09 Sep 2021
by Louise Killeen

My CPD story - Louise Killeen

We look at CPD from a slightly different angle, talking to Louise  Killeen of language  service provider Louise Killeen Translations in Manchester.

As head of a language service provider (LSP) employing in-house translators and project  managers, how do you approach the subject of CPD for you and your team?

New joiners start with a period of general induction before embarking on intensive on-the-job training, during which they work closely with a more experienced member of our in-house team on a mentor/mentee basis.

We also integrate external qualification provision, most notably ITI’s pathway to achieve AITI and MITI status. Ongoing in-house CPD is scheduled, and all staff undertake peer reviews; they are also allocated dedicated time slots each month to explore reference resources and associated material.

We invest a great deal in creating and sharing our own CPD. We hold quarterly Team Days, for example, to which our freelance partners are warmly invited at least once a year. Now that we’ve introduced Zoom and similar technologies, we are considering integrating our freelance partners into our training provision on a more regular basis and at a more intensive level – we feel they would benefit significantly from this.

It is company policy to log all CPD undertaken by in-house staff in our ‘LKT CPD log’. This information is then readily available for prospective and existing customers – as well as for adding to our ITI directory entries, of course.

Do you currently offer CPD to your freelancers or encourage them to undertake it?

Within the in-house team, we make a habit of sharing useful resources and tips. We wanted to make these resources – along with information from our quarterly LK Team Days – available to our freelance partners, so we created a ‘CPD store’ on our website, focusing on four areas: CAT tools, soft skills, writing and style, and subject-specific knowledge. The store is updated regularly, and we actively encourage our freelance partners to take advantage of it – as well as to log the time they spend.

In addition to language-based and industry-specific CPD, I regularly undertake CPD aimed at business owners and company directors

Louise Killeen, LK Translations

To what extent does CPD for in-house translators differ from CPD for freelance translators?

The material we collate in-house and share with our freelance partners is inevitably adapted because we interact less in person, but we are always happy to share our knowledge and resources with them. After all, the better we are able to support our freelance partners, the better the quality of the work that they will produce and we will all benefit.

What kinds  of CPD do you undertake yourself?

I am a qualified MITI so I always have the CPD target of 30 hours in mind. LKT is also a Corporate member of ITI and a member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC). In addition to language-based and industry-specific CPD, I regularly undertake CPD aimed at business owners and company directors. In fact, I am just about to attend an online German language industry networking event.

Freelance ITI members can display the ‘CPD Achieved’  logo after 30 hours of CPD. Does this logo have any influence on you when it comes to recruiting freelancers or placing work with them?

Absolutely - freelance partners are right to shout about their CPD achievements. CPD is time spent away from paid work, and it often costs money as well as time.

All freelancers should make time for CPD on a regular basis. The investments you make add value to the services you are offering, as they readily demonstrate a commitment to your own development. For new entrants to the profession, commitment to and evidence of active CPD can be invaluable in helping them stand out from the crowd; and for those with many years of experience, undertaking regular CPD activities demonstrates a willingness to continue developing.

In terms of formal obligations, our certification to ISO 17100 requires us to keep a log of CPD undertaken by our freelance partners, and we also ask prospective new freelance partners to submit evidence of recent CPD undertakings as part of the application process.

Before you set up your business, you worked as a freelance translator for a while. Looking back, how do you think CPD for translators has changed over the years?

I am not sure if the notion of CPD – as we understand it now – even existed when I started out, and there certainly was no formal structure around logging training and development activities. Changes in this regard have been most welcome. I think that our industry is still lagging behind in terms of CPD provision and opportunities, but I know that professional organisations are committed to improving this. I am proud of LKT’s commitment to and proactive support for ongoing CPD.

This article first appeared in the November-December 2020 edition of the ITI Bulletin.