Project background

Interpreters work throughout Germany in a wide range of contexts in both the private and public sector, so as to facilitate communication with clients, patients and customers who lack the necessary German language skills. Yet the professional qualifications held by these interpreters vary widely. This can lead to a situation where the interpretation provided is inadequate, both in terms of the end result and during the conversation itself. For a service provider, a poorly interpreted conversation can result in a loss of information, dissatisfaction, frustration, helplessness or even, in some cases, to a wrong decision being taken. From a systems perspective, failing to achieve conversational goals results in avoidable follow-on appointments and additional resource costs.


Development and evaluation of half-day training courses for service providers and senior leaders working in healthcare, social services, local authorities and education.

Project duration


Project specification

As part of the 29-month AMIF project ‘Optimising quality for service providers and interpreters’, these goals were achieved in sub-project 'How should I conduct interpreter-mediated conversations? Training for service providers working in healthcare, social services, local authorities and education' with the aid of the following modules:

1) Specification drafting module

On the basis of a comprehensive and international literature/programme review of measures used for interpreter-mediated conversations in the community, specifications were drafted for training courses addressing two separate groups: service providers and senior leaders.

2) Publicity campaign module

A publicity campaign was designed and run with the aim of informing service providers and decision-makers about the further training courses. The campaign targeted service providers and senior leaders working in a wide range of disciplines who work with interpreters in their day-to-day work.

Modul 3: Organisation und Durchführung der Fortbildungen

A total of 23 training courses for service providers and senior leaders were run and then evaluated. These training courses were offered as in-house training. In addition, three training sessions for senior leaders were planned.

4) Evaluation module

The quality of the training provided was evaluated scientifically on the basis of the mixed method approach.

Description of the training in detail

Target group

This training course was aimed at service providers who work with interpreters in their day-to-day work.


Improving communication skills for service providers in interpreter-mediated conversations.

Learning goals

How can qualified interpreters add value to my conversations? What do I need to keep in mind during an interpreter-mediated conversation? What should I do if things don’t go according to plan? This training course provided service providers with a goal-oriented approach to conducting interpreter-mediated conversations, so as to achieve satisfactory conversational results and avoid unnecessary follow-up appointments and additional resource costs.
Participants were made aware of best practices to follow for interpreter-mediated conversations. The course offers a general introduction to interpreting, qualifications, professional ethics and the interpreter’s understanding of their role, and included practical exercises on conversational strategies for working with interpreters.


Half-day (4 units of 45 min each)