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We are drafting terms of reference for conference interpreting for a three-day international conference in Geneva next year.

Can someone tell me the basic standards to mention in these terms of reference? E.g. two interpreters per language, anything else?

We are approaching companies so we don't want to go into vetting individual interpreters.

Thank you for any advice you can give me, Monika

asked 20 Nov '17, 05:46

BRULHART's gravatar image


Hi Monika,

UNHCR is bound by the AIIC-UN Agreement, which will define manning strengths, among other things:

Annex F

Organizations party to the Agreement

United Nations (including its Departments, Offices[20] and Regional Commissions[21], as well as Funds and Programmes[22], and other entities administered by the United Nations Secretariat[23])

The meeting planners from DGACM working at Palais des Nations might be able to run you through the essentials, as they are used to hire UN-vetted freelancer interpreters and to that effect, hold lists of already UN-accredited freelance interpreters.

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answered 20 Nov '17, 06:42

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 20 Nov '17, 07:25

Assuming that your conference is not covered by an AIIC agreement, I would suggest that you carefully define the:

  • number of rooms where interpreting must be provided, especially if you have plenaries and break-out sessions.
  • meeting agenda and schedule for each of those rooms
  • language regime ( languages that delegates must be able to speak, and languages into which interpreting must be provided ) for each of those rooms

When you've collected the information above, get in touch with one or more consultant interpreters, a list of whom can be found at

They will help you determine how many interpreters you require.

Baseline scenarios for team strength are listed in Article 6 of the AIIC professional standards but you're better off factoring in the specifics of your conference at an early stage to avoid problems.

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answered 20 Nov '17, 07:02

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

edited 20 Nov '17, 07:08

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question asked: 20 Nov '17, 05:46

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