27 Feb 2024
by Kate Lo MITI, Colin Speed MITI, Alicja Tokarska MITI

Up, up and away!

We talk to three ITI members about moving up to Qualified (MITI) status and what it has done for their professional lives – and their personal confidence.

Kate Lo

Stepping up a category signified a great achievement for me personally. It gave me the confidence to increase my rates with my existing clients. I wasted no time in updating my entry in the ITI directory and added my new post-nominals to everything I could. It felt like a reflection of the investment I’ve made in terms of my qualifications and CPD to date.

The move also prompted me to look hard at my business and to reassess where I wanted to go with it next. I felt a personal shift in that I wanted to ‘niche down’ on certain specialisms that I had chosen for myself, rather than those I’d acquired by default, based on the work sent my way. If we don’t invest in our CPD, then we’ll simply get left behind. I’m just at the start of my journey with CPD relating to my chosen specialisms, but I attended my first trade fair earlier this year (the British Beekeeping Show), and I learned so much from four talks that day as well as making some great, meaningful connections with industry experts.

Don’t wait as long as I did to move up! It may seem daunting to complete the application and sit the test but when I raised my concerns with ITI’s very own Nicki Bone she gently nudged me to ‘get on with it’ and I’m so glad I did. I paid that forward by encouraging another ITI member once I’d qualified – one good turn deserves another, after all!                                        


Colin Speed

After I moved category, I started to receive more work, because potential clients wanted this certification. This has benefited my business significantly. I put my MITI status and seal on all my translations. I was able to achieve ISO Qualified status, which I also put on all my translations. This creates a great impression and helps to bring in repeat work.

I am constantly participating in CPD activities such as webinars, seminars, training, and technology briefings to make sure I am up to speed. As a freelancer you can feel isolated from the industry, and participating in these events has helped me to meet other people and feel I am a part of it. The most useful was an ITI webinar on how to expand your business with certified translations. It was nice to see that other translators were doing things the same way, and I also picked up many valuable tips.

My advice to anyone thinking of becoming an MITI is to just do it. Don’t be daunted by all the MITI requirements. Just work through them all one by one. When it comes to the actual assessment, stay calm, do your best translation, then put it to one side, and go back to it the next day until you’re sure it is your best work. You have four days so you can take your time.

Best of luck!                                                              


Alicja Tokarska

Once I became an MITI, my confidence as a translator grew immensely – I now had tangible proof of my professional competence. This new mindset helped me stick to my guns when it came to rates, too.

If you’re thinking of becoming an MITI, why not speak to a qualified colleague from your local, language or subject network and see if they have any insight to share with you? Or set up a revision club? Getting feedback from a colleague and seeing what strategies they use in their work would definitely help you.

Passing the assessment, however, won’t guarantee your success as a translator. CPD is another important factor as it helps us grow in accordance with the most recent developments in the industry and our areas of specialisation. At the moment, I’ve been mostly working on my marketing strategy and subtitling skills.

When it comes to the latter, I’ve discovered that watching subtitled content has taught me lots of useful strategies. I can guarantee you that putting on subtitles when watching the latest season of Netflix’s Stranger Things has made me a better captioner – I’ve picked up plenty of wonderful ways to describe music and sounds to d/Deaf  audiences that I use in my work every day.


Interested in upgrading?

If you are thinking about moving up to MITI, it's easy to start the process by following these links for Qualified translator status and Qualified interpreter status. And the Membership team are always on hand to talk you through it if you need any support.

This article first appeared in the January-February issue of ITI Bulletin.