Translators’ and interpreters’ engagement with professional development in Australia: An analysis of key factors


  • Jim Hlavac Monash University
  • Shani Tobias Monash University
  • Lola Sundin Monash University
  • Simon Knowles Swinburne University
  • Alex Avella Archila Monash University



professional development, translator training, interpreter training, post-qualification/certification training


Professional development aims to facilitate the maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and has become a standard or even compulsory component of professional practice for many occupational groups. This paper traces the uptake of professional development amongst certified translators and interpreters in Australia, where in 2014 it was introduced as a requirement for newly-certified practitioners only, and in 2019 for all holders of translation or interpreting certification from the national certifying authority. Based on responses gained from a sample of 3,268 practitioners, we report high uptake overall with little variation according to level of qualifications. Slightly lower uptake rates are recorded only amongst ‘newcomers’ with less experience while for all others, it is consistently high. Lower uptake rates are recorded amongst those who work 1-10 hours per week and those earning up to A$10,000 per year compared to others working more hours and those earning more. A desire for more work does not co-occur with elevated levels of PD uptake. The data presented reflects the reported experiences of those who had already been required to engage with PD, those for whom this requirement was new with a three-year time window to undertake PD, as well as those for whom it still remains optional. These findings contribute to our understanding of PD uptake amongst a professional group whose engagement with post-certification training has been under-studied. Findings may inform relevant stakeholders in other countries considering measures to arrest atrophy and extend the skill sets of practising translators and interpreters.