In an ideal world, freelance translators and interpreters need to be constantly reviewing and updating their skills and knowledge in order to remain competitive and to maintain their professional edge.

The details of what each ITI member includes in their CPD planning will vary depending on a number of factors including: the amount of time you have been working as a translator or interpreter, how well established your business is, what language pair(s) you work with and what subject areas you tend to work in.

For instance, in your early career you may prioritise improving your understanding of running a business or getting to grips with a new translation tool, whereas more established professionals may prioritise honing subject knowledge through provision from related professional entities or ‘giving back’ in the form of mentoring or committee work for ITI.

How you choose to develop your training will depend heavily upon how you perceive your own role and your career ambitions.

Plan

Ideally you should aim to plan 30 hours of CPD in each membership year, selecting the provision that best fits into your budget and time availability throughout the year. It is a good idea to take a longer-term view at the outset, drawing up a plan for 3 to 5 years at a time. A good place to start is by assessing your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and by asking yourself, “Where do I want to be professionally in terms of skills and capacities in 5 years’ time?”. You need to express this in terms of the new or improved skills and capacities you wish to have by then.

Once you have identified the areas in which you wish to grow, you can search for training or sources of information with which to fill the gaps, prioritising those that will give you the greatest chance for growth or advancement first. This training may be available through ITI Central or the Networks and Regional Groups, but you may well find you need to look outwards to other providers and entities.

Do

Your plan should include a statement of what you wish to achieve from each piece of training or study you undertake. As you are doing the CPD you should be checking that you are getting what you expected from the sessions or study you are undertaking. Again ideally, you should review each piece of CPD you undertake as you do it, making notes on what you gained from it in terms of elements that can be applied to your professional practice and of any areas that were not satisfied.

Review

The review is an important stage in the planning process as it will enable you to see what parts of your training have borne the best fruit, and where there is still space for improvement. This process will help you to tweak your plan for the coming year to suit your changing needs and requirements as your client profile or skills portfolio expand and evolve.

If you are an ITI member you can enter the details of your CPD record on the ITI logging system as you go along, or you can include this process as part of your full review of the year’s training at the end of the membership year. Additional information is available in the My CPD section in the Members' Area.

Success Criteria

Everyone will have a different success criteria, but ultimately you need to be feeling that your professional skills and capacities have moved on at the end of each year. What is important is that your learning is relevant to you and how you demonstrate this learning.

By following an ongoing training and review process you will be putting into place one of the major building blocks of success, you will be ensuring a stronger future for yourself and you will be contributing to the continued professionalisation of our sector.

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