested via outside vendors. If the PCEO is unable to source an interpreter via the vendors, the school/department should consider using RIO.

Interpretation/Translation Request Form
Language Requested:  
Start Time:  
End Time:  
Location Name:  
Main Intersection:  
Contact Person:  
Contact Person's #:  
Reason for Meeting:  
When completed, please complete Interpreter Feedback Survey Interpreter Feedback Survey

What Happens if I’m Not Able to Source a Translator through the Approved Roster?

The PCEO has entered into an agreement with Multi Lingual Community Interpreter Services (MCIS). This agreement covers all Translation services not able to be accommodated by the TDSB approved Translator roster. To access this service, click MCIS Translation Service.

How do I pay an Interpreter/Translator?

Payment Rates (interpreters on TDSB roster)

Interpretation           $20.64 per hour           Translation           30¢ per word

Only schools can process payment for Interpreters and Translators. Schools use SFE which automatically generates payment. When the interpretation/translation is completed, the school council can then reimburse the school. School Councils/Parents should not pay Interpreters or Translators directly.

  • Interpreters are paid for a minimum of 2 hours for face to face interpretation and travel is not covered.

Payment Rates (interpreters sourced through outside vendors)

Interpreters/Translators sourced through outside vendors via the PCEO will invoice the PCEO at the previously agreed upon rate.

If the Parent Does Not Show Up for the Appointment, How Do I Pay the Interpreter?

The interpreter will be paid the two hour minimum (via SFE). Some schools have found it helpful to ask the interpreter to contact the parent to confirm the appointment, especially in cases where the parent’s attendance is critical. The phone call will often put the parents at ease and will facilitate a rapport between the interpreter and the parent. In this case, the interpreter will also be paid a minimum of 30 minutes for the phone call along with the 2 hour minimum for the face to face interpretation minimum (via SFE).

What is the Process for Accessing Sign Language Interpreters?

Complete the chart below and email it to ensuring that all cells are completed. Please allow 3 – 4 weeks lead time to secure. The PCEO will source the request via outside vendors.

Sign Language Interpreter Request Form
Language Requested: ASL
Start Time:  
End Time:  
Location Name:  
Main Intersection:  
Contact Person:  
Contact Person's #:  
Reason for Meeting:  
When completed, please complete the Interpreter Feedback Survey  Interpreter Feedback Survey

What is the Payment Process for Interpreters/Translators sourced via outside Vendors?

All invoices are processed by the Parent and Community Engagement Office, 5050 Yonge St., 1st Floor.

What can I do to Minimize Costs while Providing a Needed Service?

  • Ensure that you use the TDSB approved internal roster;
  • Schedule interpreters well in advance (particularly for parent-teacher conferences) and in managed time slots to minimize “interpreter down time”;
  • Maximize RIO (over the phone immediate interpretation) for emergency interpretations;
  • Keep the translation of long documents to a minimum. If you must translate sections of school newsletters, handbooks, codes of conduct, etc. prepare a clear and concise summary of essential information or highlights;
  • Try to avoid dates and names on translations so that the translated document can be used in the future.

How Can I Get an Interpreter or Translator, Whom I Recommend, on the Roster?

Interested candidates are required to complete the appropriate application process before taking on any assignments. Candidates must complete the TDSB Interpreter Online Application Form. The TDSB only hires accredited interpreters. Candidates who have not had their interpretation skills assessed can liaise with Access Alliance Interpretation for more information about language assessment. Access Alliance Locations and Hours.

What Expertise is Required for Interpreter or Translator?

  • Certification (ILSAT/CILISAT) by a professional translator/interpreter association recognized by the Canadian Translators and Interpreters Council is an asset;
  • Demonstrated oral and written proficiency in English and native-like fluency in one other language required by the TDSB, including the ability to distinguish shades of meaning in both languages;
  • A minimum of 3 years professional or volunteer experience as an interpreter or translator in education;
  • A minimum of 3 year experience in the public or private sector.

Who do I contact if I have a Concern about an Interpreter/Translator?

Questions/concerns should be directed to: